This Catskill Mountain hike is a 2.5-hour drive from home. By the time I reached the trailhead, the small parking area was full – two cars deep! The cause of the congestion was not so much walkers as picnickers. Every available space beside the road for some distance was filled with people unloading coolers and grills for a day at the creek.
I got lucky. As I passed the trailhead a second time, a group of hikers was coming off the trail, and they gave me their space. Ten minutes into my own hike, the shouts and motors of the valley had faded to nothing.
When, around 4:30, I returned to my car, rangers and police were about managing the traffic and people. Everyone was good-humored, but it looked too much for the tight valley of the Rondout Creek. Garbage had been abandoned, and I wondered how many bottles lay at the bottom of the swimming hole and along the banks of the creek. Next time I climb Peekamoose Mountain, it will be a weekday in a cooler season.
DATE: Sunday, August 2nd.
START & FINISH: Peekamoose-Table trailhead on CR 42, 10 miles west of West Shokan NY.
ROUTE: Peekamoose-Table trail to Table Mountain and back.
DISTANCE: 9 miles.
TIME: 5-6 hours (10:50 a.m. to 4:30-ish).
TERRAIN: First and foremost, a 2,600-foot elevation gain; but on good trail, mostly free of scrambles and excessive “roots & rocks”.
MAP: AMC Catskill Mountains.
WEATHER: Mostly sunny, warm. Trail shaded.
WILDLIFE: A delicate, light gray bird – almost hummingbird size – sat for a while at the very tip of a summit fir tree. I have no idea what it was.
PHOTOS: Just those in this post for now (click here for more, added 8/11/15).
BREAKFAST: McDonald’s, Fishkill.
LUNCH: Manchego cheese sandwich on Table Mountain.
UPS: Lying on a ledge just off the summit of Table Mountain and watching the clouds dance. I didn’t actually sleep, but was nevertheless markedly refreshed for the descent.
DOWNS: The abuse of Rondout Creek.
KIT: I am still wearing a knee support on tougher hikes (since taking on the Ives Trail). Whether because of the support or not, my knee has been feeling fine the day after hiking.
COMPANY: The trail was not crowded exactly, but I ran into other hikers every 20 minutes or so.