Welcome to the MTHS website

The Mountain Top Historical Society is dedicated to discovering and preserving the unique and rich history of the Catskill High Peaks. The Society is a not-for-profit organization and maintains a Visitor and Art Trail Center and the Ulster and Delaware train depot (shown above) on our campus in Haines Falls. We are located on scenic Route 23A at the gateway to the Mountain Top and are easily accessible from Exit 20 or 21 of the New York State Thruway.

 

The Town of Hunter, home to MTHS, has been designated a Preserve America Community.

Society receives collection of glass plate negatives.
Gift of Shirley and Gerald Dunn See details here.

 

The 2018 Events and Hikes Schedule is now available:

2018 Hikes and Events

Our next event:

Hike to Tory Fort

May 26 (Sat) - Tory Fort. Led by Rick Brooks. In 1975, as a Bicentennial Project, MTHS worked with Ed West, Buck Farrell, and our hike leader, Rick Brooks, who led an Edward G. West Associates mapping and survey crew. We visited and West Associates then mapped the location of Tory Fort. The fort was more accurately a small holding area where Native Americans held captured Hudson Valley settlers before a long trip to the British headquarters at Fort Niagara where the settlers were turned over for profit.  Meet at the Mountain Top Historical Society Visitors' Center at 9:00 am. The hike should be considered moderate to difficult with some bushwhacking. We expect to return by 3:00 pm

In a recent email Rick gives this update on the route. "Leaving from Byrne Road hiking an existing woods/mill road to the intersection of Canda Creek and the Forest Preserve line then hiking the 1000-1500 feet to the Fort site.  [The] hike ... would allow us to travel through interesting abandoned agricultural fields, a few different forest types, explore the former Holtz Railroad and its associated mill, and experience the Canda Creek."  Our meeting place and time hasn't changed - 9:00 am at the Visitors Center Rt. 23A Haines Falls

MTHS does not require membership for hike participation however, we encourage you to join as a member or make a donation to the MTHS to support our work. We do request that you register for each hike. Participants can register on our contacts page or by calling (518) 589-6657. Please leave your name, phone number, and # in your party. Schedule subject to change. The latest information is available on our web site  http://www.mths.org. Notification of changes, including cancellations due to weather will be made on the web site up to the day of any given hike.'

Correction:

As the MTHS Spring issue of The Hemlock left the Mountain Top and headed directly to the printer, I was reminded of a lesson I should have learned years ago. That first rule of journalism is to check and re-check one's facts.

So when The Hemlock reaches your mailbox and you see that the name of Justine's mother is incorrect, please know that we are aware of the error. Justine's mother was Catherine, not Mildred. So apologies from this fact-checker and a promise to be more diligent in the future.  Thanks for your understanding.  Cyndi

Campus Clean-up Day Thanks to all who lent a hand!

DEC Opens Pine Orchard View.

Thanks to DEC for opening the view from the Catskill Mountain House site. (Click the italicized link above for photos.)
If you haven't see the view since it's been cleared get prepped for a winter hike and take a walk to the Mountain House site, or Join Moe Lemier and MTHS on February 10. (See our winter hike schedule.)

 Rip will return in the Spring.

The Rip Van Winkle Mountain Top Historical Society sign will be going into the shop for cleaning this winter.  Thanks to a grant from The Bank of Greene County, we have the funds to have Kevin Van Hentenryck help us preserve our sign. Rip will return by spring, 2018.
 

 KRT Rail Trail Is Open

In 2005 I wrote about trails and sites on Prospect Mountain in the afterword for Catskill Mountain House Trail Guide:


A path across this mountain that lies west of South Mountain between the Laurel House and the Hamlet of Haines Falls was among the earliest trails in the region.  It became the route of the two railways that served the hotels. Three important locations once accessible from that path deserve special mention.  One, the Sphinx, well known to post card collectors, stands guard over the upper clove above Molly Smith’s parking area.  As best I can determine, it is on state land.  Access to it, however, is either an extremely difficult climb, or a relatively easy approach that requires crossing private property.  Very near the Sphinx, is a clearing that takes in the upper portion of Kaaterskill Falls, a beautiful view of the Clove, and the peaks of Round Top and High Peak.  No other spot allows all three to be seen at the same time.  Also formerly accessible from this path is viewpoint named (like the ledge on North Mountain) Prospect Rock.  This Prospect Rock is perhaps the best place from which to see, in a single view, both upper and lower portions of Kaaterskill Falls, but it too is virtually inaccessible except by crossing private land.

