Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hiking - Vroman's Nose, Middleburgh, NY

Today was going to be a sunny day near 60F, and Holly and I just had to get out and do something to enjoy it. We settled on Vroman's Nose, a 1,240-foot prominence with steep cliffs near Middleburgh, in the Schoharie Valley. We'd been here many times before, but it's a nice short hike with a view and close to home.

Today, for the first time, we did the hike as a loop, picking up the yellow trail to the left at the base of the climb from the parking area. This trail eventually joined the Long Path, which passes over the summit. The trail was icy, and we were glad to be wearing microspikes for the climb and descent, though the summit was bare. As we broke out onto the cliffs near the top, we got our first views of the Schoharie Valley far below. This area took a severe beating from flooding during Tropical Storms Irene and Lee at the end of August, 2011. The entire flat valley was under water when the Schoharie Creek overflowed its banks during extended heavy rains. Many homes in the town of Schoharie and Middleburgh, as well as others, were destroyed. It was a more tranquil scene today.

Schoharie Valley and Creek, looking south

Middleburgh and Schoharie Creek, looking north

After lunch, we continued to the spot long known as the "Dance Floor", and tried a few awkward steps wearing microspikes on the smooth rock.

The "Dance Floor"

This smooth surface has been defaced for many years by names being carved into it. Here's one of the older entries we found, from 1868.

Far below, along NY-30, we spied an octagon house, one of only a few we've seen anywhere.

On the trip down, we met several other parties coming up, and were glad we'd had the summit to ourselves. It was a short 3-hour outing door-to-door, driving included, but we got our first real taste of spring on a beautiful afternoon.

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