Hiking: Coming Soon - Shavertown Trail in the Catskills and the Accessible Portion of the Appalachian Trail on Bear Mountain

We've been busy for work and for pleasure over the last few weeks and have a few new adventures.
The view from Snake Pond
In the Catskills, look for a hiking guide to the new Shavertown Trail to come out soon.  This new trail, built by the Catskill Mountain Club on NYCDEP lands is the first of its kind in the Catskills.  The club, along with the Town of Andes worked with the NYCDEP to secure necessary permits and approvals and have built a roughly 2.75 mile trail that ascends a ridge above the Pepacton Reservoir.

After climbing the first mile, you come to a small farm pond called Snake Pond.  The pond itself isn't anything that special (besides a great swimming hole for a very energetic pup), but the view it commands from its earthen damn is simply stunning.  It's a unique view of the Pepacton that you only generally get to glimpse while riding on the roads around the reservoir.

While most of the leaves had left by the time we made this hike, there were still enough color to add some natural fireworks to this hike and make the view from Snake Pond amazing.  If you only hike the 1st mile of this new trail, it's well worth it!  Beyond the pond, the trail continues climbing the ridge fairly gently on old farm roads before ending in a small loop near the crest of the ridge.

It was a great afternoon hike.

Over in Bear Mountain State Park, I spent the day learning about the new Federal guidelines for trail and outdoor facility accessibility.  While no one likes regulation, these guidelines really do help trail designers think about accessibility and sustainability in their trail design.  Not every trail can be accessible to all, but all trails can be built in such a way to maximize their enjoyment and reduce the amount of maintenance and repair that they will need in the future.  We capped off the day of classroom work with a few hours on the accessible portion of the Appalachian Trail on top of Bear Mountain.  There everyone can enjoy one of the few fully accessible portions of the AT - from the parking lot atop Bear Mountain to a great view of the Hudson River and the Hudson Highlands from the shoulder of Bear Mountain (and a view we missed the last time we were on Bear Mountain thanks to pea soup fog).

The view from the end of the accessible portion
of the Appalachian Trail on Bear Mountain

For more information on hiking in Bear Mountain State Park and environs
Within New York, the Trail Conference publishes the Harriman Bear Mountain Trails Map Set, maps for the adjacent Sterling Forest State Park, along with maps for Northern New Jersey Trails that are in the vicinity.  We have a number of books and maps for more information hiking in this area available in the Hudson Highlands section of our Adventures in the Outdoors Bookstore.

And for more information on Hiking in the Catskill Mountains
Catskill TrailsCheck out our Catskill Mountain Information Page for hikes, advice, travel and planning information.  Need a hiking map for your hikes in the Catskills?  We recommend the Trail Conference's Catskills Trails 6-Map Set.  These maps are some of the best available for hiking and outdoor adventures in the Catskills and the Catskill Park.  How about a guidebook?  Both AMC and ADK publish trail guides to the Catskill Region and thAdventures in the Outdoors Bookstore carries many more books and maps for hiking and exploring the Catskill Mountain region.