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Posts tagged “catskills

Photo #1544 – 02.06.13

Icy Kaaterskill Falls

About a week ago, I posted a photo showing the cool trail in the Catskills that leads to Kaaterskill Falls…so I figured I might as well post a photo of the actual waterfall!  There wasn’t a huge amount of water flow, but there was a small amount of ice anywhere within reach of the waterfall’s spray.  This photo doesn’t really capture just how high the cliff and waterfalls are, nor the overall size of this amphitheater-like space with it’s huge boulders strewn about.  It is a pretty cool place.


Photo #1537 – 01.30.13

Trail to Kaaterskill Falls

Back in December, on my way back from attending a map printing press check up in New York, I took a quick detour through the Catskills to do some map field-checking that included a short hike to Kaaterskill Falls (not exactly sure of pronunciation…Cat-, Kate-, or Cot-, take your pick).  With two drops totaling 260 feet, Kaaterskill Falls is one of highest falls in New York, and since it is a very short hike from a major road, this is one of the most popular places in the Catskills.  However, on this cold December day, I was the only one out there, and it was a neat little trail that led straight to the base of the icy falls (the falls are slightly visible through the trees ahead in the photo).


Photo #1529 – 01.22.13

Overlook Mountain House of Yore

Climbing up a mountain in the Catskills for more than 2 miles, one of the last things you might expect to find is a sizeable abandoned resort hotel.  But that is exactly what awaits you near the summit of Overlook Mountain, as partly shown in this photo.  The Overlook Mountain House was likely a pretty cool place in the hey-day of these sort of mountain resorts (late 1800s, early 1900s), and today it is a neat structure to come upon up on top of a mountain.


Photo #1510 – 01.03.13

Mini Cairns in the Catskills

If you have ever been out on some trails and have noticed a stacked pile of rocks, then you have seen a cairn (pronounced like ‘Care’ with an ‘n’ sound at the end).  These piles of rocks are often constructed to help people navigate trails or other paths where other markings are difficult to make, such as over expanses of rock like this area along the Poet’s Ledge Trail in the Catskills.  Of course, there are many rock piles that are just created by people having fun trying to balance rocks!


Photo #1495 – 12.18.12

Overlook Mountain Fire Tower

The 60-foot fire tower on the summit of Overlook Mountain (3,140 feet above sea level) is located at the eastern edge of the Catskills and was active until 1988.  There are fantastic views all around, including the rest of the Catskills to the west (the direction of this photo) and the Hudson River far below to the east.  I enjoyed this snowy jaunt up Overlook Mountain to the fire tower a couple years ago, but it would be neat to see the same views when there is a bit less white and a lot more green.


Photo #1385 – 08.30.12

Black Dome Range Trail Foliage

The northern Catskills in early October can be really colorful.  A hike along the Black Dome Range Trail a few years ago provided plenty of bright yellow, orange, and red foliage to heighten the fall hiking experience.  If you haven’t experienced fall in the Catskill Mountains of New York, definitely try to plan a trip during peak foliage season!


Photo #1329 – 07.05.12

Yukon Walking Stick on Poet’s Ledge

My trusty walking stick that I picked up in the Yukon Territory along the banks of the Pelly River has been great to have along on many hikes.  This particular hike was in the Catskills along the Long Path as it climbs toward Kaaterskill High Peak, and with the amount of elevation gain along the trail, my knees were likely appreciative of the ever-so-slight help of the walking stick.  My lunch stop was at this rock outcrop called Poet’s Ledge, which offered a great view of the Kaaterskill Clove and the nearly 4,000-foot-high Black Dome and Blackhead mountain summits looming in the distance (just right of center in the photo).

Where will my Yukon walking stick travel to next?!?


Photo #1251 – 04.18.12

Poet’s Ledge Trail in the Catskills

The Poet’s Ledge Trail in the Kaaterskill Wild Forest section of the Catskills is certainly not a very long trail by Catskill standards at only 0.5 mile long.  But it’s a great little section of trail!  After a climb of more than 1,700 feet along the Long Path, the Poet’s Ledge Trail branches off and descends slightly through some neat forest areas like the portion shown above.  Before you know it, you reach the end of the trail on a rocky ledge with wide-open views of the surrounding mountains and the Kaaterskill Clove.  It was a great place to relax for a bit and refuel with some lunch.  I’ll be sure to post some photos from Poet’s Ledge soon!


