Windham High Peak and Burnt Knob Loop

Yesterday was perfection. If every day could be like yesterday, I’d be a very happy person indeed. Chris and I drove South for a hike in the Catskills. One of the reasons we’ve been hiking down here lately is because there is still snow in the High Peaks and they close some of the trails up there. So, it’s warmer south, and there is no snow in sight. Yesterday was perfect for a hike in the Catskills.

I pretty much choose my hikes based on ease and whether or not its on the list of “hikes with the best views”. So I picked Windham High Peak and the Burnt Knob Loop Trail.

The website says its a two-car hike. But the distance between both trailheads was only about three miles, which is an easy walk down a country road on a gorgeous day. We parked at one end at the end of Route 56 and then walked the the trailhead parking lot on Peck Road to begin our hike to Windham High Peak.

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The trail was a bit wet, but was mostly flat, and followed along an old stone wall. Makes you wonder what was back here ages ago.

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We found the Elm Ledge lean to. It was kind of creepy with nobody there. Am I the only one who thinks lean tos are a bit creepy? I guess I’ll have to suck it up this summer when I try some backpacking.

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About a mile or so into the hike we got to the Old Growth Forest, which was amazing. The website says that this is what the Catskills looked like ages ago.

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There were wildflowers everywhere all throughout the forest, and the sun was shining down on us since there aren’t many leaves on the trees yet. It was lovely.

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Finally we found the top, after about 6 miles of hiking (including the walk between the car and the trailhead). Nice views of some surrounding mountains.  Then we found the actual summit, marked by the USGS benchmark…which is on the ground in the middle of the trail, easy to miss!

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Down we went. The trail stayed mostly flat, some descents, and then more ascents as we went up the Burnt Knob peaks. Nothing too difficult, but I was getting a bit tired. Then we hit the junction and had 1 mile left to follow the red markers get to the parking lot.

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Windham High Peak and Burnt Knob Loop Trail

Distance: 6.75 mi loop, 9.6 mi total if you walk the initial 3 miles to the other trailhead
Elevation Gain: 1,478′
Peak Elevation: 3,524′
Catskill Highest: #33

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