On the Road Again: Ultimate Road Trip # 9

May 29, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

The latest iteration of the Ultimate Road Trip music mix series was made live in the fall of 2020. In October of that year, I took a fantastic 4-day weekend to the Catskills, lodging in the Tannersville area. The autumn colors that season were the best that they had been in many years. Coupled with near perfect weather, I had an extremely productive trip with photography shoots at Sunset Rock, Notch Lake, Pratt Rock, Dolan Lake, Old Mill Falls, Platte Clove and Hunter Mountain, as well as other random locations along the way.

 

Although I am still working my way through the photographs from that trip, I have included a few that have been processed thus far.

 

 

1.  Guaranteed – Eddie Vedder

2.  Society – Eddie Vedder

3.  Sedona – Houndmouth

4.  Downbound Train – The Smithereens

5.  Something Big – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

6.  Into the Black – Chromatics

7.  Daylight – Mandolin Orange

8.  And It’s Still Alright – Nathaniel Rateliff

9.  Tecumseh Valley – Jason Isbell & Elizabeth Cook

10. Pancho and Lefty – Jason Isbell & Elizabeth Cook

11. Life’s for the Living – Passenger

12. By and By – Caamp

13. Mad World – Michael Andrews

14. Bright Beginnings – Joe Pug

15. Amarillo by Morning – Josiah and the Bonnevilles

 

 

Old Mill Falls, located on the Plattekill Creek within the 280-acre Platte Clove Preserve, is a charming 15-foot waterfall located just upstream from the top of Plattekill Falls.Old Mill FallsOld Mill Falls, located on the Plattekill Creek, is a charming 15-foot waterfall located just upstream from the top of Plattekill Falls. The stone wall remnants of an old mill, thus the name of the falls, are located on both sides of the creek just below the falls. The Long Path crosses the Plattekill Creek just upstream from Old Mill Falls as the 358-mile trail makes its way south to Indian Head Mountain, Twin Mountain, Sugarloaf Mountain and beyond.

Old Mill Falls are located on the Platte Clove Preserve, which is owned by the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development (CCCD), a regional conservation and advocacy group founded in 1969. The 280-acre area was donated in 1975 by the Griswold family. The CCCD maintains an artist retreat at the Preserve, which you pass at the beginning of the hike to Plattekill Falls. Artists, painters, writers, composers and, yes, photographers can apply for short-term summer residencies here, surrounded by the beauty that is Platte Clove.

Platte Clove, also known as Platte Kill Clove, is a deep, dark, heavily wooded, historic, wildly rugged and wonderfully scenic mountain pass through the northern Catskills. Charles Lanman, a noted American writer and artist who spent much time in the clove, described his impressions in 1844: “Plauterkill Clove is an eddy of the great and tumultuous world, and in itself a world of unwritten poetry, whose primitive loveliness has not yet been disfigured by the influences of mammon, and God grant that it may continue so forever. It is endeared to my heart for being a favourite haunt for solitude, and for having been consecrated by a brotherhood of friends to the pure religion of nature; and they always enter there as into a holy sanctuary.”

With Plattekill Mountain encroaching from the south and Kaaterskill High Peak looming to the north, a narrow and winding two-lane road precipitously crosses the eastern portion of the clove, rising over 1,400 feet from West Saugerties in only 2.1 miles. There are no guardrails despite the nearly vertical cliffs along much of the drive. The climb is so dangerously steep that it is closed in the winter from November 15th to April 15th as the town provides no maintenance.

Platte Clove is home to, depending on who’s counting, over 18 waterfalls, many of which are only reachable with extreme caution and effort and is not recommended. There are fatalities in the clove area just about every year. Old Mill Falls and the clove’s showpiece waterfall, the beautiful Plattekill Falls, are easily and safely accessible.
Old Mill Falls

 

Old Mill Falls, located on the Plattekill Creek within the 280-acre Platte Clove Preserve, is a charming 15-foot waterfall located just upstream from the top of Plattekill Falls.Autumn Leaves at Old Mill FallsOld Mill Falls, located on the Plattekill Creek, is a charming 15-foot waterfall located just upstream from the top of Plattekill Falls. The stone wall remnants of an old mill, thus the name of the falls, are located on both sides of the creek just below the falls. The Long Path crosses the Plattekill Creek just upstream from Old Mill Falls as the 358-mile trail makes its way south to Indian Head Mountain, Twin Mountain, Sugarloaf Mountain and beyond.

Old Mill Falls are located on the Platte Clove Preserve, which is owned by the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development (CCCD), a regional conservation and advocacy group founded in 1969. The 280-acre area was donated in 1975 by the Griswold family. The CCCD maintains an artist retreat at the Preserve, which you pass at the beginning of the hike to Plattekill Falls. Artists, painters, writers, composers and, yes, photographers can apply for short-term summer residencies here, surrounded by the beauty that is Platte Clove.

