Michigan Hollow Road toward The Pinnacles look-out, southern approach, Danby SF
Meet-up: Michigan Hollow Road exactly 4.1 miles south of Route 96B in downtown Danby.
Don’t confuse this with the northern hiker parking spot, which is 2.4 miles south of 96B, and which gives access to Diane’s Crossing. Even if you see cars parked there, don’t stop – it’s not us. Keep going south.
Click here to see the Google Maps page showing more or less the location of the trail head.
This used to be a favorite hike for the group. Then two things happened: First, the hikers used to be able to make it up to the look-out and back in just a little over two hours — provided the group really hightailed it. But as the years have passed the group slowed down, and now there’s no way the main group can make it up and back in a reasonable time. So now we don’t do the beautiful last stretch, which passes through a gorgeous pine forest.
Update: In the summer of 2018 a very fast-moving group burst out of the starting blocks and made it up to The Pinnacles and back in two hours — by using a clever trick I never thought of —
The way to cut time off this hike is to walk up the south leg of the loop to the look-out, but when you get there, instead of turning around and retracing your steps, you keep going forward on the loop, and come down the north leg to Bald Hill Road at the north crossing. Once you hit the road, turn right and walk south on BLR until you hit the southern leg of the loop crossing, and then go down the southern leg back to the cars. It’s significantly quicker to do this than to come back down from the Pinnacles on the southern leg the same way you went up. It saves enough time to be able to do the hike in two hours.
Second, there was a major flood some years back, and the rushing flood water and then the clean-up that followed completely changed the character of what used to be a fantastic small glen crisscrossed by small streams and full of tumbled-down trees. The area is now much less picturesque and atmospheric.
The walk that remains still has many great elements — very lively ups and downs — wonderful views off to the left and right all along the way – a number of lovely pine groves – but it’s lost some of its charm . One thing hasn’t changed — the outbound leg is still quite strenuous.
Click here to see a state DEC map of Danby SF. You can see that the southern leg of the loop is very much the longer way up from Michigan Hollow Road to the look-out, which is at the extreme left.
We now go up to The Pinnacles look-out as part of another walk that’s much easier, and doesn’t rush us.
Rev 04/2022 JFR