Sunday, September 21, 2014

Diamond Mountain and Lake Wanoksink

Harriman State Park
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Tuxedo-Mt. Ivy Trail: Red Blaze
Hillburn Torne Sebago Trail: Orange Blaze
Pine Meadow Road: Unblazed
7 Hills Trail: Blue Blaze

Total Time: 3:10 hour
Estimated Distance: 5.4 miles
Level of Difficulty: Difficult
Level of Recommendation: Highly recommended
Points Of Interest: Diamond Mountain View, Lake Wanoksink
Pros: Good climb and view, Remote Lake
Cons: Beginning Park is busy and small road part

Hiking Partner:
Stuart Gensler

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

This late September hike featured warm weather, but it was cloudy and had drizzled in the morning. This is a nice area of the park with many paths and trails, pretty lakes, and a good climb. We parked at the Lake Sebago Boat Launch. The area has recently been refurbished with new paving and a grassy area with new trees planted there.

We walked along the old path on the side of Lake Sebago past the old beach, then walked on 7 Lakes Drive south for a short time, and then took the Tuxedo-Mt. Ivy Trail to the Hillburn Torne Sebago Trail. We took the Hillburn Torne Sebago Trail up the steep climb to Diamond Mountain, where there is a good view on top. We then took the Tuxedo-Mt. Ivy Trail to Pine Meadow Road, and hooked back on Pine Meadow Road to Lake Wanoksink.

We took a break at Lake Wanoksink near the dam by the area where the path goes right to the lake. We then turned around and took the woods road to the 7 Hills Trail towards Conklin Mountain, and then continued along this trail down the mountain and to the car.

Map of the Route.
Harriman/Bear Mountain State Parks Southern Map

Newly Refurbished Boat Launch Area at Lake Sebago

Lake Sebago Atop the HTS Scramble

Lake Sebago from the Viewpoint Atop Diamond Mountain.
Facing North.

Stuart at the Above View

Me at the Above View

Walking Along Pine Meadow Road, with Early Foliage

Lake Wanoksink. Note the Shrubs Changing Colors.

Lake Wanoksink

Stuart Sitting on a Log at Lake Wanoksink

The Recently Fixed Dam at Lake Wanoksink

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Lemon Squeezer to Lichen Trail

Harriman State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Crooked Road: Unblazed
Appalachian Trail: White blaze
Arden-Surebridge Trail: Red Blaze
Lichen Trail: Blue Blaze
Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail: Red Blaze
Dunning Trail: Yellow Blaze
White Bar Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 2:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.3 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Highly recommended
Points Of Interest: Lemon Squeezer, Lichen Trail, Unique Scenery
Pros: Lemon squeezer formation, beatiful scenery and view by Surebridge Mountain
Cons: Difficulty parking

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

This is one of the most scenic areas in Harriman State Park. The parking proved more difficult than usual, as my usual spot on Arden Valley Road was blocked off. Arden Valley Road was recently refurbished, and the spot where I had usually parked in after the bend on the north side was blocked off by large boulders. I don't have an Island Pond parking pass, so I turned around and luckily found a small roadside spot on the south side right by the Crooked Road path.

We took took Crooked Road to the Appalachian Trail, and took the Appalachian Trail to the Lemon Squeezer, which is a pile of boulders and crevice that the trail goes through with some tight spots. We then took the blue-blazed Appalachian bypass route down and along the side back to the intersection of the Arden-Surebridge Trail, which meets the Appalachian at the Lemon Squeezer.

We took the Arden Surebridge to the Lichen Trail, and climbed up Surebridge Mountain from the Lichen Trail. This part of the area is very scenic with unique terrain that is full of large rocks and has sparse tree cover. It is also among the highest terrain in the park. There is also a very good view here on the Lichen Trail towards the west including Island Pond.

At the end of the Lichen Trail, which is very short, we took the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail to the Dunning Trail, down the mountain, to the White Bar Trail. This trail skirts along swampy area and eventually heads back to the Arden-Surebrige Trail. We took this trail back to the Appalachian Trail and then towards Crooked Road back to our car.

Map of the Route.
Harriman/Bear Mountain State Parks Northern Map

Me at the Entrance to the Lemon Squeezer

Going Through the Lemon Squeezer

Narrow Crevice in the Lemon Squeezer

Shimmy Ascending Surebridge Mountain at the
Beginning of the Lichen Trail

Dead Tree at the Beginning of the Lichen Trail

Me at the View on the Lichen Trail

Interesting Rocks and Colors Along the Lichen Trail

View from the Lichen Trail, Facing West.
Very Early Foliage is Apparent.

View on the Lichen Trail, Facing Southwest.

