This is one of our Catskills Program Coordinator's favorite hikes in the Catskills because it's such a pleasant and accessible walk for everyone, especially during the summer when the majority...
This is one of our Catskills Program Coordinator's favorite hikes in the Catskills because it's such a pleasant and accessible walk for everyone, especially during the summer when the majority of the wet areas dry up. With work planned by the Willowemoc Trail Crew (summer 2014), this hike will only get better (and drier).
From the northwestern corner of the parking lot, the red-blazed Quick Lake Trail descends on several log steps and then continues on a mostly level route through the open hardwood forest. In about a tenth of a mile (0.10 mile), the trail intersects with an old road that once provided access to Frick Pond. There is a DEC sign-in booth at this intersection; make sure to sign in.
From this point, the trail turns left and follows the road. It may be wet in several places, especially during the spring, but is generally level with a few dips and climbs past streams and drainages. At just under the half -mile (0.45 mile) point, the Quick Lake Trail intersects with the yellow-blazed Loggers Loop Trail. The intersection is located within an old field that can become overgrown and be poorly signed. Be sure to stay to the left at the intersection, staying on the red Quick Lake Trail.
The Quick Lake Trail passes through another muddy area just past the trail junction and then begins descending to the shoreline and outlet of Frick Pond at about 0.55 miles from the trailhead (and about a tenth of a mile from the intersection with the Loggers Loop Trail). The bridge and the small open field adjacent to it make for a great stop to enjoy the view of Frick Pond and watch the wildlife that lives there.
The dam on Frick Pond was removed (or destroyed) many years ago, so the actual water body is quite small during most of the year, but high springtime water levels sustain an open meadow that provides habitat for a number of wildlife species, including birds.
After crossing the outlet of Frick Pond on a bridge, the trail generally follows the shoreline of Frick Pond, but back from the edge. The trail has a few minor wet areas and is generally level as it heads toward the intersection with the Big Rock Trail. At this trail junction, the Quick Lake Trail turns westward, eventually reaching Quick Lake and the Quick Lake Lean-to. You should stay right and follow the yellow-blazed Big Rock Trail as it continues to follow the shoreline of Frick Pond.
Near the northwestern corner of the pond, the trail enters a thick hemlock grove, where you will step up onto a boardwalk that will carry you over an extensive wet area. The only caution here is that if you are hiking in wet weather, the boardwalk can be quite slippery and you should take your time.
The boardwalk will take you to the two major inlets of Frick Pond, crossing both on small bridges in an semi-open meadow area. From the stream crossings, continue on the Big Rock Trail as it heads north, away from Frick Pond, on the remnants of an old woods road.
At 1.2 miles from the trailhead, the trail reaches Times Square, a four-way junction of two yellow trails. Turn sharply right onto the Loggers Loop Trail that heads south on an old woods road. (To your left the Loggers Loop Trail continues to the northwest, eventually reaching the Iron Wheel Junction with the Quick Lake Trail. Straight ahead, the Big Rock Trail, also yellow, climbs steadily to its intersection with the Flynn Trail.)
From Times Square, the Loggers Loop trail descends slightly, crossing a small stream on a washed-out culvert before gently ascending to the height of land after about 0.2 mile. Once the height of land is reached, the trail is generally level for another 0.2 mile before descending slightly. As views of Frick Pond begin to open up and just before the trail's intersection with the Quick Lake Trail, there is a privy to your right on a short side trail.
Loggers Loop ends at its intersection with the Quick Lake Trail. This is the first trail junction you reached when starting your hike. Turn left onto the red marked Quick Lake Trail, heading eastward 0.45 mile back to the trailhead.
There are no difficult sections along this hike and no steep climbs or descents. The most difficult aspects of the hike are the numerous wet areas, especially near Times Square on both the Big Rock and the Loggers Loop Trails. If you don't mind getting your boots muddy though, this is not a problem.
