Thursday, July 4, 2024

Giants Ledge

Slide Mountain Wilderness Area
Catskills Forest Preserve,
Ulster Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Phoenicia East Branch Trail: Yellow blaze
Fox Hollow Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 3:15 hours
Estimated Distance: 4.2 miles

Pros: Great views
Cons: Far out
Hike Type: Out and back
Level of Difficulty: Difficult

Hiking Partner:
Yehuda Friedman

Google Maps of Parking:

Giants Ledge has been on my bucket list for a long time. It's a hike that I wanted to do for a long time, but it's so far out and the drive requires a very roundabout route to get there, at almost two hour distance from my home. I took this opportunity on Independence Day being off from work to do this hike.

We parked at the Giants Ledge trailhead at the bend of Oliverea Road. We took the Phoenicia East Branch Trail up to the Fox Hollow Trail, which we took north ascending to the Giants Ledge. Giants Ledge is a high cliff face with a ledge above the cliff face running for a couple of hundred feet, with excellent views to the east. 

We were going to continue further up to Panther Mountain, one of the tallest peaks in the Catskills and a 3500'er, but the weather wasn't great and there were thunderstorms in the distance, so we decided to descend after Giants Ledge and go back the same route.

Map of the Route

Giants Ledge Parking

Trail Signs at the Trailhead

Destroyed Information Kiosk. Looks Like a Tree Fell on it.

Trail Signs at the Phoenicia East Branch Trail and Fox Hollow Trail Intersection 

Sign to the Spring

First View at Giants Ledge, of Cornell & Wittenberg Mountains

More Views at Giants Ledge

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Lake Roland at Baltimore

Lake Roland Park,
Baltimore Co.,

Hiking Trails:
Pink Trail
Red Trail
Yellow Trail

Total Time: 1:30 hours
Estimated Distance: 3.2 miles

Pros: Scenic lake, nice trail network
Cons: None
Hike Type: 8 Loop
Level of  Difficulty: Very easy

Google Maps of Parking:

On my weekend trip to Baltimore, I visited Lake Roland, a scenic lake on the Baltimore City/County Line. Its a quiet, peaceful place within the urban area with a large network of hiking trails. I parked at the parking area near the dam, and took the Pink Trail along the wide part of the lake to the cave, which appears to be an old mine, and then hiked to the end of the trail at the tracks. I crossed the bridge and then took the Red Trail north along the old railroad tracks alongside the lake, to the Yellow Trail and then back along the old tracks trail, then crossing the light rail tracks to the dog area. I then walked alongside the dam and across the bridge, and went back to my car.

Map of the Route

Lake Roland

Fascinating Live Tree

Pink Trail Crossing a Side Inlet of Lake Roland

Pink Trail


Strange Monument along the Red Trail

Rail Tracks down to the Lake

Yellow Trail

Yellow Trail Overlook

Lake Roland Dam