Photo #1182 – 02.09.12

Swinging Bridge in the Catskill Woods

Hikes in the Catskills are often full of trees, rocks, and other natural surroundings.  But every once in a while, some sort of manmade structure can add another component to a hike, whether it be an old fire road, a mine, a dilapidated cabin, or even a bridge crossing a stream.  This swinging bridge was a really neat structure to come upon in the Catskills, and even though it was located somewhat close to the town of Palenville, it felt like it was out in the middle of nowhere.  The bridge itself was certainly sturdy, but it had enough of a swing to it that I had to watch my footing a couple times to make sure I didn’t trip myself!


Photo #1126 – 12.15.11

South-Facing View from Overlook Mountain

My first hike in the Catskill Mountains of New York was quite memorable, and certainly photogenic.  A combination of freshly-fallen snow, late-October fall foliage, and a clear blue sky made for some outstanding views atop the fire tower on Overlook Mountain…it certainly made the 2.5 mile climb up the mountain entirely worth the effort!  The large Ashokan Reservoir is visible to the left, with other peaks in the central Catskills visible to the right.


Photo #998 – 08.09.11

Autumn Colors from Blackhead Mountain

At first glance, this photo might seem to have been taken from an airplane up above the colorful tree cover below, but it was actually taken from near the top of Blackhead Mountain in the northeastern Catskill Mountains.  The summit reaches nearly 4000 feet above sea level (3940′), while the trees in this photo were about 1500′ below an outstanding rock ledge overlooking the area.

We’re still a few months away from changing leaves, but I am looking forward to autumn!


Photo #921 – 05.24.11

Palenville Swinging Pedestrian Bridge

Palenville is a small hamlet located at the base of the Catskill Mountains of New York, and apparently about 100 years ago, the people of the town erected this swinging pedestrian bridge across Kaaterskill Creek.  It’s a nice bridge that certainly has a bit of swing to it, and it crosses a cool stretch of the Kaaterskill.  After a quick (but exhausting!) hike along the Long Path in the Catskills last August, I took a short detour to visit this bridge and was glad I checked it out.


Photo #892 – 04.25.11

Orange Autumn in the Catskills

If you are ever hiking down the Black Dome Range Trail in the Catskill Forest Preserve in mid-October, it’s likely that you’ll be surrounded by orange and yellow.  This photo shows a nearby ridge that appeared through a break in the tree cover as I was descending from the summit of Blackhead Mountain {photo #364}.  Although a little overcast, it was a great day to experience the autumn colors in the Catskills.


Photo #808 – 01.31.11

Batavia Kill Trail, Catskill Forest Preserve

The yellow-blazed Batavia Kill Trail is located in the Windham Blackhead Range Wildnerness in the northern Catskills.  It is a short (1-mile) trail that provides a possible route up to the summit of Blackhead Mountain {photo #364}, and there is a small shelter on the trail that many hikers take advantage of on overnight trips.  This photo was taken at the lower end of the trail where it starts at Black Dome Range Trail and immediately crosses the Batavia Kill.  I didn’t actually travel along this trail…but it sure looks like it would have been a pleasant stroll on a cool, autumn day!


Photo #784 – 01.07.11

12,000 Sheets of Catskills Maps

I always enjoy going to the printer for a map printing!  Huge printing machines, the smells of fresh ink wafting in the air, and many stacks of completed maps like in the photo above!  This particular printing was of our Catskills trail map set this past spring, and while I’m not quite sure if they are all in this shot, we had about 12,000 copies printed off (and actually, this is just one sheet of a two-sheet print job…so another 12,000 other maps are somewhere else).  These maps were drying on palettes after coming off the printer, and after a day or two (the inks need a while to soak in), the individual maps on each sheet are cut out and then folded and ready to be assembled into map sets that we can sell to outdoor enthusiasts.  I’ve been to about a dozen map printings so far, and I have a couple more coming up in the next few months.

Maps are great!


Photo #776 – 12.30.10

Giant Steps in the Catskills

While climbing up a mountain-side in the Catskills along the Long Path, I came across this set of giant steps that really are pretty large!  It certainly wasn’t easy stepping up them (or down on the return trip), but it was a neat geological feature that the trail passed over.  I believe it was just beyond the upper reaches of the stairs that a great postcard-view opened up of the nearby mountains {photo #730}.


