Bonticou Crag Hike and Rock Scramble
Hike Length: 3 miles
Hike Time: About 2 hours, but we sat at the top for an hour eating and enjoying the views.
Peak Elevation: 1,194 feet (364 meters)
We followed the driving directions provided on my favorite New York-New Jersey Trail Conference website to get to Monhonk Preserve and then the entrance to the trail. We paid the fee at the entrance and dropped it into the box as there was no ranger there to collect our dues. The hike starts in the woods and goes through some open fields. Due to the rain that happened before and after our hike, the visibility was not excellent but we could still slightly make out the Catskill Mountains in the distance.
The rock scramble itself allowed us to work all of our muscles and stretch our gams. The path is clearly marked with white arrows, making it simple and convenient. The NY-NJ Trail Conference website marks this hike as strenuous, but I don't know if I would agree. While it is difficult to scramble up and requires you to pull yourself up in one specific spot, it's a short scramble which to me makes it less strenuous. The rock scramble at Breakneck Ridge is given a 9 out of 10 and also marked strenuous, but I don't agree with that either, even though the scramble there is much longer, it is not as much work. I guess I judge these scrambled based on some sort of length of time and level of difficulty ratio that I cannot explain to y'all.
I would love to do rock scrambles on a weekly basis, so if anyone has any other recommendations, please share them!
|Token hiking shot.|
|The rock scramble begins!|
|Enjoying the silence.|
|Chompin' on fresh, raw corn from the field we slept in the night before.|
|I wonder what we were pretending to look at.|
|How does one even find a path here without arrows?!|
Side note: I did this hike with my good friend Igor back in the fall of 2007 and have wanted to do it again ever since. This is the 2007 - 2015 comparison of me always sitting on the edge of things. Note the Catskills were visible on that clear day in 2007.: