Neversink River Unique Area Management Unit


Neversink Gorge State Unique Area

Monticello, Sullivan County, New York

4,881 acres




Wolf Brook Multiple Area

Thompson, Sullivan County, NY

585 acres


Rte 17 W. (Quickway) to Rock hill Exit 109; head about 3.5 miles south on Katrina Falls Road to its end at the parking area.

Wolf Lake Parking Area; 15 cars

Katrina Falls Parking Area; 10 car parking lot in Woof Brook MUA on east side of Katrina Falls Road.

Bush Kill Parking Area; 2 car parking area on west side of BushKill Road (County Road 101 and also known as the Stephen Crane Trail) about 0.5 miles south of St. Josephs Road.

Forest Access Road; 8 car parking area at cul-de-sac at end of Forest Access Road at southerly edge of Wolf Brook MUA.


Unspoiled forest surrounds portion of southern part of the Neversink River. The river flows some 4.9 miles through the Management Area.


shortly after the Revolutionary War – first settler in Forestburgh was David Handy (on today’s Hartwood Club Road).

1783 – Captain Abraham Cuddeback built a sawmill on Bushkill stream nears its intersection with the Neversink River three miles south of the southern end of the Neversink Gorge Unique Area.

c. 1800 – a Dutch immigrant named Hackle built a sawmill at the end of Wolf Brook. Eventually a community known as Hackledam developed in the area. (The community ended its existence around 1918.)

1814 – Handy dies.

1850 – W. W. Gilman began to establish one of the largest sawmills and tanneries in Sullivan County. A settlement developed around these industries. (The industries died out in the 1890s.)

1871 – the O&W Railroad (Monticello to Port Jervis) was transporting a lot of goods in the area.

1872 – a map of today’s Unique Area shows the town of Quarryville located on the east slope of the Neversink River Valley. (The community disappeared in the 1890s when the bluestone market collapsed.)

1890s – settlements of Quarryville and Gilman Station disappear.

before 1900 – the lumber and bluestone industries virtually disappeared. Bluestone lost its position to concrete. Charcoal was replaced by coal. Hardwoods replaced white pine and hemlock in most areas.

1918 – the settlement of Hackledam ends.

4 contiguous parcels make up the Neversink Gorge Unique unit

1964 – 585 acre parcel in the northeast section of the future unit acquired by the state from Gilbert A. and Elva E. Banks. It was originally known as the Wolf Lake MUA but it became the Wolf Brook MUA in the 1980s.

1981 – 2,805 acre parcel consisting of the Neversink River and the areas east of the river in the future unit purchased from the Clove Development Corporation, a subsidiary of Orange and Rockland Utilities.

1986 – 6 acre parcel near the end of Katrina Falls Road purchased from Andrew J. Blackburn.

Mid-1980s – the Marcy-South power line project resulted in a clearing of 41 acres of Wolf Brook MUA land.

1988 – 27 acre land swap of equal acreage provided access to the Wolf Brook MUA from Wolf Lake Road.

1991 – 2,070 acre parcel consisting of the land west of the centerline of the Neversink River purchased from Philwold Estates Inc.


The Trail Builders created trails in the Neversink Gorge from 1997 to 1998.

Old wood road on west side of river rocky and a little muddy nice downhill for approx 2 miles to where trail "T"s go left to get to river. Cross river directly across from where trail comes out (no bridge yet) pick up trail on opposite side, trail turns into more single track for a while and comes out at Katrina falls parking area. Two beautiful waterfalls as short side trips. Fairly remote except during hunting season. About 8 miles one way with opportunity for longer or shorter runs there are several different options. (River crossing iffy at high water times mainly spring and fall.) (by Rich Northup;

8/16/04.  First day of a four day vacation with the Cooney family and brother-in-law Ceferino Santana.  It was a rainy day when at the Gorge, but the rain stopped long enough so we could walk around the area a bit.  We went around the cross bar and followed the blue trail downhill through a hemlock-rosebay rhododendron forest.  A stream was seen on the left as we walked downhill.  The blue trail reaches the yellow trail.  There is a bridge over the stream if one will cross if continuing on the blue trail.  We examined the stream and nearby mini-field before heading down the yellow trail.  Shortly, the yellow trail comes to the Neversink River.  The River was running fast because of the rains.  The views from the river bank are very attractive.  There were layers of white rock on the other side of the river that reminded us of the rocks of the Ellenville Ice Caves. Some fishermen had left a mess with quite a bit of garbage at their fire campsite. (One thing that proved helpful to us, however, was that they had left two big plastic containers of bottled water.  We were able to fill our low-on-water canteens.)  We walked along the river bank for awhile to find some wetlands plants in bloom, after which we continued along the yellow trail.  Soon the trail more or less ended at the mouth of the stream entrance into the Neversink River.  Wife and brother-in-law were in no mood to chance the iffy crossing, so we turned around and walked back to the car.


Sapsuckers, Hermit Thrushes, Winter Wrens, Blackburnian Warblers and Scarlet Tanagers. Keep your eyes open for a Raven or an accipiter. (From Sullivan County Audubon Society).


Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = 8/19/04, date plant found in bloom   

Acer pensylvanicum (goosefoot maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white oak)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Populus grandidentata (big-tooth aspen)
Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)

Shrubs and sub-shrubs:
Comptonia peregrina (sweet fern)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Gaultheria procumbens (checkerberry)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Rhododendron maximum (rosebay rhododendron)
Spiraea alba var. latifolia (meadowsweet) *
Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)

Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (porcelainberry)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Sicyos angulatus (one-seeded cucumber)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis aestivalis (summer grape)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow) *
Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting) *
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster) *
Aster puniceus (bristly aster) *
Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed) *
Chelone glabra (white turtlehead) *soon
Cirsium vulgaris (bull thistle) *
Conyza canadensis (horseweed) *
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink) *
Epifagus virginiana (beech drops)
Eupatorium maculatum (eastern Joe-Pye-weed) *
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod) *
Fragaria virginiana (wild strawberry)
Geranium sp. (geranium)
Gnaphalium obtusifolium (sweet everlasting) *
Hieracium paniculatum (panicled hawkweed) *
Hypericum punctatum (spotted St. Johnswort)
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed) *
Lactuca canadensis (wild lettuce) *
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco) *
Lysimachia ciliata (fringed loosestrife) *
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower) 
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose) *
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) *
Polygonatum pubescens (hairy true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum sagittatum (arrow-leaved tearthumb) *
Potentilla canadensis (dwarf cinquefoil)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal) *
Ranunculus acris (tall buttercup) *
Satureja officinalis (wild basil) *
Silene stellata (star campion) * quite a few of them
Silene vulgaris (bladder campion) *
Solidago bicolor (silverrod) *
Solidago gigantea (late goldenrod) *
Solidago odora (sweet goldenrod) *
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion) *
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue)
Trientalis borealis (starflower)
Trifolium pratense (red clover) *
Urtica dioica var. procera (tall nettle) *
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)
Viola spp. (violet)

Juncus effusus (soft rush)
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Carex crinita (fox sedge)
Carex laxiflora type (loose-flowered type sedge)
Carex ovales (ovales type sedge)
Carex vulpinoidea (fox sedge)
Scirpus atrovirens  (dark-green bulrush)

Andropogon gerardii (turkey claw)
Elymus virginicus (wild rye grass)

Ferns and fern allies:
Lycopodium digitatum (southern ground cedar)
Lycopodium lucidulum (shining clubmoss)
Lycopodium obscurum (ground pine)
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)

Sources: "Neversink River Unique Area Management Plan" June 2, 1997;