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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Thacher Park via Ryan Road

Celebrated the summer solstice by visiting the quiet, northern area of Thacher Park this afternoon.  Parked at the very end of Ryan Road, where a large parking area provides access to two trailheads.  I opted to start on the trail all way to the right of the lot on the yellow perimeter trail on a gorgeous, breezy, comfortable day.
 Almost all of the trails in this part of the park are level, but the trails near Ryan Road were especially muddy today.
 Wildflowers in bloom.
After a little over one third of a mile, I pricked up the Long Path and followed that northwest through a mostly hardwood forest.
After meeting up with the Hang Glider Road, I turned right, following this old road to Hang Glider Cliff.  An incredible, peaceful vista awaits.  The village of Altamont sits nestled amongst the green far below.
 Looking towards High Point.
 Distant views towards the Albany skyline.
 A nice, summer breeze and low humidity made this a prime spot to relax and soak in the sun.  I hung out here for about 15 minutes by myself.  A true sense of solitude here you can't experience in the southern part to the park.
After retreating back to the Long Path I turned right and headed towards High Point. At almost all intersections there is good signage and trail mileage.
The Long Path runs concurrent with the red blazed Fred Schroeder Trail north to High Point Cliff.
 High Point Cliff offers more sweeping views, but is a much smaller area than Hang Glider Cliff and footing can be tricky if you are following the informal paths along the ledges.  Here's a view directly down over the Altamont Fairgrounds.
 High Point Cliff is a very fun spot to explore and soak in the commanding vistas.
 Continued west along the Long Path with minimal elevation change on y way towards Old Stage Road.
 Just before arriving atOld stage Road, the Long Path passes by a very large, wide open meadow.
 At the next trail junction, I turned left onto the yellow Perimeter Trail heading towards Carrick Road.  I passed by this interesting tree along the way.
The Perimeter Trail passes the Carrick Road trailhead and continues generally east on an old extension of the road.  Eventually the trial becomes a smaller foot path again, soon arriving at a small, but picturesque pond.  This pond has clearly risen beyond its original banks crowding the trail and even rerouting it in one area.
Continued east on the Perimeter Trail all the way back to my car on Ryan Road.  Hiked about 6 miles RT on a picture perfect day.

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