To the Megaliths and Back (Schunemunk Mountain)
We finally had a decent hiking Saturday this spring arrive. Sadly my legs weren’t in prime hiking shape due to all the rain happening this spring, impeding my desire to get in mini hikes during the week. This is a trail that needs to have your legs in shape or else the next day (today, as I’m writing this), your legs are dead to the world!
We arrived the lot at Taylor Road in Mountainville, NY and started across the street to the trailhead at 8:15 a.m. We were the only car in the lot for the first 2 minutes and then another pulled up. We started on the Jessup Trail, across a beautiful field wide field.
We parted ways with the Jessup Trail and turned onto Sweet Clover Trail, It starts off sweet through another field.
Cross the tracks and the trail stops being sweet, it because an uphill that just keeps going, beautiful ever changing terrain, but a steady uphill. We gained 1245 feet of elevation in 2.4 miles to the Megaliths.
From the Sweet Clover Trail to the Junction of the teal/yellow markers, the Jessup Trail it was 1.9 miles 1170 elevation gain. Here we returned to the Jessup Trail and walked the ridge of Schunemunk Mountain until the turnoff for the Megaliths.
We headed to the Megaliths and had lunch on them with a Scarlet Tanager, what treat to lunch with a beautiful bird.
We returned the way we came.
We descended via the Dark Hollow Trail, which was 1.7 miles to the Sweet Clover Trail, a descent of 1140 feet. This part of the trail required some stream hopping and steep descents.
Right before the tracks was a lovely waterfall. We had to go back to the red trail to cross the tracks.
We returned to the fields and while walking back was greeted by an Eastern Milk Snake.
Remember at the beginning of this report I said we were the lone car at the lot? Well when we returned around 12:30 p.m. the lot was full and cars were parked way up the street.
After hike beer was called for, so we headed off to a farm brewery, Long Lot Brewery in Chester, NY. I enjoyed a Mad Cow (Milk Stout) while watching the cows in the adjacent field.
Our hike was a total of 4 hours and 10 minutes, with an elevation gain of a little over 1400 feet and a total of 6.5 miles. It was a beautiful trek with views of the Catskills and the Hudson River. It is a legging tiring hike with the ups, but worth the effort.