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Friday, June 6, 2014

Prospect Hill/ Round Mt/ Mt Frissell(Southern Taconics)

Went down to the southern Taconics today, located along the NY/ Mass border, running down to Connecticut as well.  There are a number of different trail options from each state with many small peaks and views to be found.  Got started at the South Taconic trailhead in Hillsdale, located on the seasonal Sunset Rock Road, where a small parking area is located.
 Looking carefully in the woods across the road, is a sign indicating where the trail runs north towards Prospect Hill.
The trail is quite overgrown through this section with only slight elevation gain.
After a little over half a mile, a small side path leads to a Mass/ NY state line marker.
A short distance beyond the state line, a rocky clearing offers marvelous views out over rural Hillsdale.  This spot is commonly known as "Hillsdale Lookout".  The Catskills can be seen rising steeply in the distance.
 The sun was trying its best to break free, but the clouds were hanging tough.  The clouds spread shadows over much of the valley.
A more southwesterly view where the sun was shining bright.
 A view to the north where the trees are a bit higher, obscuring the views.
On the return walk, the strong fragrance of mountain laurels overtook the trail.
 After a one mile RT hike, I headed further south to the Connecticut/ Massachusetts state line to the Mt Frissell trail.  This trail starts off mostly level and makes for pleasant walking.
After a short distance you arrive at the foot of Round Mountain and begin to climb steeply.
The rocky, steep climb continues for a distance up Round Mountain.
After the steep climb, views to the east begin to immediately open up before you.
The trail continues to climb up the rocky clearing near the top of the mountain.
A very nice view to the east towards the Sages Ravine area.
The rock cairn at the summit of Round Mountain.
There are many beautiful views from Round Mountain's mostly open summit.  Here is a great view south and west with a break in the clouds.  Riga Lake can be seen amongst the rolling green.
Mt Frissell, my next stop on today's hike is easily seen directly to the west.
From a rock clearing on Round Mountain is a clear view north and east.  Mount Plantain is seen in the foreground with Mt Race rising further in the distance.
The trail between Round Mountain and Mount Frissell drops into a col before climbing steeply again.  Here is a rocky, steep section of Mount Frissell.
Mt Frissell's summit is wooded with no views available.  A small side path leads to a rock cairn and sign indicating the summit.
Rock cairn located on Frissell's summit.

A short distance past Frissell's summit is the best view, from a southern shoulder of the mountain.
Tremendous views of Bear Mountain(left) and Gridley Mountain(right).
A rocky clearing along the south facing of Mt Frissell.
I met the only other hiker I saw the whole day in this section of the trail, with amazing views over the wooded valley.
A great view south towards Riga Lake and beyond.
Massachusetts/ Connecticut state line.  This is also the highest spot in the entire state of Connecticut.
South views towards Riga Lake.
From Connecticut's high point is a great view west towards the Catskills.
A great view of Bear Mountain with mountain laurel in the foreground, on the return trip down Round Mountain.

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