Opening these areas could be a real benefit to visitors, and to the Mountain Top community.  Recently, there has been renewed interest in a rail trail between the hamlet of Haines Falls and Laurel House Road following the rail corridor and near the trail that was discussed by both Van Loan and Rusk [authors of 19th century trail guides].  Reopening that trail would provide a link between the local community and the beautiful facilities at North-South Lake. -- [Note that at this time, the area of Sphinx Rock is not accessible from the KRT.]

Now, twelve years after I wrote these words and thanks to the efforts of many people and organizations, the KRT is open and NYSDEC has placed a trail sign at the junction of the state trail to the Kaaterskill Falls viewing platform and the Kaaterskill Rail Trail pointing the way to the Historical Society's campus and station. I am very pleased that this has been accomplished and, based on the large attendance at the opening ceremony on May 20, the community is too. Thanks again to all. - RG

 

   From our Archives -

Follow the "From Our Archives" link in the "Preserve" menu on the right to see information about some of the items in our Justine Hommel Archive Room, including recently posted information on the story of Civil War soldier William Young.

MTHS News and links:

In October we shared the sad news that MTHS founding member, long time president and  a dear friend and vital link to the society's past had passed away on October 17, 2016.
A memorial service honoring Justine will be held on June 24, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at the Haines Falls Methodist Church followed by a reception at the Twilight Park Clubhouse.

 

President's Message

As we begin the 2017 season of events and activities presented by the Mountain Top Historical Society, it is time to pause and take stock of our progress during the past 20 years. In 1996, the MTHS acquired the Ulster & Delaware Railroad Station in Haines Falls and established a campus at the head of Kaaterskill Clove that now includes a barn with exhibit space and a Visitors' Center with a state of the art Archives Room. With the help of generous benefactors and volunteers, our ability to present programs, lead guided hikes, provide information about local history, support research and education on the Mountain Top has grown. We are a stop on the Hudson River School Art Trail and a trailhead on the Kaaterskill Rail Trail. We provide information to over 2500 annual visitors to our area who come into our Visitors' Center.

In order to continue what we are doing, and to consider new opportunities as they arise, we count on your help. We repainted the exterior of the Visitors' Center through a 50/50 grant from the Hunter Foundation. We improved the barn with help from the Greene County Sheriff's Department and with work by George Van Dyke. We have maintained the campus with steady work by a dedicated crew of volunteer groundskeepers. We are now looking at the U&D Railroad Station which was lovingly restored beginning in 1997. Time and weather are taking their toll. The exterior needs repairs and repainting. The roof will need to be re-done in the not too distant future. In addition to the work on the station, our KRT parking lot needs to be improved in order to serve the growing number of visitors to our campus. We have laid the foundation; we invite you to be part of the future of the MTHS.

We have openings for volunteers, and possible board members, in these areas: membership chair, fundraising chair (including grants writing), volunteer coordinator, and groundskeeping chair. We would love to have more regular volunteers to work on maintaining the grounds, staffing the Visitors' Center, working with us on our Spring Clean-up Day in May, and sorting files for the archives. If you are already on our volunteer list, we will be in touch. If you would like to know more about volunteer activities that will be personally fulfilling and rewarding, contact us by phone at 518-589-6657 or by e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We also ask for your support in the form of membership dollars and your donations to our upcoming capital campaign. Our annual membership drive will begin in May. Watch for the information in the mail and please respond generously.

Working together, we can continue to discover, interpret, share, and preserve the history of the Mountain Top for ourselves and our children.

