Peak Experiences - Comments from Trails.com users

Clinton County: Lyon Mountain

Wide gradual climb though richly carpeted hardwood landscape becomes increasingly steep about one mile up. Even though the steep part(0.7mi) is said to begin in earnest after the firewatcher's cabin ruins, it has already begun before that. The encouraging part is that you can rest, turn around and enjoy the view for most of the difficult part of the climb. Before you know it you are at the top. The odor of the balsams reminds one of the Holidays, you can't help but crush some needles inbetween your fingers so you can take the smell home with you
The views are quite diverse even though I'm sure there are better ones of the high peaks more to the south. What you won't see anywhere else are views of the newly rising wind turbines in the north at Ellenburg. There are very nice 360 degrees views from the tower that is, by the way, now completely enclosed and with new stairs. The real shame is that there was a suprising amount of broken glass at the top as if it was the local hangout. Hard to believe anyone could have that much energy to climb that long and get drunk and take the route down again that is just as hard as going up. One needs to allocate 4.5-5 hrs for the climb and assent. A pleasant climb considering the height.

Columbia County: Alander Mountain

One of the best summits in the Taconic Range and Berkshires. Great views across the Hudson Valley to the Catskills.  The hike is easy from the Massachusetts side and challenging from the New York Side, but well worth the climb. (I've been up six times this way and, the guide here notwithstanding, no rattlesnakes encountered yet.) On weekends, you'll have plenty of company.  Weekdays, you'll have it all to yourself. 

Cortland County: Virgil Mountain

I had no problem getting to the trailhead using O'Dell Rd.  This was a very nice trail which includes a part of the FLT as well as the Virgil Mt Spur Trail.  Some nice views on top of Virgil Mountain.

Essex County: Mount Marcy

The best hike I did so far. Started off with rain, mud, and about 50 F, yet it got better as we went up. The trail is very easy to follow. The winds were about 50 miles/hr on the top so we couldn't stay long. Definitely pack extra layers of clothing!! Completed in about 8 hrs. including picture taking and lunch. 

Greene County: Hunter Mountain

Excellent workout, trails are very well maintained and marked! Not for the novice hiker however, much of the hike is very rocky and that combined with the steep ascent/decent can lead to twisted or sprained knees/ankles if you're not used to such a hike or do not have boots with proper ankle support. Highly recommended though, views from the summit are beautiful!

Ulster County: Slide Mountain

My wife and I hiked a 16 mile loop beginning at the Woodland Valley Campground. We crossed the small creek and ascended via the Wittenberg Trail to two peaks, Wittenberg and Cornell. We then descended Cornell towards Slide Mountain. It poured rain for most of the trip until we reached the peak of Slide Mountain. We didn't get to see any views (well, unless you think white nothingness is a view) because it was deeply cloudy. The most rigorous part of the hike are the scrambles prior to the summit of each of Wittenberg, Cornell, and Slide. But, they were still doable for my wife, myself and our dog (what a sport!). The descent from Slide Mountain is easy-going, but after 10 miles of up and down, the last 6 are tiring, especially a brief elevation gain in the Woodland Valley about a mile and half before the parking area. Altogether, it is possible, but bring water, food and the spirit of nature.

Westchester County: Bailey Mountain

Great place to take your dog for a quick hike. Trails are fairly wide. Not the place for great overlooks or anything but still nice lakes and trails for short hikes. 

Yates County: Italy Hill

It was a moderate to hard trail but so worth it. Was able to spot wildlife as well as being challenged. Great experience.


    Order this book