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Overlook Mountain to Echo Lake - Overnight Backpacking & Stargazing

One of our favorite short trips. We've been visiting Echo Lake once a year in autumn. This trip is good for beginner backpackers. If you're a beginner and interested in doing this trip feel free to get in touch with me via email with any questions about gear or the trip itself. Backpack through the balsam forests and exposed bedrock of Overlook Mountain Wild Forest, gaining 1,300 feet in elevation to reach its peak at 3,140 feet. This hike is one of the most interesting in the Catskills because of its rocky formations, unique wildlife, and red oak forests. Before reaching the summit, you will pass by the ruins of the Overlook Mountain House, an old hotel, built circa 1870, which after burning to the ground twice, was rebuilt and then abandoned to looters.


Overlook Mountain, throughout the 19th Century was the focus of the many famous works by artists from the Hudson River School and as you hike you will begin to understand why. The peak of Overlook Mountain offers amazing views of the Hudson River valley, the Ashokan Reservoir and the Devil’s Path from atop a 60 foot fire tower, which has stood on the peak since 1950 and is one of only five towers remaining in the Catskill Park. The summit is also comprised of open ledges which offer a spectacular view of the Hudson Valley abruptly changing into the Catskill Mountains. You can begin to see from here the entire geologic history of the range.


Descending the mountain, we will setup camp at Echo Lake, a coldwater pond stocked with Brook Trout. The Catskills are known for these clean, clear ponds, which are excellent for fishing because of their isolation from development. The following morning we will hike back out.

If the skies permit, we will have a clear viewing of the Milky Way Galaxy. The moon will be below the horizon to allow us to focus on the light of our home galaxy.



Distance: 4.67 miles one way from trail head parking lot to Fire Tower on Overlook Mtn Peak to Echo Lake.

Time: Aprox. 3 hours One Way

Elevation Gain: 1500 Feet One Way

Peak Elevation: 3140 Feet

Directions to Trail Head:

GPS Coordinates to DEC Parking Lot: N[masked] W[masked] - Elevation is approximately 1,762 feet

Take New York State Thruway to Exit 20 (Saugerties).

Take a left out of the NYS Thruway entrance road.

Go approximately 1/2 mile

Take a right onto Route 212 West

Go approximately 10 miles to Woodstock, NY

When you come into the center of the village take a RIGHT onto Rock City Road.

Rock City Road will turn into Meads Mountain Road.

At the top of the hill will be a large dirt parking lot where you can park. The lot is directly across for the large Buddhist Monastery on the left.

Gear Requirements:

You are required to bring everything you need for a 1 night trip including but not limited to: Tent, sleeping bag, food (and a way to prepare it if necessary), water, proper clothing and a pack to fit it all in. You do not want to carry anything in hand during hike. Always bring rain gear. If you have any specific questions feel free to ask me.

DISCLAIMER:

Participation in activities is strictly voluntary and group members assume all risks in connection with activities; per Meetup.com's Terms of Service Agreements, organizers and hike/trip leaders are released from any and all forms of liability related to events. You are responsible for bringing the proper gear including maps, and knowing your way in and out of the areas we operate in.

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  • Matthew M.

    Had a great time. Nice meeting everyone. Anyone doing any trips over 3 day weekend? If anyone is interested Stephanie and I are thinking about doing a late Friday thru Monday backpacking trip to Harriman State Park, NY from Tuxedo train Station to Dutch Doctor shelter. Or Saturday morning to Monday. Let me know..Cheers

    August 26, 2014

  • Daniel M.

    Here's a 360 I did
    https://www.thesphere.com/445803

    Also for those interested in the hiking data (distance, elevation, etc)
    http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=7628979

    August 24, 2014

    • Athos

      Great shots. I was mentioning the micro 4/3 system to y'all great photographers.

      August 26, 2014

    • Athos

      www.simplyathos.com the travel shots were with a canon 40D except for Cyprus was only shot with an OM-d E-M5. Same with the entire Urban Macro Project, plus all the recent Real Estate photos. Save weight and get the same results. what's not to love?

