North-South Lake Escarpment Trail

A trip to North-South Lake was on my bucket list for this summer, and I couldn’t have been happier to complete the escarpment trail – all 10 miles of it [North Lake Road (Rt. 18) and Sc(h)utt Road in Haines Falls – head down Scutt on the right for parking lot. If you reach NS Campgrounds entrance you have gone too far!]. This Catskills hike has got it all, views, wildlife, swimming, and a serious workout. The trail is not very strenuous when it comes to elevation gain, you will only find moderate rolling hills and a few short steep scrambles. The real tiring element is the duration of the hike, however you will never tire from all of the amazing views! For the first 8 miles of the loop follow the blue trail markers. The woods are initially quiet with few others in sight aside from a bird or two.

north south lake escarpment 26You will pass all sorts of labeled landmarks on this hike, first of which is the Layman’s Monument, assuring you that you have set off on the right path.

north south lake escarpment 25Your first views will come in no time, sunset rock and inspiration point.

north south lake escarpment 22 north south lake escarpment 21In between overlooks watch out for the flora and fauna of the area.

north south lake escarpment 20We were treated boundless yellow flowers and a single millipede.

north south lake escarpment 24 north south lake escarpment 23At approximately 4 miles you will reach boulder rock, we got there the same time the rain did.

north south lake escarpment 19On this hot summer day it came as a relief, but it was a good thing the rain was light and the forest was dense so the trail didn’t become slippery. At 4.5 miles we made it to the site of the once great Catskill Mountain House. All that is left now are some picnic tables in a meadow with a magnificent.

north south lake escarpment 15 north south lake escarpment 13It was a perfect place to have lunch, and the storm magically dissipated just as we arrived. Feeling anew you will pass the heavily trafficked lake and campsite area. Continue on to find solitude at Artists Rock, another stunning view.

north south lake escarpment 12To me, the overlooks never got old, this is what it’s all about. Each is a different jaw-dropping perspective and at six and half miles Newman’s Ledge is the next one you’ll see.

north south lake escarpment 10At 7 miles you’ll see Badman Cave don’t stay for too long you might run into some outlaws.

north south lake escarpment 6Amble around the rocks to the right and gear up for a steep push up to North Point for one last incredible vista on the blue trail.

north south lake escarpment 5Head back down where you came from to finally leave the blue trail and switch to the Mary Glen for a short duration, watch out for frogs and flying critters.

north south lake escarpment 2 north south lake escarpment 3 north south lake escarpment 9At 9 miles you may gain some energetic excitement as you cross to your final path – the yellow trail. This rocky road will spit you out onto N Lake, the street which you drove on so many miles earlier. When you finally make it make to your car weary and accomplished, switch up your boots for flip-flops and take a drive into the park. Try out your choice of north or south lake, rest on the sand and revitalize your tired body in the cool lake.

north south lake escarpmentWhat a day.

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