Burroughs Loop, 30 Sept. 2023


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Jan 15, 2013
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Vernon, Conn.
On Saturday I hiked the Burroughs Loop for the second time. The Burroughs Loop goes over the Burroughs Range in the Catskills and back through the valley to the north of it. The last time I did it I went counter-clockwise from/to the Slide Trailhead. This time I went clockwise from/to Woodland Valley.

The forecast called for rain in the morning ending around nine or ten, so I wasn't in a hurry to start. I got to the trailhead at 9:00, but I had to buy a parking pass for the trailhead lot (which is next to a campground) and it took me twenty minutes to do that, mostly waiting in line for my turn.

It was still raining when I left, and for about an hour after that, but then it stopped. It was still cloudy for most of the day -- there were no views all day -- but except for a few sprinkles late afternoon no more rain.

The first part of the loop, the way I did it, goes up to Wittenberg Mountain, gaining about 2500 feet in 3.8 miles. Then it goes across the Burroughs Range, over Cornell, and steeply down and then steeply up to Slide, the Catskill high point.

There were a lot of hikers on the way to Cornell. Woodland Valley to Cornell and back is a popular hike. There were also, that day, a lot of trail runners in some race, which apparently ended at a table I passed just down a side trail. That side trail, blazed blue, isn't on my (Venture Out) map. I also don't remember it from any of the other times I've hiked there, so I assume it's new.

Between Cornell and Slide there were fewer other hikers, although there were a few, as well as a few campers. That's probably my favorite part of this hike, actually; it's a steep descent followed by a pleasant high valley stroll, and a steep and tricky ascent. I slipped and banged my ass on the way up Slide, and it still hurts a bit, but nothing serious.

Slide is about the halfway point in distance, but almost all of the elevation gain is before it. I knew when I started that I would be finishing by headlamp, but I still ended up consciously trying to keep my pace up so I didn't get home too too late. The trail goes down to the Slide Trailhead on Rte. 47, and then there's a short road walk, a shortcut identified as "public easement across private land" and then a mostly downhill hike to Woodland Valley. I turned on my light soon after I left the public easement. I ended up back at my car after 11 hours and 40 minutes, 7:00 for the first seven miles from Woodland Valley to Slide, and 4:40 for the next seven miles from Slide to Woodland Valley.

Here are the pictures.



NE111 in my 50s: 115/115 (67/67, 46/46, 2/2)
NE111 in my 60s: 87/115 (62/67, 23/46, 2/2)
NEFF: 50/50; Cat35: 39/39; WNH4K: 41/48; NEHH 89/100
LT NB 2009; CT NB 2017; FHT EB 2023

"I don't much care where [I get to] --" said Alice, "-- so long as I get somewhere," ...
"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
- Lewis Carroll