Thanks to our business sponsors:

Bruce Feml General Contractor, Bank of Greene County, Brookside B&B, Cave Mountain Brewing Company, C&C Excavating, Central Hudson Gas & Electric, Chateau Belleview, Claude W. Lutz of Hunter and Fromer Agency Insurance, Craig Bates Trucking & Excavating, Inc.,  Deer Mountain Inn, Dr. Elena Suditu, GNH Lumber, Inc., Gordon Hunter Mountain Realty, Hotel Vienna, Hunter Chamber of Commerce, Hunter Mountain, Kaaterskill Liquors, Karen’s County Kitchen, Last Chance Antiques & Cheese Cafe, Mama's Boy Pizza, Mountain Propane, Inc., Pancho Villas Mexican Restaurant, Rosehaven Inn, Snow Bird Ski Shop, Snowed Inn, Stewart's Shops, Tannersville Antique & Artisan Center, TREC Management Company, The Mountain Brook, The Thompson House, Thorpe's GMC, Inc., Traphagen’s Honey, Vanucchi Associates, Villa Vosilla, The Woodstock Inn on the Millstream, Williams Lumber and Home Centers, Willow Mixed Media,

2018 MTHS Business Sponsors
Brookside Bed & Breakfast
Central Hudson Gas & Electric
Chateau Belleview
Craig Bates Trucking & Excavating, Inc.
Ethel & Orville Slutzky Foundation
GNH Lumber Inc.
Gordon Hunter Mountain Realty
Hunter Chamber of Commerce
Hunter Mountain Ski Bowl, Inc.
Karen’s County Kitchen
Last Chance Restaurant & Tavern
Mountain Propane, Inc.
Pancho Villa’s Restaurant
Paraco Gas Corp/ Kosco Oil
Scribner’s Catskill Lodge
Snow Bird Ski Shop, Inc.
Snowed Inn
Tannersville Antique & Artisan Center & Antique Annex
TREC Management Company
Traphagen’s Honey
The Thompson House
The Woodstock Inn on the Millstream
Washington Irving Inn
Williams Lumber & Home Centers
Willow Mixed Media

To our hikers:

The 2017 hiking schedule can be found at: http://mths.org/hikes.html or by selecting the Hikes link under the Interpret section in the side menus. As always, hikes are subject to change. Please check this site just prior to the date of any scheduled hike.

Thanks to the Kaaterskill Rail Trail Facebook Page for posting this notice.

Please everyone stay on the marked trail, do not cut across the private land to access the trail from MTHS. Please follow Trail up North Lake Road to Featherbed down to the rail trail.
The last section is in the process of being acquired by the Mountain Top Historical Society however it is still PRIVATE LAND, please respect the private land owners and their property.
The grand opening for the new final section connecting Kaaterskill Falls with the MTHS Campus will be opening on May 20th- more details to follow.
Thank you everyone for you help and cooperation in this matter.

Thanks to our business sponsors:

Brookside B&B, Bistro Brie & Bordeaux, Central Hudson Gas & Electric, Chateau Belleview, Claude W Lutz/Fromer Agency, Craig Bates Trucking & Excavating, Inc., Deer Mountain Inn, Elena Suditu Dentist, P.C, Ethel & Orville Slutzky Foundation, GNH Lumber, Inc., Gordon Hunter Mountain Realty, Haines Family Association, Haines Farm, Hotel Vienna, Hunter Chamber of Commerce, Hunter Mountain Ski Bowl, Inc., Kaaterskill Liquors, Karen’s County Kitchen, Kerns Nursery, Last Chance Antiques & Cheese Cafe, Messina's LaGriglia Ristorante, Mountain Propane, Inc., Pancho Villas Mexican Restaurant, Paraco Gas Corp/Kosco Oil, Rosehaven Inn, Scribner's Catskill Lodge, Snow Bird Ski Shop, Snowed Inn, Tannersville Antique & Artisan Center, TREC Management Company, Traphagen's Honey, The Thompson House,  The Woodstock Inn on the Millstream, Williams Lumber and Home Centers, Willow Mixed Media

 




 


To our hikers:

The 2017 hiking schedule can be found at: http://mths.org/hikes.html or by selecting the Hikes link under the Interpret section in the side menus. As always, hikes are subject to change. Please check this site just prior to the date of any scheduled hike.

Thanks to the Kaaterskill Rail Trail Facebook Page for posting this notice.

Please everyone stay on the marked trail, do not cut across the private land to access the trail from MTHS. Please follow Trail up North Lake Road to Featherbed down to the rail trail.
The last section is in the process of being acquired by the Mountain Top Historical Society however it is still PRIVATE LAND, please respect the private land owners and their property.
The grand opening for the new final section connecting Kaaterskill Falls with the MTHS Campus will be opening on May 20th- more details to follow.
Thank you everyone for you help and cooperation in this matter.

Mountain Top Historical Society
2018 Hike & Event Preliminary Schedule

Check back here at our website for any last minute changes in our schedule as the hikes & events that interest you approach.

