Blackhead, Black Dome and Thomas Cole Loop Trail

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Windham-Blackhead Range Wilderness

Blackhead, Black Dome and Thomas Cole Loop Trail is a 11.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near East Jewett, New York that features a great forest setting and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and camping and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length11.3 miElevation gain4,478 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashCampingHikingForestViewsRocky
Description
Waypoints (7)
Tips

This trail covers three Catskill peaks (part of the Catskills 3500) along a beautiful mountain range and offers fantastic views. To do this as a one-way hike, visitors can shuttle cars or drop a bike off at the Big Hollow Trailhead and bike back to the starting trailhead when finished.

Directions to Big Hollow Trailhead: Take exit 21 from I-87 to route 23 west. Folow 23 west for 20.5 miles and then make a left onto Brooksburg Road (County Road 65). Follow Brooksburg road for almost a mile and then make a left onto Sealy Road. Travel 2.1 miles down this road and then make a left onto Big Hollow Road. Take Big Hollow Road 4.2 miles to the trailhead. Here you will drop a shuttled car or as I did a mountain bike so you can bike back to the other trailhead. To get to the trailhead you will start off on backtrack on Big Hollow Road thorugh MapleCrest and then turn onto Barnum Road just south of the town off Sealy Road (county road 40). At the end of Barnum road you'll find a parking lot to park in.

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Reviews (149)
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Activities (131)
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Rachel Warnes
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HikingIcySnow

I just hiked up to Camel's Hump and back (I've already done the rest and wanted a shorter hike). It was doable in spikes but snowshoes would have been better. Tough hike!

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Casey Listens
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HikingGreat!IcyOff trailRockyScrambleSnow
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Dalia Green
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Hiking

this was one of the easier hikes ive done for the catskills 35. This was the 1st time I was able to complete 3 peaks in 1 day. Went to blackhead 1st and then back down to do black dome and Thomas Cole and then back to the parking lot. I think it was only 7 miles total. I think this should be rated as moderate compared to all of the other 35 peaks. it took 5 hrs total with a 30min. total rest time. It just seemed very quick compared to the others.

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Dalia Green
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Hiking
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Tara McLaughlin
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HikingGreat!
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Angel Alsina
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HikingGreat!MuddyScramble
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Richard Liang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 16, 2020
HikingIcy

On a 40 degree Monday morning, we didn’t see a single person on the trail. It rained the night before, and the trail had spots of ice, but were easy to navigate around. We went clockwise (and would suggest others do the same) - the trail has a mild incline that serves a good warm up before making the climb up Blackdome, which has more scrambles. You also start with 20 minutes of flowing water near you, which is always nice. The view on Blackdome was nice, but it was very windy and extremely cold. It’s an easy hike down to the beginning of Blackhead, which is 0.6 miles of intense elevation gain. There’s a beautiful vista on before Blackhead peak, we stopped here for a ~30 minute lunch and was freezing. I’d recommend stopping at the lookout while you’re still warm, then hiking to the peak when you’re ready to head back down. The double back from Blackdome requires a bit of caution. I had to use my arms to dip myself down in between rocks often. The trail back to the trailhead is mostly downhill with a few lean tos, beautiful woods, and flowing water as you get back to the entrance.

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Jennie Stokum
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Hiking

If you just go out and back to all three peaks the mileage is about 10 miles even. Some steep scrambles at the beginning and coming back up Black Dome. Overall a good hike.

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Matt L
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Hiking

Very difficult. Tested my limits for sure. Beautiful hike through the forest. Limited views, mostly while descending rather than at the peaks. Intense scrambles and extremely steep inclines. Coming up the backside of Blackhead on the yellow trail it gets very technical near the top. Hand over hand for the last 200 feet or so. Leave your dog at home. Followed the map exactly and ended up clocking 13.9 miles in just over 8 hours. Feeling very accomplished to climb three of the Catskills 3500+ peaks in a day!

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Deborah Ragone
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HikingRockyScramble

I did it. Quite the accomplishment to conquer all 5 peaks and then do them again to get back to the car. Better to park at black dome and go up that and end at caudal and have another car there. Not a ton of viewpoints but the views were beautiful. Fall colors!!! Not the hardest I’ve done

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Const NYC
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Hiking

Absolutely beautiful day for a hike. We hiked 5 peaks Blackhead, Black Dome, Thomas Cole, Camel, & Caudel for a total of 11 miles. It’s mostly a wooded hike with very limited views through out but some good climbing and some rock scrambles.

