The Crooked Canes Journal


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Acra Point loop ~ Oct 25, 2012

Journal entry by Fran Herve



Four Crooked Caners met at the Malta Park & Ride and started the drive down the Northway to the Catskills. Expecting partly cloudy weather, we were surprised to find ourselves in heavy fog on rte 23 near East Windham. It cleared up after a few miles and we soon arrived at the trailhead. When planning a hike in the Catskills I don't expect to see many hikers since it is a long drive for folks from the North so I was pleased to count 10 hikers. Under cloudy skies we started our walk on the Batavia Kill trail. We had a thought of thanks for the builders of the sturdy bridge especially since the Batavia Kill had a lot more current than during the summer and we were unable to continue our hike for that reason a year ago.We took the time to enjoy this forest of mixed hardwood, the color contrast of the fallen leaves covering the ground and the still very green wood ferns, big boulders, stone walls and other rock formations that are typical of the Catskills. We arrived at a lean-to and soon after came to the intersection with the Escarpment Trail. The trail started to climb gradually but was never very difficult, only a little slippery in spots due to the recent rains and the fallen leaves on rocks. The forest changed and we noticed the delightful fragrance of the balsams. After some distance the trail started to level and continued with some ups and downs. The cherry trees were bare but the combination of oaks and other unidentified trees added some attractive contrasts. We surprised several kinds of birds on these trails:the Kinglet (thanks Jack for identifying it for us - I don't remember if it was a Ruby or Golden)and a few thrushes. A grouse startled us just as much as we startled it. Around noon the sun started to come out of the clouds and we agreed that we should have worn summer clothes. Finally our efforts were rewarded by some views. We found our lunch spot and settled on a large flat rock outcropping. We identified the nearest mountains as Burnt Knob, Windham High Peak and the Blackhead Range: Blackhead, Thomas Cole and Black Dome. Since Halloween was approaching, Peter thought it would be fun to come out of the bushes with his scary mask on. After we got over the surprise, we all laughed and took more pictures. By hiking the Acra Point loop counter clock wise we had traveled 2/3 of the way and the path to the intersection with the Black Dome trail was almost level. The Black Dome trail took us down gradually through more beautiful woods of hemlock, oak, maple and cherry trees. We admired the autumn colors along the way until we found ourselves at another crossing of a Batavia Kill tributary. It was swollen by the recent rains so we carefully and slowly picked the best rocks to step on. There was another (and third) bridge that had been replaced since storm Irene of 2011 and we were thankful for them. Back at the parking lot we all agreed that our annual Catskill hike was a success and said our goodbyes. Thank you Peter for your help leading this hike, Ray, Lenore, Jack, Claire, Kirk, Susan, Dale and Jim I. for joining me on this adventure.

10/27/12 - Wanderer . added 7 photos.

14 photos



Claire, Jack, Lenore, Peter, Kirk, Susan, Fran, Dale and Ray.



Halloween visitor



Lunch on Acra Pt. Kirk is taking a nap in the sun



Stone wall near the Batavia Kill trail



Ferns and lichens growing on a boulder



Autumn colors in the Catskills



Susan crossing the Batavia Kill



Obligatory Group Picture - by Wanderer



Batavia Kill - by Wanderer



Bridge Test - by Wanderer



Cascade and Rocks - by Wanderer



Anonymous Navy Seal Special Ops Operative Protecting the Group from the Unknown (I wonder why he is in the middle?) - by Wanderer



Burnt Knob Mt (center) with Windham High Peak to the right in the distance. - by Wanderer



Blackhead Range (L to R) Blackhead, Black Dome and Thomas Cole Mts - by Wanderer



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