Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hiking - Cliffs on Moose Mountain

After an unremarkable walk in the Albany Pine Bush yesterday that included trails being closed and lots of Thruway noise, it was nice to get out for a real hike today.

Entire yellow trail was closed.  Short noisy roadside walk on the rest.
Every Columbus Day weekend for the past 10-12 years, Holly and I have bushwhacked up Moose Mountain, near Wells, NY.  It's become a tradition of sorts to come here and enjoy the fall colors, away from the hordes, and having a mountaintop all to ourselves.  It's about a 3.5-mile round trip, and besides never seeing another soul, this place also has numerous views from its south and west-facing cliffs.

Our route, starting on NY30 just south of the Sacandaga Campground
Having done this one so many times, we have it down pat, knowing where the swamps are and how to avoid them, and navigating by feel once we hit the ridge.

We always hit the westernmost viewpoint first, and have the beginnings of lunch there.  We're never exactly sure what we're looking at, but usually the colors were much more vivid than they were today, with many trees already bare.

After lunch, we headed back to the col between the two summits, and then up to some more major cliffs on the eastern side.  Somehow we'd managed to miss this view on several previous explorations of the far eastern end of the ridge.

Cathead Mountain in the distance, and the Sacandaga River with NY30 left center
Heading back west, we paused for the rest of lunch at our favorite spot, a wide open sloping ledge with similar views.

Our favorite spot to linger a while
After a nice break, it was time to head down and back to the car.  The usual ice cream stop didn't happen today, a cool weekday in October, but it was otherwise a great day outdoors.

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