Friday, June 27, 2014

West Kill hike

Diamond Notch FallsSince I hadn't made it up West Kill the previous day, I was determined to bag it the next day. I didn't want to head up the same route, though - an equal mix of wanting to see a different trail and not looking forward to that steep climb at the beginning. Instead, I drove to the Diamond Notch trailhead to begin.

The actual, official trailhead is only accessible by car if you have a Jeep or similar vehicle; the road turns from pavement to nice smooth gravel you'd be happy to bring home to your mother, before abruptly narrowing to two rocky ruts. Luckily, there is parking at this spot, too, not just at the official start.

Buck Ridge lookoutDiamond Notch proved to be an excellent choice, however, as the trail goes up to Diamond Notch Falls. From there, one has to get back on the Devil's Path and keep going up. The top of West Kill doesn't have a view; you only know you've arrive by the rock cairn. However, very close to the summit is the Buck Ridge lookout, with views in two directions, which is where this second shot was taken.

The only negative on this hike was the outlandish number of flies. (It is the Devil's Path; I suppose this part is devoted to Beelzebub.) One-way, this hike was 4.5 miles, which doesn't sound like much, but again it was steep.

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