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.
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.
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.