|Google Earth Image with my GPS tracks:|
S Mountain Rd to Mine Kill Overlook
January 13, 2013
Today’s plan was to meet up with Chris at Mine Kill State park in upstate NY at 9AM. It was unseasonably warm (50F) and the warm air was rapidly melting the residual snow and resulted in a wicked fog cover that impaired driving. I drove closer to my destination and passed Prattsville, a riverside town just north west of Windham NY. I saw firsthand the destruction caused by hurricane Irene. It’s almost a year and a half later and the few houses left standing included some that were ripped in two and some sat at odd angles, like a “wacky house” in a six flags theme park. Others bore evidence of mud high on the first story, the home abandoned and destroyed. The realization was the poor people in this town were possibly betrayed as well since the town was never really rebuilt as some may have promised after the storm. One aspect of driving to the Long path trail is how many little nearby towns are barely surviving in rural upstate NY. They obviously do not get the same resources and lack the opportunities compared to the big city down state.
I arrived at Mine Kill State park and checked out the park office in the main building. It was open and I noted there are bathroom inside for hikers. I was greeted by Christine, a young park employee. She provided a great deal of information about the park (including the Long Path North) and showed me a printout of several winter events hosted by the park, including snowshoeing, hiking and cross country skiing. There is also a little table with tourist pamphlets promoting local places of interest. The park has two parking area, the main entrance (closes at 4PM in the winter) and one at the Mine Kill Falls overlook just to the south on Rt 30. The overlook area was locked off due to ice near the falls, so Christine suggested we park in front of the locked gate. The main park gate would also be locked tight at 4 PM and possible trap our car there overnight if we didn’t make it back on time. We took her advice and parked one car there and shuttled the other to South Mountain Rd intersection with Cook rd in Conesville.
I left my hiking poles in the car, as well as my snowshoes, since the snow was rapidly melting and I also thought most of today’s hike was on the road. We began a scenic road walk after a few minutes remembered I had my Garmin GPS with me in my pack, so I turned on tracking. My research of this area found no detailed map of the current route we were taking since it was rerouted since the book was last published. I figured I could publish my tracks here in Google Earth (G.E.) format and you can download this file. So just double click it if you have G.E. installed, you can see the exact journey we walked. You may even be able to download the file to your gps device to follow the track. Be aware, these gps tracks contain bounce and scatter errors that could put you over an edge or in water if you trust it blindly. ( download track file here). Otherwise it’s pretty cool. I include a few G.E. page snap shots as well here so you can see the overview of the path.
|Graves from 1874|
|Ghost Rider Sculpture|
|A real Brick Shit House?|
|Chris (l) and Mark (r)|
|Chembrew at Manor Kill Falls|
|Upper Manor Kill Falls|
|Rt 990V, Stryker Rd, Nickersons Camp|
|Gilboa Fossil Exhibit|
|Nickerson's to Mine Kill Falls|
|Scenic Black Angus Lodge|
|Squatter tent on cliff below|
|Schoharie Creek Gorge|
|Winter Creek Crossing|
|Mine Kill Falls|
|The Long Path Crossing -No way!|
This is a long entry on purpose and I included a lot of photos (and GPS info) to augment the otherwise limited information I previously found about the reroutes. I sincerely hope it helps other hikers to confidently access this really wonderful gem of an area called Gilboa, here in the northern Catskills!
Trail Stats: 15 miles on the LP. [According to the wooded sign near the falls, we are now about 275miles from the start by NYC and we guessed about ¾ of the way done on the trail.]