April 14 (Sat) Colgate Lake and Colgate Family Homestead. Join Moe Lemire, New York State licensed guide, for a hike to explore the old Colgate Family Homestead. Walk around Colgate Lake during this easy 3 mile round trip excursion. Meet at the MTHS parking area at 9:00 a.m. and return around 1:00 p.m. This is a fundraiser event for MTHS - $10 suggested donation.

April 22 (Sunday) Celebrate Earth Day with the MTHS. Explore Sloan Gorge and Snake Rocks, two Woodstock Land Conservancy Preserves. Hike with Catskill Geology Prof. Robert Titus in the picturesque hidden Sloan Gorge canyon (1.5 miles). Explore an interpreted trail of distinctive Catskill geological features. If there is enough time and interest, an optional hike to Snake Rocks Preserve (1.5 miles) will be coordinated by MTHS VP Adrienne Larys. Snake Rocks is an enchanting mountain top bluestone quarry with panoramic views of the Catskills. Meet at the MTHS Visitors’ Center at 8:30 a.m. for carpooling, or meet at the Sloan Gorge parking area at 9:30 a.m. (2195 Stoll Road). Parking is very limited at both Preserves and carpooling is encouraged. No dogs please at the WLC request for these hikes. Rating: Moderate — rough ground with a few steep sections and rock scrambles.

May 5 (Sat) Campus Clean-up Day 9:00 a.m. - the Mountain Top Historical Society will emerge from its annual winter hibernation into the sunlight of another exciting season of hikes, programs, and special events. A thorough cleaning needs to be done in the Visitors' Center, in the Train Station, and around the grounds. The more volunteers we have there, the quicker the chores will be completed. Looking forward to seeing you then and throughout the summer.

May 12 (Sat) Rochester Hollow Walk 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Led by New York State licensed guide Moe Lemire, Explore the old Homestead, 5.60 miles, difficulty: moderate, meet at the parking area on Matyas Road in Shandaken, this is a fundraiser event for MTHS - $10 suggested donation

May 19th (Sat) Annual Spring Fling - 'Robert Selkowitz - Presentation will be in the Ulster & Delaware Railroad Station on the MTHS campus on NYS rt. 23A in Haines Falls, NY at 7:00 p.m. Car Clubs will be contacted and invited to a Cruise-In beginning at 6:00 p.m. The presentation will include the history of the 1903 run and the birth of macadam stone road building in New York State, as well as mention of the 1908 motorcycle endurance run which came up the Mountain Top. Robert Selkowitz is an artist, his book A Painter's Path through the Catskill Mountains features a series of maps showing where the 50 pastel landscapes in the book were painted. He has been active in the Catskill Region for more than 40 years. Come on over for the first presentation of the 2018 season, our Annual Spring Fling! We are requesting a $5.00 per person donation for the talk. The money we collect goes to Building and Grounds maintenance.

May 26 (Sat) - Tory Fort. Led by Rick Brooks. In 1975, as a Bicentennial Project, MTHS worked with Ed West, Buck Farrell, and our hike leader, Rick Brooks, who led an Edward G. West Associates mapping and survey crew. We visited and West Associates then mapped the location of Tory Fort. The fort was more accurately a small holding area where Native Americans held captured Hudson Valley settlers before a long trip to the British headquarters at Fort Niagara where the settlers were turned over for profit.  Meet at the Mountain Top Historical Society Visitors' Center at 9:00 am. The hike should be considered moderate to difficult with some bushwhacking. We expect to return by 3:00 pm
In a recent email Rick gives this update on the route. Leaving from Byrne Road hiking an existing woods/mill road to the intersection of Canda Creek and the Forest Preserve line then hiking the 1000-1500 feet to the Fort site.  [The] hike ... would allow us to travel through interesting abandoned agricultural fields, a few different forest types, explore the former Holtz Railroad and its associated mill, and experience the Canda Creek.  Our meeting place and time hasn't changed - 9:00 am at the Visitors Center Rt. 23A Haines Falls

June 2 (Sat) Dedication – Justine Hommel Highway – 11:00 a.m. on the lawn of the Visitors' Center - Come join the MTHS in honoring Catskill Mountain icon Justine Hommel and celebrate the dedication of the entrance to Kaaterskill Clove, Route 23A as the Justine L. Hommel Memorial Highway. With the sponsorship and great efforts of Assemblyman Peter Lopez and Senator George Amedore, the New York State Assembly and Senate passed bills that officially memorialize Justine’s contributions to New York State and Greene County history. The "Justine L. Hommel Memorial Highway" will be a constant reminder of Ms. Hommel's remarkable contributions to the mountaintop region of Greene County and her life-long dedication to enhancing and preserving the natural splendor of the Catskill Mountains landscape.

