|Date||Distance||Time||Elevation Gain||Average Moving Time||Year to Date Miles|
Map: NYNJTC Catskills Map 141
Parking: Platte Clove Road parking area for Huckleberry Point. Or roadside parking next to the trailhead.
Directions: We parked in the parking lot off Platte Clove Road, but there is closer parking next to the trailhead (if there is room). We turned right on the road and walked to the trailhead (kiosk). Follow the blue blazed Overlook Trail. Pass a quarry. Join the Devil's Path briefly. Continue on the Overlook Trail where the Devil's Path splits off. Pass the Devil's Kitchen shelter. Cross over a stream. Turn left onto a short spur path to Codfish Point. Return to the trail. Almost opposite the Codfish Point trail, is a herd path to another quarry. Follow this herd path up to the quarry where there is a view with stone chairs. We continued a little ways until the herd path gave out. From there we started our bushwhack to Plattekill Mountain. After reaching the summit, we bushwhacked down, arriving further south on the Overlook Trail. Continue on the Overlook Trail to the Echo Lake Trail. Return back to the parking area, following the Overlook Trail.
We really missed having Trek on this hike. He's the best bushwhack companion. Next weekend he should be back to hiking!
There are falls near the trailhead, but the trail to them is closed and is currently being worked on by volunteers.
We had a nice pleasant hike and stopped by the first quarry. There's a pretty area through open forest that the trail passes through. The trail was muddy again, but at least the hiking was straightforward. This quarry isn't quite as impressive as the one on the Devil's Path.
We stopped by Codfish Point. There are seats with views, where I practiced my map and compass skills again.
We used to bring a GPS on all of our bushwhacks, so we could use it as a backup. It makes me feel so much more comfortable. I didn't bring one today. But we both have phones, and I've been using Strava to track our hikes recently rather than carrying the extra weight of a GPS. Well, somehow my phone didn't charge when we were driving up to the Catskills. My battery was low. And Glen didn't have Strava downloaded. He did manage to download it at the first quarry. I felt a little better. Just a reminder of why map and compass skills are important. Electronics fail!
We decided that we would do a bushwhack up Plattekill Mountain (on the Catskill 67 list) and then continue over the mountain to land up somewhere on the Overlook trail close to the Echo Lake trail. We found a little information on the bushwhack up, but not much on the bushwhack down. We aren't aiming to do the Catskill 67 (too many hikes on private property), but will do some of the ones on public property when they fit in well with one of our hikes.
Once we found the start of the path towards Plattekill Mountain, it was an easy to follow herd path up to a small quarry area. There were again seats at the top with a view the Catskill Bruderhof buildings, Roundtop Mountain, and KHP. We had seen some members of the Bruderhof walking on the roads and hiking today.
The herd path continued a short ways past the chairs. We tried following it to see where it went, but it petered out. We took a bearing and started heading up. The description we found made it look like a piece of cake. Ha! We took a bearing and off we went. We hit a cliff immediately. Not a tall cliff, but still one that needed navigating around. We continued up. It's been a while since we've done a bushwhack. We went through a thin band of conifers near the top. Eventually if we followed my bearing, we'd be heading down.
We walked around the summit area looking for 2 large rocks, which theoretically are the summit. We don't know if we found the right rocks, but hopefully they are. So, I felt I did okay with our navigation up using just the compass.
Going down was another story. We tried to follow the southeast ridge down the mountain. Glen finds staying on ridges straightforward. I don't. We walked mostly on the edge of the ridge. We found the forest thicker going down the mountain. Bugs were annoying us. And we were sweating despite the cool weather. Somehow, we ended up going way too far west. Glen started checking the phone. Then I felt less secure on my navigation skills. UGH. I hate being lost, and almost every bushwhack feels like being lost. We started being on the top of a band of cliffs. On the bright side, we did get a view! We found a rock on the cliffs where we could actually see out. We had a great view of Echo Lake and the communications tower beyond it, and realized we needed to head further east. We changed our bearing to go southeast. Seeing the lake made me feel a little bit better. But we were once again in forest where all views were obscured. We started having to bushwhack through mountain laurel. I used to like mountain laurel. It has pretty flowers. Bushwhacking through thick mountain laurel sucks. I tried using brute force. It kept grabbing onto my legs and not letting me through. My legs and feet felt gouged. The brush was really thick and half the time we couldn't see where we were stepping.We got more and more frustrated with the brush. After a while we decided - let's not try to follow the ridge down. Let's try to get back to the trail the fastest way possible. We started heading further east. We had to navigate down more cliffs, but always found a safe way. Eventually Glen called out "TRAIL!" Happy time!
We continued along the trail until we hit the intersection of the Echo Lake trail. If we hadn't just been frustrated with our bushwhack, we would have continued down to Echo Lake. It seems like it would be a nice place to camp if you were able to get it to yourself. We stopped at the intersection and took a break. We compared wounds from the mountain laurel. I sat and drank water.
We headed back to our car on the Overlook trail. Have I mentioned that the portion of the Overlook trail between Echo Lake and Codfish Point is beautiful? It's EASY! It's flat. There aren't many rocks. It's not overly muddy. The ground is dirt and soft. You can just get in a rhythm and hike. I was hungry by then, but didn't want to eat, because I knew we'd be picking up real food for dinner. This wasn't a particularly good idea, because I was left with little energy to finish the easy portion. I hiked along at a relaxed pace, way behind Glen.
We decided bushwhacks aren't particularly fun for us, but we do get a sense of accomplishment when we complete them. Blood, sweat, and tears.
|First quarry stop|
|A couple of chairs with a view this is from Codfish Point|
|Practicing my map and compass skills again. Round Top in the middle and KHP on the right. The Bruderhof buildings in front. I didn't want to try to figure out all of the mountains further in the distance.|
|Approximate Plattekill summit|
|Approximate Plattekill summit|
|Taking a break at the Echo Lake trail.|