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Trip Reports - 2011

December 31 - Haystack Mountain
There was one person interested in the hike scheduled for this day, however he wished to hike closer to home, as he had plans for the evening. We chose Buck Mountain. About half way up the trail became a sheet of ice, and crampons were definitely needed. The temperature dropped noticeably as we went up, so that the summit was very cold and quite a bit windier than the bottom. We ate our lunch as quickly as we could, and with the conditions as they were and there being no view, we started back down without much hesitation.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Peter Sheridan

December 17 - AT hike from Jug End to the Berkshire School
Ten people from MH, Berkshire, and NYNJ chapters met at the foot of the steep Jug End trail head. However, the warmth of the previous week had melted any residual ice, and we had a good, steep climb to Mt.Bushnell and continuing up less steeply until we took the Elbow Trail down to cars waiting at the Berkshire School.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Dian Beringer, Brigit Beringer, Joe Geraghy, Bob Armao, Peg Grogan, Pat Frik, Larry Sloman, Gerry Weber, Charlie Beach

The group on the hike from Jug End

December 3 - Trail work on Section 32 of Long Path
In cooperation with three members of the Long Path north Hiking Club, three members of our club were able to cut a new trail. The new trail is now a part of a relocated trail from what was an impassable creek. The trail now utilizes a snowmobile bridge a little further downstream from where the original trail went. The work went smoothly.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Jeff Carden, Sharon Bonk

November 26 - Hunter Mountain
Due to a momentary memory lapse of the name of the road that would take us to the trailhead on the part of the leader when confronted with a construction worker near Spruceton Rd., we were directed to take us on a wild goose chase of a detour from which we found ourselves again confronting the same construction worker who this time allowed us access to the Spruceton Rd. I had scouted out the hike a month before and had found out that the bridge in Lexington was down. Oh well, after about an hour of this, we started up Hunter about 9:45, up the Spruceton Trail and arrived at the Fire Tower at about noontime. Randy and I decided to take the circuit route around the mountain which included a great deal of the Devil's Path. FYI the Devils Path, at least in this section, turned out to be very unpleasant hiking as it is almost completely strewn with loose rock which requires constant ground surveillance so that one doesn't turn an ankle. No day hikers were seen although there were a few campers who were grumbling that they had to lug in their duraflame logs and beer further than they thought they would have to due to the bridge closures. All in all a gorgeous weather day overcame all the small irritants for Randy MacDonald and myself, John Tifft

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Randy MacDonald

November 19 - Leadership Seminar
Three representatives from the Berkshire Knapsackers and five Mohawk Hudson Chapter members attended this year's Trip Leadership workshop, held at the home of Arthur Fontijn. Participants learned about decision-making, role of the leader, accident scene management, liability, equipment selection, and trip planning and publicity from Wally Herrod, who has been leading trips for over 40 years.

  Leader: Wally Herrod  Participants: Michelle Filiault, Sue Snyder, Martha Waldman, Cliff Prewencki, Erin Woodsome, Art Fontijn, Maureen Daley, Jeff Carden

November 9 - Landis Arboretum Walk
A huge group joined us on a fabulous sunny warm day as we walked the trails around the developed area of Landis Arboretum, plus some of the trails in the woods. There were so many people that we split into two groups, one led by Will and one by Nancy. We saw the 500-year-old Great Oak, damaged by the storms of this year, the renowned collection of 50 year old oak trees, the old growth forests, and the winter condition of the native plant collections. The two groups had their lunch together at picnic tables.

  Leader: Will Crowther  Co-leader: Nancy Crowther  Participants: Harry Willis, Donna Farber, Carol Kennedy, Chris Simson, Jim Torriani, Gail Stauble, Kevin Sheehan, Frank Wind, Dee Wind, Bob Fakundiny, Anne Finch, Margaret Castle, Larry Sloman, Chris Grossman, Michael Sloman, John Manzur, Anneliese Lawson, Gerry Weber, Bill Dufur, Enny Dufur, Karen Burke

Most of the two groups joined

November 6 - Sheep Hill and Fitch Memorial Forest
AMC members from MH, Berkshire, and Boston chapters met at the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation property in Williamstown on a glorious November afternoon for a 4 mile hike on the Sheep Hill trails and in the Fitch Memorial forest. The Sheep Hill trails were open mowed meadows with great views of Mt. Greylock and the Hopper area. From the top of Bee Hill in the Fitch Forest we could see the Taconic Crest Trail. All went well until the RRR Brook Trail markers ran out about .25 mile from the end. So, we exited the hike through private property. Participants: Mike Boucher, Chris Simson, Nancy Crowther, Cyndie White

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Mike Boucher, Chris Simson, Nancy Crowther, Cyndie White, Joan Angelo, Sandy Brett, Irene Kessel, Dona Burdick

The group at Sheep Hill, Williamstown, MA

October 10 - Historic Hyde Park Trails
We through hiked the Hyde Park Trail from the Vanderbilt Mansion grounds, along the Hudson to Riverfront Park, and through the Roosevelt forest. We lunched on the grounds of the Roosevelt House and LIbrary, taking a brief look at the Henry Wallace Visitor Center. We continued through the Roosevelt farm lands to Valkil, Eleanor Roosevelts's retreat and final home. From there we hiked up to Top Cottage, built by FDR as a retreat when he would no longer be president. At Valkil, Barb Sheehan discovered that we were eligible for the Hyde Park Trail Patch since we had completed the 10 miles. The photo shows us proudly displaying our patches. The weather was ideal, warm, sunny, and colorful.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Dana Sloman, Larry Sloman, Barb Sheehan, Kevin Sheehan, Linda Knight, Gerry Weber, Mary MacDonald, Karen Ross, Chris Simson

