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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Acra Point and Burnt Knob

Headed down to the Catskills for a nice evening hike with my nephew Holden.  Due to a late start we were somewhat limited on choices so decided on these two peaks that can be reached in one hike.
A short distance into the trail, a sturdy footbridge crosses the Batavia Kill.
The Batavia Kill gently running through the woods.
A beautiful evening in the woods.
After 1.0 mile, you arrive at a trail junction with two options.  To the right is Acra Point, only .7 miles further.  The north facing view from Acra Point.  Unfortunately the surrounding vegetation is slowly impeding the view,
Rural countryside far below Acra Point.
At 3100 feet, Acra Point provides very nice views well north.
Near the north facing view is a side trail that provides beautiful southerly views.  
My nephew Holden.
The Blackhead Range rising beautifully just to the south and east.
Evening sun.
Returning back to the trail junction, we decided to continue on for the 1.5 miles to Burnt Knob's views.  A short distance down the trail is a small side trail that provides southerly views.
From left to right-Blackhead Mountain, Black Dome Mountain and Thomas Cole Mountain.
Holden admiring the view.
Blackhead Range.
Vast woodland.
A lone house amongst the green.
A large clearing offers a magnificent place to soak in magical views.  Windham High Peak can be seen rising steeply just to the west.
North views. 
Holden enjoying the view.
Burnt Knob's view point to the south provides a remarkable view of many Catskill peaks.
View of the Black Dome valley.
Distant views into the hear of the Catskills.
Unbelievable views.
While on the return walk, we came upon a porcupine strolling along the trail.
The porcupine became a little nervous as we approached so he disappeared into the woods.
We enjoyed the remaining walk with several views  far below along the way.
Holden realy enjoyed our hike and even wants to do it again.  Hiked a total of 6.4 miles RT.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Secret Caverns

Schoharie County is a special place which has numerous underground caves, with most people knowing about the famous Howe Caverns.  Secret Caverns, less than a couple minutes away from Howe Caverns, is a just what it claims to be-"Secret".  It is not widely known and perhaps that is part of its charm.  My girlfriend Heather and I decided to pay it a visit for a small day trip.  A small, pretty pond can be found behind the main building.
Interesting cloud formations reflect on the pond.
The caves are well illuminated and very interesting.  We got lucky and actually got a private tour so we went at our own pace.
The tour guide provided amazing insight into the history of the caves and its stones.
The sounds of rushing water can be heard while walking through the crazy lights near the end of the tour.
Secret Caverns main centerpiece is the 100 foot waterfall at the end of the cavern.  It is a truly special spot.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Rounds Rock and Mount Greylock Summit

An almost perfect Thursday morning with sunny skies, low humidity and temperatures in the upper 60's made it optimal to be outside doing almost anything. A relaxing spot on Nassau Lake.
Nearly perfect!
Met up with my friends Shawn and Kalli to hike at the Mount Greylock Reservation in  Massachusetts.  Our first stop was Rounds Rock, a small trail of only .7 miles, but with amazing views and the site of a small plane crash.  Views to the south and west from Rounds Rock.  Pontoosuc and Onota Lake can be seen amongst the vast green.
A view to the south and east over Greylock's immense woods.
Another view to Pittsfield's lakes and beyond.
West views from the first view point.
Shawn surveying the land.
Shawn soaking in the sun.
Looking directly south.
Gorgeous west views from the second view point.
Amazing views on a beautiful spring day.
Brodie Mountain's abandoned ski slopes can easily be seen to the west.
A small plane crash occurred here in the late 1940's.  There are still remnants of the plane that can be found along the trail today.
We continued on Rockwell Road, a paved road which can be seasonally driven to the summit of the mountain.  A small pull off provides amazing views to the east over the town of Adams and far beyond.
Southeast views towards Cheshire and much of Berkshire County.
Greylock's War Memorial Tower.
A beautiful day found many people enjoying the summit.
We were lucky enough to witness a pair of hang gliders taking off near Greylock's summit.
You can see forever from up here.
This hang glider was circling above.
Counting down.
Just prior to take off.  Must be an amazing adrenaline rush.
The launch area provides an amazing vantage point to view much of Western Massachusetts.
Just past Ragged Mountain's summit is the quarry located in Adams.  The Hoosac Range can be seen further east with clouds casting shadows.
Ragged Mountain just below the summit to the east.
The town of Adams sprawling below.  From the 3491 foot summit of Greylock, the town appears very small.