June 9 (Sat) Historic Harding Road Walk 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Led by New York State licensed guide Moe Lemire, 7.60 miles round trip, difficulty: moderate, meet at the MTHS Kaaterskill Rail Trail parking lot, this is a fundraiser event for MTHS - $10 suggested donation

June 22 (Fri) Bill Horne Presentation - The Improbable Community – 7:00 p.m. in the Ulster & Delaware Train Station. In 1939, a group of idealists inspired by the spirit of New Deal reform put their vision of American democracy into practice by creating Camp Woodland, a racially and ethnically inclusive summer camp for city kids located in the Catskill Mountains of New York. The camp’s innovative programs profoundly influenced campers for 24 summers from 1939 through 1962. Bill was a camper at Camp Woodland from 1950 through 1960. The impact of his experience at Camp Woodland was one of his primary motivations for writing The Improbable Community.

July 7 (Sat) Annual Meeting. The MTHS will hold its Annual Meeting at 10:00 a.m. at the Train Station. All members of the MTHS are invited to attend.

July 13 (Fri) Hotel Kaaterskill: an Illustrated Presentation by George Harding and Bob Gildersleeve – 7:00 pm in the Ulster & Delaware Train Station. George Harding, great-great grandson of the original owner of the Hotel Kaaterskill has generously donated approximately 50 photographs of the Hotel Kaaterskill, its grounds and out-buildings. The photos were apparently taken in preparation for the sale of the property. George and Bob have been making a careful study of the photos which include interior views of the billiard room, bowling alley, kitchen, theater, a guest room and other surprises. Included is the only photo we’ve ever seen of the wood frame hotel laundry. Further details to be announced.

July 14 (Sat) Hike to Hotel Kaaterskill Site – 9:00 am – mid afternoon. In connection with the presentation on July 13, join George Harding and Bob Gildersleeve on a two-part hike and exploration of the grounds of the Hotel Kaaterskill and its Laundry. There are still some open questions that we will try to resolve. Exactly where did the laundry building stand? How many people did it employ? What was the function of the extant stone building sometimes referred to as the Wash House? The morning session will concentrate on the Laundry area. Immediately following the morning session we will climb the carriage road to the Hotel site where we will stop to eat (bring your lunch) and explore the grounds looking to identify the sites seen in the newly acquired photographs. The hike should be considered Easy (morning) to Moderate (afternoon or full hike). Meet 9:00 am at the Mountain Top Historical Society 5132 Route 23A Haines Falls, Kaaterskill Rail Trail parking lot.

July 28 (Sat) The Justine L. Hommel 3rd Annual Memorial Lecture: Talk by Vernon Benjamin  7:00 p.m. at Twilight Park Clubhouse. Vernon is the author of "The History of the Hudson River Valley: From Wilderness to the Civil War" and "The History of the Hudson River Valley: From the Civil War to Modern Times".

Aug. 4 (Sat) Wittenberg Mountain Hike – Led by New York State licensed guide Moe Lemire. See a part of the Catskill very view get to see and search for the historic "Boy Scout Cave." This 10.3 Mile  Round Trip hike will meet at Woodland Valley Parking at  9am. Bring a bagged lunch, water and wear appropriate hiking shoes for this difficult hike returning by 5pm. there will be a $10 fee to benefit the Mountain Top Historic Society.

