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Friday, October 23, 2015

Plattekill Falls & Codfish Point(Catskills)

Took advantage of a bright, sunny day by headed down to the Catskills right after work to visit the Platte Clove Preserve and nearby Codfish Point on the eastern flank of Plattekill Mountain.  I quickly scooted down the thruway to exit 19 and then drove west through Saugerties until I came to seasonal Platte Clove Road.  Here the mountains can be seen looming over a West Saugerties household.
The drive up the road is incredible.  It can be at times nerve racking, but provides spectacular views into a nearly inaccessible area.  Once you have stopped climbing, you will cross a bridge at a bend in the road and a DEC parking lot will be found on your right.  There is room for a couple dozen cars here.  Once parking, I walked back down to Platte Clove Road and turned right, following the road for about .2 of a mile when a red cabin can be spotted on the left.  Turn here, keeping to the left of the cabin and wooden fence.
The trail awash in golden leaves.
The trail drops very steeply down to 70 foot Plattekill Falls after about .35 of a mile, which make a truly beautiful scene any time of year.  Keeping good footing and staying on marked trails is essential here, as it can be very dangerous.
After retracing my steps up out of the deep gorge of the falls, I soon found myself back on Platte Clove Road.  About 50 yards up the road, the Long Path descends a few steps to a trail register and the Plattekill Creek once again.  A few feet downstream are a series of pretty cascades and falls.
Built in 2001, a replica kingpost bridge was built and crosses the creek here.
Heading south on the Long Path with sun breaking through the forest canopy.  The trail will start on the property of the Platte Clove Preserve before entering state land and will eventually come to a trail junction with the red marked Devils Path.  As long as you stay straight and follow the wide old road you will be ok.
After about 1.75 miles, the Devils Kitchen lean to came into view.
A great spot to camp at Devils Kitchen lean to.

Looking out at the fire pit from inside the lean to.
The trail follows the old Overlook Carriage Road, which was built in the early 19th century to provide access to the many bluestone quarries between Platte Clove and Woodstock.  In the later 1800's the road was used to provide access to many of the grand hotels. 
The trail gains elevation steadily but never steeply until arriving at a yellow marked spur trail, wich leads to sweeping views of the Hudson Valley from Codfish Point.
Codfish Point's incredible views are found to the right and a large, old bluestone quarry is on the left here.  There are many stone chairs and stone furniture all around here.
Incredible far reaching views over much of the Hudson Valley from the very steep slopes below Codfish Point.
Stone chair.
Old stone quarries.
Looking over the tree tops all the way down to the Hudson River.
Looking south over the valley with the eastern flanks of Overlook Mountain far below.
A small mountain stream.
Crossing a foot bridge over a small tributary of the Plattekill near the Devils Kitchen lean to.
I'm always blown away by the beauty of nature.
Crossing the kingpost bridge over the Plattekill.
More falls on Plattekill near the trail head below the kingpost bridge.
As the late afternoon sun began to set, I arrived back at the car for a total of about 5 miles RT.

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