The Crooked Canes Journal


Viewing 37 of 57 - 2013

    Return    

Burnt Knob and Windham High Point thru Hike ~ Aug 31, 2013

Journal entry by Wanderer



Scheduling a Catskill hike is never easy with the North Country lovers of the Crooked Canes, but on a Saturday – Labor Day weekend – certain disaster! Waking up to rain didn’t help, but Fran and I were optimists and had already emailed one another the night before that we were going to give it a try. Besides, we actually had three other takers – David and Kendra Pratt and Sandra Foley. So with clearing skies, to the trailhead we went – and were glad that we did.

This was going to be a thru hike of Burnt Knob and Windham High Point (WHP) Mts. – a hike we have been eager to do for some time. After spotting a car at the Peck Rd TH we arrived to nearly a full parking lot at the end of Big Hollow Road, with some hikers getting ready to leave on their own adventure. It didn’t take long for us to prepare, take the obligatory picture at the start, and get on our way, with Fran in the lead – I think it was a little after 10. She led for quite a while but Dave eventually took over – and soon there were just the four of us. Dave is somewhat like Don except that he periodically waited for the rest of us to catch up – Don would have told us how the views were on his return or at the car. In either case, the next time I hike with Dave I am going to see if I can sneak some heavy rocks in his pack to slow him down.

The trail was dry but we were soaked from the humidity. The woods were beautiful, still lush green in color, with lots of blackberries to eat on the way – a useful tactic in justifying breaks. We made it to the top of Burnt Knob before noon, so after taking some time to view the Blackhead Range from a couple of overlooks, decided to go on – enjoying cool breezes on sections of the trail along the ridge. I don’t recall the exact time, but lunch was at one of the overlooks near the summit of WHP. Views south, looking at the Blackhead range, were a little hazy but the views north were non-existent because of the cloud cover. While we enjoyed a bug free hike on the trail our lunch spot was a different story. I don’t know what type of flies they were but there were swarms of them. They were annoying at first but if given enough time they did bite. Needless to say we didn’t dilly-dally and were soon on our way.

The trail from the summit of WHP to Peck road is a steady descent of ~1,500’ over three miles so the lungs were given a rest. The features of the forest varied from dense woods with lots of underbrush, mixed mature forest with huge expanses of grass, to first and second growth conifers with nearly barren ground - crowns of the tall trees blocking nearly all sunlight. We stopped for a short break at the Elm Ridge Lean-to before hiking the last mile to the car. With a quick trip to the starting point to pick up the other car we headed home – but not before gathering some rocks for Fran’s garden. If she gathers any more she will have to apply for a mining permit. Great hike!

Peter

12 photos



At the Start - David, Kendra, Sandra and Fran



Trailside Rock Formation



Another Rock Formation



Rough Spot



Looking Ahead - Windham High Point



Big Hollow Road



Looking South from WHP - L to R - Black Dome, Thomas Cole and Blackhead Mts.



Unique Fungus - Anyone know the name? We had two people respond with their opinions on the ID and after careful comparison with website pictures it appears that the fungus is Hericium americanum (Bear’s Head Tooth Mushroom) rather than Hericium erinaceus (also called Lion's Mane Mushroom) as originally ID'ed. Thanks Ray.



Crossing a Wet Area



Serpents Path



Trail Junction at Elm Ridge



You guessed it - another rock formation - near Elm Ridge



Viewing 37 of 57 - 2013

    Return    

Update entry