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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Mattison Hollow(Taconics)

After hiking Berlin Mountain from the east earlier in the day, I decided to hike up Mattison Hollow from the west in the afternoon.  The Mattison Hollow Trail provides access to the Taconic Crest Trail several miles south of Berlin Mountain.  To find it, take Route 22 to the small hamlet of Cherry Plain(not the State Park).  The hamlet is located just south of Berlin Junior/ Senior High School on Old Route 22.  Once on this road look for Mattison Hollow Road, which heads east.  Stay on this road until you arrive at a bridge crossing over Kronk Brook.  Park on the left just before the bridge, where there is room for 1-2 cars.  The trail begins on the opposite side of the road and is clearly marked.
After signing in at the trail register and initially along a pine covered trail, the trail climbs steadily up through a mostly hardwood forest, marked with yellow DEC discs.
The cloudy, rainy weather gave the forest an eerie feel as I continued on.
Passing through a hemlock grove.
A somewhat foggy view to the north with one of the many shoulders of Misery Mountain rising above.
The trail is very mellow for quite a ways and makes for a nice, easy walk.
After about 1.4 miles, I arrived at the well known falls on Kronk Brook.  This is a very picturesque spot and makes for a nice place to stop and rest.
Just upstream of the main falls, the trail crosses directly over Kronk Brook.  This spot was easily rock hopped.
A view to the south at another of the many ridges of Misery Mountain.
The trail is actually an old road and is wide and easy to follow.
Continuing further into the hollow.
After 2.1 miles, I arrived at the state line, marked with a 1898 stone.
Recent rains have water flowing down the steep hillsides on several small tributaries along the way. 
Kronk Brook is almost a constant trail companion, with many cascades along the way. 
More nice cascades.
As the trail begins to get a bit steeper, the cascades on the brook become more regular.
At about the 2.3 mile mark, the trail gets very steep and continues that way until it reaches the ridgeline.  This steady climb offers interesting glimpses directly into the foggy hollow.
The final push to up to the Taconic Crest Trail.
Arriving at the Taconic Crest Trail, marked with blue discs and white diamonds, means the official end of the Mattison Hollow Trail.  My GPS marked this trail junction as 2110 feet in elevation and 2.75 miles of hiking, although the trail register says only 2.6 miles.
Retracing my steps back down into the hollow as the wind and rain really began to pick up at this point.
The sounds of rushing water on Kronk Brook as I continued along.
Darkening skies and wet woods.
Although it was only about 3:30pm, the early sunset and stormy weather had the woods looking awfully dark.
Arrived back at the car soaking wet, but feeling good.  Hiked 5.5 miles RT and about 10.2 total for the day between two stops.

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