Meg's ascents on 04/29/2012

Mount Defiance

Not much to say here. Short hike up less than 10 switchbacks with a 5 min or so scramble of the trail to the top. Good views of the large green of the botanical gardens, many hills and trees and gunfire (from a nearby shooting range) in the background. Take some time to see the grounds of the gardens below. The entire hike took us about 40 min including taking a moment at the top.

The trail was a little tricky for us to find. Look for a woods road at the edge of the gardens and with green stripe/white blazes.

Jennings Mountain

Great steep ascent (no trail to the top). made this mountain really fun to scramble up. There are a number of false summits that make for good places to catch your breath and get some good views of the surrounding highlands. The summit had some nice views as well.

We climbed (nearly) straight to the top from the bridge that passes over the river. We then walked for a bit on the ridge and came down near a beautiful wetlands area (a pond when we saw it). We took the Jennings Hollow Trail (yellow blaze) back along the base and eventually along the rive/brook to the bridge.

Hasenclever Hill

I've been hearing about this view for years. I must say that it was absolutely spectacular. We started from the North face in NY and hiked around a portion of Blue Lake. There is a small sign for the entrance and it is right after the IBM entrance. You'll pass one parking spot and keep going until you come to the lake and make-shift boat launch.
Park there and start hiking on the woods road. Not far and there will be a fork (stay left - towards the lake). There is another fork - you'll again stay towards the lake on the road/trail. You'll want to hike until you pass a orange diamond sign on a post. That is when you'll start climbing up the side of Hasenclever Hill. I suggest walking the distance to the sign because if you go up too soon from the road/trail you'll hit another ridge that you will be forced to climb up and down before starting the true ascent up Hasenclever. Running into the ridge is not the end of the world but it can be annoying when you are not on any trails.
This trailess "hill" has a less steep ascent than others but one should be careful many holes and loose rocks. When climbing to the top from the North face you'll hit the ridge and have two options - both of which are a must. You can turn left (West) to head toward the summit. Depending on where you came up the hill the summit should be less than a 10 min walk . You'll want to look for a large boulder at the end of the ridge. This is a must so you can claim that you've bagged the peak. If/when you walk the other direction you'll find one of the most beautiful views. Start walking to the right (East) also about 10 min and you'll see to your left ( South) an opening with a flat rock outcropping. When you step onto it you'll be surrounded by a sea of tree, hills and lake below. It was very beautiful (and windy).
I would suggest going to the view point first and then to the summit because this will guarantee that on your way down you do not run into the other ridge. When we hiked up we didn't know about the other ridge and ended doing the extra little bit. On the way down is when we discovered that the first ridge ended ( we just hadn't hiked far enough on the road below.
This hike is a must. The lake is very pretty as well.