Monday, January 9, 2012

Huckleberry Point Bushwhack - Catskill Mountains, NY - January 8, 2012

This short hike is located in the northeastern Catskill Mountains along the mountains' eastern escarpment.  Trails accessible from this location include hikes to Huckleberry Point, Kaaterskill High Peak and Roundtop Mountains, along with following the Long Path, a long distance trail, north or south from this area.

We headed out this past Sunday to check out a small bog that's located near Huckleberry Point in the northeastern Catskills. The bog was located along with some interesting areas once you started bushwhacking off the Huckleberry Point trail near the Catskill Mountains' escarpment.

photo.JPGThe trip starts at the parking area off of Platte Clove Road just above the head of Platte Clove. This parking area serves the Long Path, the Huckleberry Point Trail and the snowmobile trail that circles around High Peak and Roundtop Mountains.

photo.JPGFrom the parking area we followed the old Steenburg Road that the trails follow. The Huckleberry Point Trail branches off the snowmobile trail after approximately one mile.  We turned and followed the Huckleberry Point Trail.  After another third of a mile or so, the trail crosses a small stream and on the eastern edge of the creek is an old road that the trail crosses.

At this point we jumped on the old road and started heading to the northeast. The road passed by the foundation of an old homestead/farm and then continued on just below the bog that we were investigating. The bog itself sits in the low point and actually drains in two directions - one down off the eastern escarpment of the Catskills and another drains towards the Hell Hole Creek and Platte Clove.

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From here we continued along the old road, but we were running out of time as we had a pretty late start.  This is a place that I would like to go back and explore, as the road appears to wrap around the eastern escarpment of the mountains and it would be an interesting place.  It would also be interesting to go back and follow the road to the south from its crossing of the Huckleberry Point Trail to see where it ends up.

photo.JPGWe had a few flurries and somewhat cold temperatures while we were out, but we continue to have a very mild and uneventful winter in the Catskills.  The upper elevations have a light covering of snow, but at the lower elevations, we have some ice, but no real snow to speak of.  This makes for nice bushwhacks though - no nettles getting in the way and not much undergrowth to break through.

After that we headed back down the old road to the Huckleberry Point Trail and then backtracked down the trails to the parking area.  All told we probably traveled about three miles or so without any real huge elevation changes.  The climb from the parking area to the Huckleberry Point Trail probably involves a few hundred feet at most.  From there, elevation changes are pretty minor.


More information on Catskill Hiking
If you are looking for additional resources for hiking and climbing in the Catskills, the Trail Conference publishes the Catskill Trails Map Set, which we think is the best trail map set for the region with detailed mapping and trail descriptions. The ADK publishes the Guide to Catskill Trails and the AMC publishes the Catskill Mountain Guide, A Comprehensive Guide to Hiking Trails in the Catskills.  Additional Catskill hiking maps and guidebooks are available at the Adventures in the Outdoors Bookstore.



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