Sunday, November 9, 2014

Long Mountain & Howell Mountain with Commsar

Harriman State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Long Path: Blue blaze

Total Time: 2:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.5 miles
Level of Difficulty: Slightly difficult
Level of Recommendation: Recommended
Points Of Interest: Long Mountain climb and view, Howell Mountain View, Lake Massawippa
Pros: Good climb with good views, lake
Cons: Lots of ticks

Hiking Partners:
Commsar Search and Rescue Members

Google Map of Parking:
Note: The new Google Maps Engine doesn't allow me embed the maps I have created. It only allows me to embed the entire map set! So what I did for the embedded maps was just zoom in as much as possible, and parking areas are in the middle of the screen. I apologize about the missing marker - Google doesn't let you do this anymore (or they did a remarkable job of hiding it!)



On this hike, I led a group of members from Commsar (Community Search & Rescue) on a hiking training mission on various terrain in the park. We did a two car hike. One car was at the trailhead for Long Mountain/Turkey Hill, and the other car by Lake Massawippa. We started the hike at the Long Path, and took this trail up to the summit view of Long Mountain.

Long Mountain has an excellent view, and it also overlooks Turkey Hill Lake. From Long Mountain, we headed back down and continued along the Long Path. This part of the trail is at the northern end of the park boundary and further north is West Point property. It seems to be following a former wide path, which I presume was at one time telephone wires.

We continued along the Long Path up and over Howell Mountain, and at the stream in Brooks Hollow we cut across and bushwacked to wards the dam over Lake Massawippa. From the dam we crossed over the east side of the Lake and took the unmarked path through the old ruins here.

Mapf of the Route.
Harriman/Bear Mountain Northern Map

Me Ascending Long Mountain

View Ascending Long Mountain

COMMSAR Search & Rescue Members on Our Training Hike
Near the Summit of Long Mountain

Popolopen Torne from the Summit of Long Mountain. Facing E/NE.

Turkey Hill Lake from the Summit of Long Mountain. Facing SE.

Long Mountain Summit Facing North

Me at the Long Mountain Summit Facing North

Zoom In to Popolopen Torne and the Adjacent Mountain in West Point Property

Along the Wide Trail Area of the Long Path, Prior to Ascending Howell Mnt.

Atop Howell Mountain

Late Season Foliage Atop Howell Mountain

View From Howell Mountain Facing West

View from Howell Mountain Facing Southwest

Commsar Members at the Brooks Hollow Dam on Lake Massawippa

Lake Massawippa from the Dam

Lake Massawippa with Late Season Foliage

Ruins Along the East Side of Lake Massawippa

Lake Massawippa, Facing West

Sunday, November 2, 2014

West Mountain New AT Trail

Harriman State Park
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Anthony Wayne Biking Trail
Appalachian Trail: White blaze
Timp-Torne Trail: Blue blaze
Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 1:40 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.5 miles
Level of Difficulty: Difficult
Level of Recommendation: Highly recommended
Points Of Interest: West Mountain climb and view
Pros: Good climb with exceptional view
Cons: None

Hiking Parter:
Shimmy Rosenberg

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

This was a frigid autumn day right at the beginning of November. The weather was unseasonably cold with extremely strong wind gusts, and I had actually debated about not going hiking due to the wind. But in the end we decided to go and were glad that we did. I had dressed for a winter hike with a heavy coat, gloves, and my winter hat, so was well prepared. It was also cloudy when we started, but gradually the clouds cleared and the sun came through, warming things up. The blue sky allowed us to get really good foliage pictures on the last Sunday of the season for good foliage.

We parked at the southern end of the Anthony Wayne parking area extension. We took the biking trail to the Appalachian Trail, which we took east up the mountain. The part of the trail after crossing Beechy Bottom Road has been almost entirely rerouted. The old trail had been heavily eroded, and the new trail snakes up the mountain on the northern side of the brook. Once at the top, at the southern view of West Mountain, we took the Timp-Torne Trail for a short distance to the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail. We took the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail south down to the valley, and at the stream. At the stream we went of the trail bearing west, along a deer path back towards the original Appalachian Trail. For sake of comparison, we took the old Appalachian Trail back down the mountain to the Beechy Bottom Road. At Beechy Bottom Road we headed north for a little bit, and then bushwacked down the small ravine and in the woods back to our car in the parking area.

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

Interesting Pine Tree Perspective on the Biking Trail,
This Picture was not Taken on Black and White!

Sign that the West Mountain Shelter is Closed

Me Ascending West Mountain on the AT

Me Nearing a View Near on West Mountain

Me at a Nice View Approaching the Summit

At the Above Shot, Zoomed In

Beautiful View, Facing Southwest

Another Southwest View, Zoomed Out

View to the West

Shimmy Posing

Another View Facing West

Facing West Towards Black Mountain

Approaching the Main View at the Intersection of the A-T and T-T

Isolated Red Tree at the Above View

View Facing North

View Facing South

Beautiful Colors Along the Beechy Bottom Trail

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Scarlet Oak Pond to MacMillan Reservoir

Ramapo Valley County Reservation
Bergen Co.,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
Silver Trail: Silver blaze
Scarlet Oak Pond Path: Unblazed
Pink * Trail: Pink blaze
Waterfall Trail: Yellow blaze

* This is a new trail near the MacMillan Reservoir, and its not yet on the map and I don't know its name.

Total Time: 1:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.6 miles
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Level of Recommendation: Highly recommended
Points Of Interest: Scenic lakes
Pros: Beautiful lake scenery and foliage
Cons: Very busy with lots of people, even on a weekday

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

This was a beautiful, late-October fall day with temperatures in the 70's. Though it was a weekday, I took a bit extra off for lunch to do this hike. I parked in the large parking lot at the entrance, and took the Silver Trail across the Ramapo River, and at the Scarlet Oak Pond took the wide loop trail around it. I then went back on the Silver Trail, climbing up the hill through the valley, and near the MacMillan Reservoir, I took a short spur to the south side of the dam. This used to be a well-known shortcut; now it's blazed pink and keeps on going after the dam.

I walked across the dam and headed back south on the Silver Trail, and then took the Waterfall Trail down. The waterfall to the side of this trail was not impressive due to the prolonged dryness. I took the Waterfall Trail back to the Silver Trail, back to my car.

Map of the Route. North Jersey Trails.

Small Pond Filled with Duckweed Near the Entrance of the Park

The Trail at the Beginning Crossing the Ramapo River

White Dove at the Beginning of the Trail.
It was Just Resting on the Bridge.
It had a Tag on its Foot - Must have been Released to the Wild.

View of the Ramapo River Crossing From the Bridge.
Facing South.

View Approaching Scarlet Oak Pond

Scarlet Oak Pond

Scarlet Oak Pond

Scarlet Oak Pond

Scarlet Oak Pond

Scarlet Oak Pond

Facing North Towards Hawk Rock

MacMillan Reservoir

MacMillan Reservoir

Intersection Of Silver Trail and Waterfall Trail