On Thursday, October 30th I had finished short hikes in Phoenicia and Palenville. I had also hiked to Kaaterskill Falls and done a short hike in Platte Clove including a visit to the falls there. These hikes were so that I could connect portions of the Long Path that I had already hiked. From Platte Clove I drove back to Phoenicia and took Route 28 to Boiceville where I took Route 28A to Watson Hollow Road. Watson Hollow Road is the road that passes by Moonhaw Road and eventually becomes the Peekamoose Road. I followed this road to just before the parking area for Peekamoose and stopped at Buttermilk Falls. I grabbed my camera and walked to the road bridge to take a few pictures. I was disappointed to find the falls almost dry! I took a few shots but did not walk the short trail to the falls. I got back in the car and drove to the Peekamoose parking area where I parked. Sheila and I walked from the parking area to where the Long Path entered the woods to head over Bangle Hill to Vernooy Kill Falls. We turned around there and walked back to the car. On the way I took a look at Bear Hole Brook which has a nice cascade and found the volume greatly reduced. I decided not to take pictures and returned to the car at 3:40 PM to complete the last mile of the hikes for the day.
On Thursday, October 30th I had finished a hike to Kaaterskill Falls from the bottom and from the top on Laurel House Road. I had already done hikes in Phoenicia and Palenville to connect portions of the Long Path that I had already hiked. From Laurel House Road I headed toward Tannersville and took Platte Clove road east. After passing Prediger Road, I parked at the Platte Clove Preserve where there was only one other car. It was 1:30 PM as Sheila and I walked east on Platte Clove Road toward the Kaaterskill High Peak parking area. This walk went quickly as we hiked up the access road, turned around and hiked back. Before going back to the car, we headed down the trail to Platte Clove Falls. The trail down is a little steep and on this day it was damp. When we got to the falls, I could see it was running with enough volume to make taking some pictures worthwhile. Sheila ran out into the stream to splash around and hop from rock to rock as I snapped a few shots. I took a few of the falls usi9ng different camera orientations and angles. I also took a few of Sheila with the falls in the background. As we started back, I considered bushwhacking to the top of the falls but decided to walk back up the trail instead. When we got to the cabin, we walked down the paths in back to the stream bank and out onto some rocks. The rock outcroppings gave an unobstructed view of the Old Mill falls. I took a few pictures of the falls and the kingpost bridge over the stream just above the falls. A young man walked by us on the path headed toward the top of Platte Clove Falls. As I packed up to leave, he walked back and struck up a conversation. He wanted to know about getting down to the base of the falls and hiking downstream. I told him about the path in front of the cabin but cautioned him about the dangers of hiking further than that by himself. We continued to talk about hiking in the Catskills. I learned he was from Schoharie and we talked about some of my hiking adventures this summer in that area. We parted and Sheila and I walked back to the cart. We had hiked only a mile but it had taken us 45 minutes due to the photography and the conversation. As I drove away I headed for Phoenicia. I decided to get to Peekamoose by driving to Boiceville and using Watson Hollow Road which becomes the Peekamoose Road.
On Thursday, October 30th I had finished hikes near Phoenicia and Palenville to connect sections of the Long Path that I had hiked before. I decided that I would visit Kaaterskill Falls since I had not been there for some time adhere seemed to be enough water to make it interesting. I pulled into the parking area at 11:50 AM to find only two other cars parked. I got Sheila on her leash and we started to descend the .25 miles to the falls trail. There has been much talk about improving the access to the falls but the only way to get there is to walk the very narrow shoulder of Route 23. I could see a group of five people starting up the trail and two others standing by the kiosk. I stopped at Bastion Falls and took a few pictures before heading up the trail. Trying to negotiate the steep and rough trail with an enthusiastic Sheila pulling me along was difficult. Continue reading
On Thursday, October 30th I had finished a walk from the Mount Tremper parking area on Route 40 to Lane Street and back. I had several other short walks to connect portions of the Long Path that I had already hiked. From Phoenicia I headed north on Route 214 and then east on Route 23A through Hunter and Tannersville to Palenville. As I drove passed Kaaterskill Creek, I could see that there was a good volume of water going over Bastion Falls. I thought I might stop there on the way back even though it was not part of the Long Path. Road crews were paving some section of Route 23A as we approached Palenville but we were soon crossing the bridge at the bottom of the hill near Malden Avenue. I needed to hike from the end of the Harding Road Trail to Malden Avenue and had decided to park at the parking area on Whites Road. I pulled into the parking area at 10:30 AM and got ready to hike. It was still cool but the sun was coming out as we headed out on the yellow connector trail. Continue reading
On Thursday, October 30th I had planned to hike several short sections of the Long Path that connected other sections I had already completed. Most of these were road walks. The first section I decided to do was from the Mount Tremper parking area on Route 40 to Lane Street in Phoenicia. This section follows Route 40 into Phoenicia and then uses streets in the hamlet to get to the Lane Street parking area for the new trail over Romer and Cross Mountains. I estimated the walk would be about 5 miles but was almost completely flat. Sheila and I left Livingston Manor early and I drove out the DeBruce Road to the Frost Valley Road. I took the Frost Valley Road to Route 28 where I turned right and drove to Phoenicia. After a left turn off Route 28, I followed Main Street and Route 40 to the parking area. It was about 8:00 AM when we left the car and starting walking back into town. The temperature was still in the low 40’s and a slight breeze was blowing down the Esopus Creek. There seemed to be some color still present in the leaves on the trees near the creek but I decided to wait until we returned to take pictures. Traffic was light and we made good time walking into town. At 1.6 miles we turned left on Bridge Street and walked across the Esopus on a road bridge. Just after the bridge we turned right on High Street. At 2.2 miles we turned left onto Lane Street and walked to the parking area at the end. We immediately turned around and retraced our path to the parking area. On the way back we walked down to the Esopus which seemed to have more water in it than when I had seen it several weeks ago. The leaves on the trees did have some nice colors so I took a few shots before returning to the car. It was 9:45 AM and we had walked 4.9 miles in 1 hour and 45 minutes with an elevation gain of only 250 feet. I drove through Phoenicia and turned right to drive north on Route 214.
