Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hiking - Alander Mountain, MA

Today was going to be the last nice day until early next week, so Holly and I decided to go hiking. We wanted something relatively close by, not too strenuous, and with a view, so we settled on Alander Mountain, in the South Taconics, near the MA/CT/NY corner. It's only about a 6-mile round trip hike, and with less than 800' of total climbing.

It was a cool breezy day, and perfect for hiking. We crossed several streams that were running pretty well, and the trail was wet in spots after a lot of recent rain, but it was generally very easy walking. After the last steep climb to the ridge, we had several options for views. First, we headed north on the South Taconic Trail and found this view to the east and northeast.

Knowing that the best views were off the west side of the ridge, we turned around here and headed back south until we found them. The Catskills are off in the distance to the west.

Looking more to the south, we saw Ashley, Frissell, and Brace, from left to right. Ashley Hill (left) is in MA and Brace Mountain (right) is in NY. Mount Frissell (center) has its summit in Massachusetts, but its southern shoulder is the highest point in Connecticut.

The laurel was beginning to bloom up here on the ridge, and in a week or two, this whole area will be ablaze in various shades of pink.

Near the summit, we met a large group of Oriental hikers who were cooking a very fancy lunch. The smell of Chinese take-out was wafting across the summit on the wind, and we knew something was up, but were surprised to find them having such a feast.

We headed a little further south to the true summit, and found the view there somewhat obscured by vegetation, and not as good as the others we had seen. From there, the trip back to the car was uneventful, but we found the usual hoped-for ice cream stop closed for the day.

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