Search This Blog

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Unnamed Mattison Hollow & Browns Hollow Peaks(Berlin State Forest/ Taconic Ridge State Forest-Rensselaer County)

What a ride it has been!  First of all, I would like to thank everyone that congratulated me on my newborn son.  My wife and I have been truly blessed and he is a healthy little boy! 

Today would prove to be the day I finally had a chance to get out for a hike in the Taconic woods near the NY/ Mass state line once again.  I wanted to check out some more new state land which would provide access to an unnamed 2135 foot peak that I had never been to.  I parked on the shoulder of Mattison Hollow Road near its end, where a small strip of state land comes down to meet the road(Elevation 1300 feet) and headed out, blazed in my bright orange vest.

I headed north through the open hardwoods, closely paralleling a small stream, until a point where the state land opens up more.

Having already hit the top of the unnamed ridge north of Mattison Hollow before, I made quick time going up and over a small high point and continuing north down the steep slopes that drop into Browns Hollow.  As I descended, I was able to find some pretty good views at the summit ridge across the Hollow that I was aiming for. 

Although only 2135 feet, the ridge ahead began to look more and more daunting as I dropped down through northern hardwoods.

Down near the head of hollow, I picked up a good logging road, that lead up to a large clearing with views all around.  At just under 1500 feet, this is the view west back up browns Hollow towards the Rensselaer Plateau.

From the same clearing, looking south at the nearby ridge I had just descended.

Just below the clearing, down at the base of the hollow, I came to an easy rock hop crossing of picturesque Browns Hollow Brook flowing swiftly along.

Once across the brook, I picked up a good woods road that quickly dissolved into an overgrown foot path.  Turning around, I was able to enjoy a good view of the Mattison Hollow ridge to the south that I had just been on.


Following the state boundary straight up! This was probably the toughest part of the hike, gaining about 500 feet in less than 1/3 of a mile(on fallen leaves).


After a very steep climb, I finally hit the top of the ridge, where there were many filtered views north into Southeast Hollow.

You really never know what you're going to find in the woods, and especially on a bushwhack. I stumbled across not one but two very old cans of paint that must have been used to blaze property lines.

The summit ridge was nice and open and made for smooth sailing up to the wooded 2135 foot summit of the unnamed Browns Hollow Peak.


I continued east from the summit, dropping down on an old logging road with screened views towards Misery Mountain's ridgeline.

Down near the saddle, a small drainage flows down past white rocks, which are quite common for this area of the Taconics.


A short but steep climb brought me up the north slopes of Mattison Hollow's unnamed ridge, with filtered views back into Southeast Hollow.

Up high near the summit, there is one good but small view that takes in Berlin Mountain and its multiple ridgelines.

Just a few yards away from the true 2285 foot nondescript summit(which I had as the actual high spot on the Mattison Hollow ridge) sits a large meadow.  There are really no great views from here, but it is a really cool spot nonetheless.

From the summit meadow, I descended SW back towards my original route up, staying high above private land.  Arrived back at the car feeling great.  A very nice 5.5 miles bushwhack and nearly 2200 feet of ascent combined.  

Map Below.  Blue X=Parking  Red X's=Summit's hit

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Life Changes

As some of you may already know, my wife and I welcomed our first child, Gabriel, into the world last week!  Obviously this will affect my ability to hike and maintain this blog, but I will still do my best to get out exploring as much as I can.  I look forward to many fun adventures yet to come!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Mount Raimer's West Ridge(Taconic Ridge State Forest-Town of Berlin, Rensselaer County)

With my wife being 9 months pregnant, I have been playing it close to the vest when it comes to hikes recently-not wanting to venture too far- just to be safe.  Again today, I "elected"(Election Day dad joke-sorry) to stay close to home and check out some newly acquired state land in the Taconic Ridge State Forest.  I wanted to check out the long west ridge of Mount Raimer from the south, beginning at the Green Hollow access point(Elevation 1310 feet) on a cool, breezy November morning.

Followed the marked trail east for less than 2/10 of a mile before beginning my bushwhack north, where a short and steep descent brought me down to the first of two drainage crossings.
Crossing stream number two. 
I headed north/ northwest up the steep slopes of Raimer's west ridge, gaining over 700 feet in about 3/4 of a mile.  I climbed towards the high point on the ridge, which sits over 2000 feet, but state land only comes to about 1/10 of a mile away.

Once on the ridge, I turned east with filtered views north into Petersburg as well as the northern Taconic ridge.
Dropping down into the col at about 1750 feet, I hit a good logging road(a former Cowee Forest woods road) and a clearing with a nice view SE towards the ridge leading to Berlin Mountain.

Further east, the logging road turned sharply north, where I managed to find more filtered views just off of that back towards the high spot I just been.

With some exploring in the woods, I was able to find some decent views northwest back into Petersburg and the valley of the Little Hoosic as well as the distant Rensselaer Plateau.


Following a well worn logging road up towards Mount Raimer.

From a small 2325 foot knob on Raimer's west ridge(about 2/10 of a mile west of the Taconic Crest Trail), I began a steep drop into the deep cirque west of Raimer's summit.  While side hilling, I found many screened views west on the steep slopes.

A view south towards Berlin Mountain's west ridge above Green Hollow.

There are literally a maze of logging roads on these slopes, many of which I utilized to make my way through the steep terrain.
From high above the drainage I had crossed earlier in the morning, I found this nice view west directly up Green Hollow.
Eventually I had to drop steeply down to the drainage, and then re-climb back up towards the marked trail. 

After a fairly steep ascent, I picked up a good woods road and followed it back to the marked trail, which was just under 2/10 of a mile from the car.  A real nice 6 miles and 2000 feet of total ascent without seeing another person. 

Map below from the updated DEC Taconic Ridge Sate Forest page.  

Blue X's=High spots on the ridge that I hit



Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Normanskill Ravines Park(Town of Bethlehem, Albany County)

Took advantage of another unseasonably mild early November day by hitting the trails at the Normanskill Ravines Park off of Wright Lane in Delmar.  Took my time strolling the myriad of trails throughout these woods, which I was surprised to have to myself.


Climbing up and over and then back down small ravines, the trail eventually hits the Normanskill Creek at the north edge of the park, which it parallels for nearly half a mile.


There are several very good opportunities to take in the beauty of the Normanskill. 

While most of the trees are now bare, there are still some trees that are hanging on to some very nice color.

Hard to beat days like this!  Perfect conditions.

Covered about 3.5 miles RT with 500 feet of ascent on the ups and downs and was shocked to not see another person all day.