2017 Hike Schedule
Mountain Top Historical Society 2017 Hike Schedule
Check our website as the hikes & events that interest you approach.
Walk back in time on one of our popular hikes through the High Peaks of the Catskills. These were America's first hiking trails whose beauty was immortalized in the novels of James Fenimore Cooper and romanticized in the poetry of William Cullen Bryant. The breathtaking views seen along these trails today were first captured in the 19th century by the premiere artists of the Hudson River School of art, our country's uniquely American school of landscape painting.
MTHS hikes are conducted by volunteers knowledgeable about the area and include historical narrative and insider information, the result of years of study about the area’s trails, overlooks and historic sites. Robert Gildersleeve, author of the Catskill Mountain House Trail Guide, is a frequent hike leader. Bob Titus, the Catskill Geologist and author of The Catskills: A Geological Guide, leads a few hikes every season as well.
The trails, the views and the history are still here, preserved by New York State's designation of the Catskills as lands to remain forever wild. A walk through the woods with MTHS makes the past come alive for those who are adventurous and want to see and hear the story of America's first wilderness for themselves. All hikes are free and the public is invited. Please wear proper hiking attire and boots (no sneakers!), pack a lunch, don't forget rain gear or sunscreen, and bring plenty of water.
May 20 (Sat) Spring Fling - Opening of the expanded Kaaterskill Rail Trail Check back for details including time and activities.
Aug. 26 (Sat) Open House – details to follow
MTHS does not require membership for hike participation. We do however request that you register for each hike. Participants can register on our contacts page or by calling (518) 589-6657. Please leave your name, phone number, and # in your party. Schedule subject to change. The latest information is available on our web site http://www.mths.org. Notification of changes, including cancellations due to weather will be made on the web site up to the day of any given hike.
The Mountain Top Historical Society Presents Hikefest 3 as part of the Catskills Lark in the Park.
On Saturday, October 8, 2016 the Mountain Top Historical Society will be just the place to begin your Lark in the Park! This year we’ll be offering a choice of five hikes.
Two longer, more challenging hikes will be meeting at the MTHS campus at 8:00 a.m.
Hike #1 Kaaterskill High Peak
Difficult: 7 miles, 2,500’ ascent
Leaders: Tom and Anna Martone
A special Lark in the Park route to Kaaterskill High Peak from the north side. We'll see nice views to the Blackhead Range on our way up the north side to the summit of Kaaterskill High Peak. We'll take a short walk over to Hurricane Ledge to see awesome views of the Devil’s Path peaks and the Hudson Valley before returning the way we came.
Hike #2 Three Waterfalls and Poet's Ledge
Difficult: 5.9 miles
Leaders: Jim Gebhard and Paul Martin
A special Lark in the Park route hiking the Long Path past three dramatic waterfalls: Buttermilk,Wildcat and Viola. A short out and back to an awesome view from Poet's Ledge before winding our way down to Palenville. Our special Lark in the Park route will ensure that gravity is our friend as we will be hiking downhill throughout most of the hike.
Two groups will be offered a more moderate hike and will be meeting at the MTHS campus at 9:00 a.m.
Hike #3 Kaaterskill Falls, Layman's Monument, Council Bluff and Sunset RockModerate to difficult 3 miles with an elevation change of 700 ft.
Leader: Bob Gildersleeve
A vigorous climb alongside one of the highest and most famous waterfalls in New York State followed by a wooded walk with views into Kaaterskill Clove.
Starting at the Molly Smith parking area on Route 23A, we will follow the trail past Bastion Falls and after a half mile walk to the base of Kaaterskill Falls climb the new 200-step stairway to the escarpment trail near the site of the Laurel House. Taking the blue-marked Escarpment Trail for approximately a half mile we will arrive at Layman's Monument erected to honor Frank Layman who perished in 1900 fighting a forest fire that threatened homes in Haines Falls and Twilight Park. From Layman's Monument we will continue uphill passing a fine lookout known in the 19th century as Council Bluff and on to other vistas into Kaaterskill Clove including one now called Sunset Rock and on to the original Sunset Rock, now often called Inspiration Point. With a little backtracking, we will arrive at an old carriage road and follow it back to the site of the Laurel House where we will have some cars waiting to take us back to the MTHS campus. Note that possible construction in the area of Kaaterskill Falls may require some modifications of this walk.
Bob Gildersleeve is an MTHS Board Member and the author of Catskill Mountain House Trail Guide. He is a frequent and knowledgeable hiking guide in this area.
Hike #4: This group will follow the same itinerary as Hike #3. Hike leader: Jeff Senterman.
