Catskill Hiker
  Hiking the Catskills and beyond...

Your Experience

Although you can read many beautiful descriptions of the hikes other people have taken, it is doubtful that you will have the same experience. Each of us learns to appreciate the world around us in different ways. For some it is the final objective that is most important while others gain more from the journey.

On Saturday, July 27th, Cindy and I decided to visit the newly opened Rosendale Trestle after hiking Overlook Mountain. We set Rosendale as our destination in the Garmin Nuvi car GPS and followed the instructions it came up with, for the most part. On the way to Kingston we passed through Woodstock which was packed with people having a good time. Their good time made getting through traffic a little difficult but we were soon head for Kingston on Route 28. We turned south on Route 209 which upset the GPS as it wanted us to go into Kingston. My intention was to simply go south on Route 209 until we got to Route 213 east to HighFalls and Rosendale. I made the mistake of following the GPS directions again and we traveled some winding back roads until we hit Route 213 just outside of Rosendale. As we headed toward Rosendale the trestle came into view and we turned onto Binnewater Road. The trestle was quite impressive and I was even more excited to go visit it. After .3 miles on Binnewater Road, the parking lot appeared on the left and I pulled in and parked at about 2:00 PM. At the back of the parking lot were the kilns used to bake the dolostone mined from Joppenberg Mountain just across the road. The result was a natural cement that was highly sought after. The "mines" have largely collapsed as they were not shored up and some collapses are still taking place. After photographing the kilns, we crossed the road and got on the rail trail. The Walkill Valley Rail Trail now runs continuously from New Paltz almost to the rail trail in Kingston. The plan is to connect these two sections as soon as possible. We walked along the well groomed rail trail meeting walkers going in both directions and quite a few people riding mountain bikes. At one point I could see a depression in the side of the mountain and a path that led to it. As we approached the depression the cool air poured out. This was one of the collapsed mines. I took some pictures and then walked along the base of the mountain to find several other mine openings. I walked back up to the rail trail to meet Cindy and we headed for the trestle. Just before we stepped out onto the trestle, I noticed a few paths leading up the ,oaten on the left. They all looked well worn, were steep and were covered with loose rock and dirt. I made a note to explore them on the way back. We walked out onto the trestle which was really impressive. It is over 900 feet long and 150 feet above the Rondout Creek. The restoration included reinforcing the steel of the trestle, putting down a composite walkway and erecting fencing. There were great views to both the east and west on Rondout Creek. To the north and east Joppenberg Mountain loomed over the trestle. We walked to the opposite side and then walked back. From then trestle I took many pictures in all directions before walking back to the west end. Cindy did not want to try climbing up the mountain but I thought I would give it a try. I climbed up the steep bank holding on to roots and small trees slipping as I went. Ahead I saw where the path split and became even steeper. I didn't want Cindy to wait too long for me and I wasn't sure of the best path so I decided to turn back. I put my hand on a rock to ease myself down. When I looked down at the rock, I could not believe my eyes. The rock's seemed to have been split open and there were trilobite, crinoid and worm fossils of severent different types. I took some pictures and then looked for other, similar rocks. Immade only a cursory search but could find no more. I descended the hill and reported my find to Cindy. I definitely want to go back to see if I can climb to the top of Joppenberg and find some more fossils. The entire walk was just about a mile but was well worth the visit.