Saturday, September 26, 2015

Western Catskills, NY - Trout Pond and Mud Pond Loop


ABOUT THE PARK:
Delaware Wild Forest - New York DEC

DIRECTIONS:
GPS Coordinates 41.994457, -74.940834

TRAIL MAP:
Delaware Wild Forest - New York DEC
Catskill Trails-Western Trails Map 144 - New York New Jersey Trail Conference
Trout Pond and Mud Pond, NY at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE:  5.4 miles
Hiked together with Andes Rail Trail and Bullet Hole Spur (about 45 minutes away) - 3.9 miles

THE HIKE:
It's a pretty drive in but a little harrowing to wonder what to do if a car were to come towards you with no place to go.  Fortunately that did not happen.
From the parking lot there is a short, steep trail to the right of the kiosk which goes directly to the trail where you would turn right.
Of you can continue on the road to the left of the kiosk a short distance and turn right at the signs...
... towards the gate.  That short steep trail comes out just the other side of the gate.
This part of the trail is an old closed road.
Crossing the bridge.
Russell Brook from the bridge.
After the bridge is an apple orchard, loaded with apples this time of year.  Take the first unmarked path to the right just after the bridge in the apple orchard.
This leads to some ruins...
... then through a very pretty gorge to Russell Brook Falls.

Coming back out on the main trail in the apple orchard from the falls.
Continuing on, a trail register to the left - seems Shawnee knows we are stopping there first.
Then we went right at the fork to Trout Pond and would be returning from Mud Pond from the left.
All of the trails in this hike are marked in blue along with red or orange snowmobile markers.
Unmarked side trail go to...
... campsites.
Coming up on Trout Pond.
Trout Pond
The trail continues all along Trout Pond with...
... campsites at the far end.
After crossing the second bridge, keep right on the trail at the fork.  The left side of the fork goes to a shelter.
At this point the trail becomes more of a trail and less of a woods road.
But time for a break before tackling the uphill part.  (Shawnee's left eye is where where she had the growth removed.  All gone and nothing irritating her eye any more.)
She got her pearly whites cleaned up, too, while out for her eye surgery.
This part of the trail is rocky and steeper but no scrambles.
Once at the top, the rest is pretty much all downhill.
The trail enters a section with young trees and an occasional large, old tree.
At the T-intersection, left is the way back to the parking lot but hang a right first to see Mud Pond.
A smooth woods road with access to Mud Pond.
We took the first path to the left.
Mud Pond
The path continued to the right along the edge of the pond so we followed that and came out at the wider access path which led back to...
... the trail which is now a straight shot back to the parking lot.
That short, steep side trail up to the parking lot just before the gate.
Lunch in the car...
Then a nice scenic drive to our next hike about 45 minutes away.


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