The 3750 foot summit area of SW Hunter Mountain(Leavitt's Peak).
We soon began to level off, dropping nearly 1500 feet and before we knew it picked up the Diamond Notch Trail. We then followed this back across the creek and towards Spruceton Road again. After a little over a mile of road walking, we then turned north at the DEC parking lot for Spruceton Trail, and followed this trail for roughly a third of a mile, crossing a bridge over Hunter Brook.
As the pitch of the ascent finally began to subside, we left the wide open hardwood forest, entering a large conifer forest. The last thing between us and the summit was a "rock fortress", which easily climbed around and followed the herd path to the canister.
Rusk Mountain, elevation 3680 feet.
Spruceton Valley way down below.
Here is a shot of me enjoying the view towards West Kill Mountain.
After enjoying the clifftop views, we finally descended the steep slopes of Rusk heading generally southeast.
Arriving back at the Spruceton Trail, it was an easy walk back to the car under gorgeous sunny skies.
Hiked 7.8 miles RT, with an elevation gain of around 3400 feet, bushwhacking two peaks. A great day in the woods thanks to Jim. I hope to hike with him again soon and have more fun bagging peaks.