After a fun night at the Four Thousand Footer Club annual awards ceremony in Stratham, NH and a stay-over in historic Sturbridge, MA, , Carol and I headed to New York State for our spring vacation in the nearly snow and ice-free Catskill Mountains. For a short part of the drive we followed the scenic Taconic State Parkway. Our favorite stop is this rest area with a view west to the eastern Catskill peaks.
After getting settled in our rented condo in Hunter, we took an easy late day geocaching hike on the Elm Ridge Trail, which provides a southern approach to the Escarpment Trail and Windham High Peak.
There are several stone walls along the lower part of this trail.
Interesting ledges and cliffs rise in the woods as you approach the ridgecrest.
This cliff band marks your arrival at the top of the trail.
The blue-marked Escarpment Trail, 24 miles long, is a Catskill classic.
The Elm Ridge Lean-To is nicely situated on a shelf above the trail.
The clifftop behind the shelter offers a bird's-eye view of the open hardwood forest.
Evening light on the first of several great weather days we enjoyed.
Interesting terrain surrounds the shelter.
On the way back to Hunter we took a short walk up to the open fields above Colgate Lake for a gorgeous view of the Blackhead Range. Left to right are Thomas Cole, Black Dome and Blackhead Mountains.
Blackhead Mountain and the peak called "Arizona." A great way to start our week in the Cats.