Trails less traveled hikes

This Lark in the Park take the trail less traveled.  Or visit all the CMC trails and earn a patch!  Rail trails and other level trails are perfect for families with young children and anyone who wants a less strenuous walk in the country.  Check Scenic Drives and Short Walks for more Easy Walks.

Andes Rail Trail    2 miles on railbed or 4 miles if you include the hiking spur.  It’s scenic, historic, level and located right downtown in the quaint village of Andes.   The Bullet Hole Spur hiking trail is a terrific addition if you want more of a challenge, or like to do a little interval work.  It packs a lot of scenery in a short distance with mildly strenuous sections and lots of level spots to recover.  This trail opened in the spring of 2013 to rave reviews.  266 Depot Street, Andes,  1/4 mile west of the flashing light on SR 28.  Maps and details here.

Catskill Scenic Trail     26 miles between Bloomville and Roxbury – hike a section!  This trail offers many lovely views and flat, natural surfaces for great cycling (mountain bike recommended), cross country skiing, snowshoeing, jogging and easy walking.  Can be accessed from CR 10 in Bloomville, South Kortright, Hobart and Stamford.  Also from Grand Gorge, Schuman Road and Roxbury along SR 30.   Stamford RR Station parking is at 21 Railroad Ave., 2 blocks from the SR 23 intersection.  Maps and details here.

Parksville O & W Rail Trail    3.2 miles.  A brand new rail trail in the hamlet of Parksville. Shady walk along a creek with a small waterfall.   From SR 17 in Parksville, turn onto Old Rt. 17 and go 1.3 miles to the  trailhead at the junction with Fox Mountain Rd.  More information here.

Rock Rift Rail Trail    7.8 miles.  A new rail trail added to the Finger Lakes Trail system, alongside the Cannonsville Reservoir — Click here for full details and maps.

Kelly Hollow.   4 mile loop.  Hike through majestic hardwoods and dark, quiet evergreens, following a cascading stream.  Yellow trail. From SR 28 in Arkville, go south on CR 49/Dry Brook Rd.  6.1 miles. Turn right on Mill Brook Rd. and go 5 miles to the parking area on the left.  More info here.

Shavertown Trail    3.3 miles. The Shavertown Trail offers families and novice hikers a unique opportunity in the Catskills – a spectacular view after less than one moderately strenuous mile.  It leads to two great views of the surrounding mountains and the Pepacton Reservoir.  The trail begins 0.1 mile up the road from the Shavertown Bridge parking area and climbs moderately for 0.3 mile before becoming an easy-moderate hike on a woods road to the pond and then through mixed forest. Details and map here.

Frick Pond Loop, Mongaup State Park     2.2 mile loop. Easy traveling through beautiful conifer forest, meadows and wetlands.  From CR 81/82 (east) in Livingston Manor go 6 miles and turn left on Mongaup Rd. to Beech Mountain Rd. and go to the Frick Pond Trailhead.  More info here.

Ashokan Quarry Trail    2 miles.  The lollipop route offers close-up views of Ashokan High Point and to the mountains north and west including the Burroughs Range, North Dome and Tremper Mountain, passing several artifacts from the reservoir’s construction including a rail car loading zone and the remnants of machinery used to load stone.  The AQT is an easy hike which is mostly flat except during the modest ascent to the top of the quarry.  The quarry wall is high and sheer, offering open views at its highest point.  There is a vernal pool at its base that is fed by water flowing down the face of the cliffs. Details and map here.

Dry Brook Ridge.   9.6 miles from Margaretville to Mill Brook Rd. This is a high ridge hike with long views west to the Pepacton Reservoir from several ledges. More info here.

Mount Utsayantha    Climb to spectacular views on this 3214′ peak with an early four story wooden observation house and a 60′ fire tower. More info here.

Emmons Pond Bog    1.4 miles.  A preserve owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy, with a hiking trail in easy walking distance from the road. Approach through a meadow with many wildflowers, then walk through the shrubby edge of the pond before stepping out onto a short boardwalk through the bog mat that surrounds the pond. See pitcher plants and other bog vegetation. The history of the pond and bog date back 11,000 years when the retreat of the last glacier left a depression which was soon filled with water. Sphagnum moss and other bog plants grew in the shallow water around the edge of the pond. Plant materials broke down slowly because of the acidity and low temperature of the water. As a result, the plant materials accumulated to form a floating doughnut-shaped mat around the pond. Beavers dammed the outlet stream in the late 1970s, so the bog mat is now ringed with water. In the beginning of the trail there is a sign-in box and interpretive signs. The trail is easy and is marked with orange markers, circles the pond in a counter-clockwise direction. Southside Drive, 4 miles southeast of Oneonta in the Town of Davenport. More info here.

Pepacton Range    The Pepacton Range offers miles of lightly hiked ridgeline trails (co-aligned with the Finger Lakes Trail) connecting with several side trails.  From Alder Lake in the east to Trout Pond in the west, the trails traverse the full range of terrain found in the Catskills.  Start at any of the numerous trailheads and section hike the trail at your leisure.  Or pull an all day through hike of 18 miles by ascending Cabot Mountain from Big Pond and ending on Campbell Mountain.  Follow that up by hiking to Trout Pond and on to Russell Brook Falls.

Suggested day hikes include Cabot Mountain from Big Pond or from Beech Hill Rd.;  Middle Mountain from Beech Hill Rd. or from Berry Brook/Holiday Brook  Rd.; Split Rock on Brock Mountain from Berry Brook/Holiday Brook Rd. or from SR 206.