The group proudly displaying their Hyde Park Trail Patches.  10/10/2011

October 5 - Warren County Cycle
Larry Sloman and Sharon Bonk cycled from the heart of Glens Falls to Lake George Village and back on a glorious October morning. Crisp weather with bright blue skys made the day perfect. We had to hunt, but we found a coffee shop in LGV that was open.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Larry Sloman

October 1 - Trail Work At Cole Hill State Forrest on Long Path
Up to two weeks prior to our discovery, the bridge was still in its then present state. Ray Flavell, an experienced volunteer trail worker for the NYNJ Trail Conference had inspected it and projected a possible rehabilitation for the bridge. When the team arrived, we found that the bridge had been dismantled and the wood taken away. Just prior to this, but without our knowledge, a gentleman who lived nearby had told Andy Garrison who also volunteers as a supervisor of the NYNJ Trail conference for our section of the Long Path,that he had dismantled the bridge feeling that it was too unstable. The group then selected another bridge not too far away in need of strenghtening. This was accomplished successfully due to the perserverance and hard work of the volunteers.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Andy Garrison, Ray Flavell, Kevin Cox, Jeff Carden, Gerry Weber

After reinforcing the bridge the crew poses for a picture before packing up.

September 17 - Hoosac Range to Spruce Hill
We had a beautiful autumn day to explore this beautifully constructed new trail on the Hoosac Ridge. The property belongs to the Berkshire Natural Resources Council and has been open since April 2011. The views from the top were of Adams, North Adams, Williamstown, and the Savoy Forest. Although we did not see raptors, this is a raptor migration viewing point.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Patty Costa, Zoe Walker, Margaret Grogan, Sheila Rorke, Amy MacDonald, Randy MacDonald, Gerry Weber, Suzanne Winkler, Bob Armao, Denise Hobson, Marion McBride, Dona Burdick

The group on Spruce Hill in the Hoosac Range 9/17/2011

August 24 - Berry Pond, Lake George Land Conservancy
Berry Pond is one of the latest acquisitions of the LGLC to be opened to the public. It is an active beaver pond with an active heron rookery. It is accessed by the blue trail from the Lake George Village recreation area. Although the herons had fledged, the empty nests in the bare trees were impressive. The blue trail has two lovely views and has its steep spots; the orange trail loops the pond.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Nancy Crowther, Linda Knight, Enny Dufur, Chris Grossman, Bernie Grossman, Katie Henrikson, Ray Henrikson, Charlie Beach, Gerry Weber

The group on a trip to Berry Pond 8/24/2011

August 20 - Mid-Summer Chapter Picnic at North Lake
Nineteen Chapter members and their guests converged on the North Lake Public Campground in the Catskills for a day of hiking, swimming, canoeing and picnicking. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. Destinations of various hikes included Boulder Rock, Sunset Rock, Newman's Ledge, and just around the campground. The pavilion we had rented worked out perfectly as it gave us a little peaceful privacy, yet was close to everything.

  Leader: Wally Herrod  Participants: Barb Herrod, Arthur Fontijn, Chris Simson, Mike Boucher, Martha Waldman, Cliff Prewencky, Sandy Andersen, Ellen Elting, Judy Rusk, Wendy Rusk, Charley Rusk, Natalie Rusk, Sammy Rusk, Sharon Bonk, Allison Grant, Trudy Bacon, Billy Dufur, Enny Dufur

August 17 - Ashulwillticook Bike Trail, Berkshires
This was a perfect day for a ride along the Chesire Resevoir and Hoosic River from Lanesboro to Adams. Early arrivers were treated to a farmers market nearby, and we had an early lunch in a cafe on the trail in Adams.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Blanche Nelson, Dona Burdick, Nancy Crowther, Gerry Weber, Bob Fakundinny, Anne Finch

August 13 - Tanglewood and Kennedy Park
Thanks to the generous and forgiving nature of all the participants of this event, everyone enjoyed a day in the Berkshires. All of the unknowns of this event that the leader had anxiety about were overcome due to the resourcefullness of the particpants. Donna was able to secure a prime seating location on the lawn from which we were able to catch a glimpse of Yo Yo Ma and listen to the rehearsal by the orchestra. Following the concert and lunch on the lawn, we proceeded to the Yokun Ridge South trail off of Olivia's Outlook which provided an enjoyable and fairly vigorous hike that allowed enough time to proceed home at a reasonable hour.

  Leader: John Tifft, John Tifft  Participants: Donna Burkett, Donna Burkett, Carolyn O'Donnell, Chris Simson, Will Crowther, Nancy Crowther, Denise Hobson, Carol Kabuskie, Chris Sheridan


August 10 - Mohawk Hudson Cycle
It was a glorious, coll day for the 5 of us who cycled 23 miles from SCCC to Rotterdam Junction and back. A little cloud burst while we were at the furthest point from the cars, but then the sun came out and we dried out. Lunch was a the Kiwanis Park on 5S.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Bob Fakudiny, Ann Fakudiny, Kevin Sheehan, Gerry Weber

Bob, Sharon, Gerry, Kevin  (Anne, photographer)

July 31 - Goose Pond Ma. Kayak Trip
Five paddlers met at Lower Goose Pond for our kayak trip to Upper Goose Pond. After paddling around the lower pond and checking out all the beautiful homes, we paddled though the narrow chanel to the upper pond. We then paddled to the north end and explored the inlet up to a big beaver dam. After circling the beaver house,we then started the paddle back down the pond.Our next stop was at the cabin that the AMC operates for thru hikers on the Appalacation Trail. We toured the cabin and had our lunch on the front porch with a thru hiker and were entertained by his trail stories. After our lunch, we paddled out to the island and went for a swim before paddling back to our launch site for a great day on the Goose ponds.

