Weather for the week of July 24th

The week of July 24th began with a warm, sunny and humid Sunday with temperatures rising into the high 80’s in most areas.  On Monday the temperatures will rise into the mid 80’s with sun giving way to afternoon and evening thunderstorms. The storms may be severe at times. By Tuesday morning the storms will have cleared out taking some of the humidity with them. Tuesday’s highs will be in the low 80’s under sunny skies. On Wednesday the temperatures will rise into the mid 80’s with sunny skies. The temperatures will continue to rise reaching the high 80’s on Thursday with partly sunny skies. On Friday and Saturday the temperatures will drop into the low 80’s with a chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon on both days. Sunblock and insect repellant would be good additions to your pack. With the varying temperatures and weather conditions, be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing which will wick away moisture to keep you cool. Keeping hydrated can sometimes be tricky but hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. Be sure to carry water withy you as local water sources can be unreliable and contaminated. 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!

Weather for the week of July 17th

The week of July 17th began with a warm and sunny Sunday with temperatures rising into the high 70’s in most areas. The humidity seemed a little lower and the skies were blue with puffy white clouds. On Monday the temperatures will rise into the mid 80’s with some sun giving way to afternoon and evening thunderstorms. The storms may be severe at times. By Tuesday morning the storms will have cleared out taking some of the humidity with them. Tuesday’s highs will be in the mid 70’s under sunny skies. On Wednesday the temperatures will rise into the high 70’s with sunny skies. The temperatures will continue to rise reaching low to mid 80’s on Thursday with partly sunny skies. By Friday the temperatures will rise into the high 80’s with partly sunny skies. Saturday will see highs hitting the 90’s in some places with increasing humidity. There will be a mix of sun and clouds. Sunblock and insect repellant would be good additions to your pack. With the varying temperatures and weather conditions, be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing which will wick away moisture to keep you cool. Keeping hydrated can sometimes be tricky but hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. Be sure to carry water withy you as local water sources can be unreliable and contaminated. 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!

Angel Falls

AngelFallsJul2016_02camera32gps_pictOn Wednesday, July 13thI left the Giant Ledge parking area to head for Angle falls in Yagerville to see how much water was going over the falls. I debated my route and decided to take the backboard through Claryville, over Red Hill and out Sugarloaf Road to Route 55A. At the end of Sugarloaf Road I turned right and then left to take Route 55A to Yagerville Road. There was construction on the main road and on 55A but it only held me up for a few minutes. I drove 4.25 Niles on Route %%A before turning left on Yagerville Road. I continued 1.2 miles to Sholam Road and turned right to drive to the dead end. I parked at the end by a pile of dirt under the powerlines at 11:25 Am and immediately got out of the car to hike. We walked along what is left of Sholam Road which deteriorates more every year. I was surprised that I could hear a roar coming from the falls apparently indicating a good volume of water. Continue reading

Otter Falls

OtterFallsJul2016_09camera32gps_pictOn Wednesday, July 13th I wanted to go in search of a waterfall! While hiking Giant Ledge and Panther the day before two different hikers asked me about Otter Falls and I had to say I never heard of it. One hiker showed me a website that talked about the falls so I was able to do some research when I got home. Several websites gave the location as about .5 miles from the Giant Ledge parking area toward Big Indian along the stream on the left side of the road. This stream on the maps is labeled as Esopus Creek which seems to originate at Winnisook Lake. The descriptions include a thirty foot drop into a pool below which is 6′ to 8′ deep even in dry conditions. One website had a description from someone who had actually been there and the directions included looking for a telephone pole labeled 167 1/2. I got my gear and Shiela in the car and left Livingston Manor a little after 9:00 AM. Continue reading

Giant Ledge and Panther

GiantPantherJul2016_01camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Tuesday, July 12, I wasn’t planning to hike very far since I had gotten out the day before and hiked 8 miles with Cindy at Morgan Hill State Forest. I got up early and found partly cloudy skies but checked the forecast and found no rain predicted. One of the foresters from DEC Region 3 had told me that the ADK crew had completed their work on the stone steps at Giant Ledge so I decided to go and check out their work. I slept a little later than usual and didn’t get started until about 9:30 AM. On the way I decided it was time to hike another 3500 peak and decided to continue from Giant Ledge on to Panther. Panther Mountain itself has limited views but to get there from Route 47 the trail passes over Giant ledge which was a great view of Panther Mountain, the entire Burroughs Range and the valleys below. When I left home the temperature was still in the mid 60’s but I knew this would rise on the hike. I drove out the DeBruce Road and eventually passed Round Pond. At the end of the road, I turned left on Route 47 and drove passed Frost Valley and the Slide Mountain trailhead. Continue reading

