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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Harvey Mountain

With some free time and the sun shining bright on a cold, crisp afternoon I headed east to the Taconics to hike a little known treasure, Harvey Mountain in Austerlitz.
There are several different trail options for hiking the mountain, but due to time restraints, I drove the access road to the gate and hiked the 1.5 mile RT from there.  The access road provides tremendous views of the mountain's profile looking east.
 A northeast view from this clear cut area provides views into West Stockbridge and West Stockbridge Mountain.
 It is such an unknown gem that I was the first to set foot on the trail since the snow has fallen, with only coyote tracks and a few other animals breaking the pure white trail.
 There are hundreds of birch trees near the clearing just below Harvey's summit.
 This trail is actually another rough access road that climbs all the way to the summit area.  Here is the last steep climb to the large clearing area.
 Looking back down the rough access road, views into southern Columbia County begin to emerge.
 Filled with blueberries in the summer time, this is a huge clearing at the end of the trail.  While it isn't the true summit of the mountain, it is a remarkable place to see and enjoy.
It is such a unique summit because of the large meadow like area.
Great views to the north and west.
Looking up the hill in the meadow towards the true summit and state line.
No matter where you go it is hard to find a spot without a great view.
Unbeatable views.
Rolling hills of Columbia County.
Crystal clear blue skies and a bright sun make for a great, cold day.
Southern Taconics.
The late afternoon sun as it begins to slowly set.
An old stone wall sits buried beneath about 6 inches of snow,
Descending the trail back to the car.
 New York State Trail markers.
 Here is a view back at where I parked and hiked from.  This is the start of the trail that leads to the Pinnacle Point Lean To.
 Here is the access road off of East Hill Road.  A large parking area and New York State Forest signs are found here, as this is one of the official trailheads for Harvey Mountain.

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