Hodge and Frick Ponds

camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhike On Wednesday, August 23rd I wanted to get in a hike close to home and, after trying to come up with a new hike, I decided to head for Frick Pond To hike the Flynn and Quick Lake Trails to Hodge and Frick Ponds. The weather was beautiful with bright sun and blue skies but with highs in the low 60’s. I saw no reason to wait and Sheila agreed so I got ready to leave and pulled out of the driveway sometime after 10:15 AM. Sheila was certainly ready to hike as she jumped in the back seat and perched on the console. I drove out DeBruce Road and turned left on Mongaup Road. When we arrived there were two other cars in the bigger lot. We crossed the road to get onto the Flynn Trail at 10:35 AM. The trail seemed a little damp as we walked through the woods from the rain we had over the previous couple of days. We turned right onto the woods road as we came out of the woods and the trail continued to be wet and was now muddy. It wasn’t long before I looked up to see another hiker headed down the trail in our direction. I put Sheila on her leash and the hiker stopped to talk. His name was Marv and he was from New Jersey. He was in the area to finish the trails around Frick Pond that he had not covered for the CMC All Trails Challenge. I told him that I was #2 on that list. We talked about other lists and he said he was working on the grid of the Catskill 3500 foot peaks. We talked about the Long Path, the Finger Lakes Trail and the Catskill Highest Hundred before heading in our opposite directions. I was happy Sheila behaved even when we shook hands! I had been feeling a little sluggish but meeting another hiker with similar goals energized me so that I picked up the pace of my hike. Soon we were at the junction with the big Rock Trail where we continued straight ahead on the Flynn Trail. We kept up a quick pace as we passed through the gate marking the boundary with the Open Spaces Institute property. At the next junction we stayed to the right to walk the woods road which is not part of the Flynn Trail. OSI had decided to level the Flynn Trail from Frick Pond to where the trail turned into the woods and it was a muddy mess the last time I passed through. I hoped to avoid this. At the next trail unction we turned left to walk down the hill toward the pond and found they had made the same strange decision to remove all the grass on this trail and allow erosion to wash away the soil! At the bottom of the hill we turned right to follow the old jeep road around the northern end of Hodge Pond. I had almost decided not to stop to take any pictures but the view was so nice I turned off the trail and walked to the shore to take a few shots. Sheila jumped in the pond to get a drink and take a dip. She came out and started to dash madly around me running in tight circles for the pure joy of it. We walked back to the main trail and continued to the point where the Flynn trail turns up into the woods. We walked up the hill and through the gate that marks the end of the OSI property.

We found the trail continued to have some wet and muddy spots but wasn’t any worse than the last time we had walked the trail. I had been picking up branches as we hiked and had moved several large ones off the trail. It seemed that Junkyard Junction came up quickly and we turned left on the red Quick Lake Trail to start our loop back. The Quick Lake Trail is mostly downhill and we made good time after getting passed some very wet spots on the flat area right after the junction. We walked downhill to Iron Wheel Junction finding the trail almost dry. At the junction we turned right to stay on the Quick Lake Trail and ran into some more wet spots along the way. We were soon at the small stream just before the “Spruce Tunnel” and I crossed it with ease. The stream was low but Sheila was able to get a drink and get another dip. We continued on toward the outlet bridge at Frick Pond. We continued to stop so that I could remove branches and other debris from the trail. The trail was wet but passable to the junction with the Big Rock Trail. At the bridge over the outlet stream to Frick Pond I stopped to take a few pictures which I thought might be interesting. The sky was blue with puffy white clouds and the highest part of Flynn’s Point was clearly visible. It was disturbing that the beavers had not begun to rebuild the dam which some vandals had removed. No one at the DEDC seemed to know about this so I assume it was a private citizen who for some reason thought it was a good idea. We walked up the hill to Gravestone Junction. The trail back to the parking area was a little wet and muddy in places but we had no problems. As we passed the register box, we turned right to stay on the trail and caught up to an older woman from Phoenicia. We talked at we walked and were soon in the nigger parking area. Two young men sat on some stones and we exchanged greetings. We were back a the car at 1:10 PM hiked 6.4 miles in 2 hours 35 minutes gaining 920 feet along the way. The temperature at the trailhead was now 64 degrees.

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