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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Stissing Mountain & Evening Paddle

Went south into Dutchess County to hike Stissing Mountain today, a mountain with a fire tower that I've been wanting to climb for quite a while.  Stissing(and Little Stissing) stick out like a sore thumb above the agricultural landscape around it.  Here is a view of the mountain as I approached.
The trail starts directly across the road from the parking area and immediately begins to climb.
For a trail that isn't terribly long, it makes up for it in steepness...and on a hot 90 degree day that meant i was sweating terribly.
The trail is also quite rocky for much of the way.
The fire tower is not located on the true summit, but a northern, wooded shoulder of the mountain.  Without the firetower, views are very limited to a few breaks in the trees.
The firetower climbs 90 feet up and is said to have a bit of a sway.  Luckily it wasn't too windy today, so I soaked in the amazing 360 degree views for about a half hour.
Awesome panoramic views of the Hudson Valley!
Panoramic views west towards the Catskills.
Although the mountain is small in stature(by mountain standards) at 1403 feet, the tower provides incredible views.  Here is a view north and east.  The bodies of water are (from top to bottom) Twin Island Lake, Stissing Pond and the north tip of Thompson Pond.  The peak to the left is Little Stissing Mountain.
A better view east of Thompson Pond.  A 3 mile nature trail actually circles the pond.
A view directly to the north of rural Pine Plains and into southern Columbia County.
Views to the south and east into Dutchess County.
Looking down at Stissing Pond.
A closer look down at Thompson Pond's green and murky waters.
A zoomed in look at Hudson Valley farmland.
To the west loom numerous peaks with a shoulder of Hicks Hill in the foreground.
Climbing down the tower with abundant views.  Altogether hiked 3 miles on a very hot day.
As the evening set in, a warm 80+ degree night drew me out on the lake for a paddle.  

I was the only one on the lake, so just took my time drifting and enjoying the solitude.

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