Onteora Scout Reservation:
1986 Trail Guide

This is part of a Trail Guide from 1986. I could only find the pages for the Green, Blue and Red Trails. This is the only reference I have found to a Green Trail, and I have to question who picked that color for a trail. Imagine trying to spot a green trail marker in the middle of all the trees!

Like the other Trail Guides, this one is helpful in tracking changes in the camp. For example, it gives the history of the Joseph Shields Memorial Campfire Ring, shows that the C.O.P.E. course was in use in 1986 and that the Covey Hiking Shelter was gone by then. It also notes that Tom Quick's Pond was no longer on camp property.

If anyone has any other pages from this Trail Guide please let me know.



Points of Interests: Dan Beard Program Shelter; Teddy Roosevelt Program Shelter; Joseph Shields Memorial Campfire Ring; Interfaith Chapel; Indian Lore Teepee; Swimming Waterfront; Long Island Trading Post; Fort Flanagan; Challenge Course; Marshall Lesser Leanto Site; Council House Storage Facility; Bobcat Shelter.

This entire trail is within the boundaries of the reservation and is designed as a beginners hike to orient the new camper to the reservation. It circles the perimeter of the operating area of camp. It is a complete loop that may be traversed in either direction. This trail guide begins the hike at the "hiking stump", in the field of the former Covey hiking shelter. Total distance is approximately three (3) miles.

Start: Start the trail in the field at the old Covey hiking shelter at the stump. Walk south along the road until you come to the Ute loop. Turn right (west) and follow along the road until soon before the Dan Beard Program Shelter where you turn right on the field sports road. The trail will soon turn left and go through the woods for about a half a mile behind the Ute loop campsites. If you are quiet you should be able to hear wildlife in this remote area of camp.

Teddy Roosevelt Program Shelter: The trail turns back east to reconnect with the Ute loop near a stream. Cross the stream and follow the loop around to the Navajo loop. Turn right there and walk around past the Teddy Roosevelt Program Shelter about 300 feet to the turn-off for the Joseph Shields Memorial Campfire Ring. This ring was used from 1979, when it was build by the Order of the Arrow, and used until 1983. The trail goes on down "Cardiac Hill".

Lake Road: The trail comes out on the lake road near where the former "F-Dock" used to be when there were three waterfronts on the reservation. Go left (north) along the lake road, past the Indian lore area. This area has been used for the fishing shelter, conservation shelter and is now the Indian lore area. The trail now passes the interfaith chapel and swimming waterfront. The Arthur K. Woodcheke Shelter there was built in 1984 and is now the largest shelter in camp. You will next pass the Kenneth Heim Memorial Campfire Ring built in 1984 by Buckskin Lodge #412, Order of the Arrow and dedicated in 1986. Across from the campfire ring is the Long Island Trading Post dedicated in 1963.

Fort Flanagan: Further down on the right side of the road is a stockade fence that houses the camp water wells. This area Is known as Fort Flanagan. This well feeds the 65,000 gallon water tank at the top of the powerline trail, which provides water for the entire camp. Continue along what was the lake road past the challenge course. The challenge course was build in 1982 and led to Onteora becoming the pilot camp for the Northeast Region of the BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA's Project C.O.P.E. Course. The trail continues north.

Council House Storage Facility: The trail cuts off the road just before Marshall Lesser Leanto Site and goes up a steep incline. It comes out at the old Council House Showerhouse. Walk out on the old road to the Council House Storage Facility. This former dining hall was built in 1960 and used until 1976. It was used at the craft lodge in the westernmost part of the building in the stoop area door. It lists the elevation at 2186 feet above sea level. Head north from the Council House to the Bobcat Shelter which was used in the 70's for the junior leader training camp, and thus was sometimes called the J.L.T.C. Shelter.

Old Hunter Road: Walk along Old Hunter Road for a short distance until the trail turns off into the woods. Tile trail will now loop around until it joins with the Lynx loop. Follow this road around to where you started from the hiking stump.



BEGINS: Covey Hiking Post
ENDS: Beaverkill or Lew Beach
PLEASE NOTE: Alternate trails to Caves and Alder Lake Trail (White)

Points of Interest: Council House, Old Hunter Road, side hike to caves, Tom Quick’s Pond, Beaverkill Road, Lew Beach, covered bridge, Beaverkill State Campsite,

The Blue Trail can be taken to either Beaverkill or Lew Beach - by turning right at Beaverkill Road for Lew Beach or left there for Beaverkill. Because this trail goes off camp property, a 21 year old is required to accompany any Onteora hikers.

START: The trail starts at the hiking post in the Covey Field (North of Dan Beard) on the Lynx Loop. Follow the trail around the Lynx Loop to Old Hunter Road. Turn left on Old Hunter Road and follow the trail up Rattle Hill.

RATTLE HILL: At the top of Rattle Hill (elevation 2400 feet) is the intersection of the Orange trail to the caves and the White Trail.

TOM QUICK’S POND: Continue straight ahead on Old Hunter’s Road for about 1 mile from the top of Rattle Hill. You will see Torn Quick's Pond on your left. This was constructed by Tom Quick, the man who logged most of the country around here and has been a great assistance in  blazing many of our original trails. You are still now off camp property. We have hiking rights to this land so remain on the trail. Be careful of the dam because it is broken.

2001 update: There is a dispute over the use of the trail past this point. Until the owner of the surrounding land and the State work it out, hikers are advised to use the new State trail towards Frick Pond and then on to Alder Lake.

BEAVERKILL ROAD: Further down Old Hunter Road it comes out on a paved road which runs left to Beaverkill and right to Lew Beach.

