Adventures around the Capital Region area of New York State, as well as the Adirondacks, Catskills, Berkshires and Vermont
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Thursday, October 9, 2014
Got out of work early today and took the opportunity to get out to the Catskills to enjoy the beautiful fall day. A mix of clouds and sun with strong winds made for a good hiking day. Even the drive proved to be beautiful. Passed by this gorgeous maple tree along the road in Claverack.
My destination would be Palenville Overlook, which can be reached by a couple of different approaches. Today I went to the Scutt Road trailhead, located next to the North South Lake campground. This trailhead provides access to numerous hiking opportunities, some long hikes as well as short walks. The first half mile of the trail is mostly level, through mixed woods and runs adjacent to Scutt Road. A footbridge crosses over a dried up creek bed.
Sun peaking through a deep hemlock woods on the Scutt Road/ Sleepy Hollow Horse Trail.
As the sun came out, the woods exploded in color.
Taking a right after passing a trail register brings you to the south facing escarpment. I took another right, following the ridgeline for about half a mile west towards Layman's Mounument. A perfect view to the west over Kaaterskill Clove along the way.
The trail winds through large boulders and drops steeply for a distance on its way towards Layman Monument.
3453 foot summit of Round Top across the Clove.
Looking back east over Kaaterskill Clove.
The trail continues back towards Haines Falls, but I returned back along the escarpment trail, with the extremely steep drop offs only a few feet away.
The sun and clouds alternated for a while, but when the sun came out it was simply stunning.
A vantage point near Sunset Rock with a terrific view of Wildcat Ravine.
You soon arrive at Inspiration Point, a large, level rocky clearing with tremendous views.
Santa Cruz Ravine and the houses way up high, underneath the clouds, while the sun prevails all around.
You can walk through the woods if you are uneasy with heights, but an obvious footpath follows the very steep cliffs. This is a very dangerous spot that could be fatal in wet weather or any kind of missteps.
Fall colors and far reaching west views from Inspiration Point.
A long look east towards the large rock formation known as Indian Head.
After leaving Inspiration Point, the trail continues to follow the dramatic cliffs for quite a distance, making for a very scenic walk.
A view to the east greets you as the trail bends. Kaaterskill Creek and Route 23A are all the way at the bottom of the clove.
Winding cliff walk.
The colors are at peak in this section of the Catskills right now.
A constant wind kept me feeling nice and refreshed as I hiked along the beautiful Escarpment Trail.
After arriving a trail junction, I continued straight on the Sleepy Hollow Horse Trail. The wide trail was framed perfectly by the fall colors.
After a few switchbacks and double checkingmy trail maps I finally arrived at Palenville Overlook.
An amazing view awaits you from this vantage point.
Dramatic view of Indian Head Rock.
The western rocks of Palenville Overlook with the hillside ablaze in color.
Nearly perfect fall day, but incredibly windy on the exposed rocks.
A distant look down into Palenville.
A look back west over Kaaterskill Clove.
A breathtaking panorama of the Hudson River Valley as well at Katterskill High Peak.
The Hudson River Valley stretching all the way into southern Massachusetts and Connecticut.
A zoomed in look at the village of Palenville.
A few other hikers were enjoying the day from here too. These two guys were soaking in the majestic views.
Traffic far, far below on Route 23A.
This rock juts out several feet, affording an incredible, albeit scary view.
There are three hand built rock seats that provide a place to rest while soaking in the incredible vista.
The return hike back up a very steep section of the Sleepy Hollow Trail. Continued back on the Sleepy Hollow Trail to the Eascarpment Trail and eventually back to the Scutt Road Trail back to my car.
Fall colors abound.
Hiked a total of about 8.5 miles RT on various trails on a long, fulfilling day.