Sunday, March 22, 2015
Panther and Giant Ledge hike
I did my third of the four required winter peaks on the last possible day, joining the Catskills 3500 Club on a hike up to Panther Mountain. My final winter peak will now have to wait until next winter.
We lucked out on weather, though. While the day was overcast, the air was clear enough that we had good views. In fact, the sun even came out as we traversed the Giant Ledge with its several viewpoints. It reminded me of my visit to CWRU in my senior year of high school - yes, really - on a similar day at the end of winter. Cleveland was rather dreary that time of year, but when we went on a campus tour, the sun came bursting out from behind the clouds as if to show the campus at its best. Similarly, it was fantastic weather for the prettiest part of the yesterday's hike.
It's about 3.3 miles from the parking lot up to Panther. Many casual hikers only go as far as Giant Ledge; from there, the trail descends briefly before heading uphill to the top of Panther. (The photo is taken from the slopes of Panther, looking back at the Ledge.) There are a couple of viewpoints near the top, but they aren't quite as spectacular as the views from the Ledge. As per usual, there is no sign at the top, but an old screw in one tree was a suggestion that at one point a sign had been placed there.