A Homecoming of Sorts: The Catskills

Although born and raised in Stamford, CT, there’s a place I consider a second home.  That place is the Catskill Mountains of New York (Mentioned in older post “Sense of Place:…”).  I grew up since childhood romping throughout the mountains of the Catskills, hopping from stone to stone in the creeks, and jumping into every swimming hole I could find.

The Catskills is my primary inspiration for my path in life in the fields of conservation, preservation, and outdoor recreation.

The past four years, I’ve been very lucky to spend the majority of my time in Virginia and New Hampshire.  However, in that time, I’ve spent less time in the Catskills.  How I’ve missed it.

This past weekend, I finally got to return with my family, and had an amazing time.  I seemed to be able to fit everything important to me into one weekend.  I hiked, swam, and biked in some of my places in the Catskills.  I really felt I got to reconnect to my roots.  This visit to the Catskills re-instilled my love for this special place; a place filled with rich history and culture, deep mountain cloves, rich forest, countless cascades, and spectacular trail.

Highlights:

– ~ 7 mile loop over Sugarloaf Mtn. via Pecoy Notch Trail, Devil’s Path, and Mink Hollow Trail.

brother at I at Dibble's Quarry, Pecoy Notch Trail
brother at I at Dibble’s Quarry, Pecoy Notch Trail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– the view from Pratt Rock, Prattsville, NY

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– ~ 6 mile end-to-end over Hunter Mountain (2nd highest peak in the Catskills), with a trip up the fire tower, via Becker Hollow Trail, Spruceton Trail, Hunter Mtn. Trail, and Devil’s Path.  By the way, Becker Hollow is one of the steepest, most difficult trails I’ve ever hiked, anywhere.

my brother Owen on Hunter Mtn
my brother Owen on Hunter Mtn

I hope to soon be able to thru hike the entirety of the Devil’s Path in one day.  Many of the sections I hiked this weekend were “devilish” to say the least.  It would be a brutal dayhike, but that’s the fun…

 

 

 

 

 

– swimming in Kaaterskill Creek

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– seeing a black bear in Roxbury, NY

A great weekend to reconnect with a place and with my family, and also be reminded why I study and do the work that I do.  I am truly fortunate to have this place in my life, and fortunate for the memories it gives me.  Can’t wait to get back.

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