Platte Clove, also known as Platte Kill Clove, is a deep, dark, heavily wooded, historic, wildly rugged and wonderfully scenic mountain pass through the northern Catskills. Charles Lanman, a noted American writer and artist who spent much time in the clove, described his impressions in 1844: “Plauterkill Clove is an eddy of the great and tumultuous world, and in itself a world of unwritten poetry, whose primitive loveliness has not yet been disfigured by the influences of mammon, and God grant that it may continue so forever. It is endeared to my heart for being a favourite haunt for solitude, and for having been consecrated by a brotherhood of friends to the pure religion of nature; and they always enter there as into a holy sanctuary.”

With Plattekill Mountain encroaching from the south and Kaaterskill High Peak looming to the north, a narrow and winding two-lane road precipitously crosses the eastern portion of the clove, rising over 1,400 feet from West Saugerties in only 2.1 miles. There are no guardrails despite the nearly vertical cliffs along much of the drive. The climb is so dangerously steep that it is closed in the winter from November 15th to April 15th as the town provides no maintenance.

Platte Clove is home to, depending on who’s counting, over 18 waterfalls, many of which are only reachable with extreme caution and effort and is not recommended. There are fatalities in the clove area just about every year. Old Mill Falls and the clove’s showpiece waterfall, the beautiful Plattekill Falls, are easily and safely accessible.
Old Mill Falls

 

Rich fall colors of the autumn season can be seen throughout Kaaterskill Clove in the northern Catskills.Kaaterskill Clove, Fall ColorsKaaterskill Clove is a deep gorge that cuts through the northern Catskills Mountains, with the village of Palenville located at the base of the Clove and the village of Haines Falls located at its head. The clove is formed by Kaaterskill and Lake Creeks, with the gorge cutting as deep as 2,500 feet in places.

South Mountain forms the north wall of the clove. Prospect Mountain, located west of Lake Creek, looms over the upper part of the Clove near Bastion Falls. Kaaterskill High Peak and Round Top Mountain form the south wall of the clove, with the Long Path traversing much of its length. The south wall is also home to the Wildcat Ravine, Buttermilk Ravine and Santa Cruz Ravine. The south wall, at its head, culminates at Twilight Park, a private residential community that offers magnificent views of the entire clove. The entire length of the Clove is traversed by Route 23A.

The splendid colors of autumn can be seen throughout the clove with its numerous hiking trails that offer access to overlooks with outstanding views. Notable examples include the Escarpment trail that takes the hiker along the north wall to viewpoints such as Inspiration Point and Sunset Rock, the viewpoints at Palenville Overlook and Indian Head near the entrance of the clove, as well as Poet’s Ledge on the south wall. The clove is also home to countless other scenic wonders such as Moore’s Bridge Falls, Fawn’s Leap, Bastion Falls, the Five Cascades and Kaaterskill Falls.
Kaaterskill Clove

 

The private residential community of Twilight Park at Haines Falls in the northern Catskills are set at the head of Kaaterskill Clove amidst brilliant autumn colors.Twilight Park, Fall ColorsTwilight Park is a private residential community located at the head of Kaaterskill Clove near the village of Haines Falls in the northern Catskills. It offers dramatic views of Kaaterskill Clove, Haines Falls and the Hudson River. Charles Wingate, a journalist and civil/sanitary engineer, founded the park on land purchased from Charles Haines, owner of the Haines Falls House, in August 1887, with construction beginning soon thereafter. By 1888 there were 5 cottages; by 1889 there were 15 cottages; by 1890 there were 26 cottages; and by 1892 there were 49 cottages, 3 inns and 300 residents. In 1935 the adjacent Santa Cruz Park was incorporated into Twilight Park. Haines Falls, a beautiful 150-foot waterfall, is located on the west end of the property. Today Twilight Park is one of three remaining private communities in the area, the other two being Onteora Park and Elka Park. The Twilight Park Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In this photograph the homes at Twilight Park can be seen sitting on their lofty perch amidst a wall of autumn colors. You can visit the community’s website at www.twilightpark.com for more information about its history, the annual art show or the occasional real estate that becomes available for purchase.
Twilight Park, Fall Colors

 