BEAVERKILL: Go left at Beaverkill Road for about a hundred yards before turning right into the woods. You will shortly come out into a large meadow which contains a large pipe about six feet high. This is an artesian well and its water is good for drinking. Finally, Beaverkill Road forks at a sign indicating Beaverkill State Park, with Beaverkill Road going to the left and the state park to the right. Continue down road for about a quarter mile over the covered bridge to the campsite.

1998 update: The once well defined meadow is now tough to spot.  A former rock quarry, the site is full of weed-covered rocks. There was no sight of the artesian well.

LEW BEACH: If you go about a half mile right from the Beaverkill-Old Hunter Road turnoff, you come upon the town of Lew Beach. 


Points of Interest: Dan Beard Program Shelter; Teddy Roosevelt Program Shelter; Joseph Shields Memorial Campfire Ring; Orchard Lake Dam; Blauvelt Health Lodge; Devils Gorge; Marshall Lesser Leanto Site; Council House Storage Facility; haunted forest.

This entire trail is within the boarders of the reservation and is designed as a beginners hike. If the hiker takes the old red trail turn off, the hike is five (5) miles long and thus completes requirement number six (6) of the Hiking Skill Award. The trail follows along many different topographical features including logging roads; wooded areas; over streams and climbs a ravine. It is a loop and this trail guide starts and ends at the "Hiking Stump".

Start: The trail starts at the "Hiking Stump" in the old Covey Hiking Field (1/4 mile north of Dan Beard Program Shelter). Head south on the road until you get to the Ute Loop where the trail turns right. You will next pass Dan Beard Program Shelter, named after "Uncle Dan" Beard, an early founder of the BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA, who was a true outdoorsman and pioneer conservationist whose spirit has suffused Scouting to this day. Continue along the trail until you reach Sioux Campsite where you will turn sharply east into the woods.

Long House: The trail comes out at the Long House Dining Hall, which was built during a snow storm in the late fall of 1958. This food service building now serves the entire camp. To the North you will see the James E. West Shelter (Ecology) and the 65,000 gallon water tank which supplies the entire camp with water. Turn right at the Long House and enter the woods on the dirt road known as the T.R. Loop. Shortly after you pass the Teddy Roosevelt Program Shelter, named after the Nassau County Council's FIRST Scout commissioner and the nation's 26th President, the trail turns right (east). You now enter the Joseph Shields Memorial Campfire Ring which was used from 1977 to 1983.

Orchard Lake Dam: The trail continues down "Cardiac Hill" to the Lake Road where it turns right and goes on to the dam. DO NOT CROSS OVER THE DAM!!! This old stone dam and its machinery controls the level of water in the lake and is regulated by the ranger to insure adequate water for swimming and boating as well as draining of the top water from time to time to keep the lake clean. This becomes quite difficult in late summer, due to little rain, and must be carefully controlled.

Other Side of Orchard Lake: The trail turns easterly (sharply left below the dam crosses the stream). The trail then swings north and follows along the east side of the lake. This is an excellent wildlife area. If one walks quietly and slowly, he may see some deer, beaver, chipmunks, or maybe a raccoon. The trail continues around the parade field to the Blauvelt Health Center.

Blauvelt Health Center: The Blauvelt Health Center was built in 1962 and can treat up to 13 people at a time. Follow the trail behind the health center and around the camp staff camping area behind it. The trail will soon bend sharply right (east) and continue for approximately a 1/4 of a mile before it turns back to the North and goes into and back out of Devils Gorge.

Devils Gorge: This deep ravine has been formed by the erosion of the spring snow melt off. It was named early in the development of the camp when an Explorer base camp was in the area from 1956 to 1961. It was then crossed by a monkey bridge. After coming out of the gorge you come to the old "base camp road". Here you have a choice! The trail splits; to the right is the old red trail and to the left is the newer short-cut. In order for this trail to count toward requirement number six (6) of the Hiking Skill Award, you must take the old trail.

The Short-Cut: The short-cut heads west through Niles Fairbairn Campsite to Marshall Lesser Campsite.

The Old Red Trail: The old red trail turns right at "base camp road". The trail next turns sharply left just before an old dilapidated wooden bridge. (Do not cross the bridge or you will be off the trail). From here the trail continues through a long arch, first north, then west through a haunted forest. When the wind blows, you can hear many unnatural sounds in the mysterious part of Onteora. In the last stretch of the road the trail goes downhill until it comes out onto a large field which was designed to contain a third Onteora dining hall. This section of camp was used for patrol cooking in the early 70's. The road continues along the south side of the field and becomes a well worn dirt road as it leaves the field in the southwest corner.

Trail Rejoin: Both the short-cut and the old red trail meet around Marshall Lesser Leanto Site on a well graded dirt road. The dirt road swings south and follows along the west side of the stream; this area has been repeatedly flooded by beavers since 1969. You will pass the former sight of the Catholic chapel on the left and the trail will turn off to the right uphill and through the woods. (If you continue along this road, you will pass the main road and be on the lake road.)

Council House Storage Facility: Follow the trail up the hill until you come to the Council House Showers. Turn right and follow the old road to the Council House. This is the newer of the Onteora dining halls. It was opened in 1960 and in 1976 became the craft lodge. Today it is used for storage.

Back To The Stump: As the Council House looms up in front of you, turn left and then sharply left again so that you are now on the road to the Otter Program Shelter. Before you get to the main road, the trail turns right then right again around the Adoette Campsite. The trail now continues through the woods until you come upon the Covey field. This is where you began.

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