Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hiking - Dippikill Mountain

Earlier this week, I got a phone call from my friend Phil from Long Island. He'd be coming up to stay for a few days at his cabin in Thurman, north of Warrensburg, and wanted to get together and do something outside. Not realizing how close he lived to it, I picked Dippikill Mountain, based on an article I'd read on the Albany Times-Union Outdoors blog (thanks Herb and Gillian!). It turned out to be a real gem when we hiked it yesterday.

Dippikill Mountain is on the campus of Camp Dippikill, a property owned by the University at Albany Alumni Association. Students and alumni can take advantage of the cabins and campsites here, and the hiking trails are open to the public. The mountain is only about a 4-mile walk if done as a loop, which is what we planned to do, returning via the pond below.

After meeting at Phil's cabin, we suited up and drove to Camp Dippikill, only about 10 minutes away. We stopped first at the camp office to register and pick up a map. Our route began just up the road from the office, and climbed gently up the ridge toward the summit. Although there were only about 6" of snow, we opted for snowshoes and the extra traction they'd provide on the crunchy snow.

On the way up the ridge, there were great views of Crane Mountain behind us and the Adirondack High Peaks to the north.

Continuing on toward the summit, we first lunched behind a rock face out of the wind. Beyond the true summit, we followed a side trail marked "To Overlook", where there was a wide-open view of the Hudson River below.

We were puzzled by the taller mountain at the distant left center of this view, but some map sleuthing after I got home revealed it to be Buck Mountain, on the east side of Lake George.

Dropping down to the pond, we followed the West Shore Trail past leantos and campsites along the shore, crossing a bridge at the far end where we looked back up at the mountain.

From there it was a short walk back to the car. We returned to the cabin and continued chatting over nachos and beer until it was time for me to head home. It was a great day out, crisp and clear with great views, and nice to catch up with a friend I don't often see.

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