      August 26, 2014

  • Bob H.

    It was an excellent location and a warm and friendly group. I would describe this hike as suitable for intermediate backpackers based on my experience as a beginner. I learned a great deal from all of the participants. I have gained some specific conditioning goals and equipment considerations from my experience on this trip. The doctor says I should be able to get out of bed in about a week. ;-) Thanks to all for your patience and advice. Special thanks to Matt and Ian for sharing the load along the way and to Tom and Matt for their shepherding towards the end of Day 1. I look forward to doing this again and returning the favors to other beginners. Thanks all.

    August 25, 2014

  • Jennifer

    Thanks for a great trip! Until next time.

    1 · August 25, 2014

  • Bob H.

    The trailhead lot is packed. No parking space available. As 11:30.

    August 23, 2014

  • Jennifer

    Does anyone have an extra tent or room in their tent?

    August 18, 2014

    • Jennifer

      Great I will.

      August 18, 2014

    • Jennifer

      Hi Daniel, Did you get my text?

      August 23, 2014

  • Ian

    For those using GPS, here's the exact location of the trailhead: https://goo.gl/maps/954Uw

    August 22, 2014

    • Daniel M.

      If there is no parking there, look back on the meetup page for an update. I'll be looking for parking in the town and we can drive you to the mountain

      August 22, 2014

    • Daniel M.

      So actually there is no overnight parking in the town of woodstock. The fine is 25 if you are ticketed. If the lot is too full there is a walmart 20 minutes away.

      August 23, 2014

  • Prince C.

    Hey all, Anyone from Central NJ (Middlesex County) area wants to join me for the ride?

    August 18, 2014

    • Jen B

      Thanks! I hope to see be arriving around 2:30 so maybe we can meet up.

      August 22, 2014

    • Athos

      Cool. Sounds good. I'm targeting 2:30-3:30. I'm a real estate agent in Jersey City so it all depends if my clients decide to put an application in or not how long I'll be delayed

      1 · August 22, 2014

  • Daniel M.

    It looks like it's not going to be a clear night, no stars probably :(

    August 22, 2014

  • Julie

    If anyone IS interested in carpooling for the regular time, Jen and I are coming from the Trenton area.

    August 21, 2014

  • Athos

    Hello, some work stuff came up so I will have to leave later and hike in solo and meet y'all. So if anybody needs to leave a bit later for any reason, I will be leaving Jersey City sometime between 12 to 1pm. I could stop in Lodi if you need a place to park your car for free where I have 2 spots available for my unit there. Cheers!

    August 19, 2014

  • Anjan

    Hi I would like to join carpool, if anyone driving from NJ, I am from Edison, Nj, Appreciate your response, Tx

    July 28, 2014

    • Prince C.

      I'm driving from Carteret-Woodbridge area Anjan. U can join me.

      August 17, 2014

  • Lerch

    Random, I was just up Overlook mountain a week ago. You guys are in for a really nice trip!

    1 · August 17, 2014

  • Athos

    I have a Sawyer filtration system. Should work fine at Echo Lake I'm guessing?

    August 9, 2014

    • Michael A.

      Yes it'll work fine, that's the filter I have as well.

      August 10, 2014

    • Athos

      Cool thanks. Been waiting for a nice one nighter to come up this summer. This one looks perfect. I'll be driving up from Lodi, NJ and could fit a couple of people in my car.

      August 12, 2014

  • Daniel M.

    Please note that the time that we are meeting changed from 9am to 12pm noontime. Meeting at 9am would be terrible since we would be too tired to wait for the night sky. In fact, I may be changing this to 1pm, so keep an eye on this time.

    July 21, 2014

    • Michael A.

      Last year we had a good fire. Finding wood should be no problem.

      July 31, 2014

    • Ian

      Yes, there will definitely be plenty of wood to make a fire. We've always had them here.

      July 31, 2014

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