Weather for the week of May 1st

The week of May 1st began with a rainy and cool Sunday with showers throughout the day and a high temperature in the low 50’s. On Monday the rain showers continuing tapering off in the late afternoon with a high in the mid 50’s. Tuesday will be warmer with highs in the high 50’s. There will be extensive cloud cover but there is no rain in the forecast. On Wednesday the temperatures will stay in the mid 50’s and it will be cloudy in the morning. There is  a chance of scattteered showers in the afternoon. will be plenty of sun with highs in the mid 50’s. By Thursday clouds will move in but the temperatures will stay in the mid 50’s. Rain showers will be around throughout the day.  On Friday the temperature will rise into the low 60’s but it will be cloudy with a chance of showers during he day. The skies will become partly sunny on Saturday with temperature moving into the mid-60’s and no rain in the forecast. The possibility of some isolated patches of snow or ice still exits on some of the peaks but the continued warm weather should take care of most of it. With the varying temperatures and weather conditions, be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing with layers that can be used to manage the changing temperatures. Keeping hydrated when the temperatures are so varied can sometimes be tricky since you may not feel that you are sweating as much as on a warm summer day. Hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. Once you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Remember, the weather forecast is only a prediction and always contains percentages. Be prepared and have a plan for the most likely and least likely forecast! Are you prepared to stay out overnight on a trail? Conditions in the morning can change drastically by afternoon. Conditions at the trailhead do not always reflect the conditions on the peaks! Variable trail and weather conditions are a hallmark of these mountains. BE CAREFUL AND BE PREPARED!

Hodge and Frick Pond Loop

camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Friday, April 29th I had not planned to hike since the forecast called for rain on and off all day. By 10:00 AM no rain had fallen and the forecast showed it holding off until 3:00 PM. I decided to get out and do a quick hike and chose Frick and Hodge Ponds as my destination. I had not hiked UP the Flynn Trail to Hodge Pond in some time and made that my intended route. Sheila was eager to get going as I put my gear in the trunk and opened the backdoor for her. The temperature was in the low 50’s but there was a slight breeze and a bite to the air. I wore my MH Winter Wander pants and and my Mammut hoody over a single layer top. BY the time I drove out the DeBruce Road and up the Mongaup Road to the trailhead, it was already 11:40 AM. There was one other car in the parking area as we crossed the road and started up the Flynn Trail. The sky was overcast and the air felt damp but despite this I warmed up quickly and was soon opening the zippers on my hoody. I kept a quick pace with Sheila riving out ahead kicking up a few birds as we hiked. By 12:20 PM we had hiked 1.7 miles to the junction with the Big Rock Trail. We continued straight ahead staying on the Flynn Trail heading toward Hodge Pond. We passed through the gate and were soon at the next trail junction where we stayed to the left to stay on the Flynn Trail to Hodge Pond. As we approached the pond, I looked at the scene and decided it was the kind of dreary that does not photograph well and continued passed the shores of the pond without stopping. To this point the trail had been relatively dry but as we continued on the west side of Hodge Pond the Flynn Trail began to be muddy. As we walked along the western shore, we turned left to stay on the Flynn Trail and began a slight up hill to the gate where the trail turns to the left.

This part of the Flynn Trail is pretty flat and the trail is often the lowest point which allows water to collect with nowhere to go. The rain earlier in the week had made the trail wet and I had to walk around several wet and muddy areas. I noticed that Sheila simply walked through them! We arrived at Junkyard Junction at 12:50 PM about 3.25 miles into the hike. From here the rest of the hike is primarily downhill with a few small hills along the way. We turned left on the red Quick Lake Trail and found it was also wet and muddy in spots. Some section of the trail are washed out leaving a lot of rocks behind and making the downhill hiking not as much fun as it could be. There wasn’t much to see so we hiked quickly passing the junction with the snowmobile trail. We arrived at Iron Wheel Junction at 1:25 PM after hiking 4.8 miles. We turned right to stay on the Quick Lake Trail since the yellow Logger’s Loop continued straight ahead. The trail continued to be muddy but we made good time as we crossed the little stream in the woods and continued toward Frick Pond. We passed the junction with the Big Rock Trail that goes around the north end of Frick Pond and walked to the bridge across the outlet of the pond. I decided not to stop but to keep walking as I had felt a few drops of rain. We continued back on the Quick Lake Trail to the trail register. Along the way I was pleased to see that the ditching that we had done during our trail maintenance work was draining much of the water off the trail. At the trail register we turned right and continued on the Quick Lake Trail back to the car. The lot was empty when we arrived at 2:00 PM. We had hiked 6.3 miles in 2 hours and 15 minutes with only 4 minutes of stopped time and an elevation gain of 910 feet.