  Leader: Randy MacDonald  Participants: Amy MacDonald, Barb Samuels, Phil Vansantoord, Ricki Scheeder

Lunch at Goose Pond cabin

July 30 - West Branch Sacandaga River
On the last Saturday in July, eleven paddlers met at the second bridge on route10 in Arietta. After spotting a car at our takeout, we started out paddling up the Sacandaga River. In a short distance, we came to the stream that led us to Good Luck Lake. After checking out that lake,we headed back to the river. A short time later, we came to the outlet of Chub Lake and proceeded to follow through the narrow channel to the lake. After some pulling,pushing,tugging,and grunting, we found the lake and our beautiful lunch spot on the rock outcrop on the back side. After our break, it was back across the lake and down the stream to the twisting, turning Sacandaga. Once on the Sacandaga, the beavers provided a couple of challenges for us. This gave Mary and Randy the opportunity to assist the other paddlers across the obstructions. After paddling around Pine Mountain, we knew we were getting close to the takeout. We ended our trip at Shaker Place with eleven tired paddlers and 9 miles done. Dave, you were a pro in the Queen Mary!

  Leader: Randy MacDonald  Co-leader: Amy MacDonald  Participants: Stacey Michon, Mary Folsom, Phil VanSantvoord, John Manzer, Shirley Manzer, Elizabeth Kelly, Barb Samuels, Dave Lange, Holly Gillette

The group on the Sacandaga

July 27 - Stevens Glen and Yokun Ridge South
This activity was two short but steep hikes on properties close to Olivia's Outlook in Lenox MA. First we went up the Charcoal Trail to the top of Yokun Ridge South. We then went to Stevens Glen and hiked down to an impressive ravine with a torrent running through it. We returned to Olivia's Outlook for lunch overlooking the Stockbridge Bowl.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Kevin Sheehan, Alison Grant, Dona Burdick, Blanch Nelson

July 27 - Tawasentha Park, Guilderland NY
Ten of us including two new AMC members, John and Shirley Manzer, gathered at the Winter Recreation Area parking lot of Tawasentha Park in Guilderland. We walked from there over a bridge over the Normans Kill to a big loop around the recreation areas of the park. We followed the Normans Kill a while and saw a group departing in canoes. We were in shady woods most of the time. At one point we could see over to the Helderbergs, and Bob gave us an impromptu geology lesson. We stopped for "elevenses" at a picnic table, then continued on smaller loops where we saw lots of bluebird houses, and could look over to where the Battle of Normanskill took place. We crossed route 146 and walked around the community gardens where a number of very tall sunflowers were in bloom, and picked wild blackberries. We then had lunch at a picnic table, and learned more about geology from Bob and early Dutch settlements from Art.

  Leader: Will Crowther  Co-leader: Nancy Crowther  Participants: John Manzer, Shirley Manzer, Patty Costa, Chris Grossman, Judy Rusk, Art Fontijn, Bob Fakundiny, Anne Finch

Hikers on Tawasenta Park hike

July 14 - Indian Ladder and Thacher Park
Patty and I decided to include a little of the Long Path situated near the Paint Mine Area and to circle back to include the Indian Ladder trail. The approximately three mile walk was enhanced by another clear day and the sometimes "taken for granted" Indian Ladder trail once again proved captivating.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Patty Costa

July 10 - Mt. Gryeylock from Mt. Williams
It was a stellar summer hiking day up high in the Berkshires. At the trail head, which was partway up the newly-improved Notch Rd., we watched probably two hundred cyclists speed by, as part of some event. Hiking along the Appalachian Trail, we encountered several lone through-hikers on their way to Maine. One said he has gotten his pack weight down to 25 pounds! On and near the summit were throngs of folks enjoying the upper trails and views. Two of our hikers couldn't resist the hamburger special in Bascom Lodge. They were gigantic. All agreed it was a wonderful trip.

  Leader: Wally Herrod  Participants: Blanche Nelson, Irene Kessel, Marjorie Ramsey, Andrea Choquet

July 8 - AMC East Brookfield Ma. Kayak Weekend
On Friday afternoon, we arrived at the Copper Lantern Motor Lodge, checked in and then drove to Brooks Pond in North Brookfield . We started the weekend with a brief shower while unloading our boats but it passed quickly and we proceeded to paddle north up the pond. The pond was lovely with it's many small islands, some undeveloped shoreline and a peaceful, remote feel to it.
Saturday morning after a nice breakfast at EB Flatts, we launched our boats in Quaboag Pond for the start of our paddle down the Quaboag River. The morning took us across the pond which was a bit windy so the calm of the river was welcomed. We enjoyed seeing the blooming water lilies and the purple flowers no one could identify. In early afternoon, we arrived at the motel for our lunch stop which was a great picnic on the lawn of the motel complete with shade (thanks Randy). After lunch,it was time to paddle to Lucy Stone Park in Warren. In the afternoon, we were treated to seeing several turtles and a muskrat swimming across the river with his mouth full of grass. Following our great paddle, it was back to our motel for some social time then off to the Salem Cross Inn for an incredible meal. Stacey, was that a man in the woman's restroom? The conversation was so wonderful we were about the last to leave the restaurant.
Sunday morning after another breakfast at EB Flatts, we departed for a visit to the Quabin Reservoir and it 's grand views. Afterwards, we drove to the Swift River, put our boats in and then paddled up the rirver as far as we could go. We all got some practice skirting around downed trees and paddling against a fairly strong current. Lunch was enjoyed on the river bank and then on to the Dam. Eventually, we returned to our cars and headed home. A great weekend was had by all ,with over 20 miles on the water.
Thanks to all who joined us. You made the weekend great!

