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April 18, 2014
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View from the Top

The waterfall at Jensen’s Ledges is majestic—and difficult to climb up

By Isabel Braverman

On a perfect clear day in the very beginning of fall (the trees teasing with hints of reds, yellows and oranges), I gathered a group of friends to do something that we locals have probably done once before, if not multiple times—hike Jensen’s Ledges.

Jensen’s (as we call it; some call it the Ledges) is an uphill hike that leads to the top of a mountain with stunning views of the Delaware River. But first, how do you get there? While my friends were no strangers to the hike, this was only my second time; and getting there is certainly a journey—one of those things that you would only know about if you’ve been there before (how’s that for an oxymoron?). Thus it earns its title as a “hidden gem” both literally and figuratively.

Our journey started in Callicoon, where we all met each other to carpool to Jensen’s. From Callicoon, all you do is get onto Route 97 heading toward Hancock and stay straight for a while. Next, you make a left onto Lordville Road (don’t miss it!). You stay straight on that road until you get to the little town of Lordville, a town made up of old houses, one church and one large abandoned boarding house. The atmosphere is entirely creepy. You make a left onto Bouchoux Road, which has a Dead End sign (I feel like it’s there because the locals want to keep Jensen’s hidden). The Dead End road is practically one-lane and definitely dirt and gravel and a tad bit scary if you were to, say, meet a pick-up truck coming the other way. After it seems the road will never end, it takes a sudden sharp curve and there it is—the parking lot.

The common path is at the beginning of the parking lot. There is a sign-in sheet so that if you don’t make it back down someone will come find you (so don’t forget to sign back out). I wondered aloud how often they check the sheet.

Being of adventurous spirit, we decided to take the path less traveled. At the end of the parking lot there is a wooded trail that leads you to the railroad tracks. You have to walk along the tracks for a little while until you see the waterfall, at which you cross over to the bottom of the waterfall. Our friend Dylan had convinced us to take this “trail,” although there was no trail to be seen and we soon realized to our great surprise that we would be climbing up the side of the waterfall.