The Catskill Mountain Club’s 2015 trail maintenance efforts continued on Wednesday, September 9 as several CMC members ventured out to maintain the Pine Hill-West Branch trail over Eagle and Haynes mountains.
The hike from Seager to Rider Hollow was 7.95 miles and a lot of work was done along the way.One focus was on the area surrounding the Shandaken Brook leanto on the Seager-Big Indian trail. There was quite a bit of overgrowth around the shelter which was cleared out and tidied up. Here are before and after shots of the rear of the shelter.
After having lunch at the trail junction the crew moved up the section leading to Eagle mountain. Even though this section had been previously cleared of blowdowns on a prior maintenance outing (to Big Indian) there was plenty of work to do trimming with shears and loppers.After a rest on Eagle (where two crew members bagged a new peak), the crew continued along the next 2.1 miles of the Pine Hill-West Branch trail to the Oliverea-Mapledale trail junction. Three significant blowdowns were encountered and cleared in this section. The photos show the crew working to remove the blowdowns with the amazing Silky BigBoy 2000 hand saw leaving a clear path for hikers.
Around 6pm or so, the skies darkened, the wind picked up and the rain poured down. The crew secured their tools and scampered down the trail to the cars waiting in the Rider Hollow parking area and enjoyed the traditional post-hike tailgate snacks.
Next week, the crew will visit the Touch-Me-Not trail section between Alder Lake and Big Pond. If you haven’t been out with the crew yet this year, this might be a good opportunity to join in since this is a relatively easy section of trail being only 3 miles long from end to end with little elevation change along the way.
After that, there will be more work on the Pine Hill-West Branch trail from the Biscuit Brook trailhead to Big Indian mountain as well as an outing on a beautiful section of the Long Path near Palenville which includes Poet’s Ledge and several scenic waterfalls. Also, there’s an outing scheduled to take place during the Lark in the Park on the German Hollow trail and a section of the Dry Brook Ridge trail.