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Thursday, August 9, 2018

High Knob(Schoharie County)

A little bit of a break in the relentless heat and humidity had me thirsting for an after work adventure this afternoon.  Decided to explore an off the beaten path area in quiet Schoharie County, just north of the Catskills.  High Knob State Forest covers 1344 acres with 2670 foot High Knob being the centerpiece of this area.  I parked in a small pull off along gravel Shale Pit Road and began my hike at a lofty elevation of 2340 feet.
I first started heading south along Shale Pit Road, which is a peaceful walk in itself.
 After a short distance I dove into the woods, passing through a gorgeous old CCC pine plantation.
 The forest quickly changed back to hardwoods and I left a woods road, bushwhacking straight up towards the summit.
High Knob's summit was pretty uneventful with no views.  Through the trees to the east I could see that it was a pretty significant drop off.
After leaving the summit, I headed south, where a vast swath of the south side of High Knob has recently been logged.  The area is quite vast, covering much of the high slopes on the south side High Knob.
 Voila!  The sweeping views south to the northern Cats.
 SW views towards Huntersfield Mountain.
One of the benefits from the logging are the amazing views that have opened up. A rare perspective on many of these northern Catskill peaks. Steenburg(L-foreground), with Pisgah behind. Richmond is to its right
 Wandered around quite a bit through the logging, finding interesting views all around.
 A sea of rolling peaks head SW down towards Grand Gorge. 
A zoom view SE towards Steenburg, with Pisgah beyond. Mount Hayden can be seen well off in the distance.
 Huntersfield Mountain.
 Looking back up at the logging.
 While not quite as extensive as the south side, the SW side of the peak also had some recent logging, opening views west to the Schoharie County hills.
Heading down through the logging area on the west side of the peak, I caught a glimpse of my next destination, the NW summit bump, an unnamed 2625 foot peak.

Picturesque stone walls gracefully line much of the woods in High Knob State Forest.
Arriving at a large shale pit, after crossing back over aptly named Shale Pit Road.
 The climb up the NW summit was short and sweet, passing through open hardwoods.  I even spooked a deer near the summit.
The NW summit was wooded, but very inviting, passing through this fern glade just below the summit.
A short descent brought me back to my car feeling good.  Hiked about 3.3 miles RT with about 850 feet elevation gain for the day.

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