Hiking the Taconic Range

The hike to Sunset Rock and Mt. Fray can be completed in one long day or on two separate shorter hikes.  There are several trailheads from which to begin as well, many of which are located around the Taconic State Park on Route 344 in New York.  However you plan to go, there are many things to see and a few lookout points with views of New York farmland.  The photos shown below are from a few different hikes.  

OpenTopoMap of Sunset Rock-Mt. Fray area

This hike begins from the Cedar Brook Trail across the street from the Taconic State Park entrance on Route 344.  You will first enter a dark forest of enormous hemlocks and spruces.

The terrain gets a little more rugged in places.  The ravine is steep-sloped on both sides.

There are many small waterfalls and crystal clear pools of water. 

The South Taconic Trail branches off a little leading to Sunset Rock where you can see Copake, New York and the Catskills in the background.

The crossing of Sunset Rock Road on the way to Prospect Hill.  There is parking nearby.

One of many rhordoras in bloom in late May near Prospect Hill.

Pink lady's slippers on the trail to Prospect Hill in late May.

 A cloudy day in November offers a dramatic view of the hills in New York.

Lowbush blueberries can be found in abundance all over Prospect Hill and Mt. Fray in late June.  Here, raspberries are on the left of the trail and blueberries are on the right.  There were also some wild strawberries to be found on this day.

You can see the Catskills on a clear day from the Hillsdale Lookout on Prospect Hill. 

Fresh bracket fungi attached to a tree on the trail to Mt. Fray.

Looking to the south from Mt. Fray, you can see the outline of the South Taconic Range. 

Looking to the southwest into New York from a Mt. Fray lookout. 

The lack of foliage exposes the surrounding hills and lichen covered trees. 

Wild columbine circling a tree on the way to Mt. Fray in late May.

The South Taconic Trail opens into a curious junction. 

Mt. Fray is the home of Catamount ski area. The ski slopes face north generally.  The trail goes up the south side of the mountain. 

A view to the northwest from Catamount.

Wildflowers can be found in abundace all over the top of Catamount ski area in June.  In this photo several different varieties are growing together.

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