Sunday, May 26, 2019

Cat Rocks and Eastern Pinnacles Bellvale Mountain

Appalachian National Scenic Trail Area
Orange Co.
New York

Hiking Trails:
Appalachian Trail (AT): White blaze
Appalachian Trail Spur: Blue blaze

Total Time: 2:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.9 Miles

Pros: Interesting rock formations and excellent views
Cons: None

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

This was a two car hike. We parked the first car on Route 17A, on top of Mount Peter, at the AT trailhead. We then drove to Lakes Road, at the AT trailhead at Fitzgerald Falls. We took the AT west, climbing up the mountain. The scenery was much less dramatic then anticipated, until we finally reach the Cat Rocks. This is a large rock formation protruding out of the surrounding terrain, with jagged edges, deep cracks, and a steep cliffs on both sides.

After the Cat Rocks, the trail went back into the wood until the next rock exposure, a formation know as "Eastern Pinnacles." The trail goes steeply up the rock formation leading to an amazing view. The trail then goes down rock formation, back into the woods, and is unremarkable. Where the AT hits the road near the parking area, we took a slight detour on the spur trail to the Hawk Watch platform, and then back on that trail and back to the parking area.

Map of the Route

Ascending Cat Rocks. Note the Blue-Blazed Spur Trail Marker

Me at Cat Rocks

Cat Rocks Panorama

Cliff Face and Rock Talus on Cat Rocks

Shimmy at Cat Rocks

Descending the Cat Rocks

Eastern Pinnacles

Me at Eastern Pinnacles, Facing North

Me at Eastern Pinnacles, Facing South

Eastern Pinnacles View

Rock Face on Eastern Pinnacles

Eastern Pinnacles Amazing View

Continuing our Ascent up Eastern Pinnacles

Shimmy Atop Eastern Pinnacles

MeAtop Eastern Pinnacles

Hawk Watch Platform on Mt. Peter

View from the Hawk Watch Platform on Mt. Peter

Another View of the Hawk Watch Platform on Mt. Peter

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