Saturday, June 20, 2015

Catamount Ski Area and Taconic State Park, NY and MA

Catamount Ski Area - Catamount
Taconic State Park - New York State Parks
South Taconic Trail - Housatonic Heritage

GPS Coordinates 42.170718, -73.474801
Off-road parking along Route 23

South Taconic Trails - New York New Jersey Trail Conference
Taconic State Park and Catamount Ski Area, NY and MA at EveryTrail

A picture of the track in case EveryTrail is down again.

Catamount Ski Area and Taconic State Park - 4.2 miles
hiked together with
Jug End Reservation - 4.5 miles

When you leave at 4:45 AM on a 2.5-3 hour drive you get to see a beautiful sunrise!
From the parking lot in New York it is a short road walk along Route 23 ...
... into Massachusetts...
... to the northern end of the South Taconic Trail.
Over the years we have hiked all of the South Taconic Trail except the very northern and southern sections.  We tried to hike the southern section a few years ago but could not find where the trail starts and apparently, it is very hard to find.  Now the terrain in that area is too difficult for Shawnee so here we are completing the nothern section.
The northern section goes through woods for a short distance then uses dirt roads.
It says the drive is private but this is the way the trail goes.  It soon leaves to the left...
... and crosses an overgrown field.
Wild strawberries in the field.
Gray Catbird
Back in the woods, the trail goes up, up, up.
Shawnee needed help over this downed tree because it was on a steep uphill section and she could not get lift - so handy to have that handle on her and this is why she always wears that harness now.
The trail comes out on a woods road ...
... and opens up to views into New York.
Time for a break and refreshments after that uphill climb.
Mountain laurel was in full bloom.
As well as fields of wildflowers.
The Catskills in the distance.
After crossing under this pipe...
... the trail continues uphill through an overgrown ski slope.
Northern Flicker
You have to turn around to see the views while ascending the ski slope.
At the top the trail becomes more open woods road and leaves into the woods to the left at the red arrow.  But there was something ahead we wanted to check out.
Continuing ahead to the map ...
... the top of the ski lift with more views.
Now back to where the trail enters the woods ...
... and Taconic State Park in New York.  (We had been in Massachusetts up to now.)
The turnaround point was at this view, the spot we had hiked to previously, completing our northern part of the South Taconic Trail.
Baby Blueberries
Back out on the woods road at the top of the ski slopes.
But this time instead of retracing down the overgrown ski slope, we took the ski area service roads which turned out to be a very good choice - no overgrowth and tons of views.
At the bottom in the main ski area, I was able to hook back up with the South Taconic Trail using the GPS.
Back at Route 23 ...
...and the road walk back to the car.


  1. Beautiful photos as usual! Shawnee looks great! Thanks for sharing.Joanne

  2. I'll second that! Beautiful -love the picture of the owl!

  3. Hello,

    I am semi-new to hiking, but love waterfall trails. I love reading your reviews and find the directions helpful. On vacation last year in PA, we did Hickory Run Park and enjoyed it immensely. This year we are heading to Lake wallenpaupak and would love to hike some more Falls, preferrably where we can take a dip!. I read your Shohola Falls review... thanks. I was wondering if you have ever done Tanner Falls in Hawley?

    Keep hikin' and I'll keep reading!!

    Thanks, Theresa