In a winter that was largely devoid of snow we were desperate for a cool weather camp-out. When the warm weather signaled the end of maple syrup season we made arrangements for a short rendezvous.
Little Cathead contains a wooded summit. It does, however, contain plentiful look-outs. This small mountain does not contain a marked trail. Exploring hikers should travel with compass and map. This is a great “bushwhack” hike, as there is no formal DEC trail. Little Cathead rises over Woods Lake with cliffs on the southwest side that tower almost 600 feet above the lake shore. The trail head, which is not marked, is opposite a small turnoff/parking area located on the south side of Benson road. Follow the northern shore for approximately 0.3 mile to the bottom of the mountain. Then you can make the due north bushwhack to the top of the hill, which will be about another 0.5 miles. The views to the south over Woods Lake are very nice.
GPS Coordinates: ( 43.2478015, -74.3122579 ) Distance (miles round trip): 2.4 miles Elevation Gain (feet): 600
With two groups coming from the west and south east it was miraculous that they both convened at exactly the same time – just not at exactly the same trail head. After a few minutes of confusion we met up, loaded up and hiked out – quickly reaching Woods Lake. We skirted the eastern side of the lake passing several established campsites along the way. On the north side of the lake we located an old campsite along the lake. We dropped our packs, set up tents, and ate a quick lunch. Matt had a new solo TarpTent that he used for the 1st time, Skip spread his bivy sack on the ground, Len supplemented the rain shedding powers of his Eureka tent with a tarp, Rob did likewise utilizing a large sheet of plastic he found left at the campsite. Tim set up his two person tent
The view from my tent was quite pleasant.
We climbed the 600′ hill which was steep and got the heart pounding, but nothing technical. At the top we hung out and enjoyed the view and warm afternoon temperatures.
Beth and Skip. Rob served pepperoni, crackers and cheese all sliced with a very large knife.
Tim relaxing and Len participating in discussions.
Upon our return to camp Skip accompanied Beth out to the cars and we built a fire for cooking and discussions.
During the day the temperatures climbed from the low 30’s in the morning to a high of 47 by late afternoon. During the night the temperatures dipped to 27 before climbing to 36 by 8am. We awoke at 6:30am packed up and were hiking out by 7:30am in search of a diner that served breakfast.
Directions: From Route 30, take a left onto Benson Road and travel 4.6 miles to the trail head. There is no sign for the trail head, but look for the parking lot on the south (left) side of the road, which is directly opposite the trail head for the lake and mountain.