Pine Hill West Branch Trail

MODERATE 4 reviews
#3 of 7 trails in

Pine Hill West Branch Trail is a 26.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Denning, New York that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
26.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
7,198 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

blowdown

rocky

This trail offers a moderate ridge hike spanning five peaks that is 14.1 miles long and somewhat strenuous. The easiest approach is from the south. Spur trails provide access to lean-tos and water, allowing for excellent backpacking and numerous opportunities for solitude in a rugged environment.

1 month ago

We parked our cars at Rider Hollow trail parking lot and shuttled back to Biscuit Brooke trail parking lot and began the hike from there. It’s about a 35 minute drive. First stop was Big Indian (herd path on your right to the top and sign canister) then we hit Eagle Mountain, but there’s a nice rest stop before the end of marked trail. I walked it and there’s nothing but dead trees so don’t even bother going further. After that we hit an unknown summit, even tho is marked in the trail map there’s no herd path for it, it’s just along the trail so we kept going. Lastly we hit, Balsam mountain and that’s where it finally pays off. It’s a nice beautiful view to rest and take pictures. Then we continued on the trail and made a left and worked our way down back to the finish line Rider Hollow trail parking. Just to give you a heads up, the night before it rained cats and dogs so almost all the trails became small creeks. There’s also one huge creek where we had to take our shoes off and cross it barefoot but most of us just walked right through with our boots because we were already drenched. It was pointless to take your boots off because everything was filled with water and mud. There is a huge tree trunk on the right side of that creek where you’d walk a herd path but you have to literally ride that thing to the other side and it’s not very safe. Either way, I were you I’ll wear small socks and carry swimming shoes or sandals and cross it carefully and then put your boots back on. Other than that it was a very steep hike. It wasn’t easy but it was a great experience. After I finished the hike on Rider Hollow rd i literally took my clothes off and went for a dip on the creek that’s next to the lot. It’s a big creek and shallow. It felt so good lol. I would also recommend bringing in a portable grill, a cooler with some hot dogs, steak and some drinks. We made a mistake in eating at a local restaurant and we literally waited 2 hours or more for our food and we spent $300 for 10 people. The food was good (no burgers...) but the service was dead slow. Drive to a campground, stay the night, build a camp fire, set up shop, bring your own drinks and grill your own food. It’ll be way cheaper and more fun. Trust me on that one.

snowshoeing
Monday, January 23, 2017

Good for a snowshoe bushwhack from Big Indian to Fir. No views at top.

hiking
Monday, August 18, 2014

I used the first 2.5 miles of this trail to bushwhack to Big Indian and Fir Mountains. The first .7 of a mile are somewhat steep and very rocky then the trail levels out and the going gets very easy. There are several water crossings (West Branch Neversink River). Two of these crossing are rough-hewn log crossings, others require rock hopping and could be hazardous if the waters are swollen (today it was easy). The trail starts to climb again at about 2 miles, paralleling a stream/river. After about 4.5 miles I left the trail and headed into the woods (east) and bushwhacked to Big Indian and then continued east to Fir, about 1.5 miles away (bushwhack). Then I headed south from Fir to a point about 2 miles south where my bushwhack joined back up with the original trail and eventually the trailhead. Various other sites indicate the bushwhack to Fir is a moderate hike. It was hard for me. I am not adding a "track" to this hike, you'll have to find these two trail-less peaks on your own. If you can read a map and use a compass it should not be hard.

hiking
Thursday, February 23, 2017