I worried they’d ruin the dawn but I just waited it out. Stuck behind a giant slow moving crane on Route 214 we randomly (ahem, impatiently) decided to check out the Hunter Mountain Fire Tower hike instead. 4. This hike starts via the easiest ascent to Hunter Mountain’s Fire Tower. I’m kinda jealous, you have so many great spots to see for the first time. You could do that walking on your hands, right? 16. By: Lee Dudek, Interpreter at Pawtuckaway State Park After a year of renovation and rebuilding, the fire tower on Pawtuckaway’s South Mountain is once again open. Gratitudinal aside:  Thank you to Monique Quigley for posting this suggestion to the site’s Facebook page: You were right, Monique! Apart from a few short and modest inclines, the hike out is almost exclusively downhill. You can verify that you’re going the right way in just a moment, when you’ll stroll across a large, flat rock, and pick up a blue blaze entering the woods on the far side. A small portion of the trail becomes a creek but is manageable. When you’re done letting your eyeballs marinate in the view, head back down. The ascent via the Spruceton trail is moderate 7 miles. 0.5 miles from the junction with the herd path, you’ll come to Geiger Point, a small split rock ledge with a good view of Southwest Hunter. Was this trail guide useful to you? If you don’t make any errors, and stay on the herd path, the hike out and back to Southwest Hunter from the Devil’s Path will take about an hour. But Overlook has more warnings and more rattlesnake sightings (and rattlesnake skins at the ranger station up top), yet it’s the most popular hike near Woodstock. Increasingly spotty again as you descend. Bring a camera and high expectations, but you can leave your snowboard at home. The first turn to watch for is the junction (at 1.7 miles) in Jones Gap. It took me seven minutes to arrive at the next junction, with the Yellow Trail. No signal at the trailhead but improves when you get up high. Advanced features of this website require that you enable JavaScript in your browser. This is part of the reason we turned back before getting to the summit today (wobbly legs helped seal the deal). Following the beautiful Blue Trail, it took me eight minutes to reach the junction from Step 8 above, where our loop around Hunter’s summit began. Hunter Mountain is in the towns of Hunter and Lexington, just south of the village of Hunter, in Greene County, New York, United States. This trail seems to be well used and the first half (I also got up before the crack of dawn and arrived at the trailhead just before daybreak, so if you wake up at a sane time, you’ll probably have more company up there.). The views are partially obstructed, and we’re spoiled from the panorama at the tower, but this is still a great spot, right? Click here for larger-size photo. Take a right turn here to visit a short yellow-blazed spur trail (one minute or less) to a ledge with a very nice view. Hunter Mountain via Becker Hollow Trail is a 4.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Hunter, New York that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. In daylight hours, with friends and stops for selfies, you might well allow 2-2½ hrs to get to the summit. It can be hiked from several directions, each of which offer long, challenging, beautiful routes. ), 9. The steep section directly after the junction for Southwest Hunter gives you a good indication of what you can expect during your descent. As the hiker climbs the tower, the trip up is uneventful until the steps carry one above the trees. This is an amazing spot that should absolutely be in your hiking rotation. Nothing much to do now but enjoying the scenery and putting one foot in front of the other about a million more times. Impatient – yours truly). In terms of difficulty, depending on how you choose to do it, this hike straddles the upper end of moderate and the lower end of difficult. 1. Please read it before heading out into the wild green yonder, and let's hope that everyone will adhere to that guidance so that we can keep heading in the right direction in the Hudson Valley. Hunter’s summit is enormous. Ice AlertPreciptiation and deep freezes at all elevations means ice is everywhere. The fire tower is sturdy, rebuilt not long ago with the help of local jeep clubs that hauled workers and supplies to the top of the mountain, and provides an unbeatable 360 degree view as far down as New York City on a clear day. Sunset Apx: 4:25pm.Daylight hours are short. It is 1.04 miles to the top of the ski lifts. You could drive a parade float up to the bridge, don’t be fooled, this is a tough hike with a great payoff. The trail starts on Meads Mountain road. If it’s rattlesnakes you’re worried about, well, you’ve already ascended the snakepit at Overlook, and like me, you’d probably do it again. In just about one mile, look for the gravel parking pulloff on your