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First Day Hike/Snowshoe to the Snow Hole


Start your New Year off with a hike or snowshoe on the Taconic Crest Trail.

This hike is moderate to more difficult especially if there is snow due to the length and ascents/descents along the way.  See description to determine if you are physically capable of doing this hike.

Snowhole:  This 6.4 mile (round trip) trail segment has a destination—a compelling crevasse that descends well into the mountain itself, with constant, year-round snow covering its floor (of course, if there was snow the previous winter).

This segment of the Taconic Crest Trail is predominately in New York State with a brief foray into Vermont. The forest is mainly northern hardwoods - sugar maple, yellow birch and American beech as well as red maple, eastern hemlock and black cherry. 

The snow hole is a 50 foot deep chasm in the limestone bedrock just north of the point at which New York, Vermont and Massachusetts meet. This unusual geological feature maintains a temperature within its depths that is cold enough to sustain snow and ice at any time of the year.

The elevation change for this hike is approximately 425 feet. The change is mostly gradual, however, with several descents into the “hollows” and then ascents that reward you with wonderful views of the surrounding mountains and the valley below.

We will begin by crossing NY 2 and climbing up the steep slope to more level ground. This is the most challenging part of the trail. This hike will take approximately 5 hours.

Bring a lunch; we can take break at one of the lookouts on our trek back.

Directions: This one is very easy…. follow NY 2 to Petersburgh Pass. It is approximately 20 +- miles from Troy. The parking area is on the right at the top of the mountain. If you go around a very sharp U-Turn and start back down the mountain you have missed it. There is a sign just before the parking area warning about hikers crossing the road.

Minimum age is 8 (8-15 yrs must have a participating adult with them, 16-17 yrs must have a parent/guardian sign participant agreement but do not need to attend)

* please be dressed for the weather, we will go snow/rain or shine.  Don't forget your hand and toe warmers

* Dress in layers

* wear appropriate hiking/snowshoeing footwear

* snowshoes if we have enough snow or micro spikes for ice or a light coating of snow are a must.

* please bring water, snacks and any personal medicines you may need as well as sunscreen (yes, even in the winter), rain gear, day pack and don't forget about lunch.

* camera and/or binoculars if you have them

* Dogs are not permitted at any of this group's outings.

If you have any trouble finding us, Dorothy's cell is[masked], and Kate's cell is[masked]  feel free to call or text if you have questions. Cell phone coverage is spotty and in some places non-existent. Look for Dorothy's black Jeep Liberty and Kate's red Nissan Versa!

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  • Gail

    Fantastic start to a new year. Dorothy, Seth & Kate were very attentive to all the hikers,especially since the temperature was single degrees & winds. The 3 of them stopped for breaks so we could rest - we appreciated their experience. Thanks for great hike. Gail

    January 2, 2014

  • Krista

    Great guides and a great way to start 2014. Thank you all very much! Looking forward to future meet ups with this group!

    1 · January 1, 2014

  • Rose B.

    I'm playing nurse today My son's four wisdom teeth were extracted yesterday so I really need to stay with him. Hadn't checked in here and didn't even know I was added! Enjoy all!

    January 1, 2014

  • Matt

    Running a couple mins late, I'll try to catch up.

    January 1, 2014

  • Laura P.

    Hey...can either Dorothy or Kate let me know how serious is the need for snowshoes? I have full-foot crampons, but no show shoes...Will these be sufficient?

    January 1, 2014

    • Dorothy

      crampons will be OK... we really don't have that much snow only about 4-5 inches.... just to let you know it is snowing here in Grafton now.... give yourself some additional time to get there.

      January 1, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    My husband and I took ourselves off the list due to no ride. Have fun and we'll catch you some other time!

    December 31, 2013

  • Nancy

    Is 10AM arrival time or start to hike time? I can't stand around in the cold waiting to start very long or I won't survive :-)

    December 31, 2013

    • Dorothy

      10:00 start to hike time....if everyone gets there earlier we can start earlier

      December 31, 2013

  • Dorothy

    Sorry this had to be in 2 posts... I guess it didn't like my long message...

    December 31, 2013

  • Dorothy

    We will be leaving promptly at 10:00 AM... if everyone gets there earlier we can leave earlier. Be considerate of others...If you change your mind about attending please change your RSVP to no so we are not waiting for people who do not plan to show.

    Be dressed for the weather. According the the weather forecast it will be in the single digits with a breeze... Remember that we are starting at an elevation of 2000 feet. Bring plenty of water, food, hand warmers, and toe warmers and anything else that you may need to keep you warm.

    If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact me via email.

    This hike will be a great way to start the New Year!! See you tomorrow.

    December 31, 2013

  • Dorothy

    UPDATE - I went to the Pass to check out the conditions this morning. The trees are shimmering with a coating of ice... they are beautiful. Parking lot is snow covered.. about 2-3 inches, not plowed with lots of ruts that are frozen. Parking lot is icy. Make sure you have your micro spikes - we had ice, then snow, more ice then more snow and that does not account for what we may get today.... it is not possible to walk the trail without spikes. Stabilicers are not microspikes... bring your snowshoes also...

    1 · December 31, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hello, my husband and I would like to attend. Is there anyone who could pick us up in Albany? We live at Park and Swan right on Lincoln Park, near Empire State Plaza. Thanks!


    December 31, 2013

  • julie

    Will not be able to attend

    December 30, 2013

  • Dorothy

    Hi All... I walked the Taconic Crest Trail today... it is very icy and has a light covering of snow. Microspikes are necessary .... you will not be able to walk the trail without them. Hiking poles will be helpful for stability. As of today there is not enough snow for snowshoes. Will keep you informed as to snow conditions.

    If you have any questions about what type of microspikes you should have please email me.

    1 · December 27, 2013

    • Krista

      Hi Dorothy- what type of micro spikes do you recommend?

      December 28, 2013

    • Dorothy

      Hillsound Trail Crampons (LLBean catalog) or Kahtoola microspikes

      December 28, 2013

  • Jeannie T.

    My son isn't up for it, so we're opting out. HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!

    December 18, 2013

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