Total Mileage: ~10.5 miles
Total Elevation Gain: ~2250'
Pace: about 1.5 MPH average, including breaks
Estimated Hike Time: 6 hours
Getting there: Take the New York State Thruway to Exit 19: Kingston. Go right for Rt. 28 west and go about 27.7 miles to where you turn right onto RT. 42. Go about 7.3 miles north and turn right onto Spruceton Rd.. Go about 7.5 miles and look for the Spruceton trailhead parking area on your LEFT (difficult to see). If you go to the end of the road, go back and watch for the parking area on your right. No cell phone service at the parking area.
Transportation from NYC:
Arrange a carpool with others who have a car posting on the message board. Please share the ride expenses. I have 2 spaces in my carpool and can pick you up in UE Side at 7 am.
With a lot of rain the past few weeks, there WILL be mud and water on portions of the trails. Waterproof hiking boots highly recommended. Waterproof gaiters would be a good idea, as well as hiking poles.
Route Description: Counterclockwise direction. We will take the blue DN trail to the red Devil's Path (DP) trail. On our way up in about a mile (1.6 km), we'll stop to observe a beautiful Diamond Notch Falls, and the ascend to the intersection of the herd path for SW Hunter. It's about 1.5 miles out & back to get the canister. Though not a marked trail, it's an old railroad bed and a short ascent on a good path to the summit - not a REAL bushwhack. Back on the DP trail, we follow it to the yellow Hunter Mt. trail, which goes up to the fire tower at the summit of Hunter Mt. the tallest in Catskills. From there it's down the blue SP trail (fire tower road) to the parking area.
We'll get views at Geiger Point, ledge just before Hunter summit, fire tower, and the John Robb lean-to.
Special Gear / Requirements: Sturdy hiking boots, warm and cool weather wicking clothing (avoid cotton!), food/water as you feel is appropriate, first aid, insulating layer and rain gear (just in case), trail conference map #141. Weather change to strong rain will cancel hike!! Bug spray (Deet). Sunscreen. Hiking poles are helpful on steep descents. 2 Liters of water.
A headlamp is required for every hike for an emergency. Small medical emergency kit. Whistle, search/signal mirror. Phone - some areas do have reception. Power bank.
After finishing the hike, if there is any desire, we will drive to the Russian BRC Bathhouse in Fairlawn, NJ. The best in the USA by the opinions of many athletes and other folks. Best food too. Here is a Groupon ticket: https://www.groupon.com/deals/brc-day-spa-and-sauna-resort-12?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=us_dt_sea_ggl_txt_alp_sr_cbp_ch1_nbr_d*alpha-campaign_g*brc-day-spa-and-sauna-resort-12&template=regular&bypass=true&gclid=Cj0KCQjw9JzoBRDjARIsAGcdIDWYWh71N4XeTlQfFzykyTODeQOPvTomJcMbuGI3caeyqBPhiRTMpxUaAiuIEALw_wcB
Group Size: The DEC limits group sizes in the Hunter - Westkill Wilderness Area to 20.