2017-18 Winter Hikes
Loop Hike From MTHS around North/South Lake
This hike will begin at the parking area for the Mountain Top Historical Society in Haines Falls. We will walk the KRT trail to the new bridge crossing over the creek. We will then follow the yellow horse trail to the North/South Lake Road crossing over the dam and joining up with the yellow trail. We will follow the yellow trail around North/South Lake through the campground. We then will cross the road taking the horse trail back to the KRT and ending back at the Mountain Top Historical Society.
- Water - Snacks or a light lunch
- Warm clothes
- Dress in layers (Hat + Gloves too)
- Backpack - Hand and Foot warmers
- Yaktrax or microspikes in case of patches of ice
- Boots if snow cover is on ground
- Second pair of dry socks
Saturday January 13
Come see Kaaterskill Falls in all her glory from the winter perspective. See how the waterfall and surrounding land become a winter spectacular. This snowshoe will depart from the MTHS campus and proceed along the KRT 1.5 miles to the Laurel House Road parking area. From there, we will follow the path down to the Kaaterskill Falls viewing platform. Once folks are ready to depart we will retrace our footsteps back up the trail to the parking area. Then we will follow the KRT back to the Mountain Top Historical Society.
Folks wishing to participate on this walk need to bring their own snowshoes. At this time we do not have the ability to rent snowshoes but if this proves to be a popular walk we can look into snowshoe rental.
If folks wish to come on this walk without snowshoes a pair of microspikes would be highly recommended for possibility of ice on trail.
What to bring with you.
- Snacks or a light lunch
- Hand and Foot warmers
- Snacks or a light lunch
- Hand and Foot warmers
MTHS hosts 4th Annual Hikefest
Saturday, October 7th, 2017
It’s that time of year again for Hike Fest with the Mountain Top Historical Society on Rt. 23A in Haines Falls. This year we will feature 4 hikes ranging in various intensity levels. All hikes will meet at 9:00 am and leave from the KRT parking lot on the Mountain Top Historical Society campus. Following the hikes around noon, lunch will be available. Lunch will be hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill with all the fixings including salads, cold drinks and dessert. Jeff and Doug Senterman have graciously agreed to be our Grillmasters. The cost per person for lunch is $10, reservations required. After lunch (about 1:00 p.m.) MTHS board member Moe Lemire will speak about his recent through hike on the Appalachian Trail. Moe’s talk will be illustrated with lots of his photos taken along the trail.
Hike #1: North Point (Difficult) - 4.7 miles round trip --- New York State licensed guide Moe Lemire will lead this 4.7 mile round trip hike to North Point. This hike will begin at the parking area on Scutt Road. The hike will begin following the yellow marked Rock Shelter trail. The terrain for the first 1.3 miles will be a fairly level grade with some gradual accents through rock filled trail. The hike then will take the red marked Mary's Glen trail for .8 miles ascending steeply up to open ledges. One last steep rise for .25 miles to the lookout of North Point. From the open ledges of North Point you will be able to see into the Hudson Valley as well as views of North and South Lake. The hike then will return to the parking area via the same trails back.
Hike #2 Layman Monument and beyond along the Escarpment (Moderate) — 3.5 miles round trip. Guide book author and long-time MTHS hike leader Bob Gildersleeve will head up this hike which will offer several options depending on hiking pace, time and stamina of the hikers. Maximum hike length will be 3.5 miles. After carpooling to a parking area off North Lake Road, we will take the blue-marked trail for .7 mile to Layman Monument. The hike will continue along the blue trail past many spectacular view points. When the trail meets the yellow-marked horse trail, the group has the option to loop back to the parking area or to continue on to Sunset Rock and even further to Inspiration Point. The group will return to the parking area via the same trails.
Hike #3 Kaaterskill Rail Trail to the Falls. Easy/Moderate - 3.5 miles round trip ---This hike led by Pete Senterman will leave directly from the Mountain Top Historic Train Station and follow the newly completed Kaaterskill Rail Trail for a total roundtrip of 3.5 miles. The first 1.5 miles of this hike will follow along the old railroad bed and the grade is fairly flat. When the trail reaches the junction it is .25 miles down to the viewing platform for Kaaterskill Falls. The hike then will retrace and follow the rail trail back to the Train Station. This hike also has the option to continue on the trail over the newly constructed bridge and descend down to the bottom of the falls.
