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Phoenicia East Trail

Balsam Cap, Breath, Cornell, Cross, East Wildcat, Friday, Garfield, Giant Ledge, Hanover, Lone, Panther, Peekamoose, Pleasant, Rocky, Romer, Samuals Point, Slide, Table, Terrace, Van Wyck, Wittenberg, Wildcat, Woodhull
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:34 pm
Location: Windham, NY

Phoenicia East Trail

Unread post by maphiker »

Last Wednesday I finally got around to hiking the Phoenicia East Trail, a relatively new trail part of the Long Path and linking Lane St in Phoenicia with the Mt. Wittenberg trail from Woodland Valley. My wife had agreed to help me spot a car in Woodland Valley. I know, I'm lucky.

I would like to nominate this trail for an award. It is built to what I call modern standards, a thoughtfully engineered and constructed trail. It is steep in parts, especially in the beginning but it has multiple switch-backs in these areas. Notable are the stone steps that were built at appropriate places along the length. It is a long trail, 9.1 miles to the junction with the Wittenberg trail. The first half of the trail is nice but not especially remarkable. The views along this section are for the most part obscured by the leaves. It would definitely be more scenic in late fall and winter. The second half of the trail, beginning in the area of Mt Pleasant, I found to be one of the most wonderful trails in the whole Catskills. Views abound even with the leaves. The ever changing environments and the feel of following an old indian trail through a fragile and, at least recently, untouched area was what struck me and lifted my spirits to continue hiking. I sincerely hope this area will be kept in this pristine condition and not become overrun by overuse. In its favor is the length of the trail and the fact that it is merely a connector trail will prevent some overuse.

Having traversed the Phoenicia East trail, I continued up the last 1.1 miles to Wittenberg summit. I had forgotten the difficulty of this trail which I nicknamed the "Saddleback Cliffs of the Cats." I noticed quite a few side trails that I don't remember from years past. I will have to come back to explore them when I have more time. After enjoying the summit I headed down the long slog to Woodland Valley. After enjoying the newly constructed Phoenicia East trail, the trail to Wooodland valley seemed to be more like an obstacle course than trail. There were lots of exposed eroded roots and the typical rock jumble of haphazard rocks, each one a potential ankle breaker. Nevertheless I enjoyed the golden hue of the sunset until I was forced to put on my headlamp for the last hour.

I highly recommend exploring this new trail. The hike as I did it is approximately 14 miles with 4000 feet elevation gain.
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