Hiking Indian Head in the Catskills

A few weeks ago it was super cold out. My hiking friend Skyler and I decided to go hiking (go figure!) It was before the huge snow storm so we were excited to not have to use snowshoes. However, there were a few inches of snow on the ground up in the mountains, so we just wore our microspikes. The trailhead to Indian Head and Twin Mountains is about 1.5 hours south of Albany. We were planning on hiking both since it was around a 7 mile hike total. With the windchill it was -13 degrees. With the appropriate clothing and gear, we were warm!

We got to the junction after about 90 minutes of hiking. We went left to Indian Head since it was only a half mile to the summit. It was cold so we were undecided if we were going to hike Twin. Neither of us particularly care about hiking all of the Catskill 35 peaks so it was an easy decision to leave Twin for another  (warmer) day.

Right before the summit there was a very icy section. We stopped for about 15 minutes to put on our crampons. So glad we had them with us. Skyler also had his ice ax which made it a little bit easier to carve steps into the ice. We got to the wooded summit and immediately turned around and headed back down. There were very few views on this hike. It was actually kind of disappointing because I had read this hike had some of the best views in the Catskills! But maybe the views are over on Twin. I’m not as familiar with the Catskills as I am with the Adirondacks and I have to admit that the ADK are my first love.

This trail was not difficult, but the ice made for some sketchy spots. I believe this trail is part of the Devil’s Path. We left our crampons on for the hike down, which went a lot faster than going up.

Indian Head Mountain 
Distance 5.3 mi RT from Prediger Road trailhead
Ascent 1,503′
Time 4 hrs, 15 min including stops


Sleeping Beauty Solo Hike

Last month when the weather was warmer I decided to get outside and hike Sleeping Beauty in the Lake George area. This was my first Adirondack hike back in 2008 (before I had a blog!) and I had been meaning to go back and hike it again. Since the weather was warm and it was a pretty short hike, I felt confident that I could hike solo! I parked at the Hogstown trailhead and walked the 1.7 miles to Dacy Clearing.

This road / trail is open to snowmobiles so there were a few snowmobilers driving up and down this road. It was pretty annoying. The snow was getting mushy and would have been a pain to walk in with microspikes so I wore snowshoes for the entire hike. There was probably a foot of snow off the trail.

I continued up the trail that leads to Bump’s Pond, eventually coming to a trail leading to Erebus Mountain on the left. I continued straight, hiking around the pond.

Eventually I came a trail junction. The trail went straight to Fishbrook Pond, but I took a right to go to Sleeping Beauty.   It was about 1.0 from there to the summit. The trail never got too steep!

I had the entire summit to myself!

I ate a couple bites of my lunch and then headed back down. For some reason I wasn’t thrilled to be up there by myself. Hiking with friends is so much more fun! Instead of going back the way I came, I took a different trail back down Dacy Clearing. It was 1.1 miles down and a little bit steeper than the route I took up. It came out right on the snowmobile trail I had hiked in on.

The sun was shining! It was such  a nice day. I didn’t see anyone else until I started descending, which was surprising. I think I saw maybe two people wearing snowshoes. Everyone else was post-holing their way up, ruining the packed snow on the trail. It’s so frustrating.

Sleeping Beauty Loop
Distance 7.6 mi
Elevation 2,160′
Ascent 1,287′
Time 3 hrs, 34 minutes (including stops)


Winter Snowshoe to Camp Santanoni

A couple of weeks ago a few friends and I snowshoed to the Great Adirondack Camp Santanoni in Newcomb. For a few weekends every winter, they open the camp up for visitors and serve hot chocolate in one of the huts by the lake. The special thing about this Camp is that it’s only accessible in the winter by snowshoe or cross country ski! It is a five mile journey to the camp from the parking area, making it a long hike, but totally worth it! The views on the walk in were amazing!

You can see Santanoni from the trail. When we got there we checked out the inside. It was huge! So many rooms.

The walls were covered in birch bark.


The arrows were pointing in the direction of the hot beverages. This one had a can of coffee on it! We sat and enjoyed our beverages for a little bit before hitting the trail back out.

It was a very warm day, the snow was slowly melting all around us.

Camp Santanoni
10.5 mi RT
4.5 hours including stops

The next Winter Weekend at Camp Santanoni is scheduled to be March 18-19!


Winter Adventure Update

No, I did not fall off the face of the Earth! I’ve neglected this space for the past month because I’ve been busy with my clinical rotation of my Dietetic Internship! On January 16th I started this 13 week rotation at a hospital in Western Massachusetts, so I’ve been living in the Berkshires during the week and returning back to the Capital Region on the weekends. It has been going pretty well so far! I plan on doing a Day in the Life of Clinical Dietetic Intern pretty soon! But here’s what I’ve been up to.

+Fat biking! Last weekend Jordan and I drove with a few of his friends to Northfield Mountain Bike Park in New Hampshire for Winter Woolly, a downhill fat biking festival! The park opened up the lifts for one day so we could ride our fat bikes downhill in the SNOW! We haven’t had this much snow in about two years so it took some getting used to. The first time I ever rode a fat bike was during Winter Bike Fest in Vermont 2 years ago…and that was the last time until now. I got my own fat bike for Christmas and love love love it! Next weekend we are doing our annual trip to Vermont to fat bike at Kingdom Trails and Ski at Jay Peak. Cannot wait!

+Skiing! Jordan and I bought value passes for Jiminy Peak so we could meet there and go skiing after work. The hospital is only about 20 min from Jiminy so I can drive straight from work and meet Jordan to go skiing. We’ve done this a few times and I’ve also met some other friends there for a Ski date. Twilight skiing is so fun! I learned to ski a year ago and I’m slowly getting a little better each time I do it.

+Training for Seneca 7. Nothing much is happening on the running front. After taking a break this fall from training and racing, I’m slowly upping my mileage for the Senenca 7 Relay in April! We have our team from last year together again because we had such a blast. I’m looking forward to running 77.7 miles with them around Senenca Lake in April.

+Snowshoeing. We finally got enough snow to strap on snowshoes. Last Sunday during the big snow storm Jenna and I met some friends at the Pine Bush in Albany for a short three mile snowshoe. This was the longest hike I’ve been on since January 2nd and I’m really missing the mountains! I have plans to get up to the Adirondacks tomorrow to do some exploring.

+46r # 10,007. After waiting patiently for MONTHS, I was finally assigned my 46r number! It’s official, I’m 46r #10,007! I promptly ordered a few pieces of gear with that logo on it!

I’ll be back soon with a trip report for my hike tomorrow!


Exploring the Huyck Preserve

Yesterday Jenna and I took Zahra to Hyuck Preserve located about 45 minutes South West of Albany in Rensselaerville. We parked at the Pond Hill Road parking lot to hike the Lake Trail which is a nice loop around Myosotis Lake.

Eventually we came to the trail to the Rensselaerville Falls and went to the overlook.

We walked about 3.5 miles. There are a lot of other trails here that I’d like to come back and explore!