  Leader: Randy MacDonald  Co-leader: Amy MacDonald  Participants: Mary Folsom, Sharon Bonk, Stacey Michon, Ellen Elting

The group breaks for a luxerious lunch

July 2 - Monument Mountain
Blanche Nelson and I both enjoyed hiking up Monument Mountain on a magnificently clear day. Blanche mentioned that there is an event on this mountain that occurs whereby hikers get together and someone reads some passages from some of the literature written by some of the writers who have frequented this mountain in the past. Today, though, with a little imagination, you could almost hear the writers themselves.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Blanche Nelson

June 24 - Vermont Hiking Weekend
Friday afternoon, eleven of us met at the A/T trail head for our hike to Little Rock Pond. It was cool and looked like it would rain at any moment but we proceeded with the planned hike.We headed north on the A/T crossing over the stream a couple of times. The first time was on the beam, much to Art's dislike, and the other a quick scamper across the rocks and on to the pond. After arriving at the pond ,the speedy five chose to do the trail around the pond and the others started back to the trail head. Both groups met up at the trail head and managed to beat any rain. The group then traveled on to the Colonial House in Weston Vermont (was that a moose in the woods) where we met the twelfth hiker for the weekend. We gathered for a social hour before enjoying our great dinner. Who knew so many people liked pickled herring!

Saturday morning, after a great breakfast, we departed for our hike in Jamaica State Park. We did the scenic West River Trail to Bald Mt. Dam. The majority of the group switch backed up the trail on the side of the dam to take in the view. After taking a breather at the top, we headed down to the brook at the base to enjoy our lunch. Bryan was lucky enough to spot a slithery companion before it spotted him. After lunch,the group divided in two with some returning to the trail head and the rest going on to Hamilton Falls, which in the highest falls in Vermont. We all wondered why anyone would ever get into the pool at the top of the falls before we headed down the trail and back to the Inn for another great evening of food and company.

Sunday we drove to the Stratton Mt trail head. This hike would take us north on the A/T to the summit of Stratton. After dealing with the black flies, (first taste of them for Peggy, Christian and Emily or should we say the black flies had their first taste of them and found Christian especially yummy) the group started up the trail which was a nice gradual climb with not many steep pitches. At the summit, most ventured up the fire tower for the view but it was all socked in. We did have the pleasure of meeting,Hugh,the caretaker. He had many stories about his days working the tower for the forest service and even let us peek into the little cabin he and his wife stay in when on the job. Following our lunch break, we headed back to the cars where sadly our weekend adventure ended. We enjoyed a cold drink and some of Sandy's cookies before starting home.

Thanks to all the weekend participants. You all added to the camaraderie and made it a huge success.

  Leader: Randy MacDonald  Co-leader: Amy MacDonald  Participants: Stacey Michon, Bryan Machon, John Tifft, Roe Tifft, Larry Sloman, Martha Waldman, Art Fontijn, Sandy Andersen, Emily Konar, Christian Konar, Peggy Salyers

Vermont Hiking Weekend participants

June 21 - Five River Enviromental Center
The hike was begun at 3p. to accomodate the schedule of the one interested hiker. We walked at a relaxed pace along the Vlomanskill Creek Trail sitting for an extended time enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of this very private space so near to the very public place that is hinted at with the sounds of the trains that travel through nearby.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Ellen Elting

June 19 - Overlook Mountain Hike
Due to an iffy weather forecast, this trip was moved to Saturday June 19th. Unfortunatly we lost a few participants because of it. Three of us started up the trail at a brisk pace, and we made it to the top of Overlook in time to watch the sunset over the Devil's Path peaks from the firetower. Then we enjoyed a snack on the ledges and watched the lights come on down in the valley. We hiked down in the dark, with John's headlamp lighting the way.

  Leader: Stacey Michon  Participants: Bryan Michon, John Tifft

Sunset from Overlook Mountain Fire Tower

June 19 - Schodack Island Kayak Trip
Three intrepid paddlers braved the wilds of Schodack Creek for a short Father's Day paddle on June 19. Fresh from their conquest of Ramshorn and Catskill Creeks the previous day, the three paddlers – Randy Macdonald, the Captain; Amy, the Captain's Wife; and Barb Samuels, the Incidental Paddler, rolled our kayaks down the wooden ramp onto the floating dock at Schodack Creek. After a brief – although less brief than anticipated despite the outgoing tide - sojourn up north past soon-to-be crumbling railroad trestle supports and remnants of the forest now strewn across the water, the intrepid three started south in search of the picnic table we were told we couldn't miss.

We startled many herons, an egret, and jumping fish as we leisurely paddled with the outgoing current. The creek widened and we looked for any possible side channels that we could explore without getting stuck. Alas, the main channel soon eluded us and the Captain soon pulled ahead to scout for the yet-to-be seen picnic table and the main channel – not necessarily in that order. The creek depth waxed and waned and we went back and forth. With paddles more frequently hitting muck, we pulled into a rocky shore below the scenic Amtrak tracks to eat our lunches.

