High above the Kaaterskill Clove rests Poet’s Ledge. It is a true trek, but once there you can literally feel the forest.
Park just before the Rip Van Winkle trail in Palenville. There will be a bridge crossing the Kaaterskill Creek.
Cross the street, walk along the old overgrown road with two barricades, waterfall springs, and critters. It is like the earth retook what was there before humans came in with their pavers.
Keep going, it is customery to turn a blind-eye to the “No Trespassing” signs.
Pass the restaurant and take a very steep climb up to Poet’s Ledge. The trails are easily marked, but you can tell not many people hike this route once you finish the owner’s steep four-wheeler road.
It is long and hard. Pack light and bring snacks and plenty of water.
Be mindful. There are bears, and a little roaming bobcat hunting deer. We exchanged a nod as she expressed her medicine of knowing the secrets of the woods..
It will take about 5 hours round trip, with a few breaks and a picnic at the ledge. You will hike 6.14 miles and gain about 1661 feet in elevation.
It is a good workout, and the waterfalls make it worth it. The views are nice, but not as grand as in the autumn.
Happy hiking! And add a stone to the cairns. Make a wish or prayer of gratitude. Not many get to see this kind of wilderness.