Monday, May 31, 2021

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

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