Sunday, August 3, 2014

Blueberry Picking In Pine Meadow Brook Area

Harriman State Park
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:

Pine Meadow Trail: Red blaze
Stony Brook Trail: Yellow blaze
Kakiat Trail: White blaze
Hillburn-Torne Sebago (HTS) Trail: Orange blaze
7 Hills Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 2:45 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.6 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Highly recommended
Points Of Interest: Scenic brook, good view
Pros: Enjoyable popular hike in Harriman, good blueberries near top of mountain
Cons: Area is busy on weekends

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

We parked in the Reeves Meadow area, and headed up the Pine Meadow Trail, to the Stony Brook Trail, to the Kakiat trail, to the Cascade of Slid waterfall. The Cascade of Slid was starting to dry up due to the lack or rain. We continued to HTS Trail, where we crossed the brook where the bridge was out. We then took the HTS Trail up to Chimpmunk Mountain, where there is a really good blueberry tree near the top. At the expansive view on the top we turned around and took the 7 Hills Trail down back toward the brook, and then took the Pine Meadow Trail all the way back to the trailhead.

Map of the Route

Shimmy Crossing the Brook Where the HTS Bridge is Out

HTS Trail Crossing the Pine Meadow Brook

Shimmy Ascending in a Grove of Ferns

Our Rich Blueberry Bush

Ascending to the Top of the Mountain

Scenery at the Top of the Mountain

View from the Top, Facing North

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Long Path: Blackcap Mountain to Brooks Mountain and Hollow

Harriman State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Long Trail: Green blaze

Total Time: 3:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.8 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Slightly recommended
Points of Interest: Brooks Mountain, Lake Massawippa
Pros: Quiet area, View of Lake
Cons: Road Walking, Beginning part of Long Path boring, bushwack at end overgrown

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

This hike is on the northernmost fringes of the park, and one of the quietest areas. We parked in the parking area off Route 6, right before Route 293. This is the official fishing parking area for Barnes Lake and Lake Massawippa. We took Route 6 west towards the Long Path, where it meets route 6 at the intersection of Op Charlie Road, which is part of the property of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

We took the Long Path heading east, and for this part of the hike it follows parallel to Route 6 coming the same direction. It also straddles the side of a long fence which eventually ends. We continued along the trail as it turns north on to the side of Blackcap Mountain. At this point of the hike we got stuck in a thunderstorm. We had heard the thunder in the distance, and we realized we would be stuck in the storm. We hunkered down under a large rock with a slight overhang. Though we did get wet, this prevented us from getting totally soaked. It rained very hard for about 10 minutes.

Once the storm passed on, we continued on the Long Path, went down the mountain and crossed over Route 293, and climbed up to Brooks Mountain. The Long Path goes along the narrow ridge and then climbs down north of the Lake Massawippa. At this point we bushwacked along the side of the brook to the dam at Lake Massawippa. We then took the unmarked trail along the western side of the lake back to Route 6. This trail has become overgrown since the last time I was here, with many downed trees presumably from Hurricane Sandy. We then hiked the short distance along Route 6 back to the car.

Map of the Route

Posted Signs To Stay off West Point Military Academy

Hunkering Down During Thunderstorm

Crossing Over the Power Lines

Rock Scramble on Blackcap Mountain

View Atop Blackcap Mountain

View Atop Blackcap Mountain

Long Path on the Brooks Mountain Ridge

View Atop Brooks Mountain

Me Atop Brooks Mountain

Lake Massawippa from the Dam

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sapphire Trail,
Harriman State Park

Sapphire Trail
Harriman State Park /
Sterling Forest State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Sapphire Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 2:45 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.6 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Not recommended
Points of Interest: Rock Formation on top
Pros: Remote part of the park off the beaten path
Cons: No views or interesting sites to see, far out from other Harriman trails

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

This was my first hike since surgery. I have been doing light biking over the last few weeks, but after several weeks of physical therapy was finally ready for a hike. This trail ended up being longer than I expected, but the gradual climb up and down was very doable.

