Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hiking - Moxham Mountain

Yesterday, I joined a Schenectady ADK hike to Moxham Mountain, near Minerva, NY. This mountain has no trail, though NYSDEC has proposed someday building one, as outlined in the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest Unit Management Plan, Appendix J.

The day's plan was to try to follow the route of the proposed trail. This would involve about a 2.5-mile bushwhack each way, with lots of twists and turns to avoid the private land at the beginning and to attempt to stay on the intended route. Norm did an outstanding job with GPS and compass to guide us through the sometimes thick and featureless woods, and approximated the route very well.

The mountain itself was spectacular, especially as we approached the summit along the open rocky ridge.

The view from the summit was well over 180 degrees, stretching from the Hudson River in the east, through North Creek and Gore Mountain to the south, all the away around to Blue Mountain in the northwest, and beyond. I failed to capture the east and south views, probably because of the direct sun from that direction. The view further west and north was my favorite. Click on the photo to enlarge.

Having successfully followed the trail's proposed route on the ascent, we opted for a slightly shorter route on the descent. That's the beauty of bushwhacking - you can go wherever it suits you. Once again, Norm steered us around a beaver swamp and the faintly marked property lines and brought us out perfectly back at the cars.

This will become a very popular hike if the trail is ever built as described. As it was, we were in the woods for about 5 hours, plus a long time on the summit enjoying the views. It was a long slog but well worth it, and will be even better if and when that time is shortened by a marked and maintained route.

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