Catskills All Trails (CATs) Series: This hike covers 7.05m of the western end of the Devil’s Path and 0.7m of the Diamond Notch Trail.
Join Tom Martone for a 7.75 mile thru hike on the western end of the Devil’s Path which will include a Catskill 3500 Peak, West Kill Mountain (3,880’) and a Catskill 100 Highest Peak, St. Anne’s Peak (3,420’). This hike will include a long climb with some steep sections up to the spectacular views at Buck Ridge Lookout at the top of West Kill Mountain. After that, we’ll continue on the Devil’s Path on a rambling up and down hike through varied terrain and forests in a very quiet and secluded area. We’ll pass over St. Anne’s Peak and hike in the shadows of North Dome as we turn north and follow the trail though a hemlock forest along the Mink Hollow Brook to our finishing trailhead.
The hike is moderately difficult due to its length (7.75 miles) and elevation changes. We’ll be on marked trails throughout the day, but the terrain can be rocky and there will be significant elevation change throughout the day including a few steep pitches on the way up to the summit of West Kill Mountain. 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 May in the Catskills can vary widely. Dress for comfort in moisture wicking clothing and layers. A wind-resistant, water-resistant shell with hood can come in handy even if the weather is generally warm.
Bring snacks, lunch and plenty of water (at least two liters).
As with almost any hike in the Catskills, good hiking boots are a must and a pair of gaiters is a good idea for a spring hike. A hat and sunscreen are always a good idea. You may consider bug repellent as well.
Well behaved dogs with hiking experience are welcome. Please notify the leader in advance.
Pre-registration is required. Group size is limited to 12 by DEC guidelines for hikes in the Hunter – West Kill Mountain Wilderness. Pre-register by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday May 21, 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.
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
The two trailheads for the hike are:
Starting at Spruceton Road/Diamond Notch Parking Area
At the end of Spruceton Road (County Road 6) in West Kill, NY.
From the junction of State Route 42 and Spruceton Road, follow Spruceton Road east for 6.8 miles to the parking area on the right.
Finishing at Mink Hollow/Spruceton Road Parking Area
On Spruceton Road (County Route 6) near West Kill, NY.
From the junction of State Route 42 and Spruceton Road, follow Spruceton Road east for 3.7 miles to the trailhead and parking area on the right.