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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Middleburgh Cliffs(Schoharie Valley)

Been wanting to explore a bit of the Long Path lately, so drove out to the Schoharie Valley to explore a section of the LP along the scenic Middleburgh Cliffs.  The Long Path is a 347 mile foot trail beginning at the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, NJ and ending in Altamont, NY with current plans for extensions to the north. 

The section I'd be hiking today is a beautiful trail with many views, located just outside the village of Middleburgh and a little shy of an hour west of Albany.  It can be a little tricky finding the trail, however, even with good directions.  You can park at the large pull off at the corner of Route 30 and 145 and walk the streets to the trailhead following the aqua blazed dots or park in a residential neighborhood(I did ask permission) at a turn around spot on MT Path.  Here is a view of where I parked my car and started my walk.
 The trail breaks away from an obvious woods road and immediately climbs steeply into the woods.
The first part of the trail is a continuous climb, which will get your attention.
After ascending straight up the side of the cliffs you arrive at a large rock squeeze that can be difficult to get through.  A well placed rope is tied around a tree at the top to help you along the way.
 Using the rope for leverage.
 Once you arrive at the top of these rocks you begin to get nice views.  Just a little further along the trail is the first of many clearings offering fantastic vistas west over Middleburgh.  Vroman's Nose is the most prominent feature rising beyond the village.
A closer look at Vroman's Nose, which is a very popular day hike in the area.
 The long ridge line of Hony Hill to the south.
 A gorgeous late summer wind was blowing through the trees, making for a nearly perfect afternoon walk.
 Christmas lights are strung along the Cliffs.
 A view to the northwest in one of the clearings.
 Beautiful vistas.
 Farm country.
 The streets d Middleburgh.
 My favorite place to soak in the views, sun and breeze.
 A panoramic view from the southern Cliffs.
 This ridgeline walk is basically a woods road that follows the Cliffs.
 There are very steep drops just off the trail.
 Even where there aren't open vistas, there are screened views down through the trees.
 North views towards Schoharie.
 A beautiful panorama facing north and west.
 Schoharie County farm country stretching out before you.
 Views beyond the trees.
 Good footing is essential because of the sheer drop offs.
 Came across an informal campsite in a large clearing that looks like it receives regular use.
 Stone walls line many areas of these woods.
 Looking out over the power lines.
 As the trail turns away from the Cliffs it enters gorgeous deep woods.
You must carefully pay attention to the aqua blazes because there are a maze of woods roads throughout these woods.
 The late afternoon sun shining down on the informal campsite.
 Returned along the wide woods road under a canopy of filtered sunlight.
 A look south and east over the Gorge and towards Windy Ridge.
Very much enjoyed a pleasant hike of 3 or so miles on a beautiful September afternoon.

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