Gloria Dei Church located in Palenville, New York at the entrance to Kaaterskill Clove in the northern Catskills.Gloria Dei Church at Entrance to Kaaterskill CloveThe Gloria Dei Church located in Palenville at the entrance to Kaaterskill Clove had its cornerstone laid on July 30, 1879. Bishop William Croswell Doane wrote on that date: “I laid the Corner Stone of the Gloria Dei Church, Palenville. I am glad the march of the Church’s empire is taking its way into the Catskills, as it has into the Adirondacks. It was a glorious afternoon; the drive both ways was a delight every second of the time, and every inch of the way. A goodly company had gathered. The Boy Choir of St. Luke’s Church, Brooklyn, added great beauty and fervor to the scene and the service, by their presence in the surpliced procession, and their very sweet singing. There were present the Rev. Mr. Young, the Missionary, and Messrs. Stewart, Weeks and Grubbe of the Diocese, Abercrombie of New Jersey (to whom we owed the presence of the choir). I made the address, and desire here again to recall my sense of the power of lay influence and interest to advance the Church. In the Catskills, as in the Adirondacks, it is a “beloved physician” who has done the work; and much as Mr. Weeks has done, by constant active interest and service, Dr. Chubb is the founder of the work here. After the corner stone laying we went, such of us as could get it, into a little building beautiful with laurel and evergreen and field daisies, where the congregation have worshipped through the summer. I commend the ingenious economy of this idea, which combines cheapness with beauty and convenience; for nothing was used in its construction, but the timbers and boards, which are to go into the future Church. I confirmed five persons, and one afterward in private. (“The Bishop’s Address.” Journal of the Proceedings of the Tenth Annual Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Albany . . . Albany, NY: Van Benthuysen Printing House, 1878.)

Despite the cornerstone being laid six years prior, due to the lack of funds, construction was not fully completed until 1885. In the intervening years the church building was used in its unfinished condition. The completed church building was consecrated on September 16, 1885. At the first service, “a large congregation, composed of residents, summer visitors, and friends from neighboring parishes, filled the church to its utmost capacity. The opening Psalm xxiv, was chanted antiphonally by the bishop, clergy and choir. The instrument of donation was read by the warden, Dr. C. H. Chubb, and the sentence of consecrations by the rector. After Morning Prayer, the bishop proceeded to the celebration of the Holy Communion, preaching from Genesis xxviii, 18, 19. The indications of real growth in the knowledge of Church principles, and an increasing appreciation of her services among the residents of this neighborhood, are very encouraging.” (“Albany.” The Churchman. October 10. 1885.)

The building was designed by architect W. H. Day. The church was built of Catskill mountain bluestone and was designed at 28’ by 50’ outside, with walls 13 feet high and 2 feet thick. The church had a capacity of 135 people. The building and its grounds were a gift to the community. The Gloria Dei Church, with the Episcopal denomination, continues to serve the public today.
Gloria Dei Church, Palenville

 

Pratt Rock Park, located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York, is known for its Zadock Pratt carvings and its beautiful views of the Schoharie Valley.Pratt RockThe 20-acre Pratt Rock Park is located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York. The park is perhaps best known for the stone carvings depicting the life of Zadock Pratt, a local 19th century tannery owner and founder of Prattsville. Carvings include a bust of Zadock Pratt, a bust of George Pratt (Zadock’s son), a horse, a hemlock tree, a scroll, the tannery, the Pratt family coat of arms, a wreath in honor of two of Pratt’s children and an arm raising a hammer.

In addition to the historic carvings Pratt Rock is also home to a wonderful overlook that offers views of the beautiful Schoharie Valley. The scene includes the Schoharie Creek, local farms, public playing fields and distant mountains. The overlook is easily accessible with an estimated 1.5-mile roundtrip hike along an unmarked but easily followed trail.

Pratt Rock Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, being considered “historically significant for its association with Zadock Pratt, founder and benefactor of the hamlet of Prattsville, industrialist, statesman, inventor, banker, and philanthropist.” The park is open to the public year-round. There is no admission fee.
Pratt Rock

 

Pratt Rock Park, located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York, is known for its Zadock Pratt carvings and its beautiful views of the Schoharie Valley.Tools of the TradeThe 20-acre Pratt Rock Park is located just south of the village of Prattsville in Greene County, New York. The park is perhaps best known for the stone carvings depicting the life of Zadock Pratt, a local 19th century tannery owner and founder of Prattsville. Carvings include a bust of Zadock Pratt, a bust of George Pratt (Zadock’s son), a horse, a hemlock tree, a scroll, the tannery, the Pratt family coat of arms, a wreath in honor of two of Pratt’s children and an arm raising a hammer.

In addition to the historic carvings Pratt Rock is also home to a wonderful overlook that offers views of the beautiful Schoharie Valley. The scene includes the Schoharie Creek, local farms, public playing fields and distant mountains. The overlook is easily accessible with an estimated 1.5-mile roundtrip hike along an unmarked but easily followed trail.

Pratt Rock Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, being considered “historically significant for its association with Zadock Pratt, founder and benefactor of the hamlet of Prattsville, industrialist, statesman, inventor, banker, and philanthropist.” The park is open to the public year-round. There is no admission fee.

The sculptures pictured here honor of the working man with a “sinewy, vigorous arm, grasping a hammer and a beam-knife, used by tanners in their work.” (Biography of Zadock Pratt. p. 111.) Adjacent is a hand holding a scroll that reads “Bureau of Statistics 1844.” While serving in the House of Representatives Zadock Pratt introduced legislation that established the Bureau of Statistics.
Rock Carvings at Pratt Rock

 


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