Millbrook Mountain: The Nose Knows

Normally, on the weekend around my birthday, I’d be celebrating at the Climb to the Castle on the Whiteface Toll Road. The new normal has changed all that, but I still wanted to get outside.

Minnewaska view

Unfortunately, at the end of running the Slide-Cornell-Wittenberg loop in the Catskills in late August, I fell and broke my right wrist. Driving home that night wasn’t fun: I had to reach across and select fifth gear left-handed.

I’ve got a few more weeks with this miserable cast. Anything steep that requires three-point contact isn’t happening: I can’t put pressure on my wrist. So when I returned to Lake Minnewaska, I was looking for something I hadn’t been on before.

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Return to Minnewaska

The last few hundred meters of the Jenny Lane trail were wet and squishy as it dead-ended into Lower Awosting Road. Three 20-something women that I’d passed on the carriage road earlier were looking at the trail sign.

“Is this the way to Gertrude’s Nose?” one of them asked.

A rocky outcrop just north of Lake Minnewaska, Gertrude’s Nose offers commanding views towards the Hudson River and beyond. Unfortunately for the three wayward hikers, our encounter was at the junction of the Jenny Lane trail and Lower Awosting Road, diametrically across Lake Minnewaska State Park from Gertrude’s Nose.

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Poaching the Smiley Road

“Four mile post. Entering the lost community of the huckleberry pickers. You are not forgotten.”

Someone had carved this inscription into a board and nailed it to a tree at mile four, coming from Ellenville, on the Smiley Carriage Road.

Smiley Carriage Road
Along the Smiley Road

Earlier this month, I’d run a loop in Sam’s Point Preserve, partly inspired by Marc Fried’s book The Huckleberry Pickers. The Smiley road figures large in Fried’s book.

In 1900, the Smiley brothers, owners of Mohonk Mountain House and Cliff House and Wildmere on Lake Minnewaska, expanded their already extensive carriage road network with a seven-mile road from Lake Awosting to Ellenville.

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