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Catskills Winter 35ers - VLY & BEARPEN MOUNTAINS - Hosted by Ula!

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  • COME JOIN US FOR A MODERATELY PACED WINTER BUSHWHACK HIKE AS WE EXPLORE 2 PEAKS IN THE NORTHERN REGION OF THE CATSKILLS INCLUDING VLY & BEARPEN MOUNTAINS. BOTH MOUNTAINS HAVE HERD PATHS AND ARE SOME OF THE EASIER "BUSHWHACKS" IN THE CATSKILLS. PLEASE NOTE THAT WINTER BUSHWHACK HIKES ARE NOT IDEAL FOR BEGINNERS AS THERE ARE NO MAINTAINED TRAILS! YOU CAN EXPECT THIS TRIP TO BE ABOUT 6.5 MILES.

    KEEP AN EYE ON THE WEATHER TO DETERMINE WHETHER YOU WILL NEED SNOWSHOES OR JUST TRACTION.

    PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK FOR RECOMMENDED TRACTION DEVICES:

    https://www.meetup.com/HOAGies/pages/21457006/Winter_Traction_Recommendations/

    PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK FOR SNOWSHOE RECOMMENDATIONS:

    https://www.meetup.com/HOAGies/pages/22296072/Snowshoe_Recommendations/

    2 PAIRS OF MSR DENALI ASCENT SNOWSHOES ARE AVAILABLE TO RENT @ $10. A PAIR IF YOU DON'T OWN YOUR OWN SNOWSHOES. PLEASE CONTACT YOUR  HOST TO RESERVE A PAIR IF YOU THINK YOU WILL NEED THEM.

    PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING LINK AS IT INCLUDES USEFUL INFORMATION REGARDING THE HIKE AND PARKING INSTRUCTIONS!

    http://www.catskillmountaineer.com/BWF-vlybearpen.html


    WE WILL MEET AT 1259 County Road 3, Fleischmanns, NY


    DIRECTIONS TO TRAIL HEAD FROM NEW YORK STATE THRUWAY (Easist, not the shortest):

    GPS Coordinates to DEC Parking Lot: N[masked] W[masked] - Elevation is approximately 2,275 feet Take New York State Thruway to Exit 19 (Kingston). Take a right out of the NYS Thruway toll booths onto Rt 28. Go approximately 31.7 miles west on Rt 28 Take a RIGHT into Fleischmanns near bottom of hill. Go approximately 1/4 mile. Take a RIGHT onto Lake Street (by Citgo gas station). Go appoximately 4 miles - Stay LEFT at Y on Rt 3. Go approximately 3 miles - Stay RIGHT at Johnson Hollow Road. The asphalt road will end in about 1 mile and turn into a dirt road. Stop here. Continue past one of the land owners personal signs that states that the public road is a private road. Park on the RIGHT side of the road - Do not park in the snowplow turnaround in the Winter. GPS: N[masked] W[masked] 

    NOTES ABOUT THIS HIKE

    This hike is located on the very western edge of Greene County. The hike is outside of the blue line of the Catskill Mountain Park. This is a quick way to the top of vly and bearpen mountain. There are quite a few view points, and the views from Bearpen mountain are spectacular. Vly Mountain does not have views. This hike is also one of the easier hikes in the Catskill Mountains. There are numerous trails to the summit of Bearpen Mountain. Bearpen Mountain used to be a downhill ski center. Vly Mountain is a bushwhack hike. There is a herd path to the summit. The herd path can be difficult to follow during certain times of the year. Other times it is easy to follow.

    This is the shortest way to the top of vly and bearpen mountain. The road from Rt 3 from Fleischmanns is the favored route by those who want the shortest hike to the top.

    There is NO registration box. This is a wild forest, so you can find snowmobiles running around in the Winter. But, we never see many, and the few we see break the trail for us. Bearpen Wild Forest does get more snow then the rest of the Catskill Mountains.

    Vly Mountain can be climbed from three common routes. The route we will take is from Rt 3 from Fleischmanns. This route is the shortest and easist route to the top of Vly Mountain. It is about 1.78 miles to the top. Most people use this route. The difficult part of this route is the parking. You cannot park in the snowplow turnaround, but you can park on the shoulder of the road on the other side of the mountain.

    The road up to the summit is a nice easy incline that runs pretty steady. It is about 1 mile long. When you get to the summit, there is a Hunter's Cabin. The road is wide enough for a truck, and can be used by the public. Once at the pass, you will find the herd path on the right side of the road. It is just past the DEC Wild Forest sign. The climb up to Vly Mountain is moderate or difficult in ability. Nothing terrible. It is easy to fall off the trail, so you do have to be careful certain times of the year. Other times of the year, the path is quite well defined and easy to follow. About 3/4 of the way up the mountain there is a limited view. Once on top there is no view. Once you are done, hike back down to Rt 3 to the pass by the Hunter's Cabin.

