Sundown Wild Forest – Ashokan High Point (out and back, not the loop)

Park Site

Trail map – here, though I used the NY NJ Trail Conference map (141)

Miles – 7.39

Trails – Ashokan High Point (red)

My map

[TL;DR – It has been a couple of weeks since I have gotten out.  I felt it on the steep sections.  Walking by the brook is very picturesque.  The view at the top isn’t the best, even on a sunny day; there are too many trees blocking the view.  Because it rained the night before the trail was plenty wet in spots and there were mushrooms all over.]

I hadn’t been out in a while, and I probably should have done a warm-up hike somewhere to get back into hiking shape – I felt it on the steep section.  I parked in the Kanape Brook parking lot and walked across the street to start the climb up.   Right across from the trail register is a great place to see the brook.

The climb from this point is fairly gradual, but very rocky in some spots.

Cucumber Root

Part way up you will come to a coniferous section that is fairly close to the brook.  I saw some trees down that had all the hallmarks of beaver activity.  This section was also without many rocks.

Many of the stream crossings were simple rock hops.  There is one section where you have to cross Kanape Brook.  The “bridge” is fairly stable.

Due to the rain the night before, the mushrooms were out in all their glory.

Yellow Tipped Coral Fungus
Viscid Violet Cort

After you cross the brook, you will start more seriously climbing.  After a left turn, you can say goodbye to the flat sections.  The trail climbs steeply to the summit.  There are “stairs” in a couple of sections, but they are definitely not in the best of shape as they were put in many years ago.  Here’s a shot of one section.

I had the summit to myself for a short time.  The view (while hazy and somewhat blocked) was gorgeous.  Unfortunately, from this location you cannot see the reservoir.

Summit marker

The way down was much quicker, though not without its challenges.  Rocks and roots were still wet from the night before.

Amanita – I’m pretty sure this is Eastern Destroying Angel

Here’s another shot of the coniferous section on the way down.

Here are two Brittlegills (late in the day) in front of some Ghost Pipes.  The Ghost Pipes were popping up everywhere.

One final note, some sites mention that there are many yellow jacket and wasp nests on Ashokan.  I will say that for my entire climb and return I saw (and heard) no bees.  At the top, there were a bunch of black flies, and some honeybees pollinating the wild flowers that were growing.  Mosquitoes abounded in the wet areas.

Ticks: 0

Lanternflies: 0


Hiked: 8/5/2023

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