Trailhead GPS: Coordinates N41.95017 W74.63266
Getting There: Exit State Route 17 at exit 96W and turn left on DeBruce Road. Exit State Route 17 at exit 96E and turn right at the end of the exit. Turn left at the end of the road and then take the next left onto DeBruce Rd. From the “caboose” drive 9 miles on DeBruce Road to Flugertown Rd on the left. Flugertown Road is the next left hand turn after the hamlet of Willowemoc. After 1.3 miles, the road turns to gravel. Go another 1.1 miles and park somewhere along the edge of the road. There are no formal parking areas here but there are enough areas to park a few cars. The trail begins on the left side of the road. Depending on where you parked, you may have to walk one way or the other to find the trailhead.
Difficulty: This hike is rated VERY STRENUOUS because it is almost 10 miles and has several long ascents. The trail along the Beaverkill Ridge rolls over several small peaks. There may be muddy areas along the way especially on the return trip along snowmobile trail near Mongaup Pond.
Trail Surface. The trail surface is generally dirt, grass and leaves. There are some rocky areas along the way and many areas with tree roots to negotiate.
Hike Description: The trail begins as a gradual uphill through some pine forest along the co-aligned Long Pond Beaverkill Trail and the Mongaup Willowemoc Trail. After .5 miles the red marked Long Pond Beaverkill trail goes to the right and the yellow marked Mongaup Willowemoc trail heads left. The latter is the shorter way to Mongaup and by far the easier walk. Turn right on the red marked trail. This trail wanders back and forth and up and down through hardwood forest and pine trees. Several areas may be overgrown with briars making the going slow and difficult at times. There are a few areas of nettles. During wetter times the trail sports several muddy areas. About halfway up the trail to the Mongaup Hardenburgh Trail, you will pass Sand Pond on your right. You will never know it though since the trail has no views at all. The trail begins an ascent near its end to gain elevation to the Beaverkill Mongaup Ridge. After about 3 miles, the trail ends on the Beaverkill Mongaup Ridge at the blue marked Mongaup Hardenburgh Trail. Turn left here and head west toward Mongaup Pond Campsites. This trail is a little more used but the markers are few and far between. There are several steep descents and ascents along the way as the trail ascends the three Mongaup Mountains. There are even several switchbacks! The last ascent to Mongaup Mountain is the most challenging as the trail climbs 430 feet in .5 miles averaging a 17% grade. At this point the trail turns south. The trail now descends 810 feet over 1.5 miles to the shores of Mongaup Pond. At 6.2 miles, the Mongaup Hardenburgh Trail turns right at Mongaup Pond. Turn left here on the wide snowmobile trail. Cross four wooden bridges. After the fourth bridge turn left on the well-marked, yellow-blazed Mongaup Willowemoc Trail. This is also a snowmobile trail so it is wide and fairly well groomed but may have some blowdowns across the path in some areas. At about 8.3 miles a large wooden bridge crosses Butternut Creek. This creek flows well even in drier weather and has some beautiful areas along its banks. From this point it is about 1.1 miles back to the junction with the Long Pond Beaverkill Trail. On the way several woods roads and trail cross the one you are on. Ignore these and stay on the yellow marked trail. At 9.4 mikes bear right at the trail junction and hike the .5 miles back to the car.