    Now, walk past the front porch of the Hunter's Cabin. This trail will lead you to Bearpen Mountain. At the trail junction, take a LEFT. Climb uphill along the steeper trail. You will come to a switchback. About 250' past the switchback is a new (2010) snowmobile trail. It is marked with NYS DEC snowmobile trail marker. You can follow this trail for about a 1/2 mile. After a 1/2 mile, there is a faint herd trail on the right. You can take this herd trail for a short cut. Or, you can follow the snowmobile trail to the end. It will come to another snowmobile trail. You then will take a LEFT. You will come to the summit of Bearpen Mountain. Once you are done you can reverse your course back to your car.

    There are numerous great views from the summit of vly and bearpen mountain. Take the time to find most of them. Most of the views are spectacular. This mountain is a loved by snowshoers and cross-crountry skiers for good hiking and great views. Some find it quite magical.


    DISTANCE: Approximately 6.5 miles

    HIKING PACE: up to 2 mph

    ESTIMATED HIKE TIME: up to 4-5 hours

    DIFFICULTY: Moderate - Should be fit and have your winter layering in order

    CURRENT WEATHER FORECAST: Partly ? with a high of ? degrees


    RECOMMENDED GEAR:

    Winter Traction Device (Microspikes or Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultra)

    • Snowshoes (weather pending)

    • Headlamp with spare batteries - Lowe's has an Energizer 200 Lumen headlamp for only $19.97

    • Shoes with good grip - preferably with ankle support

    A Medium Pack

    • Related maps, a Compass or GPS, Water in Insulated Bottle to prevent freezing, Snacks, First Aid, etc.

    Windbreaker, warm layers, hat, gloves, etc.

    Gaiters

    • Hiking Poles



    RELATED MAPS:

    New York - New Jersey Trail Conference - Catskills Trails Map Set


    "BUSHWHACKS" are hikes that leave maintained trails through pure wilderness.  Please make sure you are confident in your ability to hike and navigate through wild forest without trails in case your fearless leader should get hurt and you need to go for help (unlikely - lol).  A Map & Compass are REQUIRED. GPS is also recommended, but it is not a substitute for a map, compass and the skills to use them effectively.  Safety glasses or goggles might also be a good idea to keep branches from whipping you in the eye. 


    Catskill Hiking maximum group size limitations.

    • A group size limit of 12 people for day hiking off-trail or in wilderness areas is in place. Any group larger than 12 must split up (by no less than 1 mile) into smaller, self-sufficient groups that satisfy the size requirement. These groups shall not congregate into one large group at trail junctions, rest stops, lunch breaks, etc.

    • In all other areas of the Catskills a group size limit of 20 is in place. Groups larger than 20 must split up (by no less than 1 mile) into smaller, self-sufficient groups that satisfy the size requirement. These groups shall not congregate into one large group at trail junctions, rest stops, lunch breaks, etc.

    NY HIKING & OUTDOOR ADVENTURE GROUP LEGAL DISCLAIMER
    Waiver of liability


    You agree when you sign up for this group or any of the events that you have read and understand the below.

    If you join us for a hike (or any other event), please understand that you are responsible for your own preparedness and well-being and will hold no one else liable in case of injury or mishap. You agree not to hold the Organizer, Assistant Organizers, or any other members of the NY Hiking & Outdoor Adventure Group responsible for any injuries, mishaps, or any other situation that may happen at a planned event or during transport to and from a planned event. You are responsible to research the event, know the area, and bring the proper gear. When applicable, you should review topographic maps and trail features carefully. Understanding the topography of a hike is key to knowing where you are, where you're going, and how to get back.

    The NY Hiking & Outdoor Adventure Group does not provide liability insurance for the protection of individuals who may participate in any of the events planned by the Organizer or Assistant Organizers.

    This release extends and applies to, and also covers and includes, all unknown, unforeseen, unanticipated and unsuspected injuries, damages, loss and liability.

    Your attendance on an event signifies that you have read and accept the terms of this liability waiver. By signing up for this group or event you understand that you are attending all events AT YOUR OWN RISK. Organizers and Assistant Organizers of this group are just that, we organize the events and participate together as friends. We are not licensed guides and there are no leaders on these events. You are your own leader - This is YOUR event.

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  • Jo-Anne

    Driving from harrison path station in NJ. Msg me if you need s ride.

    Yesterday

  • Jon

    BEARPEN! 🐻

    Yesterday

  • Ula

    Hi everyone. Since the group size has grown quite a bit and parking area at trailhead is really small carpooling is now strongly recommended. For all those who still have space in the car meeting spot is Brio's parking lot in Phoenicia at 9:15 am. Thanks!

    Yesterday

  • Chandresh

    Driving from Astoria, pm me if anyone needs a ride.

    Yesterday

  • Jon

    I am driving up from the city and have one more spot in the car. Pickup in Astoria or UES. Private message me if interested.

    1 · Yesterday

  • Jasmine W.

    Anyone departs from NYC area? May I pitch in a ride? Many thanks:)

    4 days ago

  • Elaine

    @Ula@Alicia slovak is ok too haha 😁 Seriously tho tx, long shot but maybe it's still there 😐

    February 16

  • AliciaDevero

    And What If that pole got married in the meantime? Should we split them? 😂😂😂

    1 · February 15

    • Ula

      Hahha. We'll negotiate!

      February 15

  • Elaine

    If you find a single pole on top of Bearpen pls bring it back for me 😭

    1 · February 13

    • Ula

      Will do!

      February 14

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