Frum Outdoorsman: Rare but Possible

The wanderings and adventures of an orthodox Jew

Todays hike and bike rides

Posted by Frum Hiker on May 31, 2007

Today was a busy day, I worked about 7 hours but is was two different times, so in between I had the opportunity to ride the trails behind Skidmore college, otherwise known as the stables, Daniels Road Trails and Devils Den. It was my first mountain bike ride in over a week and I felt clumsy on these super technical trails located in Saratoga Springs. These trails are for experienced mountain bikers only, unless you want to ride between the power lines. These trails are slow to medium paced and will keep you on your toes. The scenery is very good if you take the trails near the swamps, but its black fly season in the Adirondacks so watch out.

Once again work took me to Kingston in the afternoon so I decided to go to one of the short hike recommendations from the folks yesterday at Overlook mountain. I drove west on route 28 till I hit route 42 and took it north. Route 42 itself is a beautiful road, it is one of those roads that starts and stops again later on. It is more famous in the lower Catskills where it goes through Monticello.

I took route 42 north until I hit Spruceton road which is Greene County Route 6. This road is simply breathtaking, winding its way along between two mountain ranges with long golden fields in the middle. Old farm houses and long grassy fields end at the edge of mountains West Kill and Hunter mountain trail heads are on the end of this road.

The hike I chose was more of a walk, I was tired from work and my previous ride. I didn’t even need boots for this casual one mile walk into to see Diamond Notch Falls. Waterfalls are awesome especially ones with pools for swimming beneath them. The trail in was an old logging road, the trail would great on a bike if that were legal. The trail followed the creek and passed by small overgrown bushy fields and some old stone crumbling stone walls. It was easy and pleasant walking and my brisk pace despite my sandals was just enough to make me sweat.

The falls are at a confluence of trail heads and make for a great picnic or chilling spot. Flat rocks in the creek above and below the falls are perfect for sitting and relaxing to the sound of the falls. They are not too high but they are quite beautiful, extremely green and full of moss.
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Unfortunately the low water meant that the pool was not too deep, it was way too cold to swim anyway. It is definately a good place to come since you have many day hike options right at the falls. There is nothing like startinga hike with some goodness like a waterfall.
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Then after I got out of the woods I still had an hour left of daylight so I decided to ride my road bike from Lexington to Prattsville on Route 23A, a magnificent road following farms in a wide valley running alongside the swift yet shallow Esopus creek- known as a great fishing stream- maybe thats why there are tons of DEC parking lots. The shoulder is smooth and wide and traffic was almost non-existent. The sun was sinking down and the shadows were long, tons of bugs splattered on my arms and many folks were mowing their lawns giving the air a fine grassy scent. It was simply an amazing 13 mile ride.

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