Sunday, September 5, 2010

Hiking Up Gertrude's Nose

One of the many spectacular views along the trail up to Gertrude's Nose.
When:Saturday, September 4th, from 9am to 1pm
Where:Minnewaska State Park Preserve, near Gardiner, New York
What:Hiking (and mycology) with Janel and Lindsay
Weather:Sunny, cloudy and breezy at the top.

First and foremost, anyone deciding to hike/bike or whatever in this area of NY State should check and see what times the park opens.

We made a rookie mistake, but were first on line when the ranger showed up at 9am sharp.

Since I had a full week of running around and all I could handle on my plate, I left the planning up to Janel and Lindsay. I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised when they both told me that they wanted to hike up Gertrude's Nose.

Since we've already done just about every hike worth hiking in New Jersey, we started to branch off into bordering states. Janel and I broke the ice a few weeks ago by tackling Banticou Crag in the Mohonk Preserve, and we learned that this area has a myriad of other trails to be explored.

First on the list was Gertrude's Nose in Minnewaska State Park Preserve.

Like the Mohonk Preserve, this park lies in the Shawangunk Mountains of New York State. To be honest, I have not seen anything comparable in New Jersey. Stunning summits and sheer rock faces emerge from pristine evergreen forests, creating a breathtaking landscape. From what the reviews read, the Gertrude's Nose trail that originates near the shore of Lake Minnewaska has some of the finest views in the area.

It did not disappoint.

We started just after 9am and Lindsay and Janel quickly jumped into their new hobby.

Mycology.

Yes, fungi. Janel and Lindsay are now budding mycologists and from this one day have already amassed a stock photo library of probably 5 dozen species of mushroom.

Needless to say, we did not blaze these trails with our normal break-neck speed.

After a bit of hiking and a bit of stopping, we completed the first leg of the Gertrude's Nose trail and reached its zenith. We were rewarded with a panoramic view of mountains, forest and countryside.

The remainder of the hike involved more downhill than uphill, as we made our way down a ravine to Coxins Kill and back up to Lake Minnewaska.

The hike lasted just over four hours, although probably half of that was spent taking pictures.

All in all, it was another wonderful day with my two bestest friends. I'm already looking forward to the next one.

Next Up:Labor Day catfishing with my lovely lady.....and only 13 More Days until "The Return to Black Lake."

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