This dynamic hike will bring you up to one of the most picturesque views in the Hudson Valley. The drive up Meads Mountain road outside of Woodstock twists and turns and takes a lot of the altitude off for you. However, there is still 2 miles to go to get to one of the more famous landmarks in the area. The old Overlook Hotel. Built first in 1833 it survived the civil war as a first class hotel. After a fire, it was rebuilt in 1871 by Lewis Wagonen and enlarged to 300 rooms. At an altitude of 2,920 feet lightning was a constant threat and it won in 1875. After it burned, it was rebuilt by the Kierstead brothers in 1878 and sold to Morris Newsgold in 1917. One year after the Ashokan reservoir was finished. Though the view of the reservoir still stands, the hotel does not. Burned again in 1921 Mr. Newsgold made plans to rebuild with a chapel, stables, and a stand alone lodge. Lack of finances slowed the progress until he finally gave up in 1940 when he sold the land to New York State. Yet another fire in 1970 made the structure unstable and a controlled burn left only the concrete skeleton remaining. What we see today brings back visions of women is long dresses being brought up to the majestic estate by horse and carriage. We should remember this as we climb in our hiking boots and back packs what these women must have experienced. Personally, I'd rather walk!
This is a continuous climb on a dirt/gravel road but don't stop reading yet! We will stop often since I like to breathe and take in the surrounding woods and views. This will be at a SLOW pace. I mean slow. I encourage you to challenge yourself with this one. I have hiked this mountain with kids and seniors alike and we all make it up feeling satisfied since this view is a fine reward. I will also take you to my secret overlook spot many locals don't even know it exists so we can lunch and have the mountain to ourselves for a while. We then continue another 1/2 mile to the fire tower where the adventure seekers can climb up to get a full 360 degree view.
The hike down is easier with poles to take some of the pressure off knees and steady tired feet if needed.
What to Bring: A positive attitude!!! You can do this! WATER...hydration is important. I would recommend a water bladder (2-3Liters) for this hike. FOOD...snacks or lunch. BACKPACK...packed with the 10 essentials (found at traildames.com). APPROPRIATE CLOTHING...bright clothes, warm layers(fleece), moisture wicking clothes, and no jeans. HIKING SHOES: hiking boots/shoes are recommended however, sneakers would be fine. HIKING POLES: there are many benefits to hiking poles...one of which is some stability, which maybe be needed in certain spots.
Rain WILL cancel this event as the view is the best part.
We will meet at the trail head by the Buddhist monastery. If it is full, there is a parking area just beyond that one. We will drive down to get you. But I think this won't be a problem at this time of year. I will send out an e-mail the week of the hike with any final information.
Please leave dogs at home.