Sunday, February 7, 2016

Bearpen Mountain from Heisinger Road

Date Distance Time Elevation Gain Average Moving Time Year to Date Miles
2/7/2016 5.9 miles 3 hours 20 minutes 1,892' 2.3 mph 71.2

Trail Map
Parking: Heisinger Road
Catskill 3500 Footer Winter Round Peak #8

Directions:Bearpen Mountain from Heisinger Road

We almost chose to do both Bearpen & Vy from the south, but wanted to try a new route, so did Bearpen only from the north. The drive took us through a rural area with several farms. The hike starts at the end of Heisinger Road. There is a gate to the left and a gate straight ahead. Take the gate to the left. The road (trail) is unmarked (it is officially a bushwhack) but very easy to follow. There are a few side trails, but they are actually easy to miss if you aren't looking for them. I still did carefully check my map and verified the side trails using my compass. When we did Bearpen from the south, we made navigation errors both going up and going down - we did real bushwhacking even though you shouldn't need to! The navigation for this hike was very straightforward though. And one of my goals for this year is to improve my navigation skills, so I need to practice, practice, practice!
I really, really liked this hike. The footing was easy and it was a good workout. There were lots of birch trees in the beginning. I love birch trees. They remind me of a time when I was young and living in Sweden, where they have a lot of them. I remember my father telling me how if you get a piece of the bark, you could write on it. I just thought that was the coolest thing ever! They also remind me of Ansel Adams photographs.

Besides the birch trees, I also found this hike to have really nice views. As you are hiking up, the good views are behind you, so keep looking back! Then, just below the summit is an open area with a great view. It was sunny & we felt warm enough to sit down and take a break to enjoy it. What a great February day! After having a snack, we continued a little further trying to determine the exact summit. We wandered a little into the woods figuring where we thought it was. We also knew there were remnants of a ski resort, so we wandered around looking for signs of it. We found 2 trucks and part of a ski lift.

We managed to hike all of the way up without traction. There was some snow and ice, but we managed to avoid the ice and just walked over the snow. We put on our microspikes to go down though so that we could be more confident with our footing.

Walking around the snow and ice on the way up

Snow getting deeper.

This area is used for snowmobiling

View just before the summit. Great place for a picnic.

Our map didn't show this far away, but guessing that is Ashokan Reservoir????

Old truck I assume because it had  steering wheel.

Approximate summit

This one looks more like ski lift equipment.

Another view near the ski lift equipment.

Another truck with a house roof on it?

Long shadows


Loving the birch trees

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