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Devil's Path

New postPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:56 am
by joedannajr
I am interested in hiking the Devil's Path the week of May 23rd. as a 3 day backpack. I am also considering the Slide Mountain Wilderness, it looks to have more of a loop hike(with a short road walk). Any suggestions or warnings, other than the bugs?

Re: Devil's Path

New postPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:02 pm
by mtnclimber
The Devil's Path is pretty rough hiking. The trails between Slide and Wittenberg is also tough. But, Slide, Cornell, Wittenberg, Giant Ledge, and Panther is a great hike, and I would prefer it.

No ticks in the Catskills. But, when you get below the Eastern Escarpment you find lots of ticks. Mainly from Catskill to Cairo. This is because there are not mice in the Catskills that ticks need to survive.

Re: Devil's Path

New postPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 12:07 am
by Indiana7272
I'm planning on doing the Devil's Path over a 3 day weekend in early June. Anyone have any advice/tips? Anything cool in particular I should check out along the way, good places to swim, etc?

Re: Devil's Path

New postPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 8:25 am
by Jon
mtnclimber wrote:No ticks in the Catskills.

I would suggest ignoring this rumor. I found 3 ticks on me after my Slide mountain hike last week (2 were crawling one chewing in my head).

I sprayed last weekend when we went to Friday mountain and didn't find any, but one of my friends found one.

Spray up with Off or cutter or some other type of spray around boots and ankles.
I would stay alert and do deer tick checks every time after hiking. Even if there is a myth about the Catskills being a "no-tick zone" for whatever reason. Even if you spray they can still crawl past it sometimes, or catch on after the spray has worn off. It's a good idea to be vigilant, Lyme disease is pretty serious.

As for Devil's Path. Only advice I can say is to go slow. We rushed it and I feel like we didn't get enough time to enjoy it. It was more of a race to get over the next mountain, than enjoying the mountain we were on.

Re: Devil's Path

New postPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 11:10 am
by mike
Deer ticks need mice, voles, chipmunks, and other small rodents to survive. For the most part the Catskill Mountains are devoid of these small rodents. This is the reason why deer ticks are not running rampant in the Catskill Mountains. If you go from the Eastern Escarpment to the Hudson River, the amount of deer ticks is staggering. I work on the Eastern Escarpment, and I can tell you that they are horrible down in the valley.

So, as a general rule there are "no" deer ticks in the Catskill Mountains. Since Deer are migratory and there are pockets of rodents in places, it is possible to find deer ticks in select locations. But, you will not find populations like you find in the Hudson Valley. Right now they are starting to show up on the Eastern Escarpment, but the populations and locations are very small. As you get towards the western catskills, you will start to find more rodents, and more deer ticks. So, I am not surprised that you picked a few on Slide. We have been hearing from people that there some around Slide.

One other wild-card in this situation is that since the Snow Storm of March 2010, many of the Bobcats, coyotes, and fox populations have been dramatically reduced. This has allowed the rodent populations to start growing back in the Catskill Mountains. This is something that hasn't happen in 100 years. With the increase in rodents, we will start to see a slight increase in deer ticks.

So, the term "no" deer ticks really means that they don't occur often in the Catskill Mountains when compared to the Hudson Valley. For every deer tick you find in the Catskill Mountains, you will find 1,000 deer ticks in the Hudson Valley. I think that this is what Mtnclimber was trying to say. Maybe we have to clarify this more in the future.

Re: Devil's Path

New postPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 3:41 pm
by dave
Maybe we need to change the 'Deer Tick' section of this web site to reflect the changing situation on Deer Ticks? The information about Deer Ticks is ever-evolving. This pages does get a lot of traffic.

Re: Devil's Path

New postPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 3:24 pm
by mike
Yeah, it should be updated.

Re: Devil's Path

New postPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:24 am
by bellakittia
I have a question about the trail. We are going to be hiking next weekend. I was just wondering if the trail is well maintained or if it will be brushy or with a lot of blow-downs. Thanks for any help.

Re: Devil's Path

New postPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:43 pm
by Pafumij678
Devil's Path is one of the most popular trails in the Catskills. It is well maintained with only a few short area with overgrown trail west of the peak of Hunter Mountain going towards West Kill.