High View Tunnel

June 26, 2016 – Mamakating, NY

Difficulty: easy

Length: approximately 1 mile

Route type: out and back

High View Tunnel is an approximately one mile long railroad tunnel that bores through Shawangunk mountain from Bloomingburg to Mamakating. The New York, Ontario and Western Railway, more commonly known as the O&W or NYO&W, was a regional railroad with origins in 1868, lasting until March 29, 1957 when it was ordered liquidated by a US bankruptcy judge. The O&W holds the distinction of being the first notable U.S. railroad to be abandoned in its entirety. This was the main line of the New York, Ontario & Western Railroad, which was the major travel route to the Catskills in the heyday of the Sullivan County resorts.

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High View Tunnel

While doing some research on abandoned train tunnels, I came upon this one and it seemed an interesting place to visit. The information that I gathered stated that this tunnel was haunted and that people have drowned due to the tunnel being flooded up to nine feet in places. One of the key points about my desire to visit High View Tunnel was that it was accessible without having to trespass. So, after having located it on Google Maps, I decided to combine this trip with two other places I wanted to visit in the area.

Across Mamakating Road is an old abandoned bridge abutment where an unmarked trail was off to the left.

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bridge abutment

After climbing up the hill I encountered the railway grade which I began to follow.

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railway grade

After a short walk along the grade I saw an odd looking small structure through the vegetation on the left. I thought initially that it might have been a guard shack, but have since found out that it is a cast concrete telephone booth.

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cast concrete telephone booth

I continued ahead through a rock cut.

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rock cut

The trail began to get muddy which led me to believe that I was getting close.

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muddy trail

Then on the right I came upon the ruins of a small stone building. This building was used for the “day storage” of explosives.

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stone magazine

It was not too far past the stone building that the tunnel came into view.

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High View Tunnel

The trail leading up to the tunnel was very muddy and I had to stay to the left so I wouldn’t sink in the mud and risk losing a boot. It had an eerie atmosphere and was relatively quiet except for the road noise from New York State Route 17 which the tunnel runs under.

Here are some images that I captured of the High View Tunnel. Click on the ensuing images to enlarge.

I did not try to explore inside the tunnel as it was filled with water and some bats. I also left my flashlight in the car so any desire to venture inside was quickly diminished. It is not advisable to enter this tunnel because it has not been maintained since the 1950’s, it is flooded and there is the danger of falling debris along with other hazards when exploring abandoned places.

After hanging out and taking some photographs I retraced my steps back to the car. I was now off to find a lead mine with a waterfall in front of it that was a short distance away.

Until next time, happy trails……

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High View Tunnel

 

6 thoughts on “High View Tunnel

  1. I walked through the tunnel many times as a young boy, no big deal, yes it was dark and damp with big water ponds but it was safe ko.

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  2. You are right Jim, it was a great place to cool off in the summer and explore before the private citizen purchased the south portal end. That and the lead mine.

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  3. You missed so much on that walk. All the battery boxes are there and the switch plates. I have photos of them. The children and I walk that trail every summer. I have since I was my daughters’ age.

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  4. Jim, Love all of the places you have posted. One thing I want to mention was on the Grossinger site. Growing up, my family and I used to visit many of the Catskill resorts. Back in 1972, I had the first Bar Mitzvah at Grossinger’s. My name was on the sign when you first pulled in. This started a trend of Bar and Bat Mitzvahs there. We spent 4 days there and then had to return to a camp just up the road in Parksville, which is still there. I believe it was called Camp Gan Israel. My parents were big business people. At my weekend there in July 1972 there was the Miss USA pageant. I had my picture taken with Miss USA. Also for my weekend there was Jim Jensen and Hank Aaron. Hank Aaron gave me his signed baseball mit and a baseball also signed by him. I had them both mounted in a frame. Would like to know where you will be next. Maybe take a hike with you to explore. I am a hiker from way back when also.. Keep me posted..

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  5. My parents had a house next to the railroad station in High View. My dad showed my the sights many years ago, he was a kid when the station was running. It brings back many memories.

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  6. Thanks for the great pictures of the Highview Tunnel. I hiked thru the whole tunnel back in the ’70s. Also hiked there a few years ago but as you said,you can’t hike thru it anymore.I also explored the lead mines back in the 70s. I Tried to find them again a couple years ago and walked the railway all the way to Summitville w/o finding them.Where are the mines relative to the HighView Station that’s there?

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