Sunday, April 19, 2015

West Mountain Ridgeline

Harriman State Park
Rockland and Orange Cos.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Anthony Wayne Trail: White blaze
Fawn Trail: Red blaze
Timp-Torne Trail: Blue blaze
Appalachian Trail: White blaze
Beechy Bottom Road: Unblazed

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

Total Time: 2:45 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.5 miles
Level of Difficulty: Difficult
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Points of Interest: View, terrain, and historical mine
Pros: Excellent climb and several views
Cons: None

West Mountain is one of my favorite mountains in the Harriman/Bear Mountain area. It has multiple views as well as a good climb with some scrambling. I had not done the ridge above Anthony Wayne in a long time, and figured the spring weather would provide us a good opportunity for this. We parked at the northern end of the Anthony Wayne area, and headed on the Anthony Wayne Trail to the Fawn Trail, and then to the Timp-Torne Trail, which ascends up the ridge.

The ridgeline of West Mountain along the Timp-Torne Trail is relatively narrow, providing excellent views on both sides of the ridge. The Timp-Torne Trail meets in conjunction with the Appalachian Trail, and at the split we continued along the Appalachian Trail down the mountain, and cut across along a spur to Beechy Bottom Road. We veered off road a little bit further down Beechy Bottom Road to view the Mica Mine, an old 1800's era mine which used to provide large Mica sheets. We then continued on the Beechy Bottom Road taking the path that goes back to the parking area, back to the parking area where our car was located.

Map of the Route.
Harriman/Bear Mountain Trails Northern Map

View of Bear Mountain while Ascending West Mountain on the T-T Trail

Fresh Spring Greenery

Me Atop a Scramble on the T-T Trail

Me Atop a Rockface

Another Perspective of the Above Picture

First Significant Viewpoint, Facing West

Another View of Bear Mountain

Me a the View

Me at the View

Me at the View

Walking Through Notch in Large Rock Wall

Me Again

Add caption

FromWest Mountain Facing South

Tree Flowers Sprouting

A Black Vulture I Encountered Along the Trail

Nice View Starting the Descent

Another Nice View on the Descent

Beechy Bottom Mica Mine, off the Beechy Bottom Road

Monday, April 13, 2015

Kakiat Warm Weather

Kakiat County Park
Rockland Co.,
New York

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

Total Time: 1:05 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.1 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Points of Interest: View
Pros: Good view and scenic hike
Cons: Power lines and gas lines take away from the natural feeling

I did not have a chance to go on a hike the Sunday before, but was able to take off for a little bit Monday morning for this relatively quick hike. The weather had been very warm, with temperatures in the 70's. I had taken my new camera and shot some photos, only to realize I had taken out the memory card and was therefore unable to save any of the pictures. I took a few pictures from my cell phone, but they are not quite as good as I would have liked them to be.

I parked in the circle in the Kakiat parking area off Route 202, crossed the bridge on the Mahwah River, and took the Mountain Trail all the way up to the upper Kakiat viewpoint. I then continued along the trail to the gas line, and went down along the gas line to the Kakiat Trail. I took the Kakiat Trail back to its terminus at the bottom of the mountain.

Map of the Route
Harriman/Bear Mountain Trails Southern Map

View at the Top of Kakiat, Facing Southeast.

View from Kakiat Facing Northeast

Panorama from the Top of Kakiat

View from the Top of Kakiat, Facing East

Interesting Tree Shadow

View Descending the Gas Pipeline

Another View Descending the Gas Pipeline

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Pine Swamp Brook and Mountain Snow

Harriman State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Long Path Green blaze

Total Time: 0:50 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.5 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Points of Interest: Lake and views
Pros: Overall very scenic area
Cons: Off-trail hike may be hard to follow unless you are familiar with area

This is a great hike, and very similar but backwards to what I did back in November. The previous day it had rained a cold rain with temperatures in the upper 30's. I noticed there were even some wet snowflakes mixed in. I had make an assumption that there would likely be an accumulating snow in the higher terrain, and decided to go the morning after on a short hike in the mountains and take a look. Sure enough, everything was covered with a fresh layer of about 3 inches of wet snow. Everything was melting fast due to the warming temperatures and bright sky. I am glad I got out when I did to experience one more hike in the snow.

I parked at the parking area by Lake Skanatati off Seven Lakes Drive. I walked along the Long Path which goes on the northern side of the lake, until the stream inlet of the Pine Swamp Brook. I wanted to check out what the rangers did here. When I was here back in November, they were hoisting some rocks in the stream to make a better crossing.

I then climbed up Pine Swamp Mountain on a deer path which goes along the ridge of the mountain. I then cut across to the western part of the mountain, where the old A-SB Trail used to go prior to its rerouting, and then took the former trail to the Pine Swamp Mountain view. I know I have stated this many times before, but I'll say it again. I don't know why the trail conference would decide to reroute the trail away from this great and easy view. I don't understand the logic behind it and it's a real loss. The bottom line is that the view will never go away so even if there is no trail those people who always visited this view will still keep coming to visit it. Anyways, I climbed down after the view on the former A-SB Trail back down the mountain.

Map of the Route
Harriman/Bear Mountain Trails

Lake Skanatati with the Snow, Retreating Ice, and Blue Skies

Shoreline of Lake Skanatati

Along the Long Path

Rock Jutting into Lake Skanatati

Lake Skanatati from the Long Path

Small Cascade on Pine Swamp Brook at its Crossing by the Long Path

Hemlock Trees at the Pine Swamp Brook

Pretty Snow Scenery with Evergreens Above Pine Swamp Mountain

Small Evergreen Covered with Heavy Wet Snow

A Couple at the Pine Swamp View

Another Perspective of the Above Picture

Lake Skanatati and Lake Kanawauke from Pine Swamp Mountain

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Lime Kiln Mountain
Harriman State Park

Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Tuxedo-Mount Ivy (T-MI) Trail: Red blaze
Lime Kiln Mountain Trail: Unblazed

Total time: 1:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.5 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Points of Interest: Lime Kiln Mountain View
Pros: Excellent view that is little-known
Cons: Bottom part by power lines is boring

This is a great little hike, and its been several years since I was last here. It was a relatively warm day, with the snow almost entirely gone, save for a few patches in shady spots. I parked at the Tuxedo-Mount Ivy Trail on Diltz Road, and took the trail as it goes along the Power Line on the foot of the mountain ridge. As the trail goes into the woods, that is where the Lime Kiln Mountain Trail spurs off. The Lime Kiln Mountain Trail is unblazed but nevertheless easy to follow.

At the top of this mountain, where the trail just ends, there is an excellent view facing mostly east. From the top I turned around and about halfway down the mountain, and cut across due south towards the valley and the Tuxedo-Mount Ivy Trail. I walked along the side of the stream on the Tuxedo-Mount Ivy Trail, and then took the service road to the north of the power lines and then cut across to the trailhead after that.

Map of the Route
Harriman/Bear Mountain Maps Southern Map

The First Sign of Spring Green!
These thornbushes had a green stem.

Haphazard Marking Along the Unblazed Limekiln Mountain Trail

View of Haverstraw and the Hudson River at Haverstraw Bay from the Top

Large "R" Spraypainted at the Top View.
Probably Stands for "Ramaquoise", the Name of the Camp at the Mountain Foot.

Manhattan Skyline in the Distance from the View

Another View Shot

And Another

View Facing Camp Ramaquoise

At View Facing Palisades Drive in Pomona

A Soaring Turkey Vulture

From the View Facing South Towards Dunderberg

Natural Spring in the Valley Along the T-MI Trail

Icicles Holding on For Dear Life