Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Phillips Pyrrhotite Mine

Anthony's Nose (Mine Hill)
Hudson Highlands State Park,
Putnam Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Appalachian Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 1:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.6 Miles

Pros: Historical Mine
Cons: Difficult to find

Hiking Partner:
Josef Friedman

I had some extra time on July 4 to do some exploring. I have heard about the the Philips Pyrrhotite Mine for quite some time, but have never had the chance to give this mine a visit. The mine is not on any trail, and needs a small bushwack to get to. It's not so far off the road, but it did take us a bit more time than expected to find it. Once you find the mine, its impossible to miss. The dumps are enormous, spanning several acres.

The main ore of the mine was pyrrhotite, an iron sulfide which is slightly magnetic, which is roasted to produce iron. The area is littered with pyrrhotite, some of which is decaying into a white powdery substance. Other minerals at the mine include pyrite, apatite, and amphibole crystals. The mine hole is on the top of the hill and is fenced off, but the fence is broken on one of the sides. However, this is a dangerous mine, with no way out if you fall in. Extreme caution should be exercised in the vicinity of the mine. Beyond the main pit the road loops around passing several smaller mine pits.

We parked on South Mountain Pass road, where it meets the Appalachian Trail, and took the Appalachian Trail several hundred feet prior to bushwacking southeast towards the mine. Upon reaching the mine, we explored several levels and took some of the loop trails before heading down.

The images below were taken with my cell phone camera as I did not have my regular camera with me.

Map of the Route
East Hudson Trails

Mine Dump from the Top of the Hill

View from the Top of the Mine

Deep Mine Hole

A Gated Off Mine Adit

Top Dump Area

Interesting Road Sign Along the Path 

The Lower Part of the Dump

View on the Lower Dump with Canada Hill in the Distance

Lower End of the Dump with Canada Hill in the Distance

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Schunnemunk Mountain High Knob Loop

Schunnemunk Mountain State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Long Path: Green blaze
Jessup Trail: Yellow blaze
Earl Reservoir Trail: Unblazed

Total Time: 4:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 6.2 Miles

Pros: Good climb and excellent views
Cons: Road walking on return

Level of Difficulty: Very difficult

Hiking Partners:
Shimmy & Morty Rosenberg

This was a hot early summer day in the beginning of July. I had not been to this part of the mountain in almost ten years, and I remembered it being a good hike with fantastic views.

We parked on the side of Route 32 by Evans Drive, walked up Route 32 slightly past the railroad bridge, and then took the Long Path towards the mountain. The trail goes along the side of the railroad track here for a bit of time, and then veers away and gradually climbs.

The trail skirts around Little Know, and we didn't veer off to it, as I remembered the High Knob view being more impressive. The trail climbs very steeply at this point, and there is an excellent view facing south here at High Knob. Continuing a bit further along the trail is the High Knob Summit, with excellent views north, east, and south.

We then continued along the Long Path due west, down the valley and back up the next ridge, until we met the Jessup Trail. There is a large exposed rock face at this point, with short pitch pines, as is characteristic of the summit area of this mountain. Also present is a great view facing west. We then went south on the Jessup Trail along the southern ridge, and then took the unmarked trail that goes alongside the brook that feeds into the Earl Reservoir.

This is a very steep trail down, and is hard to follow. Towards the top its a bit overgrown, though here are some crude unofficial blazes present along the way. We heard gunshots nearby as we were getting down, and we then saw signs about an active gun range in the vicinity.

We continued until we reached Woodbury Park, a local town park, where this trail ends near the Earl Reservoir. We then cut across to Brigadoon Blvd, a street of new homes. We walked for a while on this street and in this neighborhood (and unfortunately without much shade present) until we reached route 32, which we took to Evans Rd. and back to our car.

Map of the Route. West Hudson Trails

Tiger Lily at the Beginning of the Hike 
Long Path at the Beginning of the Hike

Under the Railroad Bridge Trestle
View from High Knob at the Scramble

Another view at High Knob

New Housing Development South of High Knob

View from High Knob Facing Southwest

Morty Above the Scramble Point

Me at the High Knob Scramble View

View Facing South

Shimmy Relaxing at High Knob

From the the High Knob Summit, Facing East 
View from the RHigh Knob Summit

View Facing Northeast Towards Storm King,the Hudson River,
and the Thruway Down Below

Me at the High Knob Summit

Zoomed in to me at the Summit

Near the Schunnemunk Summit at the Jessup Trail

Near the Schunnemunk Mountain Summit

Shimmy & Morty Taking a Break at the Rock Face on the Jessup Trail

Me at the Rock near the Summit

Capturing the Moment

View Facing West Towards the Great Valley

Large Conglomerate Rock Exposures Along the Ridgeline

View Towards the Gunks and the Catskills, in the Distance

Small Waterfall along the Brook Feeding the Earl Reservoir

Not a Good Idea to Venture off the Trail, Especially with Audible Gunshots

Earl Reservoir

Earl Reservoir, with the Schunnemunk Ridge in the Background

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Kakiat Evening Hike

Kakiat County Park
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Mountain Trail: Orange blaze
Kakiat Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 0:50 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.65 Miles

Pros: Good climb and good view for a short hike
Cons: None

The weather had been really nice all week, and after I finished work I decided to do a quick hike up Kakiat. I parked in the parking lot, crossed the Mahwah River bridge, and took the Mountain Trail up to the first viewpoint. At the viewpoint I bushwacked northeast towards the Kakiat Trail, meeting it near the gas line. I took the Kakiat Trail down all the way back to the parking lot.

Map of the Route. Harrian State Park Map

View from the Lower Viewpoint

View Looking South

Dusk is Approaching. The Manhattan Skyline is in the Distance.

The Sun Dipping Behind the Horizon Behind the Clouds

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Storm King Mountain Sunset Hike

Storm King State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Stillman Trail: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 0:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 0.7 Miles

Pros: Highly scenic area, good scramble
Cons: None

I had a wedding to attend in Anthony's Pier 9 in New Windsor. In order to get there, I drove up Route 9W up Storm King Highway, past Storm King Mountain. Knowing I would be taking this route prior to sunset, I planned on doing a short hike up butter hill on the way to catch a sunset, and then quickly change into my dress clothes for the wedding.

I parked at the main parking area off Route 9W where the Stillman Trail starts, and took the short but intense trail up Butter Hill to the view. I observed an incredible sunset at this point with the clouds in a fantastic array with the small rainstorm in the distance. I turned around at this point as darkness was approaching, and took the same way back along the Stillman Trail back to my car.

Map of the Route. Hudson Highlands Eastern Section.

Looking East Towards the Hudson River and Bull Hill

Looking Across the Hudson to Bull Hill Quarry and Cold Spring

Route 9W and North Point

Cloud with Rain Over Schunnemunk Mountain

Sunset over Storm King

Sunset Over Storm King

Sunset Over Storm King

Sunset Over Storm King

Last Light of the Day over North Hill and Crow's Nest

Sunset over Storm KIng

Looking Towards Black Rock Forest

Sun Going Down

Sundown Over Storm KIng

Storm Cloud Dissipating