Friday, April 22, 2011

Hiking - Overlook Mountain (Catskills)

We've had a long string of one-nice-day-only weeks lately, and we've been trying to get out hiking when the weather is good. Today we hiked up Overlook Mountain, a 5-mile round trip up the old road to the summit and its restored fire tower. It's not a steep climb, but it is pretty relentless, with few flat areas to take a break. There were a lot of people out today doing the same thing, including two guys who kept passing us, walking up and running down. One was doing the mountain FIVE TIMES today, and the other only three. Made us feel kinda wimpy.

After two miles, we reached the ghostly ruins of the Overlook Mountain House. This was the fourth attempt to make a go of a summit hotel, the previous three having burned before 1900. This one was started in 1928, but never completed, and only the concrete shells of the hotel and other buildings remain. This would be a great place for a full moon or Halloween hike.

After another half mile, we were close to the summit and its fire tower.

We had a pleasant lunch at one of the several picnic tables on the park-like summit before climbing the tower. The cab of the tower wasn't open, but there were fine views from the stairway landings, especially of the Devil's Path peaks to the north.

The walk down was somewhat faster, but still fighting gravity all the way, albeit in the opposite direction. Somehow, it seemed to be a little steeper than it was 12 years ago when we were last here...

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