Friday, April 8, 2011

Hiking - Burnt Knob (Catskills)

Today was a fairly nice spring-ish day, partly sunny and near 50 promised. So Holly and I headed off to the Catskills, to climb a little bump called Burnt Knob. It's a relatively short hike with a great view south across the valley to the massive Blackhead Range, which we can usually see from Albany, over 30 miles to the north.

We took the red Blackhead Trail up from the valley, and then turned west on the blue Escarpment Trail. There was patchy snow, and a few icy spots, but since this was a south-facing slope, much of the winter's heavy snowfall here was already gone. Since the Escarpment Trail bypasses the actual summit, we bushwhacked up there just for fun, and found the expected lack of a view from deep in the trees. Dropping back down to the trail, we headed back east to an open ledge with a great view of the aptly named Blackhead Range, a perfect lunch spot.

These mountains are all between 3,900 and 4,000 feet high, capped by a dense forest of balsam and spruce that gives them their name. Their north slopes, seen here, still appeared to have plenty of snow visible through the hardwoods at lower elevations.

It didn't take long to chill, so we packed up and headed back down to the car. There's still winter to be found out there, but plenty of warm days lie ahead.

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