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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Taconic Crest Trail-Petersburg Pass(White Rocks/ Mount Raimer)

High up on the Taconic Ridge is one of the few paved roads connecting New York to Massachusetts and makes for one of the most scenic drives anywhere around. Route 2 takes you from Petersburg, NY to Williamstown, Ma and passes by Petersburg Pass, a former popular ski area from back in the 60's and 70's. Here is a link providing more information:  Today there are few remnants from the old ski days, and most of the area is being reclaimed by nature.  There are many trails winding through the woods, with the main trail running through here being the Taconic Crest Trail, a 35 mile trail running from Hancock, Massachusetts all the way to Pownal, Vermont.  A large DEC parking lot sits atop the mountain with tremendous views as soon as you step out of your car.
Here is a view to the east of the Greylock Range with Mt Prospect rising in the distance.
The Taconic Crest Trail crosses Route 2 here and can be extremely dangerous because of the blind turns.  Once across the road, the trail ascends steeply up the hill and continues north to an area known as White Rocks.
White Rocks offers splendid views westerly over the Little Hoosic Valley and farmland in Petersburg.
Rolling hills and the Taconic ridge line stretch south and west from this view point.
Far below in the valley is East Hollow Road in Petersburg with Route 2 running along the top of this picture.
Looking back south across Route 2, Mount Raimer rises straight up with informal paths seen where old ski slopes once were.
Nothing is quite as beautiful as a freshly fallen snow draped on the stark naked branches of a tree.
Walking south and crossing the parking area again, it's hard not to notice the jaw dropping views to the east into the Berkshires.
As I began to climb the steep slopes of Mount Raimer, spectacular views really began to open up to the west over the Rensselaer County countryside.
Looking north from this clearing on Mt Raimer's slopes provides views of the Taconic ridge line heading towards the well known "Snow Hole" and the Vermont state line.
The fresh powder made for a very peaceful seen.
The late afternoon sun felt great on this cool winter day.
Ascending the mountain on the informal foot path.  There are no marked trails to the summit of Mount Raimer but the foot paths are fairly easy to follow.
Wintry woods made for great walking and a beautiful setting.
As I continued to climb the mountain, a very interesting section of the trail almost had a tunnel effect.
There were several other people out hiking on this beautiful Sunday afternoon.
Nearing the top of Mount Raimer with broken views to the south and west the sun began to brighten up the trail.
Fresh snow.
Old footings from the former ski towers remain at the summit of the 2572 foot mountain.
There are limited views at the top of Mount Raimer but interesting man made relics from the not so distant past.
Instead of returning down the informal path I came up on, I looped around and descended a former ski slope.  This way down provided many outstanding clear views.
The Taconic Ridge rising impressively to the north.  A close look reveals Route 2 climbing the mountain side.
The hulking Taconic Ridge.
About halfway down the former ski slope, I stopped and looked back up at where I had just been.  Everything seemed so perfect in the quiet, white world of winter.
The higher slopes of Mount Raimer clothed in a coating of white.
Winter scene.
Petersburg, NY from a meadow above the parking area.
A view directly north from the meadow area provides a clear view of the Taconic Crest Trail climbing the hillside and the Hopkins Memorial Forest kiosk.
Hiked for a couple of very satisfying hours and couldn't have been a more beautiful winter day.  Thankful that I work an early shift, allowing these types of days.

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