A Visit to Plattekill

I drove to Roxbury on Sunday. I had a variety of justifications for the trip, including picking up my ski pass. It was my only free day this week, and I could have gone to some other hills, but really I just wanted to get back to Plattekill.

Starbucks on the NY Thruway

Upper mountain lifts weren’t running, so I set my alarm for a reasonable hour. It was almost like I picked up where I’d left off at the end of last year, with a casual spring skiing approach. A benefit of the delayed start, when I took my break on the NY Thruway, the sun was up and Starbucks was open.

I knew there wasn’t much natural snow on the ground in the Catskills, but on Saturday the radar showed snowfall in the air and the slopes looked enticing to me on the Plattekill webcam.

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The Monster of North South Lake

I saw something once, something big and monstrous and unbelievable. I’m not talking about Bigfoot or the Lochness Monster, which I can’t bring myself to believe in. My monster was more mundane then an eight foot tall North American ape or a leftover brontosaurus. What I saw does exist. Nobody disputes that; it just wasn’t supposed to be where I saw it.

North South Lake boat launch

It was five years ago, while padding on North South Lake in the Catskills. I had the whole family out on the water, enjoying a sunny afternoon in our canoe. There were lots of folks out that day camping, picnicking, fishing, paddling, swimming and hiking on the footpaths around the lake and in the surrounding woods.

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Red Hill Fire Tower Hike

A couple years ago I took my kids camping into the Sundown Wild Forest in the Catskills. It was a fun couple of days but I went into it with a to-do list so long, we couldn’t possibly get to everything.

Red Hill fire tower sign

Recently I read that the state had added a day-use permit requirement (for summer weekends at least) to the egregiously abused Peekamoose Blue Hole, a popular swimming spot in the area, located on Rondout Creek. It reminded me of some of the hikes that we hadn’t gotten to, especially the Red Hill Fire Tower.

The Red Hill Tower was the last one in the Catskills to operate in its original role.

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