Photo #730 – 11.14.10

Catskills Postcard – Indian Head and Palenville Overlook

This is a postcard I created recently for a fun hike I did up in the Catskills this past August.  The hike involved quite a lot of climbing, but the views were quite rewarding once the climbing was complete.  This particular hike was along the Long Path and I checked out Wildcat Falls (which had a nice view and barely a trickle of water…a bit dry in mid-August) and Poets Ledge (an outstanding view and great lunch break).  This particular ‘postcard’ view was taken at an unnamed viewpoint looking toward South Mountain on the opposite side of the Kaaterskill Clove.  The two rocky outcrops, Indian Head (left) and Palenville Overlook (right) are accessible by trails, so I guess I’ll have to check them out sometime to check out the opposing view from there!


Photo #653 – 08.29.10

Autumn Catskills Trail

The Fall will be upon us before we know it, and soon the leaves will be changing to bright reds, oranges and yellows.  This particular stretch of the Black Dome Range Trail in the northern Catskills was quite brilliant with orange and yellow foliage when I hiked it last year.


Photo #640 – 08.16.10

Northern Catskills in the Fall

Coming down from the summit of Blackhead Mountain in the northeastern Catskills, the Blackhead Mountain Trail passes right by this fantastic view of the rest of the northern Catskills.  It was pretty cool seeing almost the entire landscape awash in autumnal orange (with occasional blotches of dark conifers).  A trail called the Devil’s Path traverses that line of mountains in the distance…I’ll have to check it out some time!


Photo #591 – 06.28.10

Hudson River from Blackhead Mountain

Along the Escarpment Trail just south of the summit of Blackhead Mountain (elevation 3,940 feet), this spot was the site of another great lunch break while hiking around in the Catskills last year.  Sitting on some nice open rock slabs, there were awesome views like this one looking down toward the Hudson River in the distance.  The small rise in the foreground is a summit known as Arizona, and the mountain on the right in the distance is North Mountain.  The trail I was on continued south to these mountains and, in fact, continues 236 miles to the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey!  It is part of the ‘Long Path’, a long-distance trail (like the Appalachian Trail) that extends from the George Washington Bridge up to near Albany, NY.


Photo #542 – 05.10.10

Autumn Brook Along the Black Dome Range Trail

With a couple small cascades, bright mossy boulders and an abundance of fallen rust-colored leaves, this small brook in the northeastern section of the Catskills was quite beautiful.


Photo #522 – 04.20.10

Catskill Trails Map Set – Launch Party Tonight!!

After a long couple years, we finally have copies of our ‘Catskill Trails’ maps available for use by the hiking public!  And to celebrate, I’ll be at Tent & Trails in New York City with the NY-NJ Trail Conference for a map launch party tonight.  We have a lot of volunteers and other individuals to thank for all the work that went into these maps, so hopefully we have a good turnout to thank them and promote the new maps.

The picture above is a tiny section of one of the maps covering Hunter Mountain (the second tallest peak in the Catskills).  If you are interested in checking out the Catskills this spring/summer (may I suggest the Blackhead Range or Overlook Mountain??), definitely pick up a copy of these maps!  (Thanks!)


Photo #454 – 02.11.10

Catskills Brook in Autumn

Filled with a good amount of moss-covered boulders, this brook along the Black Dome Range Trail in the northeastern Catskills looked pretty amongst the colors of fall in the forest.  This little brook feeds into the Batavia Kill just south of here (behind where I took this photo), which definitely had a bit more water flowing through it.  This was also the start of my great hike up to Blackhead Mountain this past autumn.


Photo #446 – 02.03.10

Overlook Mountain House Ruins

A remnant of the bustling Catskills resorts of the 19th and early 20th centuries, the ruins of the Overlook Mountain House are quite impressive.  The ruins are located near the top of a 3000+ foot mountain, and you have to hike 2 miles and 1400 vertical feet to get there (you can imagine how difficult it would have been to get up there in the 1800s!).  The current ruins were the third iteration of the hotel (others perished through fires), and much of this structure was started in 1928 (by 1940, it had not been completed and was pretty much abandoned).  It was pretty cool to explore a bit, but I didn’t stay too long because I wanted to check out the excellent views from the top of Overlook Mountain.

Anyone interested in staying a night at this amazing resort hotel?!?