Sunday, October 1, 2017

Board Mountain at Wanaque Reservoir

North Jersey District Water Supply Commission
Passaic Co,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
HT Connector Trail: Blue blaze
Stonetown Circular Trail: Red blaze
Highlands Trail: Aqua blaze

Total Time: 0:55 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.7 Miles

Pros: Good climb, nice reservoir view
Cons: Was expecting a more impressive view

Hiking Partner:
Josef Friedman

This was a beautiful and warm early fall day. The trees had not yet changed any color, and the reservoir level was very low due to the lack of recent rains. We parked at the trailhead parking at the end of White Road, a small dead-end off Stonetown Road. We took the HT Connector trail, which connects to the Highlands Trail, down the valley and to the combined Highlands and Stonetown Circular Trail. We then climbed up steeply to the top of Board Mountain, which affords a view of the Monksville and Wanaque Reservoirs and the Monksville Dam. We then turned around and returned the same route that we came on.

Map of the Route. North Jersey Highlands.

Monksville Reservoir and Wanaque Reservoir, Zoomed Out 

Monksville Reservoir and Wanaque Reservoir, Zoomed Out

Monksville Reservoir and Wanaque Reservoir, and Monksville Dam

View from Board Mountain, Facing North/Northwest

Me atop Board Mountain

Monksville and Wanaque Reservoirs

Zoomed into Monksville Reservoir and the Dam

View from Board Mountain Facing East

View While Descending the Mountain

Highlands/Stonetown Circular Loop Trail Markers

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Almost Perpendicular Daters Mountain Sunset Hike

Harriman State Park,
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Blue Disc Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 0:50 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.6 Miles

Pros: Excellent scramble with fantastic view
Cons: None

Daters Mountain "Almost Perpendicular" is one of my favorite climbs in Harriman. It features an exception view after a good rocky climb. It was a beautiful, hot, early autumn day and I went to do a quick sunset hike after work. I parked int he dead end on Johnstown Road, at the trailhead, and took the Blue Disc Trail from its terminus towards the mountain. I veered off at the rocky part near the the for the alternate path towards the summit view, and then took a short break at the top. I then went back along the trail down and took the same way back.

Map of the Route

Blue Disc Trailhead

Sunset over Daters Mountain

At the View

The Moon at Dusk

Interesting Cloud Formation in the Distance

Dusk over Harriman

Scramble at the end of the Hike

Sunset View

View from the Rock Atop Daters Mountain

Sunday, September 17, 2017

West Mountain and Fire Escape

Harriman State Park,
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail: Red blaze
Appalachian Trail: White blaze
Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail: Yellow blaze
Timp-Torne Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 2:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.3 Miles

Pros: Excellent scramble and great views
Cons: None

Hiking Partner:
Elad Hillman

This was a warm September day. It started off foggy and cloudy, with poor visibility, but then the sun came out towards the end of the hike. I have been to this area many times, to the southern portion of West Mounain. This area features very scenic scenery with good scrambles and views. However, despite being here many times, I never climbed up the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail along the southern approach to West Mountain, and have only climbed down. This is a great scramble, being very steep and dramatic, with a great view on the top.

We parked at the south end of the Anthony Wayne Parking area, and took the bike path trail to the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail, which took up the mountain. We then cut across a short distance to the Suffern-Bear MOuntain Trail where we climbed the last ascent up the steep Fire Escape Scramble. This area, listed as the "Cat's Elbow" on the current NY/NJ Conference maps, is listed as the "Fire Escape" on old maps.

From there we went up and over the ridge, going through the valley and then back up to one of the main views at West Mountain. We then went down along the Appalachian Trail, back to the Bike Trail and then back to the car.

Map of the Route.
Harriman State Park

Hebrew Graffiti on the Bike Path 
Crossing the Beechy Bottom Path, in Early Autumn


Me Ascending the Fire Escape

At the Top of the Fire Escape

Me at the View

View Facing Southwest

The Above View, Zoomed Out

Early Fall Colors

Facing West

Me at the View

Sun Beginning to Peak Out

Nice Colors

Along the Timp Torn Trail

Approaching the West Mountain View

West Mountain View at the Appalachian and Timp Torne Trails

Trail Marker at the Above View

West Mountain View

View Facing Northwest

Me at the West Mountain View

View Descending the Appalachian Trail on West Mountain

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sugarloaf Hill and Osborne Loop

Hudson Highland State Park,
Putnam Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Blue Trail: Red blaze
Sugarloaf Trail: Red blaze
Osborn Loop Trail: Blue blaze
Appalachian Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 3:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 7.6 Miles

Pros: Good view
Cons: Quiet remote area with little traffic
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

It had been a while since I did a long hike. Now with my big trip and the summer behind, I took the opportunity to do this longer loop on some new trails for me. I had been to Sugarloaf Hill before, as well as parts of the Osborn Loop, but the last time I was at Sugarloaf Hill was in 2011, and I have been intent on covering more trails in Hudson Highlands State Park in the eastern Hudson Highlands.

I parked at the trailhead at Wing and Wing Road, where the Blue and Sugarloaf Trails start. The Blue Trail probably has a name, but its not listed on the map. Its a short trail going through the grassy meadow, and then ending at the Sugarloaf Trail. I took the Blue Trail to the Sugarloaf Trail, which climbs up to the top of Sugarloaf hill as a dead end at the top. Sugarloaf is a prominent mountain jutting out from above the Hudson, and the top forms a narrow ridgeline. At the dead end of the trail there is a view facing south to the Bear Mountain Bridge, and a large cactus grove.

I turned around at the end of the Sugarload Trail, and then took the western portion of the OSborn Loop southward, all the way down to its terminus at the Appalachian Trail. I then took the Appalachian Trail northbound, back to the Osborn Loop, which I took south and then west, back to the Sugarloaf Hill Trail. I then took the Sugarloaf Hill Trail down the mountain, through the grassy field, and back to my car.

Map of the Route.
East Hudson Highlands.

Blue Trail through the Meadow

Barns Along the Trail in the Meadow

Leaving the Meadow and Going into the Woods
and the Foot of the Mountain

View of West Point

View of West Point, Zoomed Out

Narrow Ridgeline at Sugarloaf Hill

View at Sugarloaf Hill, Facing South Zoomed Out

View South from Sugarloaf, Facing Hudson River and Bear Mnt. Bridge

View from Sugarloaf Hill, Facing East

Cactus Grove at Sugarloaf

Lots of Trail Markers at Osborn Loop Intersection with Sugarloaf

Horses at the Above Intersection

Appalachian Trail

View Along the Appalachian Trail

Early Foliage along the Appalachian Trail

Sugarloaf Hill from the Meadow along the Sugarloaf Trail

Castle in the Distance Across the Meadow near the End of the Hike