Sunday, March 3, 2019

Turkey Hill Lake Queensboro Lake Loop

Harriman State Park,
Orange Co.
New York

Hiking Trails:
Anthony Wayne Trail: White blaze
1779 Trail: Red blaze
Popolopen Gorge Trail: Red blaze
Timp-Torne Trail: Blue blaze
Fawn Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 2:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.4 Miles

Pros: Scenic lake and minimal
Cons: Proximity to highway and roads

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

It has snowed a couple of inches of snow two days prior, and there was a large snowstorm predicted for the evening. The snow cover wasn't deep, but nevertheless created a pretty layer for the hike.

I had not been to this area in some time. It is at the far northern region of Harriman, an area not popularly traveled and often quiet. Turkey Hill Lake is one of the least-visited lakes in the park.

We parked at Anthony Wayne Recreation area, and crossed the Palisades Parkway on the overpass, taking the Anthony Wayne Trail to the 1779 Trail. We took the 1779 Trail to the outlet trail of the Queensboro Trail, where we then met the Popolopen Gorge Trail. We crossed the dam, which was overflowing, and took the path on the northern side of the lake and outlet stream to the Popolopen Gorge Trail.

We took the combined 1779 and Popoplopen Gorge Trail to Queensboro Lake, adjacent to the Police test shooting range, then crossing the Palisades at the Seven Lakes Drive overpass. We then took the Timp-Torne trail up the northern flank of West Mountain, and then went down the Fawn Trail, to the Anthony Wayne Trail, back to our car at the trailhead.

Map of the Route

Approaching Turkey Hill Lake

Frozen Turkey Hill Lake

Ma Turkey Hill Lake and Turkey Hill

Me at Turkey Hill Lake

Me at the Turkey Hill Lake

Turkey Hill Lake Dam

Bear Mountain in the Distance from Turkey Hill Dam

Me on Turkey Hill Dam

View from the Other Side of the Dam

Very Scenic Scene at Turkey Hill Lake

Shimmy at Turkey Hill Lake

Me at Turkey Hill Lake

Another View at Turkey Hill Lake

Queensboro Lake with West Mountain in the Distance

Turