While we value the incredible access we have to trails in the Catskills, true connections with nature happens the second we turn away from the marked paths and enter wilderness. Hiking becomes more rewarding when you make the path yourself, observing nature, determining how best to navigate through a patch of hemlocks, and settling down at the end of the day under a canopy of stars in a camp you discovered, where no one else has slept before.
This Memorial Day we’re leaving the city behind and heading out into the Slide Wilderness on a three day, two night bushwhack in truly untouched forest. If you want to get away from the city, leave behind the stress of the world, and get closer to nature than you ever have before, this is the trip for you.
What the hell is bushwhacking?
“Bushwhack” is one of those outdoorsy terms we often take for granted as common knowledge in the wilderness world. Often when I tell my friends I’m heading upstate for a New York bushwhack, their first question is: “with machetes?” While I can certainly understand why the term evokes such images, it simply means going off trail and exploring wilderness on your own terms. “Bushwhack” literally means to go through the bush.
While it doesn’t involve wielding large knives, bushwhacking is definitely one of the most rugged ways to experience nature available to us today. You can feel the shift the second you turn off the trail and start walking through the woods. The ground feels new, rougher under your foot. You notice the underbrush, the wildflower patches, the way the trees clump together then spread out in a new way. Each step is an adventure because there’s a good chance you are the first human ever to place your boot on that piece of ground.
For us, this weekend, bushwhacking means three days in one of the best preserved, most remote, and most magical places in all of New York.
Slide Mountain Wilderness - Truly Untouched Land
If you believe there are places where a little bit of magic still exists (we certainly do), then the Slide Wilderness is the type of place where you can find it. This remote piece of the Catskills is an old growth forest, which means trees older than the United States, meadows and groves untouched by man, and truly sacred places where a person can let go of the world and find some time for reflection, connection with each other, and reconnection with mother nature.
While we’ll spend the weekend on some beautiful hikes, we’ll also have plenty of time to explore mixed hardwood valleys and magical spruce fir forests near the mountain peaks. If there are any outdoors skills you’ve been hoping to acquire or build on--map and compass, fire building, knife skills--this is a great chance to devote some time to them and ask us anything you’ve been curious about.
We have a few spots open and would love for you to join us for a few nights relaxing around the fire, admiring the stars, and letting go of all the city stress you’ve been carrying on your shoulders. If you can only swing one night, email Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can work out some options. See you in the woods!