Catskill 3500 Backpacking Series
Sugarloaf and Twin (Two Catskill Peaks!)
GREAT VIEWS AND SECLUDED PRIMITIVE CAMPSITES! Slow pace to enjoy all the Catskill's have to offer.
This will be an exciting backpacking trip starting at the Roaring Brook parking area and climbing to the summits of Sugarloaf and Twin (two Catskill peaks on the Devil's path). We will camp at the primitive campsites of Pecoy Notch Saturday night. Saturday afternoon we will hike into the campsite, drop our gear and bag Sugarloaf for sunset - On Sunday we will hike to the summit of Twin then back down to the cars. This trip is good for beginners, we will be hiking at a slower pace and covering just 7.4 miles total in 2 days. Due to the shorter distance you can spoil yourself with some good food and drinks ;)
Distance: 7.4 miles (<4 miles per day)
Elevation gain: 2,900 over the 2 days
Gear: All backpacking gear is needed (Backpacking gear can be rented - email me for details)
Estimated hike time: About 4 hours Sat afternoon and about 5 hours on Sunday Morning
Meetup Times and locations: 3pm Saturday – Roaring Kill Parking Area
GOOGLE MAP to parking and trail map: http://goo.gl/maps/PoJyu
Turn onto Bloomer Rd. off Route 23A just west of Tannersville. At the Y in the road bear left onto Platte Clove Rd. Continue on this road until the sign for Elka Park Road appear on the right. Turn here and proceed on this road without turning until it turns into a dirt road. After about a mile the Roaring Kill Parking Area appears on the right. Park here and get ready for a challenging but rewarding hike. The Roaring Kill Trail heads into the woods for only .25 miles and then splits into the Pecoy Notch Trail and the Mink Hollow Trail. Turn left here onto the blue marked Pecoy Notch Trail. This trail begins a climb through pine forests as it works its way to the Col between Sugarloaf and Twin.
After .7 miles, you arrive at Dibble's Quarry which has nice views of Roundtop, Kaaterskill High Peak and the Hudson River valley. This is the remains of one of the numerous bluestone quarries that were active in the area. Hikers have piled the flat rocks into chairs and tables and thrones and walls making for a very interesting appearance. This area keeps changing as people add to the artistry. In another half mile the trail passes a beaver pond and can be quite muddy and even flooded at times. From here the trail climbs the last half mile to Pecoy Notch. You can choose to hike Twin or Sugarloaf or do both! If you choose to do both, it really doesn't matter which you choose first.
Turn right on the Devil's Path to climb Sugarloaf Mountain. The distance is only 1.3 miles but the climb is rugged for almost a mile. There are lots of rock scrambles and several areas that test your balance, agility and upper body strength. Near the summit the trail levels as you walk toward the summit. From the summit continue on the Devil's Path for less than a half mile. Look for a side trail on the left that leads to a designated campsite and great views to the north. Retrace your steps back down to Pecoy Notch.
The climb up the west side of Twin Mountain is one of the steepest I have hiked. Some areas are nearly vertical requiring you to pull yourself up by gripping roots and rocks. The climb is less than a mile but most of it is VERY STEEP. JUst before the western (higher) summit there is an interesting "cave" or rock overhang on the left of the trail. The trail continues to the right of this overhang up through some cracks in the rock. The view from the top is always worth the climb. It is better on the days when there is less haze. Continue on the trail for another .7 miles to the eastern (lower) peak of Twin. The views here are perhaps even better than on the higher peak. There is a large rock shelf which offers great views of the western peak of Twin, Sugarloaf and Overlook Mountain.
The return trip consists of turning around and following the Devil's Path back to Pecoy Notch. Turn right and follow the Pecoy Notch and Roaring Kill Trail back to the parking area.
Last year's trip:
NOTE: You are responsible for bringing appropriate gear, supplies, clothing, first aid, and lights. You should review topographic maps and trail features carefully; understanding topography of any hike is key to your knowing where you are, where you're going, and how to get back.
See suggestions for GEAR on the "About" page for additional gear ideas.
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