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Monday, June 16, 2014

Mattison Hollow Hike

Mattison Hollow Hike Trail Head

I'm on vacation!  According to my weather station, the temperature reached a high of 78 degrees.  A perfect day for a hike.  Mattison Hollow, in Cherry Plains, leads to the Taconic Crest so... down Toad Point Road to Route 22.  Head down Route 22 to Cherry Plains, just south of the Berlin High School, and turn left on to Old New York 22/Cherry Plain Square.  Continue for .2 miles, then take a sharp left (jacknife turn) on to Mattison Hollow Road (bear left at the fork; the road to the right is George Hollow Road).  Continue on Mattison Hollow Road for .9 miles until you come to the bridge over the Kronk Brook pictured above and the trail head to your right.  Park on the left as pictured. below.

Mattison Hollow Trail Head Parking

Mattison Hollow Trail Head
 The sign at the trail head reads "Taconic Crest Trail."  You'll see why.

The start of the hike is a wonderful pine-matted trail.  It's like this for the first half of the hike -- or the entire hike if you elect only to go to the waterfalls.  Very easy on the feet for this portion.

This sign was taped to the trail head sign-in logbook.  Somebody crossed out 3.65 miles and replaced with 2.65 miles.  I also found another reference on the Web that this hike was 2.65 miles.  I believe, like the sign reads, it is 3.65 miles to the junction with Taconic Crest Trail.  It's about 2.65 miles to a creek/fjord crossing before the trail narrows and the upward slope increases from about 30 degrees to about 45 degrees as you ascend to the crest of the Taconic Mountain ridge.

 The trail is very well maintained.  There are a number of recent tree blow-downs from the rainy and windy spring, but most of them have been cleared from the trail.  Occasionally, there are boards as pictured above to get over wet areas.

Like the Hike to the Snow Hole, many sightings of white quartz rocks and outcroppings.

Cool discovery #1: Roughly halfway to the Taconic Crest, the Kronk Brook sports this gorgeous falls with two swimming holes.  I waded through the creek enough to know I wasn't going to do the polar bear act.

Cool discovery #2!  One side read "NY."  One side read "1898."

And the other side reads "MASS!"  At this point the trail crosses into Massachusetts.  The trail shows parallel burrows and it's clear that many years ago there was a road going through this wildnersness over the Taconic Crest to Massachusetts.  If you prefer real easy hikes, this is a good turnaround spot.  The trails soon narrows, there's a fjord to cross and the angle increases upward to a rather constant 45 degrees to reach the peak of the Taconic Crest.  But you've already had an excellent hike!

The trail dips down to a creek, you'll need to bop across, and then an upward, moist slope for a bit, replete with "Goosh-Bombs."

Attention Mom: Your Mother's Day helium balloon didn't quite make it over the Taconic Crest.  (Yes, I did stick it in my back pocket and carry it out for my good deed for the day.)

When things level off, you've come to a tee in the trail and you've reached a beautiful fern meadow, and see the sign above, you're at the end of the Mattison Hollow Trail and at the crest of the Taocnic Mountain range.

The Taconic Crest Trail continues north and south.

The fern meadow is a nice place to enjoy lunch before embarking on the 3.65 mile return journey.

On your return trip, when you get to the falls, there's a fork in the trail.  Be sure to take the left, trail-marked, trail.  (Note the DEC sign on the tree in the center of this fork will point to the left.)

The total round-trip took us about 3-1/2 hours.  A much shorter hike to the Kronk Brook falls is an option.  I photographed a good number of wildflowers during the hike that I will feature in future posts.

Other Hikes


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