After lunch, the Captain was outvoted by the crew and we started back north to the kayak put-in. After several minutes of worry-free paddling, we again hit sandbar and muck. North then south, east then west, we could see the main channel but were blocked by the still outgoing tide. The Captain pointed to some distant moored boats – “the Hudson is just right past those boats” – we could just go back to the other side of the island and use the boat ramp. The Captain's Wife and the Incidental Paddler forgot that the Captain had hinted early on that he would really like to circumnavigate the island(s) – and we missed the gleam in his eye as he lead us back south.

We reached the moored boats – a nice paddle with adequate water – and an eagle and vultures and more herons . “The Hudson is just before the blue house” we saw in the distance. So we kept paddling, noticing the diminishing winds and an almost slack tide. The Captain pulled over to find a quick portage across the southern end of the island – but is was hill and lagoon. We passed the blue house and could see the fabled river – but the piling remnants of a breakwater kept us going south another few minutes. Finally, the Hudson as we turned north.

“How far to the boat ramp?” asked the Incidental Paddler – many times it turned out over the next two hours, trying to keep shining to a minimum. It was a pleasant two hours, though. The Hudson was relatively calm – the worst waves from passing motorized boats of all sizes and a barge. We passed New Baltimore on our left – but mistook it for Cooeymans – then passed Cooeyman's many many minutes later. The cement plant loomed than disappeared then reappeared. We scared a family of geese and passed a tent in a river front campsite. Fish continued to jump around us on occasion. The Captain’s Wife, used to her husband's explorations, quietly paddled on. The Incidental Paddler – although familiar with her environs from other sojourns in the area, wondered if we would ever find the boat launch and if she would be reunited with her new Subaru.

“Just past the point we will see the bridge and the boat ramp is before that” cried the Captain. Pointing out the ridge the bridges run over and the power lines visible from our vantage point. Sure enough, a turn and there is the bridge! “Just past the point is the boat launch” cried the Captain, and the Incidental Paddler scurried forward around the point – to a bridge sighting but no boat launch in her binoculars. A sudden wave of hunger and a Luna Bar later, a family fishing confirmed the existence of said boat launch. Soon the three half-day trippers who had paddled all day, were safe on the Schodack boat launch – oh joy ! we do not have to lug the boats up that wooden canoe slide at the put-in after all. A quick car shuttle later, boats were replaced onto vehicles and three tired but happy paddlers went on their way. The Captain got his wish to paddle around the island(s); the Incidental Paddler got a good workout in preparation for a future six-day kayak adventure, and the Captain Wife's survived another of her husband's trip.

  Leader: Randy MacDonald  Participants: Amy MacDonald, Barb Samuels

Schodack Island Boat Launch

June 18 - Catskill Creek, RamsHorn/Livingston Marsh Sanctuary Paddle
The group gathered at the boat launch at 10am and began the paddle down Catskill Creek. Along the one mile paddle to the Hudson River, we admired the beautiful boats that were docked. The wind cooperated and it was a nice paddle on the Hudson to the mouth of the RamsHorn/ Livingston Marsh entrance. We navigated through the marsh enjoying the purple and yellow irises that were blooming, along with the fragrant catalpa tree. Arriving at the trail to the viewing platform the Audubon Society has, we left our boats, did the short walk to the platform and enjoyed our lunch looking out over the field while listening to the song of the birds. We did manage to see red-wing blackbirds, kingfisher and then a heron on the paddle out. Before getting back into our boats for the return paddle, Chet shared with us that it was his 89th birthday! On the return trip back, we did a short exploration of Dubois Creek before the final paddle back up Catskill. It was a beautiful day and we felt honored that Chet would celebrate his day with us. After loading the boats, we all had a cold beverage to toast Chet's day. Here's to many more Chet!

  Leader: Randy MacDonald  Participants: Amy MacDonald, Jack Daniels, Barb Samuals, Kathie Armstrong, Chet Harvey

June 18 - Pine Cobble-East Mountain, Berkshires
On a hot, humid day, three of us had a fun time looking at all kinds of flowers and distant views. Too early for all of the blueberries up there. Just past Pine Cobble, on the way up to the Appalachian Trail, people had built a series of amazing rock towers. We met and talked with one AT hiker, on his way to Maine. On the way home, we enjoyed singing along to the CD of Jersey Boys, which we had all seen on Broadway!

  Leader: Wally Herrod  Participants: Martha Waldman, John Smircich

June 15 - Huckleberry Point Hike
10 AMC hikers started up the trail to Huckleberry Point in the Catskills. This was a little disappointing, because 12 had signed up for the trip. The missing two had taken a wrong turn on the drive south They persevered though and somewhat later caught us halfway up the trail. So twelve of us made it to the point - an overlook at the top of a cliff right on the eastern edge of the Catskills. From the point you see the flats of the Hudson river valley and, in the distance, the Hudson river. We had expected to see Laurel in bloom on the way, but for the most part it was not out yet. Just at the end, there were a few shrubs in bloom, including one in full bloom just over the edge of the cliff. A few pictures were taken.

  Leader: Will Crowther  Participants: Sheila Daniels, Marilyn Huber, Zoe Walker, Rich Walker, Patty Costa, Anneliese Lawson, Gerry Weber, Anne Finch, Art Fontijn, David Anderson, Jennifer Anderson

The group at the top

June 8 - Warner Hill - Appalachian Trail
On the hottest day of the year so far, we were glad to be hiking high up on a shaded ridge above Dalton, MA. We got to meet and talk with a few AT backpackers, saw quite a few flowers, and walked through lots of open woods filled with lush ferns or sedge grass. Our summit views were hazy, but there was a welcome breeze. Altogether the hike, with a side trail to visit an AT shelter, was about 6.6 miles..plenty for all of us with the heat and humidity.