Large Rock Faces with Striations on the Lichen Trail

Island Pond from the Lichen Trail View

Beautiful Colors

Foliage Atop Surebridge Mountain

Shimmy on a Large Rock Face on Surebridge Mountain

More Beautiful Scenery Along Surebridge Mountain, on the R-D Trail

The Same View, Zoomed In

Shimmy Walking Across Giant Rock on the R-D Trail

Me at a Giant Rock Face on the R-D Trail

Sunday, September 7, 2014

1779 Loop to West Mnt Fire Escape

Harriman State Park
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail: Red blaze
1779 Trail: White blaze
Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail: Yellow Blaze

Total Time: 3:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 6.3 miles
Level of Difficulty: Very Difficult
Level of Recommendation: Highly recommended
Points Of Interest: Owl Swamp, Cat's Elbow, Fire Escape
Pros: Varyation of terrain, excellent climbs and views
Cons: Proximity to Palisades Parkway keeps constant sound of cars

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

This hike tool longer than usual but was well-worth it. It was one of those memorable hikes that i'll remember the details for a long time. It was also my longest hike since my knee injury and surgery.

We parked our car near Queensboro Road in Stony Point, and walked up the road to the 1779 Trailhead. We took the 1779 Trailhead past all its intersections, and then crossed the Palisades Parkway where the trail crosses the highway. The area on the western side of the Palisades has some swamps formed by beaver activity. We continued and went towards the drained Owl Lake, and then continued to the brushy area and then to the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail.

We took the Ramapo-Dunderberg back down and across the Palisades, across the new bridge, and up the southern flank of West Mountain by the Cat's Elbow. There is a fascinating view here with views of the Hudson River, Haverstraw, and the western part of the park. The skyline from Manhattan is also visible here from the distance.

We then took the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail down, in an area known on old maps as the "Fire Escape" this is definitely one of the steepest trails in the entire park and was challeging going down. We continued along the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail up and down Horn Hill and then back to the 1779 Trail, which we returned on and went back to our car.


Map of the Route.
Harriman/Bear Mountain State Parks Northern Map
Crossing Over the Palisades Parkway on the 1779 Trail

Owl Swamp Through the Trees

Bridge Crossing a Beaver Swamp on the 1779 Trail
Right After Crossing the Palisades

Interesting X on the 1779 Trail

1779 Trail Prior to Meeting the Appalachian Trail

Huckleberry Grove on the 1779 Trail Prior to Meeting the Appalachian Trail

Crossing Over a New Bridge on the Ramapo-
Dunderberg Trail on the Foot of West Mountain
 
Shimmy Cutting Through the Graphite Mine on the
Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail. This Mine is Near the
Steep Ascent of the R-D Trail bit isn't on Any Maps

View at West Mountain. Facing Southwest.
Scenery Atop West Mountain

More Views Atop West Mountain.
Facing Southeast.

Me at the View

Me at the View with the Hudson River in the Background.
Facing Southeast.

Zoomed in towards the Hudson River.

View Facing South Towards Haverstraw and Hi-Tor

Descending the Fire Escape on the S-BM Trail

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Agony Grind

Agony Grind
Harriman State Park / Sterling Forest State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:

Appalachian Trail: Red blaze
Appalachian Trail Connector: Blue Blaze
Indian Hill Loop Trail: Yellow Blaze

Total Time: 2:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.6 miles
Level of Difficulty: Difficult
Level of Recommendation: Highly recommended
Points Of Interest: Steep scramble and rock formations, view, and old farmlands
Pros: Good climb, views, quiet area of park
Cons: Loudness of Thruway nearby

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

Google Map of Parking: 

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

The weather was very unstable, with thunderstorms in the late morning forecast. So we opted for a hike with an easy bailout. We parked at the Elk Pen area, and took the Appalachian Trail up the Agony Grind. This is a steep climb with very interesting rock formations, cliffs, and outcrops. On the top there is a also a good view. We took the Appalachian Trail past the Sapphire Trail to the Appalachian Trail Connector to the Indian Hill Trail. We we were briefly on the Indian Hill Trail, going through the ruins of an old farm/estate with interesting rock walls. We then bushwacked along the perimeter of the slope back to the Appalachian Trail near the Agony Grind and then back to our car.


Map of the Route.
Harriman State Park Northern Map /
Sterling Forest State Park Map

Appalachian Trail by the Elk Pen

Park Lands Plaque on the Appalachian Trail

Walking Along Arden Valley Road on the AT

Trail Marker Plaque on the AT

Shimmy Huge Rock Formation Before the Agony Grind

Me at the Huge Rock Formation Before the Agony Grind

View While Ascending near the Agony Grind

Another Angle of the Same View near the Agony Grind

Shimmy Climbing Through the Agony Grind

Early Foliage While Ascending the AT

View from the Summit Along the AT.
Facing Southeast Towards the Elk Pen and Thruway

The Same View Facing South

View Facing East

View At the Intersection of the AT and AT Connector Trail