Loop and Cabot Mountain – 4.6 mi
Trailhead GPS: Coordinates N42.0376 W74.7436
Getting There: From the east exit State Route 17 at Exit 96W and turn right on DeBruce Road. Drive to the T intersection and turn right on Old Rt 17 toward Roscoe. Drive 1.3 miles to Beaverkill Road on the right. Exit State Route 17 at Exit 96E and turn right on White Roe Lake Road. Drive to the T intersection and turn right on Old Rt 17. Drive 1.2 miles to Beaverkill Road on the right. Turn right on Beaverkill Road and drive 10.8 miles to Barkaboom Road on the left. Turn left on Barkaboon Road and drive to the access road to Little Pond State Campgrounds on the left. Turn left and drive up the access road to the gatehouse and pay the day use fee. Drive to the parking area near the bathhouses and park there. NOTE: The access road to the campgrounds is closed when the campgrounds is closed. You may park at the bottom of the hill at the start of the access road but this will add almost 2 miles and several nudged feet of elevation gain to your hike.
Difficulty: This hike is rated STRENUOUS because it is almost 5 miles long and has several ascents including a steep one up Cabot Mountain. It also has several steep descents which are challenging. There may be wet or muddy areas on the trail.
Trail Surface: The trail surface starts out as flat, smooth gravel until the turn onto the Little Pond Trail. This trail consists of stones and dirt with a few grassy areas and quite a few tree roots. The trail on Cabot Mountain has plenty of loose dirt and stone making both the ascent and descent challenging. The descent on the Campground Trail is dirt and rocks and is steep in places. The trail can be wet and muddy in some areas.
Hike Description: Start the hike by walking from the parking area walk passed the bathrooms at the campsite. Walk on the loop trail on the east side of the lake to the head or inlet end of the lake. The walk is only .5 miles. Turn right on the yellow Little Pond Trail and walk 1.3 miles to an area where the trail opens out into a field with a nice view (vista) of the valley below and the surrounding hills. There is a small pond on the left and the foundation of an old farmhouse on the right. Continue to the junction with the red Touch-Me-Not Trail at 1.7 miles. At the junction with the red Touch-Me-Not Trail turn left and follow the red blazes to the base of Cabot Mountain. The climb up Cabot is very steep in places and there can be loose rock and dirt which makes the ascent more difficult. From the start of the climb to the end is only .3 miles but the elevation gain is 450 feet which means the ascent averages about 27%. Follow the red markers up through the rocks and across a more level space to the last short ascent. Walk the level area to the Beaverkill Vista. This rock outcrop gives a nice view of Little Pond below. After taking in the view retrace your steps back down the mountain to the trail junction. CAUTION: The return trip down the mountain can be more challenging than the climb! From the junction with the Little Pond Trail continue straight ahead to follow the Touch-Me-Not Trail for .5 miles to the junction with the blue Campground Trail at 3.5 miles. In this short distance the Touch-Me-Not Trail climbs 280 feet and you will find several interesting passages over and between large rocks. At the trail junction bear right on the blue Campground Trail to return to the parking area. The trail gains a little elevation and then starts to descend. In about .8 miles the trail loses 780 feet averaging an 18% grade. Several areas are much steeper and care should be taken especially if the trail is wet or covered in ice or snow. The trail exits the forest just behind the bathhouses and the parking lot where you left your car. NOTE: This route works equally well in reverse!