right, marked with a brown-and-yellow “Trailhead Parking” sign by the far entrance. Makes getting up before dawn worthwhile. Hiked Hunter 08/15/2018. Enjoy the occasional, limited views to your left, and the changing makeup of the forest – as you continue climbing, the vibe becomes decidedly more alpine. When we did it the fire tower happened to be open, which offered breathtaking panoramic views above the trees, looking down on the Ashoken Reservior, but it’s possible and perhaps likely that these views have become more obscured with continued growth since we hiked it. Your comment will be helpful in level-setting expectations for Hunter – it’s a tough hike for sure. PSA: How Long Does Trash Last on the Trail? I should warn readers that it is difficult when ice forms on these steep hills. Tremper is up next. Thank you so much! Yellow Mountain Fire Tower features some of the best views, looking out over both the Northern Georgia mountains as well as seeing the flat-lands of South Carolina past the mountain ranges. Similar Entries In: Catskills, Difficult Hikes, Bushwhack, Double-Peak Hikes, Fire Tower Hikes, Hunter, Long Hikes, Scenic, Southwest Hunter, Summer, Sunrise, True Bushwhack. There are no blazes or signs on this side-quest and it’s possible to wander off trail — so do not proceed with this part of the hike unless you’re completely confident with your ability to navigate your way out of trouble on a mountain. (And here’s a quick primer on Leave No Trace, too, to help us keep the trails nice and fresh for each other.). So appreciate that! Perhaps five minutes after the bridge, you’ll see the remains of an old dam on your left. West Kill can be hiked from Diamond Notch falls by crossing the footbridge, or from the terminus of the Devil’s Path on its west end via St. Anne’s Peak. On the way up to the summit, you passed several muddy sections. Or for a longer, tougher hike, you can hike down the far side and walk out via the Devil’s Path — with an optional side quest on the way to Southwest Hunter via an unmarked “herd path”. I thought they just hiked up each morning. Welcome to the Hudson Valley! This was a great hike! Heavy rains day before trail slippery and muddy. I’m impressed that your eight-year-old son successfully did this one – sounds like his hiking career is off to an awesome start . This was the view from the tower at 5:59 am, about half an hour before dawn. Can’t appreciate it enough, especially with keeping us up to date with what’s open and closed. The whole area lights up like a gold forge…. Apologies to this volunteer who was woken by my pacing around outside to keep warm. The Devil’s Acre Lean-To is very close to the junction. 5. Thanks for continued great reads, and a very happy trails! It follows an old rail line used by timber loggers back in the day…, Near the end of the herd path, you may notice another small cairn…. Includes: Blazed Trail, Herd Path, Easy Bushwhack, True Bushwhack. The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference offers concise, excellent advice on hiking during this crisis here: The New Hiking How-tos. It seems to go nowhere, but it does catch the light at dawn in the most spectacular way. Fortunately, I do not have serious injuries. When you’re ready, hop on the blue-blazed Becker Hollow Trail (heretofore referred to as the Blue Trail), heading between those two stone pillars to your left (assuming you’re facing the kiosk). Take a right turn here to hop on the Yellow Trail, the shortest route to the tower. Aren’t you glad you didn’t take the chairlift? The Registration Box is at the edge of the Parking Lot. Thank you for your detailed commentary and helpful suggestions and pictures. 214 (2.3 miles) on the Blue Trail. It took me a while to work my way to the summit, but I made some nice discoveries along the way. Would I do it again? I was chuckling, reading your comments about each waypoint! Unknown to me, the cabin was occupied by the summit volunteer. Hello again, car! To the left, the trail leads down the east side of Hunter via the very steep and rugged Devil’s Path to Stony Clove Notch. Subscribe: Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail. (If you come to Lane Rd, you’ve gone just a little too far.). I stood by the cabin, using it as a wind break. Hang in there and stay safe, everyone! After a long tough hike, finally getting down to Diamond Notch is a real treat. Cha-ching! Have fun hunting down a large pizza for dinner tonight – you’ve earned it! The trail looks like it carries on straight, via an old road, so make sure to turn right and start heading up. For 3500 aspirants, in lieu of these two peaks, Mill Brook Ridge and South Doubletop can be climbed instead. It is so helpful and useful and really well done. Last hiked 41 years ago what I remember it was tougher down than up. All Rights Reserved.Mountain-Hiking.com is a Design ICU project. As for the concerns raised in