Halcott Mountain Bushwhack

Left: The Author at the Halcott Peak Canister (courtesy of the B. Maschal Private Collection) | Right: Waterfall Near the Parking Area

Okay, yes, there is a lot of hiking content on this rag, as of late. There is a reason for this. B is chasing membership to one of the elite Catskills hiking clubs. In order to gain entry, one must complete a multitude of hikes to the highest peaks in the park. Some of them have established trails to follow. Others do not. Cue the “bushwhack”. Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like.. schlepping straight up a mountain over whatever terrain and accompanying flora stands between you and the canister at the peak.Continue reading

West Kill Mountain Winter Hike

On a recent snowy weekend, B and I hiked West Kill peak. It starts on a trail head that we have hiked many times in the past. Notably, it is the trail on which Diamond Notch Falls (see above photo) is located. The peak was mostly socked in. But the scenery along the trail was worth the effort. Continue reading

Kelly Hollow Winter Aerials

The Kelly Hollow trail is a nice little ~4 mile loop that is a fairly quick drive from our spot in the Catskills. I like this trail because it is easy enough that Lola can still make it the whole way on her geriatric little paws. It also has some nice scenery, despite being closed in on all sides by Millbrook Ridge (I think). B and I had never hiked it in the winter until recently, when some friends of ours were upstate for a holiday weekend. This is typically a pretty popular hike because the trail is so mellow. Amazingly, we did not encounter another soul on the trail that day. I launched the drone over the beaver pond located roughly at the halfway point on the trail. The pond was partially frozen over and had a very cool looking gradient from above. Another cool visual element was that the trees were only snowy above a certain elevation line, but not along the trail (see bottom photo). Here are a couple of the images (our party is in the lower right corner of the top photo, for reference).

MLK Day Hiking

B Enjoying the Views from Wittenberg

After getting off to a super snowy start, this winter has mellowed out considerably over the past several weeks. Apparently it’s not just the Catskills. I read today in Gothamist that we are in the fourth longest period in history (since they started keeping track) with no measurable snow in NYC. Not good for skiing, but not terrible for hiking, assuming that one chooses to ignore the potential future implications as they relate to the global climate. Or maybe it is just La Nina? But hey, it was a 3 day weekend, the weather was unseasonably warm and we took advantage by going on a very long hike!Continue reading