Sunday, February 21, 2016

Mink Hollow Trail, South of the Devil's Path, Catskills

Date Distance Time Elevation Gain Average Moving Time Year to Date Miles
2/21/2016 5.3 miles 2 hours 49 minutes 966' 2 mph 85.9

Trail Map
Catskill All Trails Challenge - Map #141
Parking: Mink Hollow Road

Follow blue blazed Mink Hollow trail to the right of a private driveway.
Pass shelter.
Arrive at intersection of Devil's Path.
Retrace steps.

Notes: Glen slept in very late today, which meant a very late start for a hike. We had to choose a shorter hike than planned, so decided to do a section of the Mink Hollow Trail. We arrived in the Catskills at 2 pm. Yes, that is crazy late for a winter hike. We did the southern section of the Mink Hollow Trail up until the Devil's Path. I found the first stream crossing challenging. I'm not particularly fond of wide stream crossings, especially in winter. I stood there forever (okay, maybe for 5 minutes, but it felt like forever) trying to figure out how I would cross. The water was high, I didn't know if rocks would be icy, and I had to figure out where the rocks were close enough together and stable enough for me to cross. Glen doesn't have these issues and made it across pretty quickly. I did finally figure out how to do it, and managed without falling in :)

The trail is an old woods road. We found the trail very eroded in the beginning. It was narrow and above a stream. I put my microspikes on early on, not wanting to slip down the embankment. The trail became very rocky. It felt like we were always hiking in a streambed or right above one. I kept my microspikes on due to the on and off again ice. Walking on the rocky streambed with microspikes was just a pain. I should have taken my spikes on and off more, but I have a tendency to leave them on once I put them on. This hike would have been a lot nicer if the rocks were covered with a foot of snow! In addition, there was water running down the streambed, sometimes covered in ice, sometimes not. The trail was just very wet. Sometimes I'd fall through the ice into the water.

Near the shelter, the trail levels out. There are also views on both sides of the mountains you can reach from the Devil's Path (no time to attempt them today, wish we could have). We turned around and made better time going downhill. We only saw 4 people today. For a while Glen got ahead of me, and there was another hiker between him and I. Trek usually runs back and forth between us (he keeps track of both of us), but now with a person in the middle he didn't. He ended up tailgating the man in front of us. I was pretty embarrassed that Trek was walking 1 foot behind this man. I hoped the man wasn't afraid of dogs. When I got closer, I called Trek to me, at which point the man let me pass him. He was friendly and didn't seem disturbed that he was being followed.

So, neither Glen or I particularly liked this hike. The trail was very wet, and hiking in rocky streambeds is just slow. No real views until you reach the intersection of the Devil's Path.

Start of trail from parking area

Eroded trail above stream

Lots of ice covered water on the trail

Second stream crossing, not as challenging as the first one

I really should take off my microspikes for this....

This is the trail....just a streambed

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