Trail maintenance is picking up in the area, thanks to the Trail Conference's Willowemoc Trail Crew. This trip is a great hike for families with children looking to spend a few hours in the woods. It's close to the Mongaup Pond State Campground and the Town of Livingston Manor is less than 8 miles away.
In Livingston Manor there are lodging and dining options, along with Morgan Outdoors, a great outdoor clothing, shoes and gear store that's an excellent place to get ready for your adventures. Discounts are offered to those who show a valid Trail Conference membership card. The owner of the store is a great resource to ask for information on trails, hikes, and how to get involved with stewardship activities in the area.Publication: Submitted by Jeff Senterman on 07/07/2014
An easy 2.2-mile (round trip) hike offering great views of Frick Pond and the surrounding mountains, a walk through a large hemlock grove on a boardwalk through a wetland, and through open woods and fields of ferns.
Whether you are going for a day hike or backpacking overnight, it is good practice to carry what we call The Hiking Essentials. These essentials will help you enjoy your outing more and will provide basic safety gear if needed. There may also be more essentials, depending on the season and your needs.
Hiking Shoes or Boots
Water - Two quarts per person is recommended in every season. Keep in mind that fluid loss is heightened in winter as well as summer. Don't put yourself in the position of having to end your hike early because you have run out of water.
Map - Know where you are and where you are going. Many of our hiking areas feature interconnecting network of trails. Use a waterproof/tear-resistant Tyvek Trail Conference map if available or enclose your map in a Ziplock plastic bag. If you have a mobile device, download Avenza’s free PDF Maps app and grab some GPS-enhanced Trail Conference maps (a backup Tyvek or paper version of the map is good to have just in case your batteries die or you don't have service). Check out some map-reading basics here.
Food - Snacks/lunch will keep you going as you burn energy walking or climbing. Nuts, seeds, and chocolate are favorites on the trail.
Sunscreen and insect repellent
Rain Gear and Extra Clothing - Rain happens. So does cold. Be prepared for changing weather. Avoid cotton--it traps water against your skin and is slow to dry. If you are wearing wet cotton and must return to your starting point, you risk getting chills that may lead to a dangerous hypothermia. Choose synthetic shirts, sweaters and/or vests and dress in layers for easy on and off.
Compass - A simple compass is all you need to orient you and your map to magnetic north.
Light - A flashlight or small, lightweight headlamp will be welcome gear if you find yourself still on the trail when darkness falls. Check the batteries before you start out and have extras in your pack.
First Aid Kit - Keep it simple, compact, and weatherproof. Know how to use the basic components.
Firestarter and Matches - In an emergency, you may need to keep yourself or someone else warm until help arrives. A firestarter (this could be as simple as leftover birthday candles that are kept inside a waterproof container) and matches (again, make sure to keep them in a waterproof container) could save a life.
Knife or Multi-tool - You may need to cut a piece of moleskin to put over a blister, repair a piece of broken equipment, or solve some other unexpected problem.
Emergency Numbers - Know the emergency numbers for the area you're going to and realize that in many locations--especially mountainous ones, your phone will not get reception.
Common Sense - Pay attention to your environment, your energy, and the condition of your companions. Has the weather turned rainy? Is daylight fading? Did you drink all your water? Did your companion fail to bring rain gear? Are you getting tired? Keep in mind that until you turn around you are (typically) only half-way to completing your hike--you must still get back to where you started from! (Exceptions are loop hikes.)
Check the weather forecast before you head out. Know the rules and regulations of the area.
The Leave No Trace Seven Principles
- Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you'll visit.
- Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
- Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
- Visit in small groups when possible. Consider splitting larger groups into smaller groups.
- Repackage food to minimize waste.
- Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.
- Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
- Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
- Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.
- In popular areas:
- Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
- Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
- Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.
- In pristine areas:
- Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
- Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.
- Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter.
- Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
- Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
- To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.
- Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
- Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
- Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
- Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.
- Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
- Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
- Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
- Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.
- Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
- Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
- Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
- Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
- Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.
- Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
- Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
- Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
- Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
- Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.
The Trail Conference is a 2015 Leave No Trace partner.
(c) Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: www.LNT.org.