June 18, 2022 – Pine Plains, NY
Size: Roughly 2.1 miles
Max elevation: 1460 ft. – complete elevation achieve roughly 1,001 ft.
Route sort: Lollipop Loop
Trailhead parking: 499 Lake Rd, Pine Plains, NY 12567
No bathrooms on web site – No entrance or parking charges
Pull-off car parking zone on shoulder for about 10 vehicles
Stissing Mountain is a 1,402-foot-tall mountain in Pine Plains, NY. It’s composed of the identical Precambian bedrock because the Hudson Highlands however is separated from them or every other Precambian outcrop by many miles. There’s an exhibit dedicated to the mountain’s geology within the American Museum of Pure Historical past. Close to the summit of Stissing Mountain is a fireplace tower that’s virtually 80 toes excessive, about 20 toes taller than the common hearth tower. The Stissing Mountain Hearth Tower offers vistas east to Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont; Southwest to Pennsylvania and New Jersey; and North to the Empire State Plaza in Albany.
Stissing Mountain is a part of the Thompson Pond Nature Protect, managed by The Nature Conservancy. The metal tower is open to the general public, and it’s a fashionable climbing vacation spot. The tower is owned by the Buddies of Stissing Landmarks, a residents group that fashioned to rescue it from demolition.
Whereas the title Stissing is most actually of Native American origin, its etymology is just not exactly identified. Earlier types of the phrase are Tishasink, Teesink, and Stissink. In his e-book, Aboriginal Place Names of New York, William M. Beauchamp says that its doable origin is the Algonkian phrase tahshin, that means “he raises himself”. There’s a legend that the mountain was named for an Indian chief who lived within the notch between Stissing Mountain and Little Stissing, its neighbor to the instant north. On an previous patent survey map drawn in 1734 by surveyor Richard Edsall, it’s known as Stissink Mountain. This can be the earliest written file of the title of this mountain.
In line with the Forest Hearth Lookout Affiliation, the construction on Stissing Mountain is a 79′ 6″ Worldwide Derrick E-4898 (circa 1932) tower, supplied to the State of New York by the US Forest Service and erected by the Boston Corners – Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp in November and December of 1933. This tower was first staffed in 1935 reporting 91 fires and 610 guests. This tower ceased operation someday between 1979 and 1982.
The ranger’s cabin, situated roughly 200 toes to the north, burned in 1976.
New York State introduced in 1986 that the Tower was now not wanted and can be eliminated. Involved residents fashioned Buddies of Stissing Landmarks (FOSL) in 1986 to take over accountability for the Tower and hold it open for the general public. In 1994, the Tower was turned over to FOSL, which maintains the construction immediately. Hikers are welcome to entry the Tower at their very own danger and for gratis. FOSL encourages all customers to ship donations to help within the upkeep of the Tower.
Starting in 1958, The Nature Conservancy acquired 507 acres of Stissing Mountain and Thompson Pond, forming the Thompson Pond Protect. The New York State Division of Environmental Conservation has additionally designated Stissing and Little Stissing Mountains, along with the Wappinger Creek Valley, a part of a Vital Biodiversity Space known as the Stissing Mountain Wetlands Advanced.
The Hearth Tower might be reached by trails main from the east aspect of Stissing Mountain from Lake Street and from State land on the west, from Hicks Hill Street on the Stissing Mountain A number of Use Space.
From Lake Street, the topic of this hike, the paths are woods roads that climb steeply up the mountain. The paths are marked with rusty can tops and pale orange or blue discs.
The paths was once unmarked, however evidently somebody took the time so as to add some markers lately. There are numerous woods roads and/or footpaths that department off of the primary trails. So long as you might be seeing orange or blue blazes on the bushes, you might be on the proper path.
The Orange Path is steeper, however makes for a shorter route. The Blue Path makes use of an previous deteriorating entry highway, which is a extra gradual, however longer ascent, making a loop hike doable. At the beginning of the path, there’s an evidence with pale marker.
This hike has been on my listing for fairly a while and I used to be glad to lastly have had the prospect to do it. Other than the 360° views from the highest of the tower, the hike itself was work out and never many individuals on the paths. It’s cooler and really windy on that tower and correct gear resembling a sweater or windbreaker ought to be packed, even within the hotter months. I made the error of leaving my gentle fleece within the automobile and regretted it. It was within the mid 50’s and cloudy, however the blustery wind on the prime of the tower, made it really feel extra prefer it was within the low 40’s. Due to the excessive winds, we didn’t spend a lot time on the prime of the hearth tower.
Please Word: There isn’t any view from the bottom of the hearth tower, so should you don’t climb a minimum of a part of the way in which up, you’ll not get pleasure from any of the marvelous views.