August 11 (Sat) Thacher State Park NYS Museum geologist Chuck Ver Straeten and Thacher Park naturalist Nancy Engel will co-lead a 3 hour hike through John Boyd Thacher State Park in Voorheesville. Meet in the Paint Mine parking area, south side of Rt. 157 at 10:30 a.m. for an 11:00 a.m. start. If that lot is full, the Mine Lot parking area is across the street.; The hike will follow the Indian Ladder Trail and Mine Lot Creek through scenic glens, past impressive sinkholes, and other beautiful views and geological features.  Bring a lunch, water and wear good hiking shoes. NO dogs please. Register by calling MTHS at (518) 589-6657 (leave name/phone number/# in party) or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Aug. 25 (Sat) Rip’s Country Bazaar/Open House – The MTHS campus will be filled with tents full of vendors: craftspeople, antique dealers, local food products, flea market items and more. Music for toe-tapping and hand clapping will be provided by John Quinn and the 77th Regimental Balladeers. Food for fun and food for lunch will be available for purchase. The Visitors’ Center will be open for browsing maps, books, brochures, or checking out the Archives. The Ulster & Delaware Train Station will be open for a presentation by Jonathan Palmer from the Vedder Research Library of the Greene County Historical Society. There will be kites and bubbles for kids and wannabe kids. Wildflowers and grass for running around. Rip Van Winkle may even appear! It will be a beautiful day for chatting with friends and family, learning something new about local history, listening to music from the Civil War Era, finding treasures among the offerings of over 35 vendors. The excitement begins at 9:00 a.m. and continues all day! Come on over to the Mountain Top Historical Society’s campus on Route 23A in Haines Falls and join in the fun.

Sept. 15 (Sat) 7th Annual Postcard Show & Talk - 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. @ the U&D Train Station. Talk by John Duda at 2:00 p.m. Food will be available. The MTHS will also be selling ephemera from its attic in a special sale. A $3.00 entry fee will be charged at the door.

Oct. 6 (Sat) 5th Annual Hikefest - Plans for our contribution to the Lark in the Park will develop and be announced as the highly anticipated event comes in to clearer view. Register by calling MTHS at (518) 589-6657 (leave name/phone number/# in party) or by email [mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]

Oct. 6 – Owl Prowl Hike - Led by New York State licensed guide Moe Lemire. Great for Ages 10 and up. Experience the beauty of the forest at night. Hear the evening Woodland creatures. This 3.6 mile round trip hike along the Kaaterskill Rail Trail begins at 6:00 pm and concludes at 9:00 pm and is considered easy. Meet at Society's 1913 U&D Train Station on the MTHS campus route 23A, Haines Falls. A $10/ $5 (kids under 16)  fee to benefit Mountain Top Historic Society.

MTHS does not require membership for hike participation however, we encourage you to join as a member or make a donation to the MTHS to support our work. We do request that you register for each hike. Participants can register on our contacts page or by calling (518) 589-6657. Please leave your name, phone number, and # in your party. Schedule subject to change. The latest information is available on our web site  http://www.mths.org. Notification of changes, including cancellations due to weather will be made on the web site up to the day of any given hike.'

Mountain Top Historical Society 2017 Hike & Event Schedule

Check our website as the hikes & events that interest you approach.
See entry for May 20 for news on the Kaaterskill Rail Trail


April 15 (Sat) Overlook Mountain Led by Bob Gildersleeve. The Overlook Mountain House had three incarnations and was considered comparable in views and location to the Catskill Mountain House.; Trails around the Hotel featured outlooks and romantic locations such as Turtle Rock, Lover's Cave, and the Duke's Profile. We plan to explore the area and the concrete shell of the last hotel. Meet 9:00 am at the Municipal Parking Lot at Route 212 and Rock City Road Woodstock, NY. Return around 4:00 pm. Bring lunch, water, and appropriate hiking shoes. Register by calling MTHS at (518) 589-6657 (leave name, phone number # in party) or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

April 29 (Sat) Saugerties Lighthouse and Walkway over the Hudson The Saugerties Lighthouse [http://www.saugertieslighthouse.com/ http://www.saugertieslighthouse.com/] is located on land jutting out into the Hudson and gives the feeling of being in the center of the river. The trail and Lighthouse area will allow us to view the river and give a nice view of the Catskill Mountains. From the Lighthouse we will drive south to The Walkway over the Hudson for another Hudson River view. Difficulty: Easy with little or no climb and the opportunity to walk at the pace most comfortable to you. Register by calling MTHS at (518) 589-6657 (leave name/phone number/# in party) or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Meet at 9:00 am at the Thruway parking area across from the Southbound Thruway entrance on Route 32 (Exit 20 Saugerties-Woodstock).