the other trail guide, they could both be alleviated by making this a late fall or early winter adventure, after the leaves are down and the rattlesnakes are snoozing. Return to the junction behind the cabin. After the fire tower, find the yellow-blazed … This is a great post. I was alone on the mountain except for one other solo hiker who turned back about half-way. In summer, the towers are manned by volunteers at the weekends — but I didn’t realize they actually slept over. I very much look forward to deleting this warning someday.And also! Clouds rolled in. Steep –and relentless indeed! Anyway, on this Labor Day, even in the early hours, the parking lot was already quite full; a lot of people had obviously decided to camp out that weekend in the Catskills Wilderness. I’ve hesitated on doing that hike for two reasons: The rattlesnakes and the shrinking view from the tower as it becomes overgrown (both reported by catskillmountaineer.com’s Mt. The Clouds were tearing overhead like waves of fluffy SUVs. Do we regret doing it? Today we got a late start with our 8-yr-old son & 8-mo-old golden doodle, both seasoned hikers, on our way to North South Lake for the North Point trail. Inhale. That shouldn’t take too long, eh? It’s probably fine, but I recommend slaking your thirst from the water you packed instead. And thanks for the warning about how early ice can form here — without micro-spikes or more serious traction devices, that could be a recipe for disaster. “3 Ways to Summit South Pawtuckaway” would be a better title. So glad to hear that this guide (and the Google Map path) helped get you out of a bind, Dennis! As the trail wraps underneath the tower, you’ll see a funky wooden structure straight ahead (I asked my friend about this, and he explained that this is a stand for making it easier to mount/dismount from a horse, to help make the Spruceton route up here more handicap-accessible, which is a pretty cool goal, and a better explanation than “funky wooden structure”), then you’ll emerge into the clearing with the ranger’s cabin and the tower. The Hunter Mountain Fire Tower sits at the highest elevation of any fire tower in New York State (a whopping 4,040 feet), so it’s not one for those who are even the slightest bit fearful about heights. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Having climbed all the mountains in the Catskills at least five times, I think I know the area pretty well. I signed in and decided to snack and rest before the hike down to Diamond Notch. Background you can feel free to skip: As I stood on the steps of the fire tower at Hunter Mountain, looking at the amazing panorama unfolding in all directions, I had two thoughts: 1)  Duuuuuuuude. Continue via a short road walk back to the Hunter Mountain trailhead. We are training for a big backpacking trip out West and thought this would be a good way to test stamina. Hope you enjoyed your Hunter Mountain hike today! Hunter Mountain has a peak that’s 4,040 feet in elevation. Thanks for being awesome! Turn left at the signs to follow the Blue Trail toward Devil’s Acre Leanto. I think you’re asking to get hurt. Tremper review). To the point of making Overlook a locally regular uphill jogging destination. Winter GearYou can survive and thrive on the hills this winter. Expansive views. If you make it back there before I do, I’d love to hear a report! See this access update. Tremper will be easier. Much of the trail is very straight. Thank you! Thanks for this awesome guide, and again for saving my life! Just past the dam, let the relentlessness begin! Sign up for the best hiking newsletter on the planet & get fresh hiking inspo every month, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window), east side of hunter via the very steep Becker Hollow trail, east side of Hunter via the very steep and rugged Devil’s Path, Microspikes & Trail Crampons (Winter Traction Footwear). A portion of your support goes to NY-NJ Trail Conference and to local Catskills hiking organizations. Meetup group, and we managed to complete the circuit in 3 hours 15 minutes, but it was exceedingly tiresome. (Then you can volunteer, donate, or shop, depending on your mood.). With wet leaves everywhere? One answer to the second question: I’ve always had this notion that Hunter Mountain (the hike) was closely related to Hunter Mountain (the ski area). Tremper one of these days. In just a moment, you’ll notice a burbling brook down below, to your right. Hi! At 4,040’, Hunter Mountain is the second-highest peak in the Catskills and one of the 35 peaks in the Catskill 3500 Club. An absolutely wonderful loop over Hunter’s massive, gorgeous and super-scenic summit. Even on a humid hazy day the view was the best I’ve found in the Catskills. Eventually, you’re climbing up about a 40 degree slope for over 40 minutes and the “trail” is less of a trail and much more a path littered with medium sized thin stone shards hovering over marble like rocks splashed with plenty of running water and mud. The Shadow Mountain Overlook Tower is located 4.8 miles from the Grand Lake - East Shore Trailhead on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park. On this day, by 10:00 am it was already getting busy. The Hunter Mountain Fire Tower is located on the summit of the eponymous mountain, second highest of the Catskill Mountains in the U.S. state of New York. My wife asked for a comparison, it’s like two Mt Beacon hikes stacked atop each other. It was the first of 23 fire lookout towers built by the state in the region, and the next-to-last of the five still standing to be abandoned. 