This Lollipop Loop was achieved clockwise, ascending on Orange (steeper) and descending on Blue. I desire a much less steep descent which is gentler on the knees.
It’s a steep climb on the Orange Path, gaining practically 1,000 toes of elevation in just below a mile.
From the trailhead car parking zone on Lake Street, fastidiously cross the road and head into the woods on a steep, rocky footpath, following each blue and orange blazes. In about 200 toes, the path involves a fork, the place the blazes bear left. Then about 5 minutes later, the Blue/Orange Path reaches an intersection with an previous woods highway. Flip left onto the woods highway, which quickly turns into fairly steep and rocky.
A brief distance later, you’ll attain one other fork within the path, with a tree in the course of the fork and lots of rocks piled in entrance of it. That is the place the paths break up. The precise fork, the route of the Blue Path, might be your return route, however for now, bear left on the Orange Path and proceed to comply with the woods highway up the mountain. Quickly, the grade moderates a bit and the path turns into much less rocky, however the steep climb quickly resumes. Alongside the way in which, there are restricted views by the bushes to the left of the path.
After about 0.4 mile of steep climbing (from the final intersection), you’ll cross stone steps to the fitting of the path (the stays of a former ranger cabin) and attain the summit ridge. Simply forward is the hearth tower. There aren’t any views from the bottom of the tower, however you’ll need to climb this virtually 80-foot tower to get a spectacular view of the countryside.
The Worldwide Derrick Mannequin 1933 Hearth Tower was developed by a cooperative effort between the Aermotor Firm and the U.S. Forest service. Though it’s marketed as a 90-foot tower, it’s precise peak is 79′ 6″ with 8 flights and 97 steps.
It’s a closely galvanized free-standing batter-legged hurricane-proof construction with a 7×7-foot metallic cab.
The wood plank steps are displaying indicators of age, with some dry rot seen. I stayed away from stepping within the middle of the steps as I ascended the tower.
Useful tip: Anytime that I climb any type of previous steps/stairs, I make it possible for I place my toes/weight the place the helps are. I need to say, I’ve climbed a couple of metal hearth towers, however by no means on such a windy day. To its credit score, this 89 yr previous tower didn’t have a lot shake to it. It held its floor like a champ through the excessive winds that we encountered.
The Stissing Mountain Hearth Tower offers views east to Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont; Southwest to Pennsylvania and New Jersey; and North to the Empire State Plaza in Albany.
View southeast with the precise summit of Stissing Mountain within the foreground.
View southwest with the precise summit of Stissing Mountain within the foreground.
View west with the Catskill Mountains seen within the distance. Kaaterskill Excessive Peak close to middle with the Devils Path Peaks to the left and the Blackhead-area summits to the fitting.
Comparable shot as above however zoomed in.
Thompson Pond immediately beneath to the east. The Nature Conservancy has a path that’s 2.5 miles lengthy that encircles the pond.
Trying northeast – Twin Island Lake (higher left), Stissing Pond (middle) and a part of Thompson Pond (decrease proper). The Taconic Mountains within the distance, with the states of Vermont and Massachusetts behind them.
Little Stissing Mountain within the middle, with Twin Island Lake and Stissing Pond to the fitting.
After resting out of your steep 1,000-foot climb and taking within the panoramic views, descend the tower and on the backside of the steps, look straight forward searching for blue blazes on a tree. Observe the blue blazes as they bear proper and descend on a slender footpath, then flip left on the subsequent intersection and descend to a woods highway. Flip proper onto this rocky highway, which descends steeply. After some time, the highway bears proper, passes rock ledges on the fitting, and continues to descend extra progressively on a much less rocky route. You’ll come to numerous forks and intersections; in every case, bear proper and keep on the woods highway, following the blazes, persevering with to descend progressively.
An enormous wall of Taconic volcanic rock to the fitting of the path.
About 0.7 mile from the beginning of the Blue Path, close to the bottom of the hearth tower, you’ll come to the fork you handed on the climb up the mountain, with the tree within the center and rocks piled up in entrance of it. Flip left right here, now retracing your steps on the Blue/Orange Path. On the subsequent fork, bear proper and descend the ultimate pitch to Lake Street, the place the hike started.
A really exhilarating hike with the payoff being the marvelous views from the highest of the hearth tower. Not many individuals on the paths on the day that we visited. The paths are simple to comply with. Simply do not forget that so long as you might be seeing blazes on the bushes, you might be heading in the right direction. I’d positively do that hike once more.
Stissing Mountain Hearth Tower, 360° views from the tower, scenic panorama, quiet space.
Higher path map and a freshening up of the blazes can be good.
Take a hike!