Inspired by my many visits to Mononk Mountain House, I've always wanted to explore the Catskill area. So in mid-October I picked out an area in Ulster County, found a trail on the map (only about 1/2 inch on the map) and set off for half day adventure. Looking for The Long Path, I ended up at the Kanape Brook Trail. It was close to High Point so I figured it was a good place to start. In hiking, they say, "Its not the destination, but the trip.". Well its a good thing because that 1/2 inch map squiggle turned into into 3hr one way climb.
The climb was leisurely for the first 2 hrs and I thought I was doing quite well. The final 1,000 foot ascent was on a much narrower trail which, to my untrained eye, seem to disappear under the fall foliage. As I climbed four increasinly steeper rock ledges I began hearing a faint drum beat through the trees. I thought I might come across some group using the natural beauty of this place for a tribal ceremony. As the drumming got louder and deafening I realized that it was my own heartbeat pounding in my ears. Totally absorbed in the climb and natural splendor I had ignored any wind or fatique issues.
Facing west near the top one can view Peekamoose, Table, Lone, Rocky, Balsam Cap, Friday, Slide, Cornell, Wittenberg, and Samuel's Point. To the southeast I could see my beloved Mohonk tower and the Shawangunk Ridge. Eastward lies the Ashokan Reservoir.
My first foray into hiking turned out to be one of the prettiest sights in the Catskills. I can't wait to find more but first I think I better up my level on the stairmaster.