A few miles north of Woodstock in Shandaken Wild Forest, is Rochester Hollow. A long dirt road which feels akin to trespassing reveals the start of the 5.6 mile loop through the woods.
The hike begins with an uphill climb along a creek, and the ascent is slow and steady until you reach the furthest point of the trail before turning back.
Stone walls from early settlers remain, intricately built to last forever like those which roam a Scottish countryside.
At the top of the trail is a lean-to for camping, an impeccably kept log cabin style shelter with a bench and a view.
Chipmunks and birds scatter about while the bears sleep.
After our multi-hour expedition, we descended to the Peekamoose. It’s a gorgeous bar and restaurant just around the bend from the trail head. The bar is adorned with forest-like wallpaper and taxidermy animal heads. Outside a fire-pit is lit and visitors can enjoy s’mores nightly. Bar patrons were jovial with each other, the local Monday night crowd.
Our meal was scrumptious and began with some delicious brews on tap along homemade breadsticks. We enjoyed a three course meal for Restaurant Week right at the bar: beet soup to start, follow by cod, and concluded with homemade blackberry ice cream. It was a beautiful, welcoming setting and the perfect meal to follow Rochester Hollow.