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Justin McWilliams
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Hiking
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Greg Calabrese
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Hiking
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Orange_ l
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Hiking
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Andrea Labov Clark
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Hiking

Challenging uphill. Nice woods setting. Few overlook opportunities but we didn’t do the whole path

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James Halbert
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HikingGreat!

A beautiful 80 degree summer day completing this hike! I did not do the loop as the trail suggests on this All Trails map, but turned around at Blackhead and went back the way I came. The hardest part of the trail is the return ascent back up Black Dome from Blackhead. All in all from Barnum Rd to Blackhead summit and back was 9.5 miles. It took me about 7 hours to complete, taking my time. Of the great ranges in the Catskills, Burroughs Range, Devil's Path, and this the Blackhead Range, this was the easiest to complete. Barnum Road Parking Area only is able to fit 4-5 cars so be sure to get here early. Starting the trail, you quickly pass by private property on the right hand side. The trail to the Blackhead Range is on the left (it's hard to miss so you should be fine). Trail register is about a half mile into the woods from the parking area. First mile of the trail is beautiful deciduous forest with a moderate incline, nothing too bad. You will then come to a steep rockwall which you will have to take your time getting up, you gain a lot of elevation at this part alone. At the top of the rockwall is a beautiful view off to the side. Following this, it is a steady incline to Camel's Hump. Camel's Hump is overgrown, especially in the summer months. Be sure to protect yourself using tick repellent or tucking your clothes in here. You will brush up to small brush on both sides of the trail. Camel's Hump has a neat view of Windham Peak to the north and Thomas Cole (the next mountain you will be heading up) to the east. There is a slight drop off of Camel's Hump and then you will hit an open clearing, a little overgrown but not too bad. It is sunny and hot here. Immediately following this you will build your ascent to Thomas Cole. Thomas Cole is a fully wooded conifer summit but provides some great respite to any summer heat. No views. It is a nice place to sit and drink some water or eat a quick snack. Pushing forward, you have a mild decline off of Thomas Cole to the col between TC and Black Dome. Ascent to Black Dome is not bad at all. The top of Black Dome is beautiful, fully submersed within a bed of conifers, the trail is nice and easy on the feet here. There is a great view off of Black Dome to the south where you can see almost all of the Devil's Path in the distance. Its a decent area to take a break and enjoy the views. Leaving Black Dome, you will have a steep decline towards the col between Black Dome and Blackhead. The most beautiful view of the whole trail is on the descent off of Black Dome, a ledge sticking out that gives some magnificent views of Blackhead and the trail leading to Windham. There is a very steep and rocky set of ledges leaving the viewpoint and then it gradually levels out where you will hit the col and junction for Big Hollow Road. The ascent from the col to Blackhead is steep, but easier than the descent from Black Dome. The ascent has some open spots where the sun will beat in and a few spots that yield amazing views of Black Dome which you just descended. Once you hit the top, you will once again be in a confer layer which will bring you right to an open rock amongst the trees, which is the peak of Blackhead. Turning around and heading back is more or less the same experience EXCEPT for the ascent back up to Black Dome from the Big Hollow junction, which in my opinion was the hardest part of the trail. The ascent back up to Black Dome is steep with several ledges, but it is manageable and nothing too daunting. This range probably provided the most deciduous forest of the main ranges in the Catskills. The conifer topped layers were beautiful but only experienced briefly. All in all, this was a beautiful hike with a very distinct difference between its forest layers and some neat views interspersed throughout.

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Alfredo Rosado
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HikingGreat!
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Shashank Ks
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Hiking

I would rate this as a moderate trail. the GPS location of the trail head is accurate but beware that there is no parking there. there are signs that unauthorized vehicles will be towed away at owners expense. i could find any public parking for miles, so took the risk and got lucky.

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Ashley Furey
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Hiking

Loved this hike. Came for the Catskills 35, stayed most of the day for the scenery. Mostly shaded but I’d still recommend sunscreen. Buggy but nothing bit me so I didn’t take out the bug spray. On the west side of the blackhead loop there’s a well marked spring to refill your water bottle. I started at Thomas Cole which seemed to be a less popular starting point and it looked like there were only 3 parking spots on that end.

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Wayne Carlson
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Hiking

Solid hike that I combined with Windham High Peak as well. All told i ended up just over 17 Miles and over 4,000'. Great hike with decent views.

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Cj Kovacs
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Hiking

I obviously didn't hike 60.3 miles, my GPS had a melt down on the way out. I did an out and back style hitting all 3 peaks and turning right around to come out, very exhausting trip but I made it in about 6 hours. decent amount of slushy half melted snow. fun trail with several good views though

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