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Memphis Outdoor Adventures Message Board Trip Reports › Blue Mountain and Ampersand Mountain, NY

Blue Mountain and Ampersand Mountain, NY

C B.
user 21795371
Memphis, TN
Post #: 2
In September, I went up to New England and hiked Blue Mountain and Ampersand Mountain. It was just at the start of the turning of the foliage -- most of it still green but splotches of bright color showing up here and there.

Both trails were pretty rocky, but large sections of them would be along these large "sheets" of stone. These made for easy walking, but you had to be careful of the wet spots because they got pretty slippery.

At the top of Blue Mountain, I saw something that warmed my heart. Three people were sitting at the base of an old fire tower, and one of them had just pulled a full-sized baking pan out of his pack, followed by a jar of cake icing. One of the others in his group was having a birthday that day, and he had baked a cake and carried it up to the top of the mountain to surprise them with it. The fire tower is open to the public, but if you're going to go up it, it helps to be short. At 6' tall, I had to do the limbo coming back down the stairs!

Ampersand Mountain is definitely the more impressive of the two. At one point along the trail, you come to a tree whose roots are twisting and clinging all over the vertical stone face in front of you. Then you look around for the trail, and realize that this IS the trail -- you have to climb up those roots (only about six feet or so) in order to continue.

The top of Ampersand is just bare, mostly-smooth rock. This makes for some impressive views -- and a decent place for a picnic -- but can be a bit troublesome for those who have a problem with heights.

Do you remember when Hurricane Irene came through, and the news stations were showing footage of upstate NY? That was this area. There are still lots of scars on the land. It takes a bit of mental adjustment just to recognize that the reason all of the trees over *here* by the road look so funny is because the first several feet of their trunks are covered in mud from when that stream over *there* was flooding the whole area *that* badly.

Even with the flooding, it's still a beautiful area. I was told that I was about a week early for getting to see the famous "New England Fall Foliage," but it rained the next weekend so I didn't feel too bad. :-)
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