Labor Day Weekend. The time for you to get your final road trip of the summer in before life starts getting real busy again. Or if you’re like me, life never slowed down even in the summer but you found your time to get out. My best friend, Krystal and I packed up Adventure Car for her final Summer 2017 hurrah. We knew we needed to be back in the mountains again; after all, our Lake Placid adventure had already been 3 months ago! Catskills, we’re on our way to get lost in you a bunch.
This was a little shorter of a drive for us from Buffalo than Lake Placid was, being just about 4.5 hours. We headed out early Saturday morning and had a mostly very foggy, rainy drive into the mountains. This time, we stayed at the Pine Hill Arms in Pine Hill, NY. This was a cute, small hotel that didn’t have much other than the restaurant attached, but was just what we needed for how little time we were planning on spending indoors. Our room also had THREE beds for just us two, small females. So you know, SUPER BED. It was located on Main Street in this small town which was perfect. We had restaurants right at our fingertips.
By the time we got into town and checked in to our hotel the weather was clearing up slightly; still cloudy and foggy but the rain had pretty much ceased so we set out on our first adventure in the afternoon. We headed to Giant Ledge in Phoenicia, NY which was about a 15 minute drive from our hotel.
There are a number of ledges on this hike with amazing viewpoints but with our time crunch we figured we would just make it to the first one then head back. This would be about a 3.2 mile round trip with some very steep parts of the climb. What we really appreciated about this climb is the markings that tell you exactly how far you have to go. This is a rarity on trails through mountains so we were happy to have markers of our progress. Although this is supposed to be an easy-ish hike in the Catskills, it was harder than we thought it’d be. Along the way, there will be signs if you want to turn off to Panther Mountain or just stay the course to Giant Ledge. We kept following the the blue trail to Giant Ledge. Stopping every once in a while to hydrate and catch our breath. The trail was mostly empty thanks to the iffy weather (the rain earlier had scared everyone away).
We knew when we were reaching the first ledge point because we could hear the voices of campers. There is a campground set just a little back from the first ledge that is covered by trees so you can’t actually see it it unless you deliberately go into the campground. Moments after hearing the campsite, to our surprise we came up to one of the most beautiful scenes we’ve ever seen. First of all, we were so happy we decided to do this with the sketchy weather that day. It created a fog over the outlook that was UNREAL. It almost looked like there were tiny fires happening down below. Also, we had the whole ledge to ourselves. I immediately went the edge of the cliff to dangle my feet off. Krystal was not thrilled with me at first for doing this because it made her nervous and she called me “crazy.” She snapped a picture anyways then after she realized how beautiful it was she was eventually convinced to join me. It was truly one of those views that leaves you a little speechless.
We sat for a while (about 30 minutes according to the time stamps on my pictures) just really appreciating how peaceful it was up there. It really makes all your problems seem so small when you get up so high. Eventually, we realized we would HAVE to peel ourselves away from the ledge and head back down since it was getting darker by the minute.
BEING LOST FOR AN ENTIRE WEEKEND IN THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE
Fun fact about the Catskills you should know: you will have barely any cell service ANYWHERE in the region. My advice is when and where you have wifi, look up your directions on GPS and write them down or screen shot them. We got a little lost on our way back from Giant Ledge to the hotel. The darkness and low gas in the tank made this a little EXTRA fun for us.
Once we DID get back to the hotel we felt super satisfied with our outdoors time for the day and were STARVED after all the activity we had just put our bodies through. We found Peekamoose Tavern and Taproom just a few minutes from our hotel. We loved this place! It had a real rustic charm to it and was pretty busy so we were fine eating at the bar. The service was great. Krystal is a bartender, so she really pays attention to service and commented how our bartender that night was one of the best that have ever served her. Out the window we had a view of the outdoor fire pit and patrons sitting around it roasting marshmallows. THE CUTEST. Food was great. Drinks were good. Perfect end to our day.