On Sunday, October 22nd I wanted to get in a hike after church as the weather was warm and beautiful. When we got home I suggested we go to hike at Kelly Hollow as we had not been there in since January! The hike is only about 4 miles but there are some interesting sites including a stream that runs between the trail out and the trail back. There is also a beaver pond on the trail with a lean-to. We got Sheila and our gear in the car and headed toward Roscoe on Old Route 17 little after 1:00 PM. I turned right on the Beaverkill Road and drove through Lew Beach to Turnwood where I turned left on the Barkaboom Road. I drove to the end of the Barkaboom Road band turned right at the Pepacton Reservoir On BWS 9. After 4.5 miles, I turned right on Millbrook Road and continued 5.25 miles to the parking lot for Kelly Hollow on the right. We parked at 1:40 PM next to the only car in the lot. I took a moment to set my GPS before starting our hike at 1:45 PM by heading out on the trail marked with yellow XC skiing blazes. My plan was to walk the trail in a figure 8 which is something I had not done before. Just after the stream we came to a woods road and turned right heading south and ascending slightly. Along the way the trail was wet in spots which surprised us as everywhere else we had hiked was bone dry. Almost immediately we could see a couple ahead of us with two dogs on leashes. I put Sheila on her leash and we passed by the other hikers who had moved to the side of the trail. Their dogs were bigger than Sheila and very excited about meeting another dog. Shortly after this encounter we met another hiker who looked like he was a hunter scouting the area. At .5 miles we ame to the cutoff to the right for the Short Loop hike. We turned right to walk down the cutoff trail to the bridge. I took some pictures before we crossed the ridge and headed up the trail to the main loop trail on the other side.
We turned left on the loop trail heading southwest and then south toward the beaver pond and lean-to. Over the nest .4 miles we gained about 300 feet for an 11% grade. Although this is not a steep climb it was more than I remembered. At 1.2 miles we were at the beaver pond which is quickly becoming a beaver meadow. There are no more beavers in the area and the pond is now a small puddle. There were some nice colors in the leaves remaining on the trees so I took some pictures before we continued around the pond. We stopped again on the other side and I took a few more pictures before continuing on to the lean-to in the woods. The lean-to was in good shape As was the privy but we ahd no reason to stop and continued on the trail now heading northeast and downhill. The trail made a turn so that we were heading southeast and we crossed a few bridges over small streams. At one point we started to walk through a grove of pines and I stopped to take a few shots including a couple straight up. At 1.75 miles we came to the spot where I had bushwhacked up to Millbrook Ridge to look down on Alder Lake. At 2.1 miles we made and almost 180 degree turn and started heading north. I noted that this would be a good place to try another bushwhack as it was only .7 miles to the trail that runs along Millbrook Ridge. We continued north on the trail still descending. At 2.75 miles we again came to the crossover trail and turned left to cross the middle of the figure 8. As we made the turn two more hikers appeared behind us on the main trail which was strange as we had not noticed them before. We crossed the bridge and walked up the hill on the other side to the main trail. This time we turned right and started to walk 1.1 miles back to the car. The day was very pleasant with a slight breeze blowing. This part of the trail was not well marked but the path was pretty obvious as it followed a woods road. At 3.6 miles we came to the Middletown Cemetery and found a couple with motorcycles enjoying a quiet moment. I decided not to take pictures of the cemetery so we continued out the access road to Millbrook Road. We trend right and walked the final .25 miles back to the car. It was 3:45 PM and we had spent 2 hours hiking 4 miles with an elevation gain of 660 feet. On the way back I decided to go over Cross Mountain Road which is a narrow dirt road that ends up at Alder Lake. I knew that the Town of Hardenburgh had worked on the road in the early summer. I don’t know what they did to the road but it was still all dirt and still narrow. There were several stretches where two cars could not pass by each other so I was glad that there were no other cars on this 4 mile adventure!