  Leader: Wally Herrod  Participants: Ray Henrikson, Bob Foster, Marilyn Huber, Patti Costa, Jan Rogers, Bob Dreier, Martha Zibro

Left to right are Jan Rogers, Marilyn Huber, Patty Costa, Martha Zibro, Bob Foster, Bob Dreier, and Wally Herrod. Photo by Ray Henrikson.

May 28 - Dunbar Brook Trail- Berkshires
We all agreed that this trail definitely warranted its placement in the AMC book, "Best Day Hikes in the Berkshires." The trail follows the rushing Dunbar Brook for about a mile, rises high above the brook, comes back down two miles above the brook, and then comes all the way down very close to the brook. We saw many spring flowers, huge boulders and cascades, and some ancient trees. We learned that two trees were the largest of their kind in New England - a big-toothed aspen and an ash. Some white pines seemed to rise up into the sky. This is a lush, wild, relatively unknown area, and a must-see in the opinion of our 8 happy (except for the mosquitoes)hikers.

  Leader: Wally Herrod  Participants: John Tifft, Patricia McPhee, Julia Baldacci, Martha Waldman, Bob Dreier, Blanche Nelson, John Smircich

Mohawk Hudson Chapter hikers pausing for lunch on the Dunbar Brook Trail, May 28, 2011.  Left to right, Bob Dreier, John Tifft, Pat McPhee, Julia Balducci, Marsha Waldman, Wally Herrod, and Blanche Nelson. Photo taken by John Smircich.

May 4 - Peebles Island Mid-Week Hike
Peebles Island Mid-Week Hike, May 4, 2011. Eight intrepid souls braved the predicted rain and did a nice spring hike around Peebles Island, admiring the overflowing rivers, falls and dams. We dressed in rain gear but the rain was very light and didn't bother us. As well as the flooding spring runoff, we saw budding trees, columbine flowers, and a family of goslings. We had our lunch under the roof of the Pavilion, enjoying Anneliese's pictures and maps from her trip to Arizona.

  Leader: Will Crowther  Co-leader: Nancy Crowther  Participants: Anneliese Lawson, Gerry Weber, Kevin Sheehan, Sharon Bonk, Patty Costa, Martha Ziloro

Hike participants in front of the main waterfall.

April 30 - Lye Brook Falls, Manchester VT
Six happy hikers found signs of spring on our way up the Lye Brook Falls trail.
Trout lilly, spring beauty, yellow violets, coltsfoot, and trillium were in bloom, admittedly not in profustion but in sufficient quanitities to keep us entertained by spotting them as we went to the falls. The Lye Brook falls is one of Vermont's highest, and it was full and roaring. Many local hikers were there enjoying its beauty. We lunched on the cliffs and then drove to the Man of Kent where we sat on the patio worshiping the sun and swapping tales.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Martha Waldman, Stacey Michon, Ray Henrikson, Julian Hadley, Phil Fountain

Lye brook Falls

April 30 - Treadway Mountain
We couldn't have asked for a better hiking day as Bob Foster and myself, John Tifft, enjoyed a hike up Treadway. As I relaxed on top gazing at the wondrous view, I said to Bob; "this is why I hike". He concurred with that sentiment

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Bob Foster

April 30 - Tomhannock Reservoir cleanup
5 members of the Mohawk Hudson Chapter joined forces with approximately 30 other volunteers to help clean up around the Tomhannock Reservoir.

  Participants: Jeff Carden, Gerry Weber, Mary Folsom, Chris Simson, Marilyn Schmidt

April 22 - Pine Bush Preserve
Six adults and two grandsons enjoyed a "walk in the woods" at the Pine Bush Preserve. Although intended for "beginners" the hike attracted the attention of people with more hiking experience and the leader was only to happy to present a 2.2 mile hike as a remedy for the enforced indooor sequestering of the participants brought on by the recent inclement weather.

  Leader: John Tifft  Participants: Patty Costa, Carol Kennedy, Nancy Crowther, Ellen Elting, Will Crowther, Alex Lawrence, Ben Lawrence

April 20 - Barberville Falls
The participants had faith and drove through rain to the meeting point in Poestenkill where we were treated to grey skies but no rain! Barberville Falls is on private property with access to views from 3 unconnected trails on property maintained by the Nature Conservancy. The creekside trail was beautiful but short (made even shorter by downed trees). The falls was magnificent and we had a wind induced spray comparable to Niagara. The Ridge Trail cris crossed a stream that ran fast and flowed into the Poetstenkill. We descended to the creekside and ascended again to view the falls through the trees.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Sandra Foster, Robert Foster, Kevin Sheehan, Gerry Weber, Billy Dufur, Enny Dufur, Dale Blanchete, Bill Valentino, Carol Kobuskie, Kendra Pratt, Susan Roberts, Phil Fountain, Betty Dykstra

The Group at Barberville Falls

April 16 - Trail Work ON Hudson Heldeberg Rail Trail
On Saturday the 16th of April, we helped "The Friends of The Rail Trail", or "FORT", which is a committe of the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy to clear enough of the abandoned rail trail to allow maintenance and emergency vehicles full access to to the trail. It is the hope of this committee that by creating this limited 1.8 mile trail located primarily within the town of Delmar that enough positive publicity from its future use will help generate additional funding for the eventual completion of the entire rail trail which is slated to run from Voorheesville to Albany. We were duly appreciated by Dan Rain the leader of the Commmittee and the other members of the "FORT" Committee including Scott Lewendon the overseer of the trail work itself, for our efforts

