Taking a Hike: From the Devil’s Tombstone to the Colonel’s Chair

I don’t have a fear of heights. At least, that is what I thought until I met the fire tower atop Hunter Mountain. Now, there is nothing dizzying about Hunter Mountain itself. At 4,050 feet, its summit is the second highest in the Catskills, but it is flat and cliffless, covered in dense spruce-fir forest. It is utterly undramatic and … read more

Taking A Hike: The view from Peoples State Forest

What is your favorite Connecticut state park? Readers of this column will likely have one. Sherwood Island for a stroll beside the Sound? Maybe Sleeping Giant for a hair-raising scramble up a huge traprock head? For me, it’s the secluded wooded valley and enveloping hills of Macedonia Brook west of Kent.   Now, what about your favorite state forest? Harder. … read more

Taking a Hike: Finding wilderness in Westchester

For many hikers, myself included, nothing beats escaping home turf for a place where the peaks are loftier and the streams and beasts wilder. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible. Home turf is where our lives are – our families, jobs, and household chores. Just as well, then, that there are hikable places a short drive away. Around here, some are … read more

Taking a Hike: Spring in the Gunks — in January!

Five years ago I had never heard of the Gunks, and I will wager that they have eluded many a keen hiker, especially those who, like me, are in-comers to our region. The Catskills didn’t elude me, nor the Adirondacks; but I lived a Gunk-less life for my first 15 years as a Tri-Stater. So, the basics: The Gunks are … read more