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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Russell Brook Falls/ Trout Pond/ Schoharie Reservoir(Western Catskills)

Went for a nice road trip with my dad today to New York's southern tier and western Catskills.  We visited the Delaware River along the NY/ Pennsylvania state line where fly fishing is a favorite past time.
The river is wide and mellow with multiple access sites available along both shorelines.
The first trail we hit was in the southwestern Catskills at the Russell Brook Road trailhead.  The trail is found by taking Route 206 north out of Roscoe to Morton Hill Road on the left(just past the bridge over the Beaverkill) and then watch for gravel Russell Brook Road again on the left.  Stay on this road past some camping spots to a parking lot and kiosk.  The trail quickly drops down past the kiosk to the banks of the babbling brook.
Less than .1 of a mile into the hike and just upstream of a bridge crossing are many remnants of an old mill that once stood here.  You can walk around the woods all along the brook here and see many fascinating glimpses into the past.
An old bridge crosses Russell Brook and leads to a large group of blooming apple trees.
Looking carefully on the right, you will spot a small path that leads towards the brook.  From here, the sounds of powerful cascading water will guide you to Russell Brook Falls.
Clear brook water below the falls.
Low water allowed me to explore the area all around the beautiful 23 foot falls.
Russell Brook flowing downstream from under the bridge.
Returning to the main trail, you will pass a trail register at .1 mile at a trail junction.  Taking the right trail brings you up an old, wide woods road.
After about .9 of  a mile, we arrived at Trout Pond's southern shore.
We explored the shoreline of this beautiful pond, formerly known as Cables Lake.  There is a nice, informal campsite along the west shore, and an easy to follow path for fisherman along nearly the entire shore. A Lean To is found half a mile north on the opposite side of the pond, but didn't want to push it with my dad's ailments.  After lingering at the pond for a bit, soaking in the solitude, we returned back on the woods road to the truck.  Nice, short 1.8 mile RT.
After leaving Trout Pond, we took a nice drive north through the Catskills to the Schoharie Reservoir, New York City's northernmost reservoir.  There are many access points on both sides of the water, but almost all are steep.  We parked at an informal spot along the southwest side of the Reservoir, on Intake Road.  From there we strolled down through a tiny path which drops down to a rocky outcrop, and great view of a waterfall on Bear Kill stream.
The water really crashes down here, just below the bridge on Intake Road.  From here the Bear Kill flows a short distance downstream into the Reservoir.
Looking upstream at the Schoharie Reservoir.  We followed some informal paths that wander down through the woods, past old foundations and several canoes to a few different spots along the south end of the Reservoir. 
We didn't hike a lot due to my dad's lingering injury, but we really enjoyed getting out exploring on a nearly perfect summer day.

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