Morgan Hill: Jones Hill and Tinker falls

MorganHillJul2016_04camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Monday, July 11th I wanted to get away from Livingston Manor to hike and decided that Morgan Hill State Forest northeast of Cortland would be a good choice. I was hoping that the recent rain would have increased the volume of Tinker Falls to make it more interesting. Beside the falls Morgan Hill has several small ponds and a nice view from Jones Hill. Cindy decided she wanted to go with me since she agreed getting away would be fun. Morgan Hill is a two hour drive which is a little farther than we normally go when we go together but the forecast for a bright and sunny day convinced us it was a good idea. We left Livingston Manor a little before 9:00 AM with our gear and with Sheila ready to go. Sheila, of course, doesn’t care where we hike so she protests when we set out on a long drive! We headed west on State Route 17 to Binghamton and then north on I81 toward Cortland. Continue reading

Weather for the week of July 10th

The week of July 10th began with a cool and cloudy Sunday with temperatures barely rising into the 70’s in many areas. There were also scattered showers some of which were briefly intense! Monday will be warmer but pleasant with mostly sunny skies and highs in the high 70’s. On Tuesday the temperatures will rise into the low 80’s but the humidity will also increase under mostly sunny skies. Wednesday will see much of the same weather with slightly higher temperatures but still mostly sunny skies. By Thursday the increased humidity will bring the chance of an afternoon thunderstorm as the temperatures drop back into the high 70’s. Friday and Saturday look much the same at the high’s top out in the low 80’s with partly sunny skies and some humidity. Sunblock and insect repellant would be good additions to your pack. With the varying temperatures and weather conditions, be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing which will wick away moisture to keep you cool. Keeping hydrated can sometimes be tricky but hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. Be sure to carry water withy you as local water sources can be unreliable and contaminated. 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!

Mud Pond Loop

MudPondLoopJul2016_11camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Friday, July 8th, I had planned to go to Trout Pond and hike a loop down Russell Brook and around Mud Pond and Cables Lake. I had not hiked down Russell Brook Road passed the lower parking area for some time and did not know what to expect as the “road” has been in disrepair for years. I did know that the 8+ miles was exactly what I was looking for as far as a distance. Before I went to bed the night before, I got a text from Lisa asking me if I was available to do some trail maintenance cutting the Japanese knotweed at Trout Pond. Even though Lisa wanted to begin at 10:30 AM, late for me, I could not turn down the request for help and agreed. I woke early in the morning and got some things done around the house but by 9:30 AM I could wait no longer. I got Sheila and my tools in the car and headed up Route 17 toward Roscoe. I took with me my Silky saw, Wetterlings axe, Weed whip and new LT Wright machete. I had used the machete only a little but suspected it might be just right for the knotweed. Continue reading

Long Pond Loop: Clockwise

gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Wednesday, July 6th, I had planned to hike with Lisa at Long Pond. Lisa was meeting me at my house so that we could ride together to Long Pond. The ambulance pager went off at 8:55 AM and I called Lisa to notify her before responding on the call. Due tog the nature of the call, I was back at home by 9:45. I called Lisa but got no answer and assumed she was out hiking. I decided to take Sheila and do the hike at Long Pond. Sheila was ready to go as we left the house a little after 10:00 AM. The temperature was in the 70’s and the humidity stemmed high as I drove out DeVruce Road to Willowemoc. I tuned left on Flugertown Road and drove a short distance to the parking area on the right. When I pulled into the lot at 10:20 AM, we were the only hikers. Continue reading

Dover Stone Church: All Trails

DoverStoneChurchJul2016_09camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Tuesday, July 5th I asked Cindy if she would like to go to the Dover Stone Church which our son Kurt had highly recommended. This is a grotto or cave near Dover Plains that was formed as Stone Church Brook wore through the bedrock in the area to form a 30 foot waterfall inside a cavern. New hiking trails had recently been added and I thought it might be nice to visit even though it is about a 2 hour drive from home. Cindy said “Yes” so I planned our route and read a little more about the area. A good description of the history of the area can be found here. The weather forecast included showers for the night perhaps extending into the morning so we were not in a hurry to leave. The forecast for Dover Plains was for clearing around noon so we left Livingston Manor a little after 9:30 AM with an eager Sheila in the back seat. The route I planned was through Ellenville and then over Route 44/55 to New Paltz. We made pretty good time on these secondary roads with a few slow cars and some road construction. From New Paltz we headed over the Mid Hudson Bridge through Poughkeepsie and then followed Route 44 before taking some even smaller back roads into Dover Plains. We parked at the Dover Plains Elementary School as suggested on several websites as there is no parking at the entrance to the Dover Stone Church area. Continue reading