Barry: So how did you like our two day hiking trip?
Rachel: I loved it. Especially the second day in the Catskills. The air was so amazing. Great to get of the city. I didn’t even miss the beach! Incredible!
Barry: That is incredible, so that’s our favorite hike so far?
Rachel: Yes, definitely. Don’t you think so?
Barry: Definitely, I liked the Bear Mountain Loop Trail but the North Point Trail in the Catskills was higher, quieter and just amazing. I loved the pines up there, and the birches - loved everything about it.
Rachel: Yes, it was amazing.
Barry: How did the pictures come out?
Rachel: Nice, your beard is looking better and I think you are losing a little weight.
Barry: I’m starting to feel like a makeover target.
Rachel: You are a makeover target. You still need to lose another 15 pounds and I want you to let your beard grow longer and fuller.
Barry: OK, maybe we should talk less about me and get back on subject here?
Rachel: You mean the hikes?
Barry: Yes the hikes. This post is supposed to be about the hikes, remember?
Rachel: Do I remember? Do YOU remember???
Barry: I remember, I remember...
We arrived at Bear Mountain State Park around 11:00 am on Sunday morning after driving up from Brooklyn and stopping to see Lake Tiorati at Harriman State Park on the way up. It’s a beautiful lake and park but being so close to the city it gets crowded. It was the same at Bear Mountain. The trail and views are beautiful and we found it challenging and fun but be prepared for the crowds. Seeing the crowds, I almost wanted to pull out and head north but the trail is so well known and highly rated that I decided to just go for it. Thankfully, only a few are there to hike. Once on the trail you can forget about all the people because while there were hikers out there with us, it was not crowded.
That is until you arrive Perkins Tower, because there’s a road that winds up there and a parking lot and access to the tower and a lot of people drive up. It certainly does take away some of the reward of the hike when you get to the top only to find a crowd. We stopped for a rest and a snack under some shady pines before going all the way up and were glad we did. I would recommend the same. We’ll be back, but there are a lot more hikes to do first and besides, Rachel wants to keeping going higher and higher.
The trail starts near this amazing mountain lake. We arrived around noon on Monday morning and the air was brisk and the wind was blowing hard across the lake. Rachel bundled up in her hoodie and I put on a flannel shirt. We had big smiles on our faces as we readied ourselves for the hike.
Our smiles grew and grew as we started off along the the pine needles and rocks of the trail. We reached a nice scramble which was short, fun and a little challenging, saying hi to a few hikers we saw along the way. A little further along the trail we reached the first overlook on the trail as pictured above. It was amazing. This was the highest point we had hiked to yet and we wanted to go higher.
Here I am on the trail trying to look my hiking best. I’m scared of heights so this may be as close as you’ll see me to the edge of any cliff. Rachel told me to pull in my gut but look natural. That’s not so easy.
More than 3 miles into the hike we came to this spot with a trail sign telling us that it was only .3 miles to North Point. I took this shot of Rachel with her new back pack prominently displayed. You can see how the sunlight was filtering through the trees and how Rachel’s hoodie had come off and was wrapped around her waist. Actually, it came off as soon as we got on the trail. It seems the air was so cool near the lake because the wind was blowing right across it and right at us.
At North Point Rachel is starting to ask herself, “Am I really a city girl?” And, “Who needs the beach?” And, “Who is doing a makeover on who here?” I’m watching as I see the transformation taking place before my eyes. She looks at me and says, I want to go higher! And I smile and say, “We will, we will.”