Saturday, August 15, 2015

Western Catskills, NY - Touchmenot and Cabot Mountains

Delaware Wild Forest - New York DEC

GPS Coordinates 42.04379, -74.72748
Parking on Barkaboom Road at Big Pond.

Delaware Wild Forest - New York DEC
Catskill Trails-Western Trails Map 144 - New York New Jersey Trail Conference
Western Catskills, NY - Touchmenot and Cabot Mountains at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE - 7.8 miles

A couple of mom/toddler duos crossed the road on the way in.
At this bridge just before the Big Pond parking lot, an osprey was sitting on the railing where the arrow is pointing.  I stopped, he stayed.  By the time I got the camera turned on and snapped the picture, he took off and all I got was his tail.
Big Pond
On the opposite side of the street from Big Pond, access to the red-blazed Touch-Me-Not/Finger Lakes Trail.
A few steps in, a trail register.  There will be two more along this route.  Be sure to sign in.
And off we go.
What struck me immediately about this trail at 7:30 AM was the total peace and quiet.  Not another sound, no traffic, nothing.
A rooted trail section.
Almost stepped on this little guy.
The only time Shawnee goes ahead of me any more is when I tell her to so I can get her in a picture, then she is right behind me again.  Not on this hike!  She was in her element and forged on ahead. 
The mileages are off on the signs.  Based on my pedometer, the GPS and the trail conference map, the distance is 1.2 miles instead of .8
We turned left on blue only intending to reach the true summit of Touch-Me-Not Mountain.  The plan was to retrace to avoid a steep section thinking it would be too much for Shawnee.
Off to the summit.
Here we are, the summit of Touch-Me-Not Mountain.  No views or anything but it's a pretty trail.
We came this far so how about we go on and just "see" how steep the descent is?
It was pretty steep but Shawnee was handling it well so we forged on.
I thought this was a jumping red eft until he stopped and I could see it was a jumping red frog.
Being watched by an oven bird.
The trail levels off then it is easy sailing all the way to...
... Little Pond Campground with another register to sign.
We headed left towards the bridge because ...
... to the right are picnic areas and a beach where dogs are not allowed.  Maybe walking by on the pavement would be OK but just easier to go the other way given the option.
Crossing the bridge at the dam.
Little Pond with Cabot Mountain in the distance.
There aren't any blazes here, just follow the gravel path.
Turn right on the paved camp road at the yellow square ADA Trail marker.
Cooling off.
The paved park road goes by all of the campsites.
Boat Launch
Touch-Me-Not Mountain
Continuing on through walk-in campsites to...
... the yellow-blazed Little Pond Trail.
Trail Register #3
Word must gave gotten out to the eft community that I almost squished one of their own so every one I saw after that was safely tucked away.
Turning leaves... already.
Sometimes quite a few fallen leaves.
A beaver dam off to the right.
Outhouse ruins on the left complete with...
... toilet lid.
Old farm walls.
A group of campers passed us and turned left at the small homestead pond.  With the overgrowth, I didn't want to crowd in behind them to see the pond so we just continued on to ...
... the old farmstead ruins.
Nicole Curtis would love this.
Forging on to...
A short distance ahead, this large, flat boulder made a great break spot.
Back at the red-blazed Touch-Me-Not./Finger Lakes Trail I had intended to turn right to head back.  But the Beaverkill Vista on Cabot Mountain was "only" half a mile away.  I was worried about Shawnee on the scrambles to the top because it looked steep on the map but we could just to and see for ourselves, couldn't we?
Things started getting pretty steep.  Shawnee was getting tired and she did fall on her rear end a couple of times.  But we were almost there at that point.
To keep her close enough to me so I could help her with the harness, I had to leash her up.  It was exhausting getting her up then getting myself up but we made it to ...
... Beaverkill Vista with Little Pond down below.
Zooming in to the beach and the bridge we cross earlier over the dam.
This was a fantastic break spot so we spread out and stayed until other hikers came along not wanting to hog the space.
Watching the clouds overhead.
There was a nice breeze and it was very peaceful.
Tired dog.
So when other hikers came along, we moved on a short distance to the summit of Cabot Mountain.
Retracing back on red.
The Touch-Me-Not flowers that the trail is named after.
Although this trail is also the Finger Lakes Trail, this is the only such marker I saw.
Back at the first trail register.
You see this sign as you are leaving.  That's not much help.
Back down to Barkaboom Road and Big Pond.
Big Pond was a lot busier at 2:30 PM than at was at 7:30 AM but I had promised Shawnee she could go in.
I had changed into water shoes and walked in too, and it was heavenly!
Schmoozing with some admirers.
A happy dog, but ...
... an exhausted dog.  She rarely sleeps in the car but slept the whole 2.5 hour drive home.

[  0.00]  Cross Barkaboom Road from Big Pond to access the red-blazed Finger Lakes Trail
[  1.20]  Left on blue
[  2.50]  Left over bridge/dam at campground; continue right on yellow square ADA Trail
[  3.05]  Left on yellow leaving ADA Trail
[  3.85]  Farmstead ruins
[  3.95]  Views
[  4.20]  Left on red
[  4.80]  Beaverkill Vista; continue on to Cabot Mountain summit, retrace
[  5.90]  Straight on red when yellow starts to the right
[  6.45]  Straight on red when blue starts to the right
[  7.80]  End at Big Pond


  1. Looks like a great spot. Glad Shawnee is hanging in there. Thanks for sharing. Joanne

  2. I'll have to try this hike with my dogs. We love combining hiking and swimming.