Ascent of Stewart Mountain on 2016-11-19

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:Rose
Date:Saturday, November 19, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Stewart Mountain
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:1243 ft / 378 m

Ascent Trip Report

The weather forecast called for a nice sunny day before tomorrow's bad stuff moved in (rain and snow), so we decided to take advantage of the day by driving down into NY State for a number of small hikes. We would end up taking in 5 hikes, followed by picking up a few groceries in Plattsburg and a stop (once again) at our favorite burger place "5 GUYS", who serves the best Cajun-spiced fries in NA.

From I-87, exit 26, we went east (signs for Loon Lake) short distance to right turn on hwy #9 south for Loon Lake, at 2.8M turned left onto White Schoolhouse Road (CR56), .5M south turned left once again on Ben Culver Road (CR75), .5M east is the KIPP MOUNTAIN TH - a small parking with a kiosk on the north side of the road. Unfortunately the trail is closed for the hunting season, will reopen Dec 12. This is a short trail hike of 1.9M RT with 700' gain. I will return. We went back to White Schoolhouse Road.

STEWART MOUNTAIN ... easy/moderate short trail hike, .85M, 205' gain, 35 minutes RT.
From Ben Culver Road it is 1.2M south on White Schoolhouse Road to the TH on left side of the road - a small parking with a kiosk. If coming from the south it is 1M to Hwy #8/9 (west of Chestertown).
An easy destination with a nice overlook on the west side of summit, a sign names the mountains in your view. Mostly oak leaves covered the trail.
We continued south to Chestertown.

DYNAMITE HILL ... easy trail hike, .9M, 120'gain, 30 minutes RT.
From the Hwy JCT #8/9 (at stop light north of Chestertown), it is .25M east on #8 to Dynamite Hill Road on the left - the entrance to the Town of Chester Dynamite Hill Recreation Area (year round, no fees) with a ski tow, a network of multi-use trails and a visitors center. The TH is above the parking lot at the top of the ski tow. A trail map is provided at a kiosk.
I did a CCW loop (up on blue, down on yellow) all as shown on the GPS track of Jean Andre Laverdure TR - who once again must be commended/thanked for pioneering/entering his hikes in PB, all to the benefit of his fellow hikers. A small lean-to sits on the summit, even though wooded with no views, this is an interesting area.
We continued east on Hwy #8.

COUGAR HILL ... trail/wack hike, 1.75M, 290', 1 hour RT.
From Hwy JCT #8/9 (at stop light north of Chestertown) it is .9M east on #8 to the North Warren Central School Entrance on the south side of the hwy - a large parking lot. If coming from the east it is .5M to I-87, exit 25. We parked at the very south end of the lot near the turn-around (the TH is here), we just followed the signs.
I found my way to the upper field at the very south end of the school grounds with a trail kiosk at its north-east corner. From here I took the Cougar Trail/wack to the summit, all as per the GPS track in Jean Andre Laverdure TR. A nice enjoyable popular area, numerous people enjoying the sunny day.
We drove back west on Hwy #8.

PANTHER MOUNTAIN ... woods roads southbound, 3.2M, 650' gain, 1:30 hours RT.
The TH is on Theriot Road at corner with Starbuck Hill Road - Theriot is "blocked off" here (apparently due to speeding ATVers). You can get here from both directions. If coming from the east (Cougar Hill), Theriot Road is on the south side of hwy #8 200 yards west of the School Entrance, then another 300 yards on Theriot to the TH. If coming from the west on Theriot Road it is .75M to Hwy #9 at the Exxon Gas station in the center of Chestertown. The actual TH with parking is on the west side of the "blocked off spot".
The summit, due south of this TH, has a Communication Tower with a service road. We looked for this service road on Starbuck Hill Road with no luck - I would later learn that it does come up from Starbuck Hill (east side, perhaps at the crest of the road at a farm house), one needs to find it for an easier/shorter approach.
There is no actual defined/marked trail to this summit (at least that we could find), however I was able to find old woods roads going my way that took me to the summit (except for a short wack). On route I came upon numerous roads going every-which-way, I just followed my nose to higher ground. The distances I give here are guess-estimates.
I left the TH on a good track that took me 400 yards generally south to a small active logging area (machinery and piles of cut wood), 300 yards beyond I came to a T-JCT with a better road coming up from my right. I went left here (easterly) for 200 yards to its crest (43.65631,-73.78918) and then bushwacked southerly (open easy woods) 250 yards to another woods road (43.65482,-73.78835) where I went right as it climbed/took me southerly .6 miles to a faint road JCT at a height-of-land (43.64870,-73.78783), my road continued easterly. I turned right on the faint track and climbed 150 yards to a T-JCT with very good Tower Road coming up from the left (I'm sure it comes up from Starbuck), I went right for 300 yards to the summit ( I estimate my route at 1.6M).
The top is capped with a large fenced-in Radio Frequency Tower, all wooded no views. I found the BM "CHESTERTOWN 1942" inside a rock cairn at 30 yards east of the Tower.

I should note that we had a 2+hour wait at the Canadian side of the Lacolle Border (A-15/I-87) - they had only half of the booths open and it must be because of money - really pissed, we are like a 3rd world country.


Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:205 ft / 62 m
    Round-Trip Distance:0.8 mi / 1.4 km
    Route:trail nb from white schoolhouse
    Trailhead:white schoolhouse S of ben culver  1038 ft / 316 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail

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