The Tusten Trail

Almost all the land along the Upper Delaware River is privately owned, restricting the ability to hike freely.   However, several organizations and agencies permit public access to their trails, affording the opportunity to stretch your legs and enjoy the Upper Delaware River valley's rich natural and cultural resources.  In July 1999, the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River entered into an agreement with the Greater New York Councils of the Boy Scouts of America to provide public access to one of its trails along the Delaware River.   Please respect the authority of the Ten Mile River Scout Camps as you enjoy their Tusten Mountain Trail near Narrowsburg, New York.

Ten Mile River Scout Camps - The Tusten Mountain Trail

Length:   Approximately three miles roundtrip

Elevation Change (Relief):  approximately 590 vertical feet

Classification:  Moderately strenuous

Duration:   Allow 1.5 to 3 hours minimum

Hours:  8:30am to 6:00pm only

No fires or camping.   Hunting in season by permit only.

For your safety

Wear sturdy hiking shoes or boots; sneakers or sandals will not provide proper support for the terrain at the summit of this trail.   Well-cushioned socks and a hiking stick may be appreciated on the more rugged, steep stretches.   Trail is partially shaded.   Carry drinking water.

Sunscreen and insect repellent may be needed.   Check yourself for ticks.   If you are allergic to bees, wasps or hornets, come prepared.   While not common, watch for snakes sunning on exposed rocks.   Poison ivy is not prevalent, but you should always be alert for those "leaves of three."

Beware of frequent summer afternoon thunderstorms; avoid high elevations and other pathways of lightning.

You should know how to read trail blazes. If you think you've missed a turn or made a wrong turn look behind you: you should see trail markers in the reverse direction.

This is a carry-in, carry-out trail.   Please don't litter.

The Trail

Trailhead is at the Ten Mile River public river access site off New York Route 97 halfway between Barryville and Narrowsburg, New York.   Start at the small kiosk and bulletin board, located from may through September near the designated parking lot.

From the kiosk turn left onto the paved road, then turn left again onto the first gravel road beyond the access.   Follow the gravel road for about .5 mile through the site of the early settlements of Reeves Mill (1757-1763) and Tusten (1770's - early 1900's) along the Ten Mile River.

Look for foundations and signs of the towns' previous existence.   Built among a grove of hemlock trees along the banks of the river, a sawmill, gristmill and tannery were active in the 1830's and '40's, making use of these abundant natural resources.

Cross the stone arch bridge (left turn).

This bridge was constructed in 1875 when industry at Tusten included lumbering and the quarrying of bluestone.   You'll soon see primitive 20th century structures: trail shelters and campsites used by boy scouts.

The Boy Scouts of America has owned this property since 1927, providing an educational adventure for thousands of boys from the New York City area.

Turn right at the rock with yellow and red arrows and the word "Lenape."  The start of the Tusten Mountain Trail is about 100 feet on your left, blazed by yellow dots and markers.

Turn left onto Tusten Mountain Trail.

Follow this 1.8 mile loop to an elevation of 1,236 feet above sea level.   From the summit, you have a magnificent view of the sparsely populated Upper Delaware River Valley.

The trail begins as a distinct old roadbed - 6 to 8 feet wide.   You'll wander through stands of tall white pines and a mixed eastern deciduous forest of oak, maple and beech trees.   Use your senses to enjoy them.   Can you smell the pine or the decaying leaf litter?   Look for ferns and fungi!

Listen for the sounds of wildlife.   Red squirrels, grey squirrels and eastern chipmunks may scamper through the leaves.   You may startle or be startled by a deer.   Birds abound during the spring migration.   In the summer, you may be serenaded by the melodious wood thrush or vireo, or chilled by the screech of the red tailed hawk.   Turkey vultures, or perhaps even a bald eagle, may soar overhead.

Look at the rocks and geologic formations as the trail becomes progressively steeper.   Bluestone, a durable blusih-gary sandstone found in northeastern Pennsylvania and parts of the Catskills in New York, has been quarried at several locations along this trail.   Look for the telltale sign of human handiwork on some remaining rocks:  a somewhat scalloped edge on flat slabs of bluestone, often left in piles.

Bear right onto the red dot "TMR Trail."

Pass the camp and cross the footbridge back to the gravel roadway.

Turn left onto gravel road and retrace your steps to trailhead.

Please note: Yellow marked Tusten Mountain Trail and the red dot trail connecting it to the roadway are the ONLY Ten Mile River Boy Scout Camp trails open to the public.   No other red dot trails are available for public use.