Monday, June 1, 2015

Windham High Peak hike

Hemlock forestWindham High Peak is surprisingly easy for a Catskill peak, which you might not expect with the "high" in its name. But the ascent from the northern end of the Escarpment Trail is gentle and surprisingly unrocky.

Nevertheless, I did have a few moments of confusion when, near the beginning, a bike trail area splits off to the left. I knew that the Escarpment Trail went right, but unfortunately there isn't a blue blaze visible at the split; I thought the actual trail was just an unofficial side trail. Once I cleared that up, following the trail was easy. It climbed through deciduous forest and hemlock groves until it finally reached the peak. The views are somewhat obstructed by trees, but there is still a nice view south of Blackhead, Black Dome, and Thomas Cole mountains.

SalamanderI was tempted to continue on to Acra Point and Burnt Knob, as the view from the former is supposed to be splendid. I stuck to my plan of "taking it easy," though; I didn't want to tire myself out before the next day's big hike. I reluctantly turned around.

One thing I like about hiking alone is that I get to see more, especially more wildlife. One person is simply quieter than six or a dozen. Coming down Windham, I got to play paparazzi to this orange salamander, who obligingly sat for a close-up.

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