Full Moon hike planned for Andes on Jan. 16

By Cheryl Petersen
The crew dresses in layers (no cotton), grabs some heat packs, pulls on MICROspikes or snow-shoes, and starts hiking.
“Thirteen of us hiked on New Year’s Day,” said John Exter, from New Kingston. “It was great fun and we have another hike planned on January 16.” Everyone is invited to meet at the beginning of the Andes Rail Trail on county Highway 2, at 8 p.m., for a moonlight hike.
The hikes are organized by members of the Catskill Mountain Club. On January 1, at 11 a.m., hikers began a leisurely walk up the Shavertown Trail. The trailhead is on county Route 1, about a tenth of a mile north of the intersection of Route 30 and county Route 1 in Andes.  You can park at the parking lot by the bridge and choose how far you want to hike. “My wife, Beth Firmin, and I hiked the whole 5.3 miles. The turnaround point is at a spot marked with erratic boulders and cliffs. I love rocks and being able to explore,” said Exter.
“On the way back, we stopped at Snake Pond and had snacks and hot chocolate. Snow started falling in the drinks,” added Exter. “The total hike took about two and half hours. It was a nice way to start the year.”
Hikers choose a decent pace that allows for conversation and time to stop and take in the views.

Reservoir views
“We had amazing views of the Pepacton Reservoir because leaves had fallen off the trees,” said Ann Roberti, from Andes. “Shavertown Trail is definitely getting used since it opened last August.” During the fall, leaves were pulverized by walking feet. “On New Year’s Day, we met four other hikers and the trail was packed down snow,” said Roberti.
Hikers also are known to identify vegetation or look out for birds. “On New Year’s Day, all we saw were chickadees,” said Alberti.
Adapting oneself to the weather makes being outside a pleasure. “Advice on how to dress for hiking is found on the website www.catskillmountainclub.org,” said Roberti. “Most of us have MICROspikes which keep us from slipping.”
MICROspikes are attached to the bottom of shoes and boots. They are constructed of strategically placed spikes and flex-chain that dig into the ground and grip terrain. “At the rock formations, we did carve steps into the ice to make walking safer,” said Alberti.
Layers of clothing allow for fluctuating climate conditions. “When you dress in layers, you can take off or put on clothing depending on wind, rain, or whether it warms up or gets cold,” said Alberti.
Heat packs are used in gloves and boots. They are disposable packets and once opened they are activated to produce heat for hours. “Hiking is great fun,” said Alberti. “People of all ages can hike comfortably.”
On January 16, hikers will be taking advantage of the full moon. Whether the moon glows or not, friends and acquaintances will begin trekking the Andes Rail Trail at 8 p.m.