The Dry Brook Ridge trailhead is 3 miles east of Hardenburgh on Beaver Kill Road. Hardenburgh is a town of 208 population off route 54 on Beaver Kill Road with Beaver Kill stream in the southern part of the town. It was established in 1859 and named after landowner, Johannes Hardenburgh. It lies in the western corner of Ulster County bordering Sullivan and Delaware counties. It is inside New York’s Catskill Park with five Catskill High Peaks along its border.
Dry Brook Ridge Trail is fourteen miles in length from Beaver Kill Road ending in Margaretville. The trail climbs from Beaver Kill Road north east of Balsam Lake, continuing east of Balsam Lake Mountain lookout at 3,720’ elevation. The trail travels north then west of Furlong Lake, on Dry Brook Ridge. It crosses Pakatakan Mountain at 3,100’ before ending. Near the trail end another trail heads east to Dry Brook Road.
The remote Dry brook Ridge at 3,480’ altitude offers a view of Cold Spring Hollow. This area of the Catskill Mountains hasn’t changed over the centuries leaving first-grown forest. The ridge separates Huckleberry Brook and Dry Brook, both tributaries of the Delaware Rivers East Branch. These tributaries flow below Margaretville into Pepacton Reservoir.
Pepacton Reservoir in Downsville is also called the Downsville Dam. The area is a tourist attraction and popular for trout fishing. It is 15 miles long 0.7 miles at it’s widest and 160’ deep, containing 430,256 acre-feet of water when full. ‘Peapackton’ is a Lenape Native American term that means “marriage of the waters”.
The reservoir is 12 miles south of the village of Delhi and 101 miles northwest of New York City. The land was purchased by New York City in 1942 with completion of the dam in 1954. It provides about 25% of the drinking water for New York City.
Delhi is northwest of Dry Brook Ridge on routes 10 and 28. It has a population of 2,583 and was incorporated in 1821. The west branch of the Delaware River runs through the village.
The village of Margaretville is in Delaware County, New York with a population of 643. It is located on the border of the Catskill Park on route 28. Early settlers in 1770 brought the land from American Indians for 149 pounds, 19 shillings. In August 2011 the village suffered significant flooding damage due to Hurricane Irene. Margaretville is located 207 miles from Rochester NY. Drive I-90 east to US 81 south, US 88 east, and then route 28 to Margaretville.
Belleayre Ski Center is located northeast of Dry Brook Ridge on route 28. It has grown to 55 trails, parks and glades, 8 lifts, and a new High Speed Quad used by 175,000 skiers and snowboarders from the state and nation.
This southwest section of the Catskill Park is secluded with several trails to explore. This would be a soothing weekend trip to visit this scenic area of the state.