Mountain Top Historical Society 2021 Hikes / Walks


Hikes/Walks are limited to 12 guests--Please follow instructions below to pre-register for all events

May 16 (Sun.) 1:00 p.m.  Hike – Mountain Top Arboretum. See Spring Unfolding in the Mountains. Explore the hiking trails at the Mountain Top Arboretum and the Deer Mountain Inn with Nancy Allen. Listen for the sound of peepers and observe the blossoming of spring ephemerals. Round trip about 4 miles. Easy trails with some steeper inclines. Meet Nancy at the Arboretum parking area at 1 p.m. come prepared for muddy conditions (boots that keep the feet dry) and with bug spray. Bring water and snacks. Well-behaved dogs on leash welcome. The exact route will be determined by the conditions on the day of the hike. Hard rain cancels.

June 5 (Sat.) 10 a.m. Hike – National Trails Day on the Kaaterskill Rail Trail led by Michelle Yost and Pete Sentermen. Pete will discuss the history of the railroads at the Mountain Top, and Michelle will transition into the modern day trail and its future. The KRT was first a footpath connecting the Catskill Mountain House and other hotels to Haines Falls. By the 1880’s the old footpath had made way for a rail corridor which, at its peak, saw two competing passenger rail lines following parallel tracks toward the Catskill escarpment. Thousands of vacationers arrived each summer via the newly- constructed rail lines to see the picturesque scenery and stay at the many boarding houses, hotels, and resorts such as the Laurel House. Hike will extend to the viewing platform over Kaaterskill Falls. Easy, 3 ½ miles, wear sturdy shoes and bring water. Meet at U&D Train Station at 10 am.

July 10 (Sat.) 10 a.m. Annual Meeting. Please join us for the Annual Meeting of the MTHS at which directors will be elected and updates on the work of the Society will be presented. Location to be determined, possibly at the U & D Train Station, or in the Visitors' Center Conference Room with access via Zoom. 

July 17 (Sat.) 10:00 a.m. – 3 p.m.  *FULL* Hike- “In the Footsteps of Sanford Robinson Gifford”.   Join geologist Robert Titus for a journey back into the Ice Age, whose landscapes were the subjects of the artists of the Hudson River School. This hike will locate spots along the Blue Trail where Sanford Robinson Gifford sketched, and we’ll examine evidence of glacial activity at each location. Moderate, four miles. Bring water and lunch. Return by 3 p.m. Meet at Laurel House Road parking lot. Registration instructions below. Dogs welcome if owners comply with Park rules.
Please note that our July 17th hike with Robert Titus "In the Footsteps of Sanford Robinson Gifford" is full. The good news is that Robert will be leading the hike again in October during our annual Hike Fest.

August 4 (Wednesday) 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. U&D Train Station on MTHS Campus, Route 23A Haines Falls, NY “Wednesday Workshop: Local Railroad History”. An informal workshop with Bob Gildersleeve. To register email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or cal(518) 589-6657.

  • We’ll tour the 1913 U&D train station that is now owned by the Mountain Top Historical Society, see what was done to return it from its modified and deteriorating condition as a private home back to its original state as the premier station on the Kaaterskill Branch of the U&D.
  •  We’ll discuss the history of the two Ulster and Delaware stations in Haines Fall as well as the competing Catskill and Tannersville station.
  •  We’ll also check out timetables and get a glimpse of the boxes of countless business records from the station that have recently been donated to the society and other memorabilia.
  • We’ll discuss the option of becoming a docent at the station.

 If you are interested in the stations at what the railroad companies like to call Haines Corners, if your interested in the rail lines in general we hope you will join us.

August 21 (Sat.) 6pm Sojourner Truth's "Ain't I a Woman" Speech Performed by Rev. Deb Zuill with introduction by Dr. Kimberly Johnson. This event will be held outdoors under a tent at the historic U&D Railroad Station. Refreshments will be served. $5 suggested donation. This program is supported by a grant from The Bank of Greene County.

Sept. 18   (Sat.) 10:00 a.m. – 12 noon. Talk and Walk – The Mountain Top Arboretum and the Mountain Top Historical Society present a two-day event with Dr. Michael Kudish, expert in forest history. Dr. Kudish will discuss “Burn Index: A New Way of Looking at the Catskill Land Use History”. The program will begin with a lecture at the Arboretum’s Education Center, followed by a walk into Spruce Glen as an example of non-burn forest composition. One mile, easy. See below for continuation of program. Suggested Donation $5 for MTA and MTHS members, $ 15 for non-members.
Sept. 19 (Sun.) 9:00 a.m.  Hike – Dr. Michael Kudish will lead a hike on the escarpment trail at North/South Lake to a Pitch Pine stand as an example of burned forest composition. Meet at Mountain Top Historical Society’s parking area. ~ 1 mile, moderate – some elevation change. Bring water and snack. No Dogs.

Sept. 25 (Sat.) 10:00 a.m. Hike - Ceremonial Stone Landscapes (CSL). Join NYS DEC outdoor guide Glenn Kreisberg from Overlook Mountain Center in Woodstock, NY, for a hike to visit a Manitou Hassennech (spirit stones) site in Spruceton Valley. These landscapes consist of dry stacked stone cairns, stone rows, effigies and alignments, all possible expressions of an ancient, sophisticated Native American belief system linking the world above with the world below. Moderate, two miles. Bring lunch or a snack and water. Meet at MTHS Visitor Center. Car Pool to trail head.  Call (845) 417- 8384 for more info.

Sept. 25 (Sat.) 10:00 a.m. - 3 p.m. 9th Annual Postcard Show & Talk – at the U&D Train Station. MTHS campus. Food will be available. The MTHS will also be selling ephemera from its attic in a special sale. A $3 entry fee will be charged at the door. 

Oct. 9 (Sat.) 9 a.m. – 7th Annual Hikefest – Join us for a fun day, as part of the larger Catskills “Lark in the Park”. Hikes/Walks in the morning to several destinations. Stay tuned to our website and Facebook page for further information.

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 programs. We do request that you register for each hike or program as indicated.
Instructions for registration
Participants can register on the contacts page of our website or by calling (518) 589-6657. Please leave your name, phone number, # in your party, and day of hike or program. Schedule subject to change. The latest information is available on our web site Notification of changes, including cancellations due to weather will be made on the web site up to the day of any given hike.