|Distinct summits attained||51|
I've visited Catfish Mountain quite a few times, most recently while doing an invasive plant survey for the Trail Conference. Came upon a Timber Rattler not far from the tower.
We parked in the Appalachian Trail lot on Rte. 23, just down the hill from the Park Office. Took the Iris trail to the AT, AT to the Long Path for the final climb to the monument, The monument was closed, so we had to be satisfied with a victory lap around the base. It was a beautiful, warm day; maybe a little hazy for the best views, but a good day to finish the list.
We returned the way we had come, and had a small celebration when we got back to the car.
I first got permission from Hudson Farm to hike on their property. I then parked at CO Johnson Park. Leaving the park, I crossed the old railbed, and worked my way up the ravine between Wright Pond Cliffs and the 1066' neighbor of Westby Ridge. When I reached the woods road that runs between Westby and Wright, I turned left and bushwhacked straight up to the summit of Westby Ridge, which is pretty much viewless. After a few minutes on top, I retraced my steps to the woods road.
After leaving the summit of Westby Ridge, I followed the woods road all the way to the top of Wright Pond Cliffs, which does have some views. The cliffs, seen from below, are quite impressive, but the best part was getting these two "forbidden" peaks done. I returned the way I had come.
I parked at the yellow gate, and generally followed Don Weise's route, although I went a little too far towards the swamp, and had a difficult bushwhack up the east side of Jennings. Found the cairn and added a stone. Continuing along the ridge, I couldn't find the mining remains,and angled down toward the swamp and the Jenning's Hollow Trail.
Leaving Jennings, I picked up the Lake to Lake Trail and followed it and the Sterling Ridge trail to the summit of Big Beech. With the trees bare, the views from Big Beech were quite good. On the way down, I took a side trip to the Patterson Mine, then the Jenning's Hollow Trail back to the start.
I parked at the Stateline trailhead, and hiked up to the Ernest Walter Trail, which I took southwest to the Bearfort Ridge trail. Followed the BR trail southwest until I judged I was close to the summit, and started to bushwhack in that direction. This was a mistake. I spent about 1/2 hour; getting around a 30 foot dropoff into a swamp, through dense rhododendron thickets, sometimes on my hands and knees, to cover the 1/4 mile to the summit.
At the summit, I couldn't find the cairn noted by Jon, but did set up 4 rocks at what appeared to me to be the high spot.
On the return, I took the side trip to Grand View, which lived up to it's name. Despite a little haze, I could see the NYC skyline to the right, and Skytop in the 'gunks to the left. A span of approximately 75 miles.
Parked at P7, took the Terrace Pond North Trail to the top. returned the way I had come.
After finishing Bearfort Mt., I continued on to Boulder Pine Peak, taking the Old Coal Trail to the Split Rock turnoff. A nice walk to a very pretty summit. No views; just a pleasant place to visit. Returned the same way.
From the parking lot at Ramapo Reservation, I took the Schuber (orange) Trail past the reservoir, then the Red-Silver Trail to the col between Drag Hill and Rocky Mt.
At that point I turned off the trail and bushwhacked to the summit of Drag Hill. After a short break, I continued on to Rocky Mt.
From the top of Drag Hill I descended the gas line, which was very eroded, with treacherous footing. Continued on the gas line to it's high point on Rocky and bushwhacked the short distance to the top. Added a rock to the cairn and had a good view of the NYC skyline. Bushwhacked down the east slope and picked up the Red-Silver trail for the return.
I Parked in lot C at Skylands Manor, picked up the Crossover Trail and followed it out to Ilgenstein Rock. I had thought about continuing on to Rocky Mt. and Drag Hill, but the heat and humidity were making it less than fun, so I just returned the way I had come.
We parked at the Stonetown Recreation Field and made a simple up and down on the Stonetown Circular Trail. Took a short detour to Little Windbeam on the way down.
Found Prickly Pear cactus in bloom near the Windbeam summit.
Parked at Sheperd Lake, and followed the Mt. Bike Loop around the south end of Potake Pond. Threaded the maze of woods roads toward the base of Bald and bushwhacked up the west side. Took the long way down to visit the famous ruins, then back the way I'd come. Found NY/NJ Boundary Marker 19 just off the trail.
$5.00 to park at Sheperd Lake (weekdays), but a nice place to swim after a hot hike.