The weather couldn’t have been finer for the Catskill Mountain Club’s recent hike to Belleayre Ridge. The views from the deck of Sunset Lodge to the south and at the top of the ski trails to the north were clear and cloud free. We had fun identifying peaks in the distance and seeing Route 28 snaking through the valley below us. With binoculars we were able to spot three of the restored Catskill Fire Towers: Balsam Lake Mountain, Overlook Mountain and Hunter Mountain.
We had a full group of 12 hikers from as near as Woodstock and as far as England along for this pleasant 6 mile hike. The route chosen up to and down from the ridge was chosen to appeal to hikers pursuing the Catskills All Trails (CATs) challenge, incorporating the lesser traveled Lost Clove Trail and Cathedral Glen Trail into the route. Realizing that the descent on the Cathedral Glen Trail is quite steep (after all, part of it travels along a double black diamond downhill ski trail), we offered an alternative gentler stroll down some of the intermediate slopes. Most of the hikers chose to take the more aggressive trail and a smaller group had a fun zig-zagging route on grassy open slopes. The full group assembled at the point where the Cathedral Glen Trail turns into a gentler sloping trail through an attractive hemlock forest and hiked together for the journey into Pine Hill where our cars awaited.
We discussed the many upcoming hikes and other events being offered during this year’s Lark in the Park as well as plans for additional weekend hikes later in October. We have scheduled a popular hike to Overlook Mountain from Platte Clove on Saturday, October 17.
…and if you haven’t already, please make plans to attend CMC’s Annual Dinner on Sunday, October 4th to meet fellow members and other people interested in outdoor recreation in the Catskills.