I led a diverse group of 10 hikers including hiking club members and guests from a local boy scout troop on a challenging hike of Plateau and Sugarloaf Mountains. We followed the Devil’s Path from Notch Lake and completed the hike through Pecoy Notch.
Some in the group were training for an upcoming Presidential Range traverse in New Hampshire that we had organized. The climbs of both Plateau and Sugarloaf are consistently steep and challenging. There are rewarding viewpoints on both mountains and the long flat boreal summit of Plateau was a welcome respite from the climbing. It was a very warm and humid day and despite a little bit of early morning rain, this part of the Catskills was showing the parched effects of weeks without significant rainfall. There were parts of the trail with cracked, baked earth and even some of the nettles were wilting. That is some, not all were wilting as a few hikers who stepped off the trail noticed.
The boy scouts were young and energetic and they were reminded not to run away from us more “experienced” hikers. All had a great time, the views were spectacular and we had lots of fun striking kingly poses from the bluestone thrones at Dibbles quarry. The large beaver pond and its containing dam was another point of great interest along the Pecoy Notch trail on the hike out. Once back at the cars, even the speedy boy scouts observed that it had been a tough hike.
Afterwards, everyone enjoyed a pizza dinner in Phoenicia before the ride back home.