Alder Lake: Beaver Meadow Lean-to

BeaverMeadowApr2016_25camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Wednesday, April 27th, I had planned to do a hike with a friend somewhere close to home. We both had tight schedules for the day as we decided to go to Alder Lake and hike to the Beaver Meadow Lean-to. I picked her up at her house at about 9:00 AM and we headed toward Turnwood and Alder Creek Road. I parked in the Alder Lake parking area at (:20 AM and we started our hike almost immediately. There was a large van parked in the lot and the register indicated four hikers from New York City had signed in. The temperature was in the mid 40’s with a slight breeze but the sun was shining brightly. I had decided to go back to my MH Winter Wander pants and the baselayer and Icebreaker light wool top I had worn lost of the winter. We headed down to the left of the “lawn” toward the trail around the left side of the lake. The pile of logs that had adorned the lawn was still present despite my pleas to the Region 3 forester to have them removed. I am not sure what crew placed them there but they ruin the view and prevent adequate maintenance of the lawn which is a shame for such a beautiful and well-used space. Continue reading

Neversink Unique: Mullet and Denton Falls from Wolf Lake

MulletDentonApr2016_02camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Monday, April 25th I wanted to hike a little longer and a little farther away from home since I did not have track practice in the afternoon. Cindy wanted to go so I was looking for a relatively flat area which would have some appeal for both of us. I proposed heading to the Appalachian Trail in New Jersey just south of Pine Island, NY. I had ended a section at the Walkill National Wildlife Refuge and I thought Cindy might like this area. My plan was to hike from where I had left off to the northwest along the NY-NJ border for about 4 miles and then hike back. We could stop of the wildlife refuge after the hike. We left Livingston Manor just before 9:00 AM and headed down State Route 17 toward Middletown. Sheila was remarkably animated despite the fact we had hike the day before. I headed west on I84 and took exit 3E to get on County Rt 12. We continued to follow the back roads to Oil City Road and at this point I recognized the area. We found a parking area just before the road crossed Walkill River and decided to park there to begin the hike. Continue reading

Touch-Me-Not Trail Maintenance

TouchMeNotMaintenanceApr2016_03camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Sunday, April 24th I wanted to get in a local hike after church. I asked Cindy if she wanted to go do some trail work on the TouchMeNot Trail From Big Pond to Cabot Mountain and she agreed. I maintain the TouchMeNotTrail from Big Pond to Beech Hill Road for the Finger Lakes Trail Conference. We had worked on the section from Big Pond to the junction with the Campground Trail and on the section from Beech Hill to where the trail levels off on the Cabot Mountain plateau. The only section of the trail remaining was the middle section and I knew there were a few blowdowns to clear. We left Livingston Manor before 1:00 PM and headed up the Beaverkill Road with an excited Sheila in the back seat. Even though the temperature was using into the high 50’s I chose to wear my Mammut hoody since it was lots of zippers to dump heat and extra pockets I could use for trail markers. We arrived in the parking area by Big Pond just before 1:15 PM and I was surprised that there were no other cars parked. Big Pond is a popular place but it no one wanted to visit on this day. Continue reading

Weather for the week of April 24th

The week of April 24th began with a beautiful sunny Sunday with no clouds in the sky and a late day high temperature in the high 50’s. On Monday the temperatures will reach into the mid 60’s with sunny skies in the morning. Clouds will move in later in the day with a small chance of a shower. Tuesday will be cooler with highs in the high 50’s. There is a chance of an afternoon thunderstorm. Wednesday there will be plenty of sun with highs in the mid 50’s. By Thursday some clouds quill move in and the temperatures will drop into the high 40’s with mix sun and clouds throughout the day. On Friday and Saturday it will be mostly cloudy with temperatures ranging from the high 50’s on Friday to 60 on Saturday. The possibility of some isolated patches of snow or ice still exits on some of the peaks but the continued warm weather this weak should take care of most of that. Higher temperatures will cause melting during the day but this water may freeze as the temperatures drop to freezing at night. With the varying temperatures and weather conditions, be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing with layers that can be used to manage the changing temperatures. Keeping hydrated when the temperatures are so varied can sometimes be tricky since you may not feel that you are sweating as much as on a warm summer day. Hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. Once you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Remember, the weather forecast is only a prediction and always contains percentages. Be prepared and have a plan for the most likely and least likely forecast! Are you prepared to stay out overnight on a trail? Conditions in the morning can change drastically by afternoon. Conditions at the trailhead do not always reflect the conditions on the peaks! Variable trail and weather conditions are a hallmark of these mountains. BE CAREFUL AND BE PREPARED!

