30th Anniversary on Allen -- In It For The Long Haul


Help Support vftt.org:

PA Ridgerunner

Active member
Sep 6, 2008
Reaction score
Finger Lakes, NY
Fran (Muddybottom) and I had scheduled this hike twice already and were forced to cancel; last August because I had an ingrown toe-nail and this March due to late winter flooding which made the rivers impassable. As we were starting to think about our hiking plans for this year, we thought that hiking Allen would be a wonderful way to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary(June 20). But, as we looked at the weather forecasts we saw a window of opportunity this week and decided Wednesday morning that we would drive up to Long Lake later that day and hike on Thursday.

After the obligatory stop at Stewart's shortly after their 5 a.m. opening, we drove to Upper Works and were on the trail at 6:15. We started out wearing our Tevas, knowing that we would have to cross the Hudson right away. As advertised, the water is much lower and slow moving, so crossing was very easy.

Changed into our hiking boots and proceeded along the trail to the Opalescent River crossing, passing beautiful Lake Jimmy along the way.

The causeway is in great condition, and only one stringer of floats is slightly submerged. (Three sections beyond where I'm standing in the photo.)

The Opalescent was also a very easy crossing, with slow-moving water, never more than knee deep. We were glad to have brought along our water shoes, which we stashed on the far side of the river to pick up on our return.

Shortly we struck out on the herd path, which to our delight was generally much nicer hiking than on the "maintained" trail. We enjoyed the nice woods walk to Skylight Brook, where I was able to rock-hop and Fran opted to cross on a large log. From there the climb begins (finally!) with a moderate ascent to the base of Allen Brook. We had heard this was a steep climb...no kidding!!! :eek: The infamous red slime, while influencing nearly all foot placements, was in truth not too bad. Views from the slide were outstanding, looking back toward the Santas, Sewards, and Macs, but with Redfield stealing the show.

Finally arrived at the crossing point on the slide which was pretty intimidating at first, but ended up not being that tough to negotiate a slime-free route across.

After a longer climb than we anticipated on the left side of the slide we at last arrived at the summit. Number 43 for Fran and me!

Thanks to Tmax we enjoyed not only the views off the north end of the summit, but spectacular views from a ledge on the east side of the ridge. Here's a zoomed view of Panther Gorge from the north viewpoint, followed by a view of the Colvin and Dix Ranges from the east viewpoint.


Wishing we could afford a longer stay, we reluctantly left the summit of this outstanding mountain. The descent and long hike out featured much wildlife; most notably two ruffed grouse encounters, one benign and one was an aggressive mutha...I thought she was going to attack me! :wtf: So I raised my treking poles in a defensive posture as I slowly retreated! Just beyond Lake Sally, on that last little uphill, we came up over the crest and I saw a black head sticking up out of the weeds. No sooner had I started to alert Fran, than the small bear took off running into a hedgerow. We don't think it was a cub, but it was pretty small, so we made an appropriate amount of noise before continuing on. While we're on the subject of wildlife, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the presence of mosquitos, easily thwarted by eucalyptus bug repellent in the morning, but undeterred on the last 4 miles back to the car. No black flies to speak of, but very, very aggressive and annoying biting flies of various description were present for most of the the middle section of the return. Needless to say, we were eager to get back to the car, so we chose not to wear water shoes at the river crossings...kept our already soaked boots on and squished back to the trailhead.

We saw no other hikers the entire day, but did note that Ranger Jeffreys had signed in and out on patrol.

Quite a fantastic way to celebrate thirty years together! :D

More photos here.


Active member
May 27, 2009
Reaction score
Atkinson, NH

Can't think of a better way to spend #30 together. Liz and I will be doing the same in September.