Monday, May 31, 2021

Kaaterskill Falls Upper Viewing Platform

Catskill Forest Preserve,
Greene Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Kaaterskill Falls Trail: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 0:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 0.6 Miles

Pros: Waterfalls observation
Cons: Busy area
Hike Type: In an out
Level of Difficulty: Easy

Map of Route:

I had been to Kaaterskill Falls in the winter a few years prior. It was a wet and rainy winter day, with very muddy conditions. I had taken the trail from Route 23A and when I got to the lower falls I saw the trail was extended. I climbed to the area below the second falls, and noticed that both the trail continued and there was a new viewing platform at the top. I resolved that the next time I visit, I would check this out.

After completing my hike to North-South Lake and the Escarpment earlier in the day, I decided to check out the upper platform and viewing area of the falls which I had never been to before. There was alot of rain over the Holiday weekend, so I figured the falls would be very impressive.

I parked at the upper parking area at the end of Laurel House Road, where a brand new and large parking area was recently built. It was quite busy despite the many parking spots, but I guess that should have been expected being the only non-rainy day of the Holiday weekend. I was lucky to get a spot when I came in.

I took the Kaaterskill Falls Trail down to the new bridge over Spruce Creek, and then continued along the trail to the viewing platform. This area was quite busy, along the trail and at the platform. I was still able to get in and get good pictures. I then took the service road parallel to the trail back.

Map of the Route

Information Kiok at the Beginning of the Hike

Detailed Information at the Information Kiosk

Trail Signs

Footpath Bridge Across Spruce Creek

Spruce Creek from the Bridge Before the Plunge

Trail Intersection

Upper Viewing Platform at Kaaterskill Falls

Kaaterskill Falls Upper Waterfall

Kaaterskill High Peak from Kaaterskill Falls Viewing Platform

    Upper and Lower Falls at Kaaterskill Falls

Another View of Kaaterskill High Peak

Kaaterskill High Peak and the Spruce Creek Gorge

North-South Lake Mary's Glen Loop

Catskill Forest Preserve,
Greene Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
North-South Lake Trail: Yellow blaze
Mary's Glen Trail: Red blaze
Ashley's Fall Trail: Yellow blaze
Rock Shelter Trail: Yellow blaze
Escarpment Trail: Blue blaze
Escarpment Connector Trail: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 2:10 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.6 Miles

Pros: Scenic lake, scenic hike, waterfalls, and amazing views
Cons: Parking fee
Hike Type: Loop
Level of Difficulty: Slightly difficult

Map of Route:

The area of North-South Lake and the Escarpment is one of the most scenic areas in Lower New York. I used to go camping and hiking here often in my teen years, so this is a very nostalgic place for me. I hadn't been here in a very long time, and being off for Memorial Day afforded me this opportunity. I was actually planning on sleeping over in the campground on Sunday night, with a hike on Sunday afternoon and Monday morning. However, due to the lousy Memorial Day weather, the only good extended weekend day was Monday. It had rained all day Sunday with over an inch of rain, and a high temperature in the upper 40's! 

I drove up Monday and parked in my designated campsite, which was right on the lake. It was still very cold and in the mid 40's when I started the hike, and I needed my light jacket and even a scarf. As the day progressed, with the sun coming out and the day warming, I was able to put these away and continue with my short sleeves.

From my campground spot, I took the North-South Lake Trail along the north side of the lake, and the cut through at Mary's Glen to the start of the Mary's Glen trail. The trail conditions were exceptionally wet which made things a bit challenging. The flipside of this was that when I reached Ashley Falls on the trail, the falls were roaring and very impressive.

I continued along the Mary's Glen Trail to the Rock Shelter Trail, which I took to the Badman's Cave at the end of the trail. The Badman's cave is a large natural rock overhang of Catskill rock on the side of a cliff. I then took the Escarpment Trail along the side of the ridge, and then approach Newman's Ledge, with an amazing view of the Hudson Valley from high up on the cliff. I continued along the Escarpment Trail, bypassing Looking Rock and Sunset Rock but getting the cliff overhangs from below, and then getting an another amazing view at Artist Rock. After the Artist's Rock view I continued along the Escarpment Trail to the Escarpment Connector Trail which took me back to the campground. I walked from here to my car. I then proceeded to my next hike at Kaaterskill Falls (See next post.)

Map of the Route

Beautiful Pink Flowers Approaching Towards the Lake

Me at North-South Lake at the Cold Weather at the Beginning of the Hike

Rocky Ledge Above North-South Lake

North-South Lake Looking Towards North Mountain

Odd Shaped Glacial Rock at North-South Lake

Mary's Glen Trailhead

Sign for Ashley Falls Trail

Approaching Ashley Falls

Looking Towards Ashley Falls from the Bottom

Upper Falls at Ashley Falls

Interesting Bridge Across Mary's Glen Above Ashley Falls

Small Waterfalls on Mary's Glen

Badman's Cave

Newman's Ledge, Facing East

Steep Cliffs at Newman's Ledge

Newman's Ledge, Looking South

Me at Newman's Ledge

Rock Overlooking Newman's Ledge

Zoomed Towards the Abandoned Friar Tuck in and the Hudson River from Newman's Ledge

Newman's Ledge on the Escarpment

Me Looking East at Newman's Ledge

Sunset Rock and Escarpment Trail Intersection

Escarpment Trail Under Rock Overhangs near Sunset Rock

Rock Formations at Sunset Rock

Rock Cairns on the Escarpment Trail

Approaching Artist's Rock

Artist's Rock, Facing East Towards the Hudson River

Artist's Rock, Facing North

Artist's Rock, Facing South

Connector Trail to the Escarpment from the Campground

North-South Lake with Nice Sunny and Warmer Conditions

North-South Lake Looking North to North Mountain

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Appalachian Trail at Wawayanda State Park

Wawayanda State Park
Sussex Co.,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
William Hoeferlin Trail: Blue blaze
Appalachian Trail: White blaze
Iron Mountain Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 2:05 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.9 Miles

Pros: Quiet and peaceful area
Cons: No good mountain views
Hike Type: In and out with diversion route
Level of Difficulty: Easy

Google Maps of Parking:

Continuing along my further reaches of the Appalachian Trail, I continued further west in Wawayanda State Park past my previous location earlier in the month. I parked at the main entrance of Wawayanda State Park, at the trailhead of the William Hoeferlin Trail. Park was still free but I suspect there is a parking fee charged after Memorial Day. I took the trail briefly to the Appalachian Trail, which I took west.

I passed Kazmar Pond, which was entirely drained and just remained a marsh. I thin continued along the trail, crossing Wawayanda Brook, and then going to Barret Road. I turned back around at Barret Road, and took a slight detour up the Iron Mountain Trail to the to old Appalachian Route marked with black dashes on the map that is parallel to the current Appalachian Trail. I then continued on the Appalachian Trail back to the William Hoeferlin Trail back to my car.

Map of the Route

WilliamHoeferlin Trail Sign at the Beginning of the Hike

Boardwalk Planks on the Appalachian Trail

Wild Geranium Flowers Along the Trail

The Drained Kazmar Pond

Another View of the Drained Kazmar Pond, at the Outlet

Appalachian Trail in Wawayanda State Park

Appalachian Trail at Barret Road

View from Barret Road

View to the Distance at Barret Road

Wildflowers at the Barret Road Trail Parking Area

Boardwalk Along a Densely Vegetated Part of the Trail

Another Boardwalk on the Appalachian Trail

Wawayanda Brook at the Bridge Crossing the Brook