Sunday, March 19, 2017

West Mountain Post-Snowstorm

Harriman/Bear Mountain State Parks,
Rockland/Orange Counties,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Fawn Trail: Red blaze
Appalachian Trail: White blaze
Timp-Torne Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 2:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.8 Miles

Pros: Good climb, scramble, and excellent views
Cons: None

This was my first hike after the blizzard which dumped over 18 inches in the area. This was a beautiful, sunny, and cold day for mid-March. I had figured this hike would be well-traversed and would be easy to do, but I was proven wrong. In fact, despite having snowshoes, this was my most difficult hike in years. Although its a relatively short hike, I was waddling through 1 to 1.5 feet of snow, often the first to make the tracks.

I parked at the Anthony Wayne parking lot, which was plowed in one small section. The rest of the lot was covered with snow and looked like a wintery lake, as indicated in the photo below. I took the Fawn Trail up, passed the Timp-Torne Trail, and continued to the end of the Fawn Trail at the Appalachian Trail (AT). The AT climbs rather steeply at this point, and I climbed up the first viewpoint, facing north and east, and then continued past the intersection with the Timp-Torne Trail to the view facing west at Anthony Wayne. I had intended to go further, but without any trailblazers before me and the difficult conditons, I opted out and started heading down.

I took the Timp-Torne Trail down the north end of the mountain, back to the Fawn Trail, and then near Beechy Bottom Road took another old path parallel to the road and then across a path back to the parking lot.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Liberty Rock, Sloatsburg

Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Liberty Rock Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 0:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 0.5 Miles

Pros: Very short and easy hike to a good view
Cons: Built up area surrounding

Liberty Rock is a small mountain jutting right outside of Sloatsburg. The top is a rocky promenade with a view of Sloatsburg and the surrounding area. I only recently found about this from the new Harriman maps which showed this trail on it.

It had snowed several inches in the morning, but the roads were fine. On my way home from work I decided to do this short hike. I parked in the new parking lot right off Route 17, and took the trail up. I noticed from the blazes that the trail markings and sign-post up front are relatively new. I climbed up pretty quickly, took some nice pictures at the view with my cell phone camera, and then headed back down the same route.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Popolopen Winter Loop

Popolopen Winter Loop
Bear Mountain State Park,
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
1777-79 Trails: Red blaze
Timp-Torne Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 1:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.2 Miles

Pros: Good scramble, excellent views
Cons: None

This was a frigid March day. The day had started out in the single digits, and when I started out on the hike, it wasn't much warmer than that. I thererfor opted for a shorter hike. However, it was a bright and sunny day which helped counterbalance the cold weather. Poplopen is a short but very intense hike. I had non been to this hike in quite time, and this was a choice.

I parked at the Popolopen Trailhead, and took the 1777-79 Trails for a short distance to the Timp-Torne Trail. The Timp-Torne trail ascends and descends Popolopen in close proximity. I took the western part of the trail up and the eastern part down. The western trail a scramble, with a steep ascent and requirement to navigate over some large rocks. I took the eastern side of the trail down and headed back to the trailhead.