Hiking Twin Mountain in the heat
Twin Mountain - Catskills - NY Travel Blog› entry 694 of 1090 › view all entries
A very hot and humid day. So, I completely illogically decided to do a very strenuous hike in the beautiful Catskill Mountains. The hike book I use estimated the walk's duration about 5.5 hours. This seemed to be do-able with the still long summer days.
Twin Mountain is by far not one of the tallest mountains in the Catskill Region. According the Wikipedia it is, with an altitude of "just" 1110 meters (3640 ft), the number 23 in the range of Catskill High Peaks, 165 meters lower than the number one, Slide Mountain.
This does, however, not mean that Twin Mountain is an easy hike. From the trailhead to the top is about 4 km (2.5 mile) but in that distance one climbs about 500 meters (1620 ft) that is an average of 125 m/km (648 ft/mile).
The hike is very rewarding and interesting. In the beginning the trail passes by an old bluestone quarry, just one as I saw earlier during my hike to the nearby Codfish Point (see here). Hikers had been very creative with the remaining slaps of bluestone and built towers, fire places, stairs, walls, and even some huge thrones. Sitting on the thrones one can enjoy the splendid view on the nearby Roundtop Mountain and the Kaaterskill High Peak. Both not belonging to the High Peaks. Later on in the hike I saw a beautiful beaver pond. It is so amazing how these animals can create a whole lake by constructing an almost 2-meter-high dam that hardly leaks.
At 3 km in the hike Pecoy Notch was reached. At this point I was in a saddle point, being the top of the Pecoy Notch Trail but in the valley between Twin Mountain and its neighbor Sugarloaf Mountain (not to be confused with its namesake in the Hudson Valley (see here)).
I made it to the top, and had to take off my sweat-soaked shirt and hang it in the trees to dry. In the meantime I relaxed enjoying the stunning views and reading a book. This gave me enough energy to walk to the lower second peak of Twin Mountain (the "twin"). Although located 21-meter (96 ft) lower I still had to go through a 36-meter deep valley, so first descending 57 meters, then climbing 36, and on my way back doing the reversed thing.
Everything was so beautiful that I lost track of time. The evening glow started to appear at the horizon. So I "quickly" made my way down. I arrived at the car at 8:10 pm, just 10 minutes before sunset. But the last part in the dense woods was already pretty twilighty.
More pictures below!