The Catskill Mountains are a world-class destination for outdoor pursuits. Manhattan Country School students and teachers are surrounded by and reminded of this beauty each time they visit the Farm.
The explosion of autumn colors greeted the Seventh and Eighth Grade Sur homeroom upon arriving at the Farm last week. Several students, along with teachers Annie and Garth, took the opportunity to venture off the Farm to hike to Giant Ledge. The large rock outcroppings perched on the side of Panther Mountain are located deep in what is known as the Burroughs Range. There are 35 mountain peaks in the Catskills that are over 3,500 feet high, with Panther standing at 3,702 feet. Roxbury, N.Y. native and nature essayist John Burroughs spent many days exploring this high-peaks region.
The group set off from the Farm and traveled to the trailhead in the Oliverea Valley. The hike took the group up and over boulder fields, along sandy pathways and finally to the Balsam-covered summit. Giant Ledge provides 180-degree views of Woodland Valley below and Slide Mountain, the Catskills' tallest peak at more than 4,000 feet. After taking in the views and enjoying the lunch they packed, the group returned to the trailhead having completed the four-mile hike.