The Sapphire Trail is probably the most isolated trail in Harriman, in the northwestern corner of Harriman State Park near Monroe and Sterling Forest. Its also a very quiet trail with very little traffic. A small part of the trail goes into Sterling Forest State Park.

We parked in the Park and Ride parking lot on Route 17, south of Monroe, which acts as overflow parking for Woodbury Commons on weekends. Parking for hikers is only available at this lot on weekends and Holidays. We took the Sapphire Trail up the gradual climb until its intersection with the Appalachian Trail at the top. At the top we took a break at the interesting rock formation, and then returned down the same route.

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

Beginning of the Sapphire Trail

Me Walking Through a Fern Forest

Interesting Rock Formation Where the Sapphire Trail
Meets the Appalachian Trail

Me in the Above Rock Formation

Me at the end of the Sapphire Trail

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Rockland Lake Biking
Rockland Lake State Park
Rockland Co.,
New York

Total Time: 0:20 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.2 miles
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Level of Recommendation: Recommended for an easy scenic bike ride
Points of Interest: Pretty Lake
Pros: Scenic and enjoyable bike path
Cons: Lots of people, cost money to park

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

This was my first outdoor excursion since my surgery, and while hiking was still off-limits, simple biking was permitted since its not weight-bearing. So I took out my bike, brushed off the test, inflated the tires, and adjusted the brakes for some biking. I figured Rockland Lake is short enough as well as totally flat to try my first real outdoor activity.

The path surrounds Rockland Lake, and the loop is about 3 miles. Except for part of the northern part of the trail, the entire rest of the trail follows the shoreline of the lake.

Pictures were taken with my cell phone camera.


Map of the Route

 




Sunday, June 8, 2014

1779 Trailhead to Burnt House

Harriman State Park
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
1779 Trail: White blaze
Red Cross Trail: Red low blaze

Total Time: 2:45 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.7 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Not recommended
Points of Interest: Burnt House, Swamp
Pros: Very quiet and remote area of park
Cons: No views or interesting sites to see, parking far from trailhead

Hiking Partner:
Dr. Morris Schulgasser

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

This was my most challenging hike yet since my injury. It was a little shy of five miles with about a 500 foot elevation gain. Although the climb was good, it was gradual and manageable on a wide trail, which worked to my advantage using my dual sticks. The way up was actually fine; it was down that was a bit challenging for me.

We parked in the parking area off Mott Farm Road by the brook, and walked up the hill on Queensboro Road, which is a dead end and ends by the trailhead. (The park system should really have a small parking lot here at the trailhead instead of requiring you to walk the length of the road.) We took the 1779 Trail from its terminus to the intersection of the Red Cross Trail, and then took the Red Cross Trail across the Palisades Parkway down to the swamp by the Stillwater Brook. We continued to the Burnt House site where took a break and turned around. The Burnt House is no longer there, and there is just a hole with rocks where the site once stood.


Map of the Route
Harriman/Bear Mountain Trails Northern Map

Nice Rock Formation on the 1779 Trail

Me at the 3-Trail Conflunce
(Suffern-Bear Mnt, 1779, and Rec Cross

Tree with all 3 Trail Markes

Red Cross Trail Crossing Over the Palisades Pkwy

Swamp Feeding Stillwater Brook

The Foundation of the Burnt House

Large Toad on the Trail on the Way Back

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Pine Meadow Brook Loop,
Harriman State Park

Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Pine Meadow Brook Trail: Red blaze
Stony Brook Trail: Yellow blaze
Connector Trail: Unblazed

Total Time: 1:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.2 miles
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Level of Recommendation: Recommended for short hike along brook
Points of Interest: Pine Meadow Brook
Pros: Brook scenery
Cons: Very busy area with lots of people; busiest trail in Harriman

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

This is a part of the park I had done many times. It was short enough to preserve my knee, but long and scenic enough to make me feel like I did a real hike despite my knee problem. Since I was alone this was a good trail choice, being the busiest area in Harriman. I parked at the Reeve's Meadow Parking area off 7 Lakes Drive, and took the Pine Meadow Trail to the Stony Brook Trail along the brook. At the bridge crossing I took the unofficial connector trail that goes up to the Pine Meadow Trail. I noticed that this trail was recently refurbished and actually met a trail conference volunteer putting new steps on this unofficial trail. I found that interesting being that this trail isn't even officially marked or on my maps. At the Pine Meadow Trail I went back and took this way back to the car.