For Hike #5 we have lined up an easy hike which will also meet at the MTHS campus at 9:00 a.m. The hike, led by Pete Senterman Will explore the area of Colgate Lake in East Jewett. It should be a great opportunity to enjoy and photograph the now peak Autumn leaves.
All of the hikers will meet at the MTHS campus in the KRT parking lot and car pool to the various trail heads for the hikes. The hikes are designed to return to the MTHS campus at around noon for lunch.
Lunch will be hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill with all the fixings including salads, cold drinks and dessert. Doug Senterman has graciously agreed to be our Grillmaster. The cost per person for lunch is $10, reservations required.
After lunch, at 1:30 p.m. in our U&D Train Station, Mike Callan of the DEC will present an update on the Kaaterskill Falls Projects. Hear the inside scoop on those great stone steps, the viewing platform and the bridge that is currently under construction.
We welcome hikers and those interested in hiking or in the beauty of the Catskill Park to join us for a hike, lunch, the presentation and good company as part of the 2016 Lark in the Park.
Mountain Top Residents Signature Quilt
Fred Wilson recently posted an inquiry on the 23A + Facebook page about a quilt he donated to MTHS several years ago. We thought members of that site wouldn't be alone in wanting to see images of the quilt, so we are putting some on our web page so those of you who are not on Facebook will be able to see them.
Buildings and Grounds Update
As we plan programs and hikes for the 2016 season, we are looking at a need for volunteers to help us keep our Haines Falls campus looking as pristine as it has looked for the past 20 year.
The Mountain Top Historical Society is looking for someone to serve as a co-chair of the building and grounds committee. This is a volunteer, working foreman position. One does not need to be an MTHS board member to fill this position. Board member, Nancy Allen, has already volunteered to be co-chair of this committee. She is interested in the groundskeeping tasks and is hoping to find someone to work with her as a regular inspector of our buildings and facilities with an eye toward maintaining the buildings and staying ahead of any problems.
Dick Haines, who has filled this position for many years, since we first acquired our Haines Falls home, has decided to hang up his lopping shears and turn over the keys to the John Deere. Dick has done an awesome job over the years, keeping the campus looking great and maintaining the buildings on a shoestring budget. He has offered to mentor the new chairpersons and help out as he is needed.
With Dick's help we have created a job description. There is a lot involved in keeping up the property, but we have been building a core group of volunteers who are available to help regularly. It is the job of the co-chairs to coordinate the volunteers and keep the board apprised of buildings and grounds needs.
In addition to looking for a co-chair to work with Nancy Allen, we are always looking for volunteers to help with the tasks of mowing, trimming, clearing sticks and branches.
If you can give a few hours a week or a few hours a month, we welcome the help.
To volunteer or if you'd like more information, please e-mail the director at from our contact page.
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Thanks to History Day participants
August 25, 2015
The Mountain Top Historical Society owes thank yous to more people than we can possibly name in a single letter! Please accept these thanks by category and know that we are thanking each one of you as individuals. For a successful Local History Day on August 15th at the MTHS campus in Haines Falls, thank you to all of the dedicated volunteers from all of the local historical associations who spent the day sharing their expertise with the people who came by. Thank you to the vendors, the people who donated food, the Twilight Park Day Camp counselors, the members of the Board of the MTHS, the MTHS program committee, the Mt. Top Arboretum, the Patchworkers, the volunteers in our Visitors' Center, and the volunteers who cleaned up at the end of the day. Thank you to Larry Tompkins and to the trustees from Sheriff Seeley's program that provides help to not-for-profits. They are the ones who prepped the barn for the big day. Jay Fink and Patti Morrow anchored the WRIP broadcast from the train station,. Carver Blanchard stopped by to share some music with us. Mike Ryan did a great job ofdocumenting the proceedings. Thank you Jay, Patti, Carver, and Mike. Thanks to Todd Whitley and Draga Susanj for bringing the Calico Indian Showdown to the our place.Thank you to everyone who came by and listened to presentations, made donations, and purchased food and 50/50 raffle tickets. It was a true community event!
Thank you all!
Cyndi LaPierre President, MTHS
MTHS Needs You.
In order to keep all of these activities going we need YOU! We depend on two things to support our efforts: If you are a member of the MTHS but have not yet renewed for 2015, please take a few moments to bring your membership up to date. If you have not yet joined us, click on the link on this page to go to a secure webpage and join us there.
If you have been a volunteer with us in the past couple of years, thank you! If you have not yet volunteered, let us know what you can do and how much time you have to give. We need people to help maintain the buildings and grounds; people to staff the Visitors' Center; people to help with the archives; people to sell raffle tickets and food at our events; and more. Our schedule is flexible and we'll find a way to bring you in. Contact us using our contacts page or call 518 589-6657 and leave a message. We'd love to hear from you!
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