Sunday, September 30, 2012

Colgate Lake to apple orchard and Dutcher Notch

September 29, 2012
Distance: 9.6 miles (can be shorted by just hiking to the apple orchard)
Time: 5 hours 9 minutes
Map: Catskill Trails Map Set
Parking: See directions link. Second parking lot on Colgate Road, East Jewett, NY. Room for 10 cars.
Restrooms: None
Post hike dinner: Garden Cafe on the Green, Woodstock
Directions: Colgate Lake to Dutcher Notch
Hike starts behind gate.
Trail is blazed with yellow discs.
All washed out bridges have been replaced.
Hike to intersection of blue blazed trail & return using the same route

Both dog carried water. There was no need. There was water everywhere! The trail is very wet. The trail is pretty level, but at times is quite rocky, and the rocks are wet. Gaiters are recommended.

We didn't see a single person on this trail! Excellent for hiking with dogs. Colgate Lake (a short drive down the road from the parking lot) looks like it would be a great place for a post-hike swim with the dogs.

We did miss a turn within the first mile, and ended up at the stream in a different place (no bridge to cross it). We walked around searching for the trail on the other side, before we decided to retrace our steps. When we did so, we found where we lost the trail. Otherwise, we had no problems. There are woods roads/logging roads in the area, so it is possible to take one accidentally. The trail is clearly marked though.

This trail is mostly in the woods, but at points there are views (beginning of the hike at meadow crossing), large bog just off the trail, and the apple orchard. We did see several birds - grouse we believe. Butterflies & bears are supposed to be common as well.

The apples weren't doing well this year - the ones we found were small and didn't look ripe.

Year to date miles: 295.1

Sign for the parking area
Parking area. Trail starts behind the gate. Foliage on the mountains in the background are at their peak.
Misty/drizzly day though, so it didn't come out in our photos.
Crossing the meadow at the beginning of the trail.
Beautiful foliage at higher elevations.
Registration area at the end of the meadow. The trail enters the woods at this point.
This is where we missed our turn. Clearly marked, but our heads must have been down. Straight ahead is a woods road, so we didn't realize we missed the turn until we hit the stream crossing with the missing bridge.
First stream crossing with a brand new bridge.
Sign after the bridge crossing.
Walking through the woods. The ferns are starting to yellow.
The trail is very, very wet in spots.
This is a large bog - a few feet off the trail. The colors on the mountains in the distance were beautiful.
The tops of the mountains are under clouds (drizzly day).
Another brand new bridge.
Meadow with apple orchard. Their is a herd path through the field.
Camping area
We only found one tree with apples.
They were pretty small & green.
Small falls on the side of the trail
Intersection just past Dutcher Notch.

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