We are finally back on our journey and resuming from Long Path section 17. Our long path journey stopped last time due to the snow and not having two cars. I’m sure the snow will stop us again soon but until then we want to get more of the sections done. Thanks to Nihad’s friend we were able to resume the trail and are half way through. This time we parked at Slide Mountain parking lot, waited for our ride and drove to the beginning of section 17. Once our ride left we started circling the camping site across the end of section 16 looking for Long Path markings. After a few minutes of no luck we decided to walk up the road to Peekamoose mountain trail, where the train actually begins. We wasted 20 minutes walking here but extra miles never hurt no one.
Up and up we go
Long Lath section 17 starts off with a steady incline and it continues to do so for the first four miles or so. The path starts off wide but quickly narrows into a foot trail. In between the rocky climbs you get some time to catch your breath and enjoy the flat parts of the trail.
The scenery in the woods was magical. You were surrounded by trees covered in green leaves with a pop of color peeking here and there. There were plenty of bright red and orange leaves on the ground as you walked. Since it was raining a bit and it was still early when we started at 10am it was foggy. Once we reached the rock viewpoints there was nothing but whiteness surrounding the trees. Even with no views the trail was worth it. As for the hardness, it wasn’t too bad. The first three miles will get your heart pumping but you’ll have breaks in between. We’ve hiked other trails where it’s just a continuous uphill that never seems to end, and this was not it. After four miles, you get a break and start going down the hill to Table Mountain. After crossing the water and taking our little snack break we continued on to the path. A short distance later we reached the end of section 17 and turned right to go up hill. This is the beginning of Long Path section 18.
Bears in the woods
If you’re going to the Catskills you’re likely to see a bear, especially during spring and before they go into hibernation. As we were going up the rocky wide path (reminds me of old carriage roads) we heard noise in the brushes. We figured it was a deer but then I looked up and said “bear”. The cub quickly went from climbing the tree branch to jumping off and running away. Someone was very disappointed that he did not get to take a picture or record a video. I said that next time I won’t say a word but shortly after my pee break I look to my right and see a bear head moving toward us. I said something and the bear that I thought was a large male coming our way we’re actually two cubs. They quickly ran to the woods and no pictures were taken again. It’s very hard for me not to react when I see bears. I love them and still can’t believe that I see them in my yard.
At 1.75 miles into the hike on section 18 we came to a stop. There is a stone monument for William Curtis and Allan Ormsbee whom died in a snow storm in 1900. While the long path continues to the right we went left to our car. The ascent to our car was also rocky and wet but beautiful. At this time my knees were feeling the breaking and I couldn’t wait to come home and pamper them with some salve.
Overall, we are extremely happy that we are back on the long path! Section 17 was beautiful and not as bad as we thought. The less than 2 miles that we did on section 18 was okay but doing the section from Slide Mountain parking lot again will be interesting.