Allen Mountain; our longest hike yet. We joke that we walked miles and miles all for a picture with a little yellow and brown sign–18.2 miles (28 km) exactly–call us crazy!
At 4 347 feet, Allen is often considered the most difficult of the high peaks because of the distance needed to cover to reach the summit.
Words that come to mind when describing our day; buggy, cloudy, muggy, muddy, slimy and wet.
We were on the trail at first light. Within minutes, we crossed the Hudson River over a suspension bridge.
Along the trail we hurried on hoping to avoid the forecasted occasional showers and thunderstorm, taking few pictures, thinking we’d get some on our return.
The first 5 miles (8 km) was well-marked. We walked along a mix of abandoned mining gravel roads, overgrown herd paths and clearcut logging terrain overtaken by wild raspberry bushes. Skirting around two lakes and beaver ponds we swatted at the deer flies before we reached the Opalescent River. The river crossing was easy, we had brought our water shoes, the water level was no more than knee-deep and refreshingly cold. Two hours in, we finally arrived at the sign pointing up to Allen.
After a few more turns, we arrived at a gravel pit where the NYS Department of Environment Conservation (DEC) has a trail register for Allen, this is also the start of the unmarked trail. Make sure to sign in.
The trail meanders through a hardwood forest at a gentle grade for a couple of miles on the approach to the mountain. We were lulled by the easy but long walk so far and were anticipating for the climb to begin.
The ascent up follows Allen Brook and is quite steep and unrelenting–this is the part we actually enjoy. With careful steps, we climbed, navigating through the red slime and slippery rock.
After Allen Brook, the remainder of the climb skirts a steep slide and finishes with a tough scramble to the ridge.
Five hours from the start we reached the peak. The hazy weather obstructed the views and so we took the customary pic with the summit sign before turning back the way we came.
The rain held off long enough for us to get back down the slimy slide and brook.
Through the rain, we trudged back while planning our evening and this is what we came up with; return to the campground where we stayed the night before, pack up the tent and drive to the nearest town in search of a motel. The thoughts of a hot shower and comfy bed kept us going.
- Moisture-wicking, quick-drying clothes are worth every penny.
Allen, we are glad to have you checked off the list–33 of 46 peaks!