On Thursday, we met with an Instagram follower and hiked Plateau Mountain for the first time. The parking for the hike was at a location we’ve been to two times before. This is the area where you can come to camp, paint, hike Hunter mountain, or wait for your hikers. I don’t believe I ever turned around and saw the stairs across the street, leading to more hiking.
We crossed the street and walked up the stairs from the parking lot. This is where the uphill journey begins. The incline continues for a little over one mile. In this mile, you hike up 2,000 feet in elevation. Did we take a break? We sure did, and more than one. The first mile of hiking is intense but beautiful. You can stop and turn around to look or enjoy the views when you come downhill.
It took us an hour to reach the first mile. I’m not mad at that since it was a nice incline and a tremendous challenge for the body, soul, and heart.
One thing that was on our side was the weather. It was supposed to be 90, but since it was cloudy, it didn’t feel too hot at all. We would have been drained even more if the sun had been beaming at us.
One mile hike to Plateau Mountain
Once you reach about 1.3 miles into your hike, the rest of the way is easy sailing. The trail through the pine woods was full of moss and looked magical. It also looked like a section in Panther Mountain. At one point, it did seem like we were never going to end this part, but alas, the first overview came up. We chose to climb the rock instead of going around. Good thing I did my yoga in the morning. Once up, we enjoyed the views of the surrounding green Catskill mountains.
After taking an extended break at the wide second viewpoint and trying Mac Lab macaroons, we continued on the trail. It ends at another small view spot with a decent rock boulder. This is where we took another long break and ate our snacks. Once we were cooled off, we headed back around.
I would start running at some sections and had Nihad and Kara run behind me. If you’re not challenging yourself, how will you improve? Or at least that’s what Nihad drilled in my head. Going downhill was another story. I don’t know about you but going down a hill is hard on the knees. I ran out of MAKA salva and used the icy-hot roll-on instead.
In the end, we made it! It might have taken us six hours to do eight miles, but I’m not mad at that. According to STRAVA we did it in 3 hours but the other three hours were our rests. If you want to challenge your lungs, legs, and heart, you must hike Plateau Mountain in the Catskills! I believe this also counts as part of the 35ers club. One thing I learned is that we will need to do this section of Plateau Mountain again when we continue our Long Path journey. We will do this again in the fall or winter, and maybe it will be easier.