On Monday, August 31st, I wanted to do a challenging hike close to home. I had been doing long but relatively flat hikes on the Finger Lakes Trail for most of the summer and want to try climbing a Catskill 3500 foot peak. I had recently hiked bReakneck Ridge without a problem so I thought I might take on Slide Mountain as it is close to my house and I had not been up the main trail in over 3 years! I waited until a little later in the morning hoping the haze that was still hanging around would burn off. I got Sheila in the car along with my gear and we headed out DeBruce Road to the Frost Valley Road where I turned left. Soon we were passing by Frost Valley and then the Biscuit Brook parking area. At 10:15 we arrived at the Slide Mountain parking area to find two other cars parked there. We began our hike at 10:25 AM by starting out on the main trail which immediately crosses the Neversink River. Continue reading
On Sunday, August 30th, Cindy and I decided to go for a short hike after church since the weather was so beautiful. I was still thinking about the cherry tree and suggested we go to hike around Frick Pond again and stop to take care of the cherry tree on the way. Cindy agreed and we left Livingston Manor after church to arrive at the parking area at 11:15 AM. We were surprised to see several horse trailers taking up most of the spaces in the lot. I have nothing against horses and their owners except for the fact that the owners do not clean up after their animals. A hiking trail littered with horse manure and flies does not give horses on the trails a good name! We walked out toward Frick Pond on the Quick Lake Trail passing several spots that had clear evidence that horses had passed by on the trail. We crossed the bridge over the outlet and walked to the second footbridge with the remains of the cherry tree. Continue reading
The week of August 30th began with a warm and pleasant Sunday with sunny, blue skies and temperatures in the high 70’s. A threat of thunderstorms was predicted for late in the afternoon. The forecast for the rest of the week through Wednesday calls for sunny days with temperatures rising into the to mid 80’s with increasing humidity. The temperature on Thursday drops into the low 80’s with a threat of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Fridays temperature will be in the high 70’s or low 80’s with sunny skies. The temperature on Saturday will be much the same but with cloudy skies and the possibility of showers. Sunscreen and insect repellent would be a good addition to your pack. Keep hydrated since you will be able to hiker 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!
On Saturday, August 29th, Karl brought Luke to the house and we all decided to go hike around Frick Pond. I took an my Wetterlings Forest Axe so that I could do some maintenance after the hike. We took our time getting to Frick Pond arriving a little after 10:30 AM to find no other cars in the lot. We got ready to hike right away and started out the Quick Lake Trail toward Frick Pond. Luke was alternating between walking and running and seemed very happy. We were soon on the woods road that goes out to the pond. We walked down the hill to the pond and stopped a minute for me to take some pictures of everybody gathered on the bridge. As we started around the pond, I pointed out the large cherry tree that was still partly on the last bridge. Karl remarked that it would take some time to cut it with and axe. Continue reading
On Thursday, August 2015 the weather forecast was for partly cloudy day with temperatures in the mid to high 70’s. The humidity was forecast to be lower than it had been and it sounded like a PERFECT day for hiking. I decided to take Sheila and head for the Eastern Hudson Highlands and Breakneck Ridge. This is one of the most popular trails in that area and rapidly fills with people especially on the weekends which was why it is almost mandatory to go there during the week. I tried to get out of the house early but didn’t leave until just before 9:00 AM. I knew that there was construction on I84 so I decided to take the Mid-Hudson bridge to Poughkeepsie and then head south on Route 9 and 9D. This added about half an hour to the trip but I thought it might be worth not having to wait in traffic. Continue reading
On Wednesday, August 26th, I decided I wanted to go to Trout Pond to do some trail maintenance. Cindy and I had been there on Monday and found that the Japanese knotweed was starting to encroach on the main trail near the falls. The path to the falls was overrun with grass and weeds and there were a few blowdowns on the trail to Mud Pond. I put out a call for trail volunteers but everybody seemed to already have plans for the day except for Lisa. I met Lisa downtown at 12:20 PM and we headed to Roscoe and then on Route 206 to Morton Hill Road. At the junction with Russell Brook Road I turned left and continued down to the lower parking area. I usually park at the top and walk down the road but on this trip we had equipment to carry and wanted to get to work as soon as possible. We walked down to the stream and across the bridge to begin work at a little after 12:30 PM. Continue reading
On Monday, August 24th, I decided I wanted get out and do a hike close to home and Cindy wanted to go too. We decided to go to Trout Pond since we had not been there recently and wanted to see if there was any trail maintenance that needed to be done. We were in no real hurry to get started so we arrived at the top of Russell Brook Road at about 10:45 AM and parked on the side of Morton Hill Road. We got started right away be walking down Russell Brook Road. The temperature was in the low 70’s with moderate humidity. I wore a long-sleeved shirt as I often do since it takes care of the bugs and the sun. I also had decided to wear a pair of Keen hiking boots instead of low hikers as the trail can be very muddy in spots. We continued on down Russell Brook Road to the overlook of the falls. Continue reading
The week of August 23rd began with a warm and pleasant Sunday with sunny, blue skies and temperatures in the high 70’s. The forecast for the rest of the week through Saturday calls for sunny days with temperatures in the low to mid 70’s. There are no thunderstorms or showers in the forecast at this time. Sunscreen and insect repellent would be a good addition to your pack. Keep hydrated since you will be able to hiker 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!
On Saturday, August 22nd I suggested to Cindy that we go to Sam’s Point to hike as we had not been there in some time. I had been hiking elsewhere and the area had been closed as the ownership changed hands from Open Spaces Institute to New York State. Sam’s Point Preserve is now part of Minnewaska State Park. Cindy agreed but suggested we start early as it is a popular hiking destination particularly on the weekend. My intention was to hike to Sam’s Point and then down the road toward the Ice caves. I wanted to avoid the ice caves and head toward Verkeerder Kill Falls. I knew the traffic to the falls would be lighter than that around Lake Maratanza and the Ice Caves. I planned to cross the falls and then hike to High Point. We would return by way of the carriage path and loop road. We left Livingston Manor just before 9:00 AM and headed through Liberty to Ellenville. Sheila was excited to get out as it had been several days since our last hike! Continue reading
On Tuesday, August 18th I wanted to get a quick hike in before track practice in the afternoon. I decided to go to Hodge and Frick Ponds to see if there were any new blowdowns on the Flynn and Quick Lake Trails since I had not walked the big loop in some time. Cindy decided to come with me so I got an axe and saw and the rest of my gear and we all headed out at 11:15 AM. When I walked out of the house, I turned round and went inside to change into a short sleeved shirt! It was both hot and humid out and I knew that thundershowers were a possibility but not until 4:00 PM. We arrived at the Frick Pond trailhead at 11:35 AM and crossed the road to get on the Flynn Trail. The sun was out but walking through the woods under the trees seemed cooler and there was a slight breeze. We walked through the woods and then made a right on the woods road that is the Flynn Trail. This was once the extension of Beech Mountain Road when it went all the way to the Beech Mountain Boy Scout Camp. Continue reading