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Birding and hiking (& fear of heights)

New postPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 3:02 pm
by Pellice
Greetings! I am planning to camp with a friend in the Catskills for the first time next week (2 nights). We are primarily birders, and are looking for hikes that explore the various distinct habitats of the Catskills (hemlock forests, hardwood forests, spruce/fir, etc.) However, being birders first means we move s-l-o-w-l-y in comparison to most hikers, and woods roads are more useful than steep trails. Additionally, I am afraid of heights (I know the Catskills are NOT the best location for someone like me, but I've always wanted to explore them a little :) ) Not afraid of ascending trails, but drop-offs, cliffs, ledges, etc. If I ever did reach a summit, my plan was to stand about 30 feet back! Any recommendations for trails in these circumstances? Woods road type trails with lots of birdlife and other wildlife, not too many people, and no dropoffs? (Sorry, I know most of you are the exact opposite and love the lookouts :D ) And finally, I enjoy boggy wetlands, and wonder if there are any trails that explore such areas?

I am carefully reading the hiking trail guides posted here, but wanted to ask if anyone had any additional recommendations or comments. Thank you in advance!

Re: Birding and hiking (& fear of heights)

New postPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 9:04 am
by cmu268
I found hiking up Slide Mountain on the west approach from the Slide Mtn. parking area on Rt. 47 to be fairly easy. Climbs pretty steadily without really any rock scrambling. When I hiked the Burroughs range last summer, heard lots of different birds that I'd never heard before so I would think it might be a good birding spot.

Re: Birding and hiking (& fear of heights)

New postPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 5:13 pm
by mike
I would suggest Colgate Lake. I would hike the trail from Colgate Lake to Dutcher's Notch: http://www.catskillmountaineer.com/WB-colgate.html

We hike it a lot in the Fall and Winter. Lots of warblers. We have seen Barred Owls near Dutcher's Notch. There are also lots of butterflies and birds in the fields around Colgate lake. There is a camping area as you approach Dutcher's Notch. Nice place to camp. Plenty of water too. There are a number of marshes.

We usually stop for a little while, and the warblers will come down to us. If you are walking you will not know that they are there.

One other note: There are deer ticks in the Catskills, so you need to beware. Especially if you walk or sit it leaves or high grass.

Re: Birding and hiking (& fear of heights)

New postPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 5:22 pm
by Pellice
Thanks for these replies! They will be very helpful. I really appreciate your getting back to me. Will try to check back in and let you know how it went - the weather sounds splendid!