May 6 (Sat) MTHS Clean-up Day The Mountain Top Historical Society will emerge from its annual winter hibernation into the sunlight of another exciting season of hikes, programs, and special events.  Beginning at 9:00 a.m. we will be staging groups of willing workers around the Haines Falls campus to clear the cobwebs and clutter of winter.  Please plan to join us.  It is an opportunity for you to get to know more about the MTHS and to meet other community members who are involved in keeping things moving forward.  A thorough cleaning needs to be done in the Visitors' Center, in the Train Station, and around the grounds.  The more volunteers we have there, the quicker the chores will be completed.  Check out the 2017 schedule of events on our website: www.mths.org and come out to help us prepare on May 6. Looking forward to seeing you then and throughout the summer.

May 20 (Sat) Spring Fling - Opening of the expanded Kaaterskill Rail Trail Hiking the Kaaterskill Rail Trail since it opened on June 1, 2013 has meant taking a detour from the MTHS parking lot out to Osborn Road to North Lake Road and then south on Featherbed Lane to re-join the KRT about ¾ mile from the Railroad Station.
Now, on Saturday, May 20, 2017, there will be another community celebration beginning at 10:30 a.m. This time we will mark the end of the detour and the opening of the missing link with a few speeches, a ribbon cutting, and a beautiful, delicious cake. Walkers and hikers will be able to enter the KRT along the old train route just east of the MTHS' historic Railroad Station. Read details here.

June 10 (Sat) Presentation by author/publisher Nick Lyons -- Reminiscing about the Laurel House, fishing in South Lake and Lake Creek and fly-fishing in the Catskills -- Nick Lyons is a well-known and well-respected Catskills fisherman. He began fishing during the summers he spent as a boy at the Laurel House which was owned by his grandfather Louis Bernstein and operated by his uncle and aunt Nathan and Sadie Bernstein between 1929 and 1953. 7:00 p.m. at U&D Train Station  We had a very nice afternoon sharing with Nick the information that MTHS has about the Laurel House during the period from 1929 to 1953 when his family owned the property. Nick's evening presentation was exceptionally well received -- interesting, humorous, and warm. He brought his experiences at the Laurel House to life and gave us an appreciation of the sport of fly fishing.

June 17 (Sat.) Colgate Lake - Hike and Presentation At a brunch beginning at 9:00 am in the U&D Railroad Station, Gerry Loucks of the Eastkill Valley Historical Association will share photos, maps and information about the Colgate family and their connection to East Jewett. The presentation/brunch will be followed at 11:30 am by a hike in the area around Colgate Lake led by Pete Senterman and Moe Lemire. Reservations required for the bunch ($10.00) by Wednesday, June 14th. Register for the hike by calling MTHS at (518) 589-6657 (leave name/phone number/# in party) or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

July 8 (Sat) Giant Ledge Discovery Hike with Paul Misko. Join us for a hike to a fantastic view up Giant Ledge. Along the way learn about some local history, hear some great stories, and see some critters. Bring lunch, drinks, rain jacket, and wear good hiking shoes. NO DOGS ​please. Level of difficulty; Moderate, about 5 miles total, with some steep and rocky places. Meet at 9:45 a.m. at the Giant Ledge trail head parking area, located on Rt. 47, about 7.4 miles south of Rt. 28 in Big Indian. Register with Paul at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also register by calling MTHS at (518) 589-6657 (leave name/phone number/# in party).

July 14 (Fri) Presentation on Women’s Suffrage – Johanna Titus - 7pm Twilight Park Clubhouse The Centennial of Women’s Suffrage in New York: The Keystone of the Women’s Rights Movement Join author and MTHS Board Member, Johanna Titus, for an historic prospective of the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Beginning with Seneca Falls and defining an often chaotic trail, women’s suffrage in New York was not successful until it became both local and inclusive. Many full and part-time residents of Greene County were vital to the effort of establishing not only women’s suffrage in New York, but also the passage of the 19th Amendment, and advancement of Women’s Rights. Some of those women are remembered and celebrated in this short discourse.

