After hearing about the NE 115 we decided why stop at 46…let’s aim higher! Plus it offers us shorter options. Our first in the Catskills to tackle, Hunter Mountain, which is also on the Fire Tower Challenge list. There path for most of the hike up was wide and easy to manage and follow. There are limited (no) views from the summit unless you climb the tower.
This time of year, we like the idea of shorter hikes, mostly because we don’t need to start as early! We arrived to the trailhead and Britney signed us in. Then we headed on our way up Hunter. Here we are at the start taking one of our official beginning “selfies”.
After about 45 minutes of a wide, and do I mean wide, trail, we arrived at the trail junction. We would head right, making the trek up Hunter first. It would be about 1.7 miles to the summit.
The trail continued to be wide and really easy to follow. We were enjoying the cool 45 degree weather and the fall colors. It was brisk, but so worth it!
After about 0.7 miles into the hike from the last junction, we arrived at another junction. Just 1 more mile to the summit.
We arrived to the summit of Hunter at just about 20 after 11 am. It had taken us about 2 hours and 20 minutes to reach the summit. We really took our time enjoying the way up though. The fire tower loomed ahead of us. I was not sure if I wanted to make this climb. There is something about traveling up a steel striation that you can see through that worries me.
There is not much (and by not much I mean no) of a view from the top of the summit, without climbing the fire tower. So that fact pretty much made my mind up for me. I was making the climb. Before making that trek, we sat at the picnic table and began to eat our snacks and lunch.
Shortly after our arrival to the summit, we were joined by two volunteers on duty for the weekend. They would be staying the day and night to be there for other hikers with questions through out the weekend. They had even brought brownies to share!
There is a cabin on the summit. The volunteers gave us a tour of the inside.
There are some really great views from the top of the tower.
The climb down the tower was far worse for me than the climb up. Its true what they say about looking down. But that is a little hard to accomplish on the way down. Once back on solid ground we decided to hit the trail again!
At the trail junction. We decided to head left. And even attempted a little bushwhacking to see if we could get a better view.
Just past the fire tower on the trail we took (to the left), there is a small clearing with a great overlook. This view did not require any bushwacking either.
Our trip back down took longer than the trip up, but we really like to hike in loops, so this was a BIG loop, and so worth it. This hike is beautiful this time of year. I think my favorite part was this wooden bridge over Hunter Brook.
The last part of the trek was done on the road from one trail head to the next. This was a great and successful hike!
This is the track we took, as told by my Garmin eTrex 20.