Catskill Hike: RamsHorn-Livingston Sanctuary

I can’t stay out of the Catskills for too long, but half my team was sick and I need to invest in some hiking spikes for my boots before I tackle any more winter mountains and have a ridiculously icy experience like on Mount Equinox. Not all is lost, there are a number of relatively flat trails in the region, most notable the Ashokan Reservoir Trail, but I was looking for something new of course. We visited the RamsHorn-Livingston Sanctuary in the town of Catskill for a hike that suited the day quite well (DuBois Road Catskill, NY 12414 or 42.207359,-73.863762). It was only 2 miles round trip around a mostly frozen tidal swamp. You start off from the small parking area on a gravel trail and it isn’t long before you make it to the 28-foot observation tower. IMG_3043Great views from this height, and a perfect place for bird watching. IMG_3045 IMG_3047 IMG_3048It was pretty still on this seriously chilly day, but we spotted some sparrows, crows, and a hawk in the distance. We continued on our way, crossed a bridge, and reached the swamp area, there is another lookout point to walk onto and watch for birds across the landscape. IMG_3050 IMG_3055You may go right or left into a wooded area, the trail loops. A bit of ice in here so just be cautious, but it is beautiful clear ice just like glass. IMG_3052There is a break in the dense trees that looks into a meadow (private property, be respectful) with gorgeous views of the mountains. IMG_3053How I long for spring, so far away, those mountains are always calling! Not too many people were on this quiet trail, two men on bikes, and one man with a dog was all we saw. I can imagine how bustling with birds this place is when the warm weather returns, what a great environment to explore.

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