We hiked this section on May 26, 2012.
We started hiking at NY 52 just before 8 am. We knew the temperature was suppose to be in the 80′s today so we wanted to get on the trail early.
When we got to the trail head, a woman came flying into the parking lot and parked in front of all the other cars, blocking them in. Dirigo said to her that no one would be able to get out around her and she threw her backpack on and said she would only be about 5 minutes. She flew up the trail.
We had trail magic again in the cooler, so we dropped it off at the blue blaze and here comes the women flying down the trail.
After a mile, the AT drops onto Stormville Mountain Road and there is a short road walk over I-84.
Once we re-entered the woods, the ground was nice and soft and we made good time. We saw a huge tree on the trail with a white blaze.
The climbs were short and a bit rocky. We stopped at several overlooks but never saw the Green Haven prison. We had driven by it on the drive to the trailhead.
Within no time, we reached the Morgan Steward Memorial Shelter. We talked with 2 girls who were out hiking for the weekend. They told us that “Flatbush” and “Rocky Bottom” also spent the night at the shelter. There is a huge fire ring and a water pump and privy at the shelter.
We also saw a handwritten note that said “I saw a mountain lion here.” Great, and we thought we only had to watch for snakes.
We crossed the Depot Hill Road but did not see a radio tower nearby. We had a gentle descent to the railroad tracks. There were several downed tree across the tracks. Apparently the tracks in this area are out of use, as we have seen several trees down over the tracks.
Right after the tracks, there was a wonderful wooden bridge over Whaley Lake Stream. This would be a great place to soak our tired feet but we knew that we were close to being finished.
Dirigo thought since we were so close to NY 55, we could come back and have a little soak, but she then realized we were crossing Old NY 55.
We crossed old NY 55 and we went by several houses. We then crossed NY 55 and climbed up to the power lines and came down the blue blaze to the parking lot.
After the hike, we stopped by the Shell Station on NY 55 to get a cold drink and an ice cream. We had a nice chat with the clerk at the store. He used to be a football player and has a nice big scar just like Python. He told us that he saw a bear cross 55 and there was talk of seeing a mountain lion and a moose in this area. He also told us that the TV show “Finding Bigfoot” did an episode in Pawling, NY!