Hiking Twin Mountain in the heat

Twin Mountain - Catskills - NY Travel Blog

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The result of creativity by fellow hikers

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).

A butterfly enjoying the local flora
At its steepest part it is even about 350 m/km!

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)).

View from the southern Twin Peak
Here the hike started to get really steep, the trail that takes the hiker to the top is called the Devil's Path. It runs from Hunter Mountain (where I hiked it some weeks ago) to Indian Head, (which I hiked a few years ago), and is said to be built by the Devil, so he could climb the peaks to escape from the human world.

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!

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The result of creativity by fellow…
The result of creativity by fello…
A butterfly enjoying the local flo…
A butterfly enjoying the local fl…
View from the southern Twin Peak
View from the southern Twin Peak
S simple chair made of blue stone …
S simple chair made of blue stone…
The bluestone quarry
The bluestone quarry
View on the nearby Roundtop Mounta…
View on the nearby Roundtop Mount…
Your reporter enjoying the view se…
Your reporter enjoying the view s…
A nice green brook
A nice green brook
A nice green brook
A nice green brook
The beaver pond
The beaver pond
The beaver dam
The beaver dam
The beaver dam
The beaver dam
The beaver dam
The beaver dam
A butterfly enjoying the local flo…
A butterfly enjoying the local fl…
A butterfly enjoying the local flo…
A butterfly enjoying the local fl…
A butterfly enjoying the local flo…
A butterfly enjoying the local fl…
Pecoy Notch: behind me the slope g…
Pecoy Notch: behind me the slope …
The neighbor, and slightly taller,…
The neighbor, and slightly taller…
A moment of rest to take a photo. …
A moment of rest to take a photo.…
Impressive stone formations
Impressive stone formations
Impressive stone formations, the t…
Impressive stone formations, the …
View from the top
View from the top
My releax desk
My releax "desk"
My laundry
My laundry
View from the southern Twin Peak
View from the southern Twin Peak
Back at the real summit. The eveni…
Back at the real summit. The even…
Back at the real summit. The eveni…
Back at the real summit. The even…
Mysterious twilight view
Mysterious twilight view
Twin Mountain - Catskills - NY
photo by: mdalamers