On Tuesday, October 28th I had finished a hike from the Lake Tiorati Circle to the Hippo Rock and back. I was now ready to complete another Long Path section from Lake SkannatatI to St. John’s Road. I pulled out of the parking area and headed southwest on Seven Lakes Drive. I drove 2.5 miles, turned into the parking area at Lake Skannatati and got ready to hike. I saw a path up the bank so I walked up the road at 11:40 AM to begin the hike. I walked a little farther southwest on Seven Lakes Drive and found the aqua blazes of Long Path on the left side of the road. I followed the blazes onto a gravel and cinder road but found they immediately veered to the right. Continue reading
On Tuesday, October 28th I had planned to hike some sections of the Long Path in Harriman Park that I had missed when I was hiking more in that area. There are so may trails in Harriman that it is easy to hike a parallel trail but miss the Long Path. In fact in many places I had hiked AT sections but missed a piece of the Long Path. My first objective has to hike from the Tiorati Circle to Hippo Rock and back. I decided to leave Sheila home as there are just too many ticks at this time of year in the park. I left Livingston Manor at a little after 8:00 AM and decided to take the most direct route down the Quickway to Route 6. I was taking a chance since there are several areas of construction along the way. I was delayed briefly in two places but otherwise the trip went quickly. I noticed the traffic was stop and go westbound and made a note of that for the return trip. Continue reading
On Monday, October 27th I had planned to hike a section of the Long Path in Harriman Park from the Turkey Hill parking area to Route 6 near the intersection with Route 293. The rest of this section extends up through Orange County to the village of Monroe and includes a lot of road walking. Cindy decided she wanted to come and I thought that would work since even though the hike would be about 8 miles the last few miles would be on the Route 6. We could not leave Livingston Manor until we spoke to our contractor so we didn’t pull out of the driveway until around 10:00 AM. As I drove down Route 17 toward Harriman, we encountered construction near Bridgeville, Middletown and finally near Goshen. The first two locations simply slowed us down but the last brought traffic to a near standstill for almost 3 miles. One lane was blocked but we could not see why. As we approached Harriman, we saw a few workers creating expansion joints in the pavement! Continue reading
The week of October 26th began with a cloudy, cool and windy Sunday with temperatures in the highs 40’s. Some rain showers were forecast to pass through in the afternoon. The rest of the week calls for temperatures in the high 50’s through Wednesday with decreasing temperatures through Saturday. Some early morning showers may occur on Wednesday and the long range forecast for Saturday is for a mix of rain and snow! The skies should be sunny with some clouds throughout the week. If you are looking for leaf color, head south as there aren’t many leaves left on the trees in the Catskills. 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!
On Saturday, October 25th I had planned to hike the section of the Long Path from Greene County Route 10 to South Mountain Road. This would connect the northern sections that I had completed this summer with those in the Catskills. The NYNJTC website put the distance at 7.1 miles which made an out and back right at the limit of what I though Sheila and I could do. My estimate of a loop using local roads was even longer. I asked Cindy if she would like to take two cars to do a car spot but she didn’t seem very interested. It was cloudy and overcast when I woke up so I didn’t hurry to get ready to go. Sheila and I left Livingston Manor at 8:25 AM and headed up the Beaverkill Road and then the Barkaboom Road to get to Route 28 in Margaretville. In Shandaken we headed north on Route 42 to Route 23A east toward Hunter. Just outside Hunter in turned north on Route 296 to take it north to Route 23 in Windham. I turned north on Route 21 and stayed on that road until it merged with Greene County Route 10. I pulled over to park on the side of the road after about .6 miles on Route 10. Continue reading