  Participants: Gerry Weber, Mary Folsom, Kathleen Helfrich, Wally Herrod, Chris Stanonis, John Tifft

April 14 - Lenox Mt. - Berkshires
We made the right decision to postpone this hike from the day before, because of the forecast for chilly rain. It was a superb day, and the five of us had a good time exploring this new route up Lenox Mt, from Dunbar Rd. There were the last vestiges of snow in the woods, only a little mud, and no bugs. A trail runner kindly took our picture on the summit, with Richmond Pond in the distance.

  Leader: Wally Herrod  Participants: Kevin Sheehan, Judy Rusk, Enny Dufur, Billy Dufur

Mohawk Hudson AMC hikers on top of Lenox Mt.   Wally Herrod, Kevin Sheehan, Judy Rusk, Enny Dufur, Billy Difir

April 9 - Columbia County Ramble
We all agreed it was the best hiking weather of the year so far. We began by parking at the Beebe Hill fire tower parking lot, near Red Rock, NY, and hiking into pretty No Bottom Pond. Still 6 inches of snow in spots, and the pond was frozen over. Next, we hiked a loop at the Schor Conservation area, with its distant views. Still not having had enough, we hiked the trails at Borden's Pond Preserve, just east of Chatham. A true ramble,and about 5.2 miles total.

  Leader: Wally Herrod  Participants: Shaun Amos, Pat Higgins, Barb Herrod

April 2 - Leadership Training Day
Thanks to Art Fontijn for opening up his house for a day of training for prospective hike leaders. Materials were provided at no charge by the Risk-Management Team of A.M.C. A good portion of the time was spent discussing what makes for good trip leadership so everyone is safe, has fun, and gets to accomplish the objective set forth. Other topics included accident scene management, leaders' pack, and logistics of getting trips publicized and everyone to and from the trailhead. We all learned from each other and had a good time.

  Leader: Wally Herrod  Participants: Art Fontijn, Chris Stanonis, Julian Hadley

March 19 - Merck Forest, Rupert, Vermont
We had a good hike to the top of Mt. Antone. There was some snow, but most of the hike was done without snowshoes. Traction aids were very helpful in some icy spots. We had some good views of the Green Mountains despite cloudy weather during most of the trip, and a great view of the southern Adirondacks across the meadow near the end of the trip, after the sun emerged. Missed the pancake and sausage breakfast at the Merck Forest sap house, but got a few leftovers. We started shortly after 10 and finished just after 2.

  Leader: Julian Hadley  Participants: Wally Herrod, Gerry Weber

March 9 - Screening of Film "Gasland" /Talk by State Geologist
Mohawk-Hudson CHapter of AMC showed the film "Gasland", which documents the dangers of the Hydraulic Fracturing techniques via interviews with victims. The film was followed by a talk from New York State geologist, Langhorne "Taury" Smith. Dr. Smith, who also serves as a private consultant to the Natural Gas industry, spoke in favor of hydrofracking with regulation.
The views expressed at the showing were opinions of individuals, and are not endorsed by the chapter.

February 13 - Cherry Plain Snowshoe
Lots of fresh snow welcomed us in Cherry Plain State Park on Sunday afternoon. Our first challenge was finding the trailhead obscured by all the snow. After climbing a 3+ foot snowbank, we proceded to the height of land breaking trail all the way on the yellow and red trails to to Dynamite Shack Road which had been broken by snowmobile traffic. Some of the participants also explored Jiggs Rd with its heavy snow coverage.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Amy MacDonald, Randy MacDonald, Dale Blanchet, Bob Armao, Cynthia Howes, Brad Mohr, Anneliese Lawson

The group at Cherry Plain State Park

February 9 - Featherstonhaugh State Forest
This trip, originally planned for Great Flats Nature Trail in Rotterdam, was changed to Featherstonhaugh State Forest in Delanson. Ten of us gathered near the trailheads for a backcountry snow trip on ungroomed trails. The snow was still very good -- deep and soft. There were two on snowshoes, The rest were on skis. We did a big loop, on both sides of Lake Road, for a total of about 3 miles. Then we all went to the Crowthers' nearby house for soup and hot drinks. There is no picture shown here because the one picture taken did not turn out, and it was too cold to stop and pose for another picture!

  Leader: Will Crowther  Co-leader: Nancy Crowther  Participants: Arthur Fontijn, Frank Wind, Anne Finch, Sharon Bonk, Katie Henrikson, Ray Henrikson, Chris Grossman, Kendra Pratt

January 30 - Dyken Pond Snowshoe
Dyken Pond was a winter wonderland with heavy snow causing the hemlocks to drape low and graze our heads as we broke through the snow. We enjoyed blue sky, the deep blanket of snow, and all the animal tracks as Bob and I gave lessons and tips to Deborah and Nanette.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Participants: Bob Armao, Nannete Brenner, Deborah Fruchtman

Photo contributed by Deborah Fruchtman

January 22 - Grafton Lakes State Park Winterfest
Three members from our chapter and one from New York-North Jersey enjoyed a clear frosty day at this year's Winterfest. We started out with a two-mile snowshoe around Shaver Pond. Conditions couldn't have been better. Then we walked over to watch some of the many events. One that got our attention was the Polar Plunge! We bumped into several people we knew as we walked around the various venues. It was fun watching the baby cinchilla and two little sables. Also, we got to see the sled dogs and a horse-drawn cart full of people. Ida stayed afterward to do some ice skating on the lake. There were hundreds of people out today, and everybody seemed to be having a good time, like we were

  Leader: Wally Herrod  Participants: Art Fontijn, Pat McPhee, Ida Leung

January 17 - Hadley Mt
Hadley Mt. Saturday, January 17. Five of us braved -5 degree temperatures to hike up Hadley Mt., in the Southern Adirondacks. Four wore micro-spikes, and one wore small snowshoes. It was sunny, and there were expansive views, with no wind. We were surprised to see so many other hikers on the trail on such a cold day.

