Sunday, May 14, 2017

Camp Smith Trail at Manitou Mountain

Hudson Highlands State Park,
Westchester Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Camp Smith Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 1:35 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.8 Miles

Pros: Excellent views and abundant scenery
Cons: None

Hiking Partner:
David Kunkel

The previous day had been very rainy, but this morning the clouds had cleared and the sun came out, with a bright blue sky. Although it was very wet from the rain, it was still manageable. It was rather chilly for this time of year, and was in the upper 50's during the hike. My friend David Kunkel came in from Buffalo for the weekend, so we took the opportunity to take this nice hike together.

I have hiked the Camp Smith Trail up Anthony's Nose many times, but I never took the additional portion along the side of Manitou Mountain further south closer to Peekskill. This two-car hike allowed us to hike this portion.

We left one car at the main Anthony's Nose trailhead along Route 6/202, where the Camp Smith Trail joins up at both sides of the small parking area, at Broccy Creek. We then drove to the historic toll house where there is parking for the Camp Smith Trail terminus. The toll house, which once acted as the toll both for the bridge and scenic route, is now restored into a small gift shop and information center.

We started the trail, and went along the side of the ridge, with many excellent views of the Hudson River and highlands throughout the hike. We completed the hike at the trailhead parking where we had left the other car.



















Sunday, May 7, 2017

Turkey Mountain at Pyramid Mountain Preserve

Morris County,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
100 Steps Trail: Blue blaze
Red Trail: Red blaze
Yellow Trail: Yellow blaze
Kinnelon Boonton Trail: White blaze
Green Trail: Green blaze

Total Time: 2:25 hour
Estimated Distance: 5 Miles

Pros: Many trail options
Cons: Power lines interfere with natural settings, part of trail proximity to road

I had gone to Pyramid Mountain Preserve a few weeks earlier and I wanted to explore the area on the other part of the mountain, Turkey Mountain. I parked in the main parking area at the visitors center, and crossed the road at the 100 Steps Trail. This trail climbs up along the power lines to the summit of the mountain to a view, which is marred by the wires from the power lines. From there, I took the red trail to the yellow trail, and looped around back to the waterfalls. The trail here until the waterfalls was very wet due to the recent rains and was hard to traverse. It was also parallel to a road and a bit too close to it.

The waterfall was very nice due to the rains. Although they are short, they were very pretty. I then continued along the trail and entered the extensive quarrying areas. It is labelled on the map as a limestone quarry, though this is metamorphic rock and serpentine was mined here. I then continued along the yellow trail back to the trailhead.
















Sunday, April 30, 2017

Apshawa Preserve and Butler Reservoir

West Milford, near Butler
Passaic Co,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
Blue Trail: Blue blaze
White Trail: White blaze
Red Trail: Red blaze
Green Trail: Green blaze

Total Time: 1:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.7 Miles

Pros: Interesting area
Cons: None

I had never been to this area before, which features nice tranquil forest, scenic lakes, and nice streams. Most of the area of the hike is surrounded by a fence to keep the deer out and enable more natural plant growth. I parked in the preserve parking lot, and took the Blue Trail to the White Trail, which slowly climbs up to a nice view of the Butler Reservoir. Upon the the descent, the trail meets up with the Red and Green Trails at the dam, and then crosses over a metal bridge across the Apshawa Brook, onto a peninsula jutting into the Reservoir. I then turned around and went back along the Blue Trail back to the parking area.















Sunday, April 23, 2017

Pyramid Mountain Natural Historical Park

Passaic and Morris Counties,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
Mennen Trail: Blue blaze
Lucy's Overlook Trail
Yellow Trail: Yellow blaze
Kinnelon Boonton Trail: White blaze
Green Trail: Green blaze

Total Time: 2:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.5 Miles

Pros: Interesting Rock Formations
Cons: Views and climbs are not so dramatic

Hiking Partner:
Menachem Touretski

This hike was on a beautiful spring day, with a strong sun, but a bit on the cooler side. I have never been to this area before, so it was nice exploring the region. We parked two cars; one we left at the park at Kinnelon Recreational Field at the north end of the Taylortown Reservoir, and the other at the Pyramid Mountain Visitor Center, where we started the hike.

We started on the Mennen Trail, which was being refurbished with a shoulder of white marble rocks by a large volunteer crew. We continued along the path, crossing the stream, the power lines, and then ascending the mountain the view. We continued along the trail, until the short spur to Lucy's Overlook, and then went back went down the yellow trail to the large Bear Rock. We then went Kinnelon-Boonton Trail with its concurrency with the Mennen Trail up the mountain, and then branched off at the Green Trail, going back to our second car.