School is over for the semester and I found myself with Monday off. It was going to be a pretty nice day so I asked Jona if she wanted to get in a short hike since she had the day off also. We decided to hike Hunter Mountain, a peak in the Catskills that is part of the 35 over 3,500′ (5/35) and is also on the Fire Tower Challenge (10/28) list. It is the second highest Catskill Peak at 4,040 feet.
There are many trails to get to the summit of Hunter. We opted for the easier fire-road. The trail head is at a parking lot near the end of a long dead-end called Spruceton Road. We started the hike at around 8am. The first few miles went along Hunter Brook.
At 1.3 miles we came to a junction. Taking a right lead us up to the fire tower.
The trail was a very wide gravel path. It was still steep though!
We stopped at the John Robb lean-to check it out. This little guy was hanging out nearby.
The view a few steps from the lean-to.
Wouldn’t mind staying overnight up here!
Near the summit the trail flattens out a little bit and it’s just gorgeous. We loved walking through the trees. It felt like an enchanted forest!
After about an hour and a half since we left the car, we got to the tower. Unfortunately there isn’t a view unless you climb up.
We ate our early lunch and then headed back down. We stopped at the spring, which was just a little ways off the trail.
We got back down around 11:30. It had been a while since either of us had hiked in the Catskills. They are closer than the Adirondacks and seem to be easier hikes, at least the hikes I’ve done have been. The Catskills are a good option when DEC warns to stay off the trails of the Adirondack high peaks during mud season.
Hunter Mountain Fire Tower
Distance 7.0 mi RT
Time 3 hours, 30 minutes