Catskills All Trails (CATs) Series
This hike completes the Overlook Trail (4.65m), the Echo Lake Trail (0.7m), and the Overlook Spur Trail (2.3m).
This 8.9 mile trail hike at the eastern edge of the Catskill Park includes a mix of interesting features to go along with the great views into the Hudson Valley along the way. Starting in Platte Clove, we pass through a portion of an interpretive trail in the Platte Clove Preserve, and soon visit the site of an abandoned quarry and pass by the Devil’s Kitchen lean-to. Later we will take some time to explore the views at Codfish Point and relax for a bit on some interesting quarry furniture. Continuing on the Overlook Trail, we will pass (but not summit) a Catskill 100 Highest Peak, Plattekill Mountain (3,100’) and reach the junction with the Echo Lake Trail where we will take a side trip to Echo Lake where we will stop and have some lunch, perhaps at the lean-to if it’s available. After lunch we’ll retrace our steps back to the Overlook Trail and continue on to another Catskill 100 Highest Peak, Overlook Mountain (3,140’) where we will take the lesser-used trail around the edge of Overlook Mountain and pass numerous nice viewing areas on open rock ledges. After that we’ll visit the fire tower on Overlook to get some 360 degree views of the Hudson Valley, the Ashokan Reservoir and several of the Devil’s Path peaks. Then we will walk past the ruins of the Overlook Mountain House to join the Overlook Spur Trail for a descent down to the Parking Area at Meads Mountain Road to complete our hike.
The hike is moderately difficult due to its length (8.9 miles). We’ll be on marked trails throughout the day, but the terrain can be rocky and there will be moderate elevation change throughout the day. Hiking poles can be helpful. We will hike at a moderate pace, staying together as a group and making sure all hikers are comfortable.
The weather in April in the Catskills can vary widely. Dress for comfort in moisture wicking clothing and layers. A wind-resistant, water-resistant shell with hood, gloves and a warm hat or balaclava will come in handy on the fire tower later, even if the weather is generally warm.
Bring snacks, lunch and plenty of water (at least two liters). You might consider bringing a hot beverage in a thermal container if the weather is cold.
As with almost any hike in the Catskills, good hiking boots are a must and a pair of gaiters is a good idea for an early spring hike. A hat and sunscreen are always a good idea.
NYNJTC Map 141 – Northeastern Catskills – see http://www.nynjtc.org/product/new-catskill-trails-map-set-maps-hiking-catskills
Trail Conditions – see http://www.nynjtc.org/content/catskill-trails-updates
Pre-registration is required. Group size is limited to 12 by DEC guidelines for hikes in the Indian Head Wilderness. Pre-register by sending an email to email@example.com by Thursday April 16, 2015. In your email, let me know the number of seats in your vehicle and where you are traveling from so we can work out the best way to shuttle vehicles from the two trailheads.
The two trailheads for the hike are:
Starting at Platte Clove Parking Area
On Platte Clove Road (County Route 16) just outside of Platte Clove.
From CR212 east of Woodstock and west of the Saugerties thruway exit, go to Town Highway 35 (Blue Mountain Rd.) and turn North. Continue on Rte. 35 to where it curves left onto West Saugerties Rd. (Blue Mountain Rd. continues to the right). Follow West Saugerties Rd. to Platte Clove Rd. and climb steeply to the parking lot on the right, about 2.4 miles past the intersection with W.Saugerties – Woodstock Rd.
Finishing at Meads Mountain Road Parking Area
On Meads Mountain Road just north of Woodstock.
From CR 212 (Tinker St./Mill Hill Rd.) in Woodstock, turn north on Rock City Rd. In 0.6 miles, cross Glasco Turnpike and continue on Meads Mountain Rd. for 2 miles to the trailhead parking lot on the right, across from the Buddhist Monastery.