Map of the Route. Harriman/Bear Mountain Trails, Southern Map

Pine Meadow Trail Crossing the Reeve's Brook Inlet

Pine Meadow Trail Along the Brook

Gas Line Crossing

Natural Spring.
There are Several of These Along the Hike

Trail Volunteer Fixing Up the Unmarked Connector Trail

Monday, May 26, 2014

Pine Swamp Mountain Short Hike

Pine Swamp Mountain Short Hike,
Harriman State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Arden-Surebridge Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 0:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 0.75 miles
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Level of Recommendation: Recommended for a short hike with good view
Points of Interest: Lake Skanatati and good view
Pros: Lake scenery and good view
Cons: Very busy area, especially on weekends and Holidays

Hiking Partner:
Rayzi Friedman

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

My knee had been getting better, and I decided to take my first hike with a climb. The climb is very short, but is a climb nevertheless, with a short scramble near the top. The top also affords a very good view. Although I have been hear many times, rarely do I just climb up this short hike and then climb back down. This is a recommended hike for someone who wants to do a very short hike in Harriman and get a nice climb with a view and also a lake.

We parked in the parking area for Lake Skanatati on Seven Lakes Drive, and took the Arden-Surebridge Trail up the mountain towards the view. We then turned around and went back the same way. The parking lot was very busy being that it was Memorial Day with great weather, but we were lucky to get a parking spot that had just opened up. If coming here on weekends or a Holiday, make sure to arrive early to ensure a parking spot.

Map of the Route.
Harriman/Bear Mountain Trails (North and South)

View from the top, with Lake Skanatati and Kanawauke

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Nyack Beach State Park

Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:

Nyack Beach Trail

Total Time: 1:40 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.7 miles
Level of Difficulty: Very Easy
Level of Recommendation: Recommended
Points of Interest: River view and cliffs
Pros: Breathtaking Scenery
Cons: Very busy on weekends, little shade until later in day, and parking fee

Google Map of Parking:


View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

I still had to take it easy with my knee, so this was a longer hike but with a very easy path that is mostly the same grade. I figured I would hike along the path and get as far as I was able to before turning back.

I parked at the main entrance for Nyack Beact State Park. There is an entrance fee here on weekends of $6. I walked along the trail which goes along the river side, and went on it for about two miles. The trail is very scenic, with the broad part of the Hudson River to the right, and the tall steep cliffs of the Palisades to the left. However, it is extremely busy on weekends with hikers, bikers, and casual walkers, and the trail is very wide making it feel more like a walk then a hike. Also the shade cover is very sparse, which left me exposed to the sun for much of the way, and I had forgotten sunblock.

I had walked up all the way to the intersection with the road to Rockland Lake Landing, and from there I took the short spur path that hugs the side of the cliff and old quarry, back to the landing road, and then off to a short parallel side path that goes next to the river side trail. This eventually merges back to the river side trail which I then took back to my car.

Map of the Route.
Hudson-Palisades Trail Map

Looking South Towards the Tappan Zee Bridge
at the Beginning of the Walk

Looking Northeast Across the River Towards Ossining.
Fisherman Fishing in the Hudson River.

Large Catfish Caught by a Fisherman and Strung to a Tree.
He was Still Slightly Flapping as I Walked By.

The Sheer Cliffs of the Palisades Towering To the Left

Another View of the Palisades

Straight Cliff of the Palisades Towering Above the Trail


View Looking North

Looking Across the Hudson R. Towards Sing Sing Prison

Another View of the Palisades Cliffs