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September 24 @ 8:00 am - 2:00 pm

This hike led by Dave Hayes will ascend Vly (3529’) and Bearpen (3600’) Mountains, a moderate 6.7 mile round
trip. The summits of both mountains contain a small amount of first growth hardwood forest – never logged, barked,
cleared or intentionally burned. The first growth forest is stunted due to wind, ice damage and thin soils. Trees 3 feet in
diameter may only be 20 feet tall but can be 200 to 300 years old. There are no views from Vly, but several excellent
views from Bearpen. Interestingly, these are the only Catskill peaks over 3500 feet to be outside the Blue Line of the
Catskill Park. They are among the 3 highest peaks lacking any spruce or balsam at any elevation. Bearpen Mountain
was once home to the Princeton Ski Bowl. The ski area opened in 1955 with large crowds and deep snow that permitted
skiing until mid-May. Meet Dave Hayes (vireo44@gmail.com) at the Ashokan Rail Trail parking area in Shokan at
8:00AM. From there it is about 40 minutes to the trailhead in Halcott Center. Parking is limited, carpooling is
encouraged. Bring plenty of water and something for a summit lunch. If there have been recent rains, there can be
muddy sections.


September 24
8:00 am - 2:00 pm


The field trips of JBNHS are oriented to nature study. They are free and open to the public. We do, however, sometimes visit sites that charge admission fees, which are the responsibility of the participants. Children are very welcome on field trips, but pets are not. Although there is a brief courtesy waiting period for latecomers, the meeting times are important: please arrive in time to sign up with the leader.

All participants should be aware of existing guidelines and new field trip protocol listed below:
(Scheduled field trips are listed below the guidelines)

Participant responsibility agreement while attending a JBNHS field trip or outing. Please note that there will be no physical sign-in sheet until further notice. By registering, each participant acknowledges both his/her understanding and acceptance of the Individual’s Responsibilities stated below.

Individual’s Responsibilities are:
1. To stay with the group, follow trip leader’s requests, and do not separate unless you notify trip leader
2. To understand that out-of-doors activities involve hazards and that one participates at one’s own risk
3. To wear with clothing and footwear appropriate to the terrain, and for sun and insect challenges as well
4. To adhere to the ABA Birding Code of Ethics, respect and preserve the flora, fauna, and properties we visit
5. To be mindful and courteous to other participants

Additionally, we will ask that all participants:
1. Fully vaccinated participants are not required to wear a mask for JBNHS field trips
2. Unvaccinated participants are required to wear a mask and when unable to do so, must social distance.
3. Optics may be shared if those involved are comfortable with doing so
4. Carpooling is at the discretion of participants.
5. Preregistration is required for all field trips and participation may be limited.

These guidelines are subject to change if the COVID-19 mutations make more restrictions necessary.