Saturday, October 17, 2015

Halcott, Catskills 3500 footer final peak!

Date Distance Time Elevation Gain Average Moving Time Year to Date Miles
10/4/2015 4.8 miles A lot longer than expected! 639.1

Trail Map
Parking: See directions
Catskill 3500 List: Peak #39 (last one!)

Directions & Parking: Halcott or Halcott and Sleeping Lion

We were waiting for a while to do this hike because we had read that nettles are bad on this hike. It sounded like a better hike to do in the winter. We didn't wait until winter, but by the time we went the nettles were starting to die back and even though they were chest high at points, it wasn't bad at all. Glen wore jeans hoping that they would offer better protection than his hiking pants. Prickers from other plants were more painful than the nettles.

This hike is a bushwhack from the start. We had read various descriptions of possible routes up. The route we ended up doing was not at all efficient. We started at the parking area and stayed on the right side of the stream (on and off herd path) for a long way up. We were intending to do Halcott and then Sleeping Lion, but our hike took much longer than the hike descriptions we read. I'm guessing this is due to the route we did??? 

We made it up to Halcott without seeing anyone. Other than at the beginning, we didn't find any herd paths until we were very close to the summit. Trek found the canister for us. This was our final hike to finish our Catskill 3500 list! We are very proud of ourselves for completing it! It was a challenge for us and made us stronger hikers. Seeing how long it took us, we didn't have time to lounge around at the summit or to even go to Sleeping Lion. Shortly after leaving the summit, we saw a big group of hikers approaching Halcott. I think this was their 3rd peak of the day. We pretty much followed the same route down the mountain that we had used going up. We noticed that the group behind us finished ahead of us even though we never saw them on the way down. So, they must have found a more efficient route than us.

Waterfall to the left of the parking area


  1. Mazel Tov! That's quite an accomplishment.

  2. Thanks! A few years ago I had a friend suggest we try to do all of the 3500 footers. It seemed like a crazy idea! First off, one of us doesn't like to wake up early - and since its a 2 to 2 1/2 hour drive to get there, that had to change. He still doesn't like waking up early, but he did have enough motivation to finish the list that he did.

    In addition, we had no bushwhacking skills when we started. Since we hike with our dogs, it is easier for us to not hike with groups (where someone else might be doing the navigation for us). We worked on doing the easier bushwhacks first, and graduating to more difficult ones. I am still not a fan of bushwhacking. I hope to take a class on off trail navigation someday. My partner does better than me at navigation. For example, when we decide to just follow a ridge up a mountain, for me it isn't obvious how to stay on the ridge. I'm thinking of trying some of the Catskill 67 hikes, so there will be more bushwhacking in our feature.

    The Catskill hikes were also harder than we were used to. I remember hiking Slide very early on and thinking - if this is one of the easiest Catskill hikes, I'm in trouble. Each year we became a little bit stronger though and the hikes no longer seem so hard. We are now looking at how to re-do some of the peaks, trying a different route or trying to string multiple mountains together to provide ourselves a slightly more difficult challenge.

    The same friend who suggested the Catskill 3500 footers has now suggested we do the New Hampshire 4000 footers. It seems like an impossible task (much longer drive), but who knows!