Balsam Lake Mountain

BalsamLakeSep2014_07camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Monday, September 29th, I wanted to continue my quest to find some fall colors. I read a post on one of the hiking forums that Balsam Lake Mo9untain was “near peak” over the weekend so I decided to head there. The weather forecast had predicted high clouds with sunny skies but all I saw was an overcast as I left Livingston Manor around 9:00 AM. I hoped that the skies would clear and turn blue and there was some indication of this as I drove up the Beaverkill Road. Some places on the road had been repaired to make them easier to drive but after then Quill Gordon Lodge the road was pretty rough. We arrived in the parking area and started our hike at about 9:35 AM. There were no other cars in the lot and I wasn’t surprised that we did not have any company. Although the skies were still overcast, the temperature was warm. I wore a light windbreaker but knew it would come off by the time we started the climb. Continue reading

Huggins Lake

HugginsLakeSep2014_02camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Sunday, Sepetember 28th I wanted to get out for a short, local hike after church. I was surprised when Cindy agreed to go as we had hiked a 35 the day before. We agreed to go to Huggins Lake as it is only about 4 miles and close to home. After church ended at 10:30 AM, we went home to get ready for the hike. We took our time as we were in no hurry. On the way to the hike we stopped in Roscoe at the farmer’s market and the headed out Route 206 to Berry Brook Road. As we drove along Berry Brook Road, we could see the brook was very low in that area. At the intersection with the Covered Bridge Road there was a sign that stated the road was closed 6.5 miles ahead. I knew that was well beyond the Huggins Lake area so we continued and in a couple of miles turned right onto the access road to the parking area. Continue reading

Weather for the week of September 28th

The week of September 28th begins with a beautiful day on Sunday with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 70′s. On Monday the forecast is for more of the same with some clouds and sun. Tuesday’s weather calls for sun through the morning and early afternoon with a passing shower in spots later in the day. Wednesday will be mostly cloudy with slightly lower temperatures. Thursday and Friday will be partly sunny and pleasant with highs in the high 60′s. The lows at night will dip into the low 50′s and may be lower depending on your location and elevation. Fall has arrived and the leaves are changing rapidly. Some wind and rain may bring them down before they hit peak color change. Get out while you can to enjoy the beautiful weather and colorful leaves. 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!

Twin Mountain

TwinSep2014_07camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Saturday, September 27th, I wanted to look for some fall colors even though they didn’t seem to be too prominent around Livingston Manor. I thought going farther north and gaining some elevation might help so I asked Cindy if she would like to go to Twin Mountain. She had never climbed Twin as I had always started with Indian Head and after one mountain Cindy was never in the mood for another! She agreed and I knew we should get started early as I felt others would have the same idea. As it was we got out of the house a little late and arrived at the Prediger Road parking area at 10:15 Am. The parking area was filling quickly and we were lucky to get one of the last legitimate parking spaces. We got started right away as there was a rather large number of people getting ready to start out. I suspected they might be a group so we hurried up the trail. The Jimmy Dolan Notch Trail is one of my least favorite trails in the Catskills due to the constant poor footing. There are roots and rocks and loose dirt the entire way to the col between Indian Head and Twin. Continue reading

Pratt Rock extended

PrattsRockSep2014_20camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Thursday, September 25th I left Vromans Nose and headed south on Route 30. On the way to Grand Gorge I turned left on Route 990V and took it through Gilboa to West Conesville. Here I turned right on County Route 7 which follows the Schoharie Reservoir to PrattI turned left and traveled east on Route 23 to the other side of town and parked in Pratt Rock parking area on the left side of the road. There were no other cars parked in the lot. The skies were still gray and fall colors hard to find. We started our hike at 12:35 PM by walking through the picnic area to the far end where we started up the trail. When we arrived at the trail junction, I chose to stay to the left rather than head directly to the carvings on the face of the cliff. We ascended the trail that leads to the overlook and I put Sheila on her leash so that she could again help pull me up the steep hill. Continue reading

Vromans Nose

VromansNoseSep2014_04camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Thursday, October 13th I had planned a rather long hike on the Burroughs Range but the weather forecast changed to rain and clouds. I was looking for some fall colors as well as a hike so I decided to head north where the skies were forecast to be clearer. I considered Morgan Hill SF but I got a late start and headed for Vromans Nose in Middleburgh. We left Livingston Manor just after 9:50 AM and headed up the Beaverkill Road to the Barkaboom Road. At the end of the road I turned right on BWS 10 and took it to Route 28 in Margaretville. We turned right and then left to follow Route 30 through Margaretville, Roxbury, Grand Gorge and North Blenheim. Just outside of Middleburgh I turned left on Mill Valley Road. Less than a mile up the road I parked in the Vromans Nose parking lot on the left side of the road. There were two other cars in the lot when Sheila and I left to start our hike at 11:20 AM. Continue reading

Long Pond Loop

LongLoopSep2014_05camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Tuesday, Sepetember 23rd I wanted to get in a rather long hike by starting early in the morning. As often happens, my plans were derailed by an early morning ambulance call/ By the time I got back, I had to settle for a shorter hike closer to home. It was the first day of autumn and the trees were already beginning to change especially on the hills. I decided to go to Long Pond and OD he big loop in a counterclockwise direction. I wanted to walk as fast as we could but take a few pictures along the way. I got Sheila in the car with my gear and headed out DeBruce Road fro about 8 miles to Flugertown Road where I made a left. I parked in the lot a short distance up the road on the right. The day was warm with some sun but a slight breeze blowing. It felt like autumn as we left the parking area at 11:45 AM to hike up the snowmobile trail. Continue reading

Weather for week of September 21st

The week of September 21st begins with possible showers in the afternoon on Sunday. Sunday ‘s high will be in the low 70′s but the temperature will drop to the high 50′s on Monday. The rest of the week will be sunny or partly sunny with temperatures increasing to the low 70′s on Friday and Saturday. The lows at night will dip into the low 40′s on Monday but will climb and may be lower depending on your location and elevation. It seems that fall is in the air which is appropriate since autumn begins on Monday! 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!

Diamond Notch Trail

DiamondNotchSep2014_04camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Saturday, September 20th, I was interested in red-lining a few of the trails I had not hiked in the Catskills. In the morning I hiked the Mink Hollow Trail from Mink Hollow Road to the Devil’s Path. The trail was one of the worst I had hiked in the Catskills with an abidance of slippery rocks under foot most of the time. I was a little tired after hiking only 5 miles and the day was still completely overcast with the feeling of rain in the air. I decided to head over to Diamond Notch Road in Lanesville to check the condition of the access road to the parking area. The last time I was there I had decided not to attempt driving passed the end of the road onto the dirt and grass road that leads the .4 miles to the parking area. I finished the Mink Hollow Trail at 12:30 PM and drove back down Mink Hollow Road to Route 212. I followed Route 212 back to Route 28 and traveled west to Phoenicia. Continue reading

Mink Hollow Trail

camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Saturday, September 20th, I was interested in red-lining a few of the trails I had not hiked in the Catskills. I had planned to get a very early start but an ambulance call in the middle of the night meant I slept a little later in the morning. The forecast was for most cloudy skies but there was a complete overcast when I woke up. We left Livingston Manor at about 8:45 AM and headed out the DeBruce Road to catch Route 47 to Route 28 in Big Indian. I took Route 28 to Route 212 in Mount Tremper and followed it all the way to Lake Hill. In Lake hill I turned left on Mink Hollow Road and drove to the parking area at t5he end. I was wondering if the road would be passable all the way until I realized I had been here before when I climbed Oldebark. The road is paved to the parking area. Continue reading