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Monday, October 6, 2014

Harvey Mountain State Forest(South Taconics)

Took a short afternoon walk in the Harvey Mountain State Forest, located in the Taconic Range along the New York/ Massachusetts border.  Harvey Mountain, with an elevation of 2,065 feet, is the highest point in Columbia County.  There are a couple of different options to climb the mountain, either from the bottom of Harvey Mountain Road(a rough road not shown on maps) or you may drive up to the gated access trail.  Due to the late hour of the day, I drove up to the gate, which passes by a couple of very scenic views from the road. 
 The fall colors of Harvey Mountain, with the Berkshires beyond.
 Instead of hiking directly up to Harvey Mountain, I took the yellow marked trail to the west first.  This is a very rough trail, which is very overgrown and obviously doesn't see much use.
 After about .25 mile the trail arrives at a large area of timber production.   At this point it became very difficult to get any sense of where the trail was.  I used my compass and common sense and chose to follow the wide clearing made by the wood cut.
 Stone walls line the woods, where foundations from homesteads dating back to the mid 18th century have been found.
 After a short distance I picked up the yellow markers again, only to disappear once more.
 I finally came back out about half a mile away from the gate access where I had parked.  I hiked the half mile up Harvey Mountain Road, which remained just as quiet as my walk in the woods.
 I didn't see another sole my entire time at the state forest.  The road walk was very nice and relaxing.
 Bright blue skies and fall foliage.
 Beyond the gated area is where I finally began my ascent up to Harvey Mountain.
 A wide woods road makes for nice, easy walking.
 After about .75 of a mile the trail arrives at the wide open summit area of Harvey Mountain.
 Very breezy conditions and clear views made for a nice visit to the summit area.
 A trail up through the open blueberry fields leads towards Harvey Mountain's true summit, which is located in a wooded area.
 After soaking in the very pleasant views, I returned along the woods road as the sun slowly set on another beautiful fall day.
Felt good to get out for a bit, even for only about 2.5 miles RT.

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