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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Doubletop Mountain(Catskills)

Early morning rain showers and overcast conditions slowly gave way to clearing skies and sunshine for my bushwhack hike up to the 8th highest Catskill Peak, 3860 foot Doubletop Mountain.  My plan was to hike in from the north side of the mountain from the DEC's Seager parking area.  The parking lot is located right beside Dry Brook and is surrounded by private land. 
Heading along the marked Seager Trail past the the gate, I noticed this old furnace several yards away in the woods. 
The trail is mostly level and winds along babbling Dry Brook for the first mile of the hike.
Following above the eroded creek bed.
After about .9 of a mile, I arrived at a beautiful waterfall on Dry Brook.  The falls drop several feet over mossy rocks into a large, inviting pool below.
Only about .2 of a mile past the falls, a bridge crossing Dry Brook leaves to the left at a woods road crossing.  Look to your right here, and you will see a wooden black bear cutout.  The herd path to Doubletop Mountain leaves here, so "bear" right.
The herd path begins climbing steeply immediately after leaving the Seager Trail but is very easy to follow.
A steeper section along the herd path.
Passing a boulder field.
Much of the trail is fairly straightforward with only a couple of tougher cliff areas to negotiate.  This rock cliff area was the hardest part of the way up, but nothing overly difficult.
The path continues its climb at a consistent rate, basically gaining 1600+ feet in 1.6 miles.  About 2.5 miles into the hike(and about .2 mile shy of the summit), I came to an opening in the forest,  Turning back over my shoulder I saw this great view back to the north.
The same viewing spot, looking more northwest. I have read that there are some views on this peak when the leaves are off the trees, but today this was the best view(and only view) I found all day.
The herd path remains easy to follow all the way to the summit area, where several other paths criss cross through evergreens.  After 2.7 miles I arrived at Doubletop's 3860 foot summit, after ascending 1874 feet from the parking lot.  There are two distinct summits but the northwest one is actually considered the true summit.  This summit canister is found amongst a thick conifer forest.  My 30th Catskill High Peak.
Following the herd path away from the canister.  The way down was quick and uneventful.
Descending steeply through ferns in an evergreen forest as the herd path nears the Seager Trail.
Hiked 5.4 miles RT through beautiful Catskill forest on a warm summer day.  30 Peaks under my belt now and only 5 to go!

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