July 29 (Sat) Rip Van Winkle Hikers - All Along the Escarpment the Rip Van Winkle Hikers will explore the Catskills Escarpment, the eastern edge of the dissected Catskill plateau overlooking the Hudson Valley, with several coordinated hikes designed to suit a wide range of abilities and interests. Hikes will include: Escarpment Highlights at North South Lake (5 miles), Acra Point Loop (5.2 miles) and Traverse from Black Dome Valley to North South Lake (12-14 miles). Hikers will meet at the MTHS campus in Haines Falls at 8:30 am, to sign in, form carpools, and fan out All Along the Escarpment for a fun-filled day in the Northeastern Catskills. Register by calling MTHS at (518) 589-6657 (leave name/phone number/# in party) or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Aug. 12 (Sat) Thacher State Park NYS Museum geologist Chuck Ver Straeten and Thacher Park naturalist Nancy Engel will co-lead a 3 hour hike through John Boyd Thacher State Park in Voorheesville. Meet in the Thatcher Park Visitors Center parking area, at 10:30 a.m. for an 11:00 a.m. start. The hike will begin with a walk through the visitors’ center and then follow follow the Indian Ladder Trail and Mine Lot Creek through scenic glens, past impressive sinkholes, and other beautiful views and geological features. Bring a lunch, water and wear good hiking shoes. NO dogs please. Register by calling MTHS at (518) 589-6657 (leave name/phone number/# in party) or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Update on parking: Thatcher Park has reinstated a $6.00 per car parking fee.

Aug. 18 (Fri) Historical Trivia Quiz by Paul Misko Enjoy learning some little known facts about local history as contestants match wits with each other and the host. Stay afterward for dessert and informal history chatter. 7 p.m. at the U&D Train Station

Aug. 26 (Sat)

Rip's Country Bazaar
Saturday August 26th
10 am to 5 pm

Mountain Top Historical Society Campus

Route 23A, Haines Falls

Fun for the Whole Family!
ANTIQUES, CRAFTS, FLEA MARKET
OVER 35 VENDORS

Live Music: 77th Regimental Balladeers
Food -- Open Archives
Ulster & Delaware Railroad Exhibit
Children's Activities

 

Sept. 9 (Sat.) Hudson River Ramble - Indian Head Mountain. Join New York State Licensed guide Moe Lemire on a loop hike up and over Indian Head Mountain. This hike will take place on September 9th. Meet at the parking area at the end of Prediger Road off of route 16. This loop hike is a total of 6.25 miles from start to finish. Ascending up to the summit of Indian Head Mountain at an elevation of 3573 then descending This is a moderate to difficult hike climbing up and over ledges and some boulders. Please wear sturdy foot wear. Bring a bagged lunch as we will be eating lunch on the southern view point. This hike offers several views of the valley, Platte Clove, Kaatterskill High Peak, Round Top as well as the old Police Camp which is now the Platte Clove Community. Remember to bring plenty of water, rain gear and a warm layer in case of cool weather on top. This hike will take place rain or shine. Register by calling MTHS at (518) 589-6657 (leave name/phone number/# in party) or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sept. 16 (Sat) 6th Annual Postcard Show – 10 a.m. to 3p.m. @ the U&D Train Station. Food will be available. The MTHS will also be selling ephemera from its attic in a special sale. A $3.00 entry fee will be charged at the door.

Sept. 22 (Fri) Presentation by Carolyn Bennett – Pratt’s Five Wives – 7 pm @ U&D Train Station. A unique look at the role of women and the struggle for women’s suffrage from the Colonial period through the 19th century through the lives of Congressman Zadock Pratt Jr.’s five wives, Esther Dickerman, Beda Dickerman, Abigail Watson, Mary Watson and Susie Grimm. This is also the theme of the Zadock Pratt Museum’s 2017 exhibit, which will contain quilts, period clothing & jewelry, kitchen and cleaning items, magazines, books, paintings, etc.

Oct. 7 (Sat) 4th Annual Hikefest - Kaaterskill Rail Trail and the Falls. Exciting things are happening since we explored the Rail Trail and Falls last year. Plans for our contribution to the Lark in the Park will develop and be announced as the highly anticipated changes come in to clearer view. Register by calling MTHS at (518) 589-6657 (leave name/phone number/# in party) or by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

MTHS does not require membership for hike participation. We do however request that you register for each hike. Participants can register on our [http://www.mths.org/contact-mths.html contacts page] or by calling (518) 589-6657. Please leave your name, phone number, and # in your party. Schedule subject to change. The latest information is available on our web site [http://www.mths.org/undefined/ http://www.mths.org]. Notification of changes, including cancellations due to weather will be made on the web site up to the day of any given hike.