Hike #4 Platte Clove Preserve Nature Loop Trail and Falls (Easy) - 1.25 miles --- ADK 4600 hiker and MTHS board member Nancy Allen, will begin this hike at the Platte Clove Preserve Red Cabin. The hike will follow the blue trail from the cabin and branch off to the newly built nature trail loop. The hike will follow out to a view into Platte Clove and past some old ruins. The hike will loop back to the blue trail, following it back to the Red Cabin. The hikers will return to the Red Cabin and then descend down .5 miles to the base of the Plattekill Falls and return to the Red Cabin for rides back to the MTHS campus.
Longtime MTHS board member and mountain top community friend Doug Humm, 95 of Haines Falls and Indialantic, FL passed away peacefully, May 9, 2017 at his Florida home.
Doug was regularly host on Sunday afternoons to visitor's at the society's visitor center in Haines Falls. His long service to the society and friendly manner with everyone he met will be missed.
At Last, Presenting the Kaaterskill Rail Trail!
Four years ago, on June 1, 2013, a celebration was held on the campus of the Mountain Top Historical Society in Haines Falls, NY for the opening of the Kaaterskill Rail Trail from the U & D Railroad Station to the Laurel House site at the top of Kaaterskill Falls. It was a beautiful sunny day; the crowd was enthusiastic; the long awaited trail was finally ready. Well, the trail was almost ready. Hiking the trail for the past four years has meant taking a detour from the MTHS parking lot out to Osborn Road to North Lake Road and then south on Featherbed Lane to re-join the KRT about ¾ mile from the Railroad Station. It was not exactly what had been planned and worked for over so many years by so many community groups and individuals.
Now, on Saturday, May 20, 2017, there will be another community celebration beginning at 10:30 a.m. This time we will mark the end of the detour and the opening of the missing link with a few speeches, a ribbon cutting, and a beautiful, delicious cake. Walkers and hikers will be able to enter the KRT along the old train route just east of the MTHS' historic Railroad Station. It opens up a whole new world of hiking! At the Laurel House site, there is now a bridge that allows people to cross Lake Creek above Kaaterskill Falls and join the NYSDEC system of trails. One could hike all the way to Windham! "The Kaaterskill Rail Trail connects hikers, cyclists, and other outdoor enthusiasts to the wonderful Catskills landscape" , said Kim Elliman, OSI's president and CEO. "OSI is proud to have preserved this significant and storied rail trail, and prouder yet to pass it along to local citizens for their permanent enjoyment."
This final link of the KRT has been made possible through a broad coalition of groups and individuals. Funding to purchase the property adjacent to the MTHS has been provided by generous grants from the Open Space Institute, NY/NJ Trail Conference, the Mountain Top Historical Society and the Hunter Foundation. All the background work to bring the property to the table for the purchase has been a long process involving the attorney for the Kursh Estate, Joe Gaffney; John Lyons and Kimberly Garrison of Grant & Lyons, LLC, attorneys for the MTHS; Michelle Yost of the Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District; Sarah Killourhy and members of the town of Hunter Planning board; David Kukle of the Town of Hunter Board; and MTHS Board members. The work of preparing the trail for opening day is being headed up by Doug Senterman of the NY/NJ Trail Conference with the backing of Jeff Flack from GCSWD and many volunteers. Of course there are many unnamed others who have helped bring this four year promise to fruition. Please join us on Saturday, May 20 2017, at the U & D Railroad Station on the MTHS Haines Falls campus at 10:30 a.m. to cheer those people and organizations, named and unnamed, enjoy a piece of cake, and then take a hike on the Kaaterskill Rail Trail! Just head straight east from the Railroad Station into the woods.
On May18, 2017 Cyndi LaPierre, president of the Mountain Top Historical Society, signed the final papers closing the purchase of the property allowing the connection of the Kaaterskill Rail Trail to the Mountain Top Historical Society's Campus in Haines Falls and in effect driving the Golden Spike. It's been a long time coming. To our memory Don Conover, publisher of The Mountain Eagle, was an early advocate in the 1980s. We are happy to have taken part in establishing this section of what we hope will be an even longer trail connecting the communities or the Mountain Top. Join us on Saturday for the official opening and celebration, and come back again and again to enjoy this beautiful trail and its connection to the miles of trails in New York's Catskill Forest Preserve.