For Catskill hikers of the southbound Long Path from Palenville to Poet's Ledge and Kaaterskill High Peak; there is no parking at the trailhead on Malden Avenue. So most hikers use the northbound trailhead for the Long Path on Route 23A (just east of the large Entering Catskill Park sign). This entails a road walk along 23A including the bridge over the Kaaterskill Creek, and then a left onto an abandoned section of Malden Avenue to the southbound trailhead.
There is another option that Warren mentioned in a previous thread last year. It still involves a road walk, about the same length, but has a far more interesting crossing of the Kaaterskill Creek on this 100 year old swinging suspension bridge:
I finally had time to locate this bridge yesterday. It is an interesting sensation crossing the bridge. It does sway quite a bit, but it is well maintained and in good shape. The bridge currently looks just as it did in the above vintage postcard, but the signs above the bridge no longer have the $25 fine clause for misusing the bridge.
The bridge is not visible from the roads, and there is no parking nearby. It is located at the crosshairs on this map. The bridge is open to the public as described in this newspaper article. On 23A there two legal points of access:
- From the stone Episcopal church on the south side of 23A (this is opposite the Palenville Market and Exxon station, between Whites and Boggart Roads). Take the driveway on the left/east side of the church to the back, past a storage shed and down to the stream. Take a left/east turn on a path along the stream to the bridge.
- Just east of the 23A / Bogart Road intersection. On the south side of 23A is a large three story yellow building (probably an old boarding house/hotel). Use the right/west side driveway which leads to a path down to the creek and the bridge. There are no trespassing signs on both properties bordering this path, but the path is a legal egress. There is a 5' waterfall downstream from the suspension bridge, but unfortunately this is on private land, and you only get a glimpse of the waterfall from the legal path. Note this path extends along the north side of the creek for some distance past and west of the stone church. This is also a public path providing access to the stream. I followed it for some distance, and the stream is attractive, but without any significant cascades or waterfalls.
On the south side. The access is from the bend on Mill Road, opposite a 2 story white house. There is a well trod path with no trespassing for the private properties on either side, but the path is the legal egress. Mill Road is signed at the intersection with Malden Avenue.
The fall foliage along the stream is nearing peak, and should be attractive through this coming weekend. The water in the creek was very muddy, which was a little odd as it had not rained heavily in the last few days. I later climbed up the unmarked Cline/Forge Quarry Rd up to the Palenville Overlook and Point of Rocks (route directions and descriptions are here and here. From the Palenville Overlook I could see a back hoe dredging the Kaaterskill Creek just west of the 23A bridge. That explained the muddy water. Foliage in the Kaaterskill Clove is still changing color, not quite midpoint yet. It should be attractive when viewed from the Long Path, Escarpment, and other trails this coming weekend.