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Running from the rain in the catskills


Submitted By Michael Virdone

The Mountains & Stats

9 miles with 4400 feet of gain
  • Indian Head (3573 Feet, NY) globe Mountain
  • Plateau (3840 Feet, NY) globe Mountain
  • Sugarloaf (3800 Feet, NY) globe Mountain
  • Twin (3640 Feet, NY) globe Mountain

People On The Trip

Trip Report

     Nicole and I were up for a hike prior to our vacation next weekend and we were looking for something challenging. The forecast scared us away from the ADKs so we had to look elsewhere. I did a quick gander at the Catskills forecast so we decided to head South instead.


      The trip started off great, with my Garmin GPS taking a nice shortcut from route 10 to 30 which lead us through a closed road (a nice 30+ minute detour). We eventually got down to Tannersville at around 8. We stopped at a place in town and picked up a copy of the VO maps (they're great by the way) before heading to North/South lake for the evening. We were treated to the presence of an entire boy scout troop in our loop which made for quiet sleeping (thank god for ear plugs!).


      We were up at 5:30 the next day and out of camp at 6, after a quick breakfast at Stewart's we began our drive to the Mink Hollow trailhead. We found the trailhead easily and stashed our bikes before driving to the prediger road traihead. I wanted to scout out the ride route and I was disappointed to see it wasn't all downhill from Mink Hollow to Prediger.


      We geared up at the trailhead and headed out up the mountain. We opted for the Jimmy Dolan trail to save some distance and gain on our hike. The nice gradual climb was great but before too long it began to steepen. The climb to the notch wasn't bad at all and in no time we were on top of Indian Head. The scrambles up and down were fun and made the hike more interesting.


      We descended down to the col and began the climb of Twin (there were so many notches that I don't really remember any of the climbs all that well). The first bump of Twin was very nice but we quickly hiked past and continued to the real summit. Here we enjoyed the views and spent some time talking with a couple who were on their first hike.


      The descent down to the next notch was certainly fun and exciting with a fair amount of required climbing involved. Unfortunately Jimmy Dolan was the notch with the least vertical gain so we had to do some real work to get up Sugarloaf. We climbed slow and steady until we reached the lookout just past the summit. Here we took a break, ate lunch and relaxed a bit.


      A nice group from the AMC caught up with us here and we leapfrogged with them for the rest of the day. The descent down to Mink Hollow was steep and rugged again and at the col we were surprised to see the sign for Plateau suggesting the summit was 3+ miles away. For some reason the DEC sign indicated the end of the ridge instead of the true summit.


      The climb up Plateau was relentless and I was getting pretty tired. I had to take more breaks than usual because of the steepness of the trail (and the fact that I hadn't eaten or drank enough over the course of the day). Eventually we reached the top, enjoyed a nice snack break with the AMC group and then dropped back to the col.


      The hike down the Mink Hollow road (to the north) wasn't bad and we were back at the bikes in no time. We were initially dreading the ride back to the car because of the number of uphills we had seen earlier in the day but we were able to grind through all of them in the easier gears on the bikes. In less than a half hour we were back at the car getting read to drive home. We managed to just barely beat the rain only getting drizzled on slightly on the hike and a light rain on the bike ride.


      Overall it was a very fun day and I would recommend this hike for anyone that likes steep trails and making interesting variations using a bicycle (we used (old crappy) mountain bikes, I would not try the bumpy roads on my road bike).


The Good and The Bad

The Good:

Good views
Easy elevation gain (at first)
Nice ridge walks
Fun scrambling
Reasonable bike ride

The Bad:

Bonking on the climb of Plateau
No summit indicators

The Drive

Stupid garmin GPS wants to make every drive an adventure


  • Got the VO catskills map, it is very nice
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