From the eastern end of the parking area, at the sign “Welcome to Bloomingdale,” follow the blue-blazed Hewitt-Butler Trail, which heads north and descends to Posts Brook at Otter Hole, an attractive cascade and waterfall. Here the trail crosses the brook on large boulders. Just beyond the brook, you’ll reach a junction where the light-green-blazed Otter Hole Trail leaves to the left. Turn left and follow the Otter Hole Trail, which is co-aligned with the teal-diamond-blazed Highlands Trail. The trail climbs through mountain laurel, then continues ahead on a woods road.
About half a mile from the start, you’ll come to another junction, where the yellow-blazed Wyanokie Crest Trail crosses. Turn left and follow the yellow blazes (and the Highlands Trail’s teal-diamond blazes), which descend to cross a stream on rocks. The trail now begins a very steep climb, gaining 200 vertical feet in only 0.1 mile. Near the top of the climb, the trail reaches a viewpoint from the ledges of Buck Mountain. This east-facing viewpoint offers a broad panorama, with the New York City skyline visible in the distance on a clear day.
At the crest of the rise, the trail crosses over to the western side of the mountain. It soon reaches a second viewpoint, marked by a single pine tree wedged into the bedrock and an interesting glacial erratic formed of puddingstone conglomerate. This expansive viewpoint overlooks the south and west, with Torne Mountain visible directly ahead.
From the viewpoint, follow the Wyanokie Crest Trail as it heads north through laurel, passing several huge boulders on either side of the trail. Soon, the Highlands Trail departs to the left, and then the Wyanokie Crest Trail joins a woods road that comes in from the right. The trail turns right at a T-intersection, then immediately bears left at a Y-intersection and climbs gently to level off along the ridge of Buck Mountain. Along the ridge, the trail reaches the highest elevation in the Wyanokies (1,240 feet), but there are no views from this wooded spot.
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