14. You and your husband are picking some great hikes. Besides the gorgeous tower, which offers one of the finest views in the Catskills, the trail is everything you’d want to find in a mountain hike, assuming you want to be immersed in wilderness while spending a few (thousand) calories clambering your way up very steep inclines. Photo by Nick Hepler . You get 360° of fantastic Catskills scenery. Please leave a comment! ¶ Use snowshoes. We finally made it to the top and boy oh boy was it worth it! Which is to say, it’s high time we brought our nine year old (and our new pup) back up Mt. Your email address will not be published. Your backing makes all the difference. However, this was in the dark — so I didn’t stop much, or take many photos, and I didn’t visit the John Robb Lean-To which I hear is lovely. Standing in front of this sign, you’ve now climbed 1,708 feet over 1.9 miles. Total time: 5 hours but this included frequent short rests and about 30 minutes at the top. If you rode your horse up this far, you must park it here while you visit the tower. Thank you, Aislinn! It never becomes steep enough to qualify as a “scramble,” but it just keeps on going up, up, and up. At approximately 4,040 feet (1,231 m) in elevation, it is the highest peak in the county and the second-highest peak in the Catskill Mountains. Thanks so much for your comments, and best wishes to you and your family on your continued adventures! Follow the Blue Trail on some single-track that will widen shortly. Follow the yellow Colonels Chair trail up 1.1 miles to the intersection with the blue Spruceton trail. Hunter Mountain: Hike to the fire tower - See 456 traveler reviews, 213 candid photos, and great deals for Hunter, NY, at Tripadvisor. Goodnow Mountain is one not to be missed by anyone who is in the area. You'll immediately find yourself beginning to climb, walking on a wide gravel road that leads straight up the mountain, with approximately 2.4 miles to the top. I’ll get to Mt. The easiest route to get to Hunter’s Fire Tower — plus a more difficult descent, with an optional side quest to Southwest Hunter. Just 529 more vertical feet and .5 miles until the tower! We rested as often going down as we had on the way up. In just a moment, you’ll see the little ledge straight ahead. When people say the hike is relentless, they were not joking. On the day I visited (a beautiful late-October Sunday), I had the tower to myself for thirty minutes, until I finally forced myself to put down the camera and descend. Yea about that, it was a real butt kicker of a hike though. Working on the bridge. The wind starts to increase. You’ve convinced me. Your guide was AWESOME. The next landmark is the well-marked junction with the Yellow Trail, about 10 minutes after the 3500’ marker. And so quiet. Thanks for the thoughtful response, Max! Thank you so much for all of the details (and humor!) Fire tower as seen along the Hunter Mountain Trail at Hunter-West Kill Wilderness; West Kill, Greene County (2016-01-30). Nice hike (I ran up/down) from Rt 214. Remember this spot? The historic fire tower and cabin near the summit of Hunter Mountain (4040') on a frigid winter day - January 2009 Tahawus - May 17, 2009 7:33 pm - Hasn't voted Re: Not thats a cool tower and cabin. 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Peaks List | Ultimate Peakbagging guide altitude sign, which is a real treat ll back!, too – looks like in daylight hours, with the Yellow trail, about half an hour before.... Twelve minutes from the road, so make sure your favorite place is open at the you. Was flirting with 80° around 1pm both on your right I felt like I wasn ’ t take long. St ( NY-23A ) dropped to make sure to also steel your retinas for the words. Solo hiker who turned back before getting to the summit volunteer halfway up trail. Up, you’ll reach the fire tower the cabin, using it as a break... Was getting stabbed by tree branches and far from the Hunter Mt fire tower rest of us continue downhill walk... ( NY-23A ) the pools below the falls… past a backwoods pond to a nice waterfall... It hunter mountain fire tower trailhead feels more wild and secluded here, no more turns junctions...

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