Saturday, July 23, 2016

Pitcher Brook at Noble View, Russell

Noble View Outdoor Center, an Appalachian Mountain Club property in Russell, Mass., is a gem! I have been there many times for hiking, meetings, wilderness first aid weekends and workshops. 

But on a hot summer day, my favorite place to cool off after a long walk on the beautiful trails there, is at Pitcher Brook. There are two falls with pools below--spectacular bowls with water pouring into them. Take your pick! 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

High Falls in Philmont/Claverack, NY

I visited High Falls last week and although the water flow was low it was still an impressive sight. The falls are near the village of Philmont and just below an old dam built in 1845 that at one time provided power for 17 mills in the area. It was my first visit and I want to come back when the water flow is gushing!

It's a property of the Columbia Land Trust and their brochure gives the interesting cultural history of the area and a trail map for several miles of trails. I explored them all, viewing the falls first from the highpoint, then walking down to the base of the falls where you see about two-thirds of the vertical drop. It's still spectacular!

I ate lunch while watching and listening to the falls. Some young people came by and asked if I knew where the spot was where people jump off the falls into the pool below. I said, "Are you crazy! That's so dangerous!" Actually, I don't think I phased them a bit. Oh, well.

A bench made this high view through the trees a great spot to meditate.
Here's the view from my lunch spot at the base of the falls. A couple of girls were swimming on the left.

Then a group of millenials stopped by while checking their smartphones. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Bear Mountain with Laurel!

Bear Mountain is always a wonderful hike but especially spectacular when the mountain laurel is in bloom. Some years there are more flowers than others and once in a while there are almost no blossoms. This year the bushes had a particularly abundant amount of flowers. Glorius! My hike was on June 11, and I enjoyed the laurel on various trails around the Berkshires until the end of the month.

The laurel was in blossom everywhere.

Some bushes had pink flowers and some had white flowers.
Happy hikers enjoyed the lovely blooms!

A collapsing stone tower (circa 1885)  near the peak
offers great views and is an impressive lunch spot!
The ridge is characterized by stunted red pine and scrub oak on the rock ledge.
Descending Race Mtn to the south.