  Leader: Wally Herrod  Participants: Kathleen Helfrich, Stacey Michon, Ray Henricksen, Katie Henricksen

January 16 - Indian Kill Preserve
In the almost 3 years that we have been leading HARP hikes (has it really been
that long?), we’ve had wonderful experiences and learned a lot. One thing
that we’ve learned is that a hike destination can be very different depending upon the season. We went to Indian Kill Preserve in Glenville on a recent Sunday morning and we are proud to announce that all ten participants survived.
When we had been there in late August, it was definitely an easy and pleasant
hike, but most of us found it a bit short. When we were there for the
snowshoe hike on January 16th, we found a totally different set of conditions. Have you tried climbing steps in snowshoes? Sometimes the best way down was on our bottoms. We had a really good workout. It was not a typical Harp hike, but it was challenging and a lot of fun.
As with all the AMC hikes we lead and participate in, the companionship and support makes for a wonderful experience.

  Leader: Frank Wind  Co-leader: Dee Wind

January 7 - Vermont Snowshoeing/Skiing Weekend
On Friday afternoon January 7th, nine of us left the trailhead at Greendale Loop. Some went with snowshoes on, others without, for a round trip of 4 miles. A nice easy hike to warm us up for the weekend. That evening, we gathered in the common area of the inn for our social hour followed by a wonderful dinner.

Saturday morning found everyone up bright and eager for the day's adventure. After a delicious breakfast (Yes, Jeff did set a new personal record for the number of omelets made in 30 minutes) we set out for a snowshoe. The group divided in two ,depending on how long of a snowshoe you wanted.

The first group did the Spruce Peak to Prospect Rock snowshoe. The day was beautiful with fresh snow which continued to fall during the day. Our lunch stop was the cabin on the AT. We met 6 hikers who had spent the night in the cabin so the fire was going and the cabin was toasty warm. After lunch, we continued on our way to Prospect Rock for a nice view of Manchester Valley. From there, we walked down the road to our spotted vehicle. Total distance 5.9 miles with an elevation gain of 590 feet.

The second group did a 3.5 mile snowshoe on the West River Trail in Jamaica State Park. They too enjoyed the benefit of new snow and also the lovely view of the river.

That evening following our social hour and another delicious meal at the inn, we were presented with our guest speaker Jean Holcomb, who thru hiked the AT after retirement. Very entertaining and well done.

Sunday morning, we enjoyed a relaxing breakfast, gathered our things and headed to Wild Wings Cross Country Ski Center. The new snow was just what they needed and we enjoyed skiing on previously closed trails. The conditions were quite nice considering how the winter had been at that point. Most of the group started on the Snow Goose trail and then progressed to more difficult trails. We enjoyed our lunch in the warming hut with Barb keeping an eye on the fire. All too soon the weekend was over and time to head home.

Many thanks to all who attended. We couldn't have done it without you. What a great group of people. Special thanks to the Colonial House and Inn, Edie, Derek, Sandy and Dave for sharing their snacks and all who brought beverages for our social hour and Dave again for remembering "The Doctor". It made the trail that much warmer! Here's hoping we can do it again next January!

  Leader: Randy MacDonald  Co-leader: Amy MacDonald, Frank Wind  Participants: Dee Wind, Bill Dufur, Enny Dufur, Gerry Weber, Barb Samuls, Arthur Fontijn, Dave Perkins, Sandy Perkins, John Tifft, Roe Tifft, Chris Simson, Mike Boucher, Sharon Bonk, Ann Wood, Dona Burdick, Diane Crowell, Stacey Michon, Jean Holcomb, Maria Rawson, Derek Anspach, Edie Buechner

The group, getting ready to snowshoe in Vermont.

January 2 - Tibbets State Forest, Hoosick NY
Ten people followed the red and blue trails in the state forest for a 3.7 mile, 700' cumulative ascent in spring trail conditions. It was a first for most of the group.

  Leader: Sharon Bonk  Co-leader: Gerry Weber  Participants: Katie Henrikson, Ray Henrikson, Bob Armao, Susan Roberts, Peg G, Etta Mengus, Sherry Klein, Dale Blanchet

Rest break at height of land, Tibbets Forest. Katie Henrikson, Susan Roberts, Bob Armao

January 1 - Schodack Island State Park
Thirteen of us came out for our annual morning hike that precedes the potluck luncheon and quarterly meeting. We were treated to a clear day with little wind, and trail conditions with snow, but packed into a trail that we could hike on easily with just regular boots.

  Leader: Wally Herrod  Participants: Chris Grossman, Bernie Grossman, Gerry Weber, Patty Costa, Jean Hewig, Sharon Bonk, Janet Angelis, Martha Waldman, Mary Folsom, Art Fontijn, John Tifft, Kendra Pratt

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