Hike Poet's Ledge
Poet's Ledge - Catskills - NY Travel Blog› entry 735 of 1090 › view all entries
Finally some good weather! Finally time for a real strenuous hike! The first 500+ meter (1600+ ft) hike after returning from Alaska. Since the days are getting shorter I chose a medium-long hike of an estimated 4.5 hours, in my precious Catskill Mountains.
The destination was a somewhat mysterious place, called Poet's Ledge. Poet's Ledge is, as the name indicates, a small ledge on the side of Kaaterskill High Peak Mountain, facing the village of Palenville. The ledge is located in a pretty dense forest. The story is that it was only recently re-discovered after 100 years. Before that the ledge must have been know by hunters and other explorers. Old maps have been found that even mention the ledge.
Others state that the ledge must have been visited by many artists. Recent research led to the hypothesis that painter Sanford R. Gifford painted his October in the Catskills from this very same ledge.
The hike is a bit of a hassle to organize. Parking cannot be done at the trailhead. So I had to park about a mile away from the start and make my way over the abandoned section of Malden Avenue in Palenville. The climbing started almost immediately. During 3.1 km (1.9 miles) the trail almost continuously ascended for 510 meters (1675 ft). Although nice, the dense forest blocked any views. This was made up at the ledge and two small viewpoints before the ledge, which give an unobstructed view along the Kaaterskill High Peak mountain side, the South Mountain (with the Enscarpment Trail) and the valley in between these giants. I had the site completely for myself and enjoyed the view.
More pictures below!