On Thursday, May 4th, I had planned to get out early to hike but an ambulance call in the middle of the night made sleeping a little later necessary. When I got up at 9:00 AM, the temperature was in the high 50’s and the sky was cloudy with some sun peaking through. The forecast called for increasing temperatures and more sun so I dressed in lighter pants and opted for a light windbreaker. I decided that I would investigate some more trails from the trailkeeper.org website that I was working to correct and improve. My choice was to first head to the Mongaup River Trail south of Glen Spey and stop by Hickok Brook MUA on the way back. Driving to the Mongaup River would take almost an hour and I had to make at least one stop along the way. We left Livingston Manor at 9:30 AM and I drove down State Route 17 to Liberty. I finished my business there and picked up Route 55 south toward Eldred. I drove for 23 miles through Swan Lake, Kauneonga Lake, and White Lake. In Eldred I turned left at the light on CR-32 (Proctor Road) and drove a little over 5 miles to Glen Spey. I turned right and then left on CR-31 (Upper Mongaup Road). I again drove south a little over 5 miles to Route 97. I made a left, crossed the bridge over the Mongaup River and made a quick left into the parking area. There was already a car parked and as I was getting ready another turned into the lot. I set my electronics and was ready to hike at 11:10 AM. The trail left the right side of the parking area as a flat gravel path paralleling the river. I was surprised the Mongaup was flowing high and fast. The trail was easy to walk and I was glad as I had left my poles in the car opting to put Sheila on her leash. For some time I did not see any other people so I let Sheila loose and we walk quietly on the trail. Several times I dropped down to the water’s edge to take pictures. The river was very bit as pretty as the Neversink in the Neversink Unique Area. At one point I looked up and saw people ahead and out Sheila on her leash.
The other hikers stopped o take pictures and talk so we passed by them with a “hello”. The trail remained easy to follow and relatively flat and well maintained. I stopped one more time for pictures and then continued on to an old cemetery to the right of the trail. The engraving on the stones was weathered and hard to read but one date said “1882”. I took some pictures and by the time I was done the other hikers were in sight. I shouldered my pack and we walked a little further but found that the trail had ended at almost exactly 1 mile. We turned around and stopped to talk to the other hikers. Sheila was surprisingly well-behaved as we talked. The couples were together and they were hiking the six trail in the Upper Delaware Take a Hike series. One couple was from Wisconsin and the other from Northern Virginia. We discussed hiking in the area and where they had been and where they were going. Their next hike was going to be to Jensen Ledges in the afternoon. I talked to them about rating trails and they gave me some good insights. As we turned to walk back, the couple from Virginia hike back with us. We had a very pleasant time talking about hiking and places to live in general. The walk back was even quicker than the walk out. We were back at the car at 12:15 PM having hiked 2.1 miles in 1 hour and 5 minutes. The elevation gain was 130 feet. I pulled out of the parking lot and turned north on Upper Mongaup Road to retrace my earlier route back toward Eldred.