Cabot Mountain from Big Pond (out and back)

BigPondApr2016_004camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Wednesday, April 20th, I planned to hike with Lisa somewhere local to get some exercise but also to get back in time for me to set up for a home track meet. I deiced to ask her if she wanted to hike from Big Pond to Cabot Mountain and back. I texted her the night before and she agreed that I should pick her up at her house at 9:00 AM. The reason I chose the route was because it was short but had some elevation gain. I also wanted to check the section of trail from the top of Touch-Me-Not Mountain to Cabot Mountain for proper trail marker placement and to see how much maintenance work needed to be done. I maintain the trail from Big Pond to Beech Hill Road for the Finger Lakes Trail Conference and had placed new markers from Big Pond to the junction with the campground trail on one end and from Beech Hill Road to Cabot Mountain on the other end. Continue reading

Weather for the week of April 17th

The week of April 17th began with a beautiful sunny Sunday with no clouds in the sky and a late day high temperature in the 70’s.. On Monday the day will start off cool but the temperature will quickly rise reaching the low to mid 70’s by the afternoon. On Tuesday some clouds will move in and the temperature will drop to a more seasonable high of 60 degrees. It will be windy with gusts as high as 20 mph. On Wednesday the skies clear and the day will be mostly sunny with highs again right around 60 but without the wind.  The warming trend continues through Thursday with partly sunny skies and highs in the mid 60’s. By Friday some clouds creep into the area with some showers around throughout the day. On Saturday the skies clear and there will be patchy clouds against the sunny sky. Highs will only be in the mid 50’s. There may still be snow and ice on some of the peaks but the warm weather this weak should take care of most of that. Higher temperatures will cause melting during the day but this water may freeze as the temperatures drop to freezing at night. With the varying temperatures and weather conditions, be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing with layers that can be used to manage the changing temperatures. Pack your favorite hiking spikes so you don’t have to turn back on your planned route. Keeping hydrated when the temperatures are so varied can sometimes be tricky since you may not feel that you are sweating as much as on a warm summer day. Hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. Once you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Remember, the weather forecast is only a prediction and always contains percentages. Be prepared and have a plan for the most likely and least likely forecast! Are you prepared to stay out overnight on a trail? Conditions in the morning can change drastically by afternoon. Conditions at the trailhead do not always reflect the conditions on the peaks! Variable trail and weather conditions are a hallmark of these mountains. BE CAREFUL AND BE PREPARED!

Frick Trail Maintenance

FrickMaintenanceApr2016_05camera32On Sunday, April 18th, I was committed to a trail maintenace trip to Frick Pond after church. We met at Morgan Outdoors in Livingston Manor for an initial introduction before heading off to the trails. Doug Senterman, NYNJTC Catskill Program Coordinator, was on hand to speak briefly about the trail conference and volunteer trail mainteance. All of the 378 miles of trails in the Catskills and many hundreds of miles of trail elsewhere in New York state are maintained by volunteers working for the trail conference that is responsible for a particular area. We headed out the Debruce Road a little after 1:30 PM and arrived just before 2:00 PM to start our work. The ten participants were divided into two groups. Doug and Lisa took one group out on the Quick Lake Trail to work on some drainage problems. I took three people with me to cut one tree that had blown down near the beginning of the Flynn Trail. Continue reading

Frick Pond and Mongaup Falls

FrickFallsApr2016_01camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Tuesday, April 14th, I wanted to go on a hike close to home. I decided to go to Frick Pond to hike a route and scout out some work for the trail maintenance session on Sunday, April 17th. I was ready to leave the house just after 8:30 AM and Sheila was more than happy to hike two days in a row. I drove out the DebRuce Road and the turned left on Mongaup Pond Road to get to the trailhead for Frick Pond. We arrived in the lot at at 8:45 AM and got ready to hike and found no other cars in the lot. The temperature was in the high 30’s but it was warming up fast and I was hoping the day would be as nice as the day before! I decided to walk out the Quick Lake Trail and headed out the back of the larger parking area. There was one larger tree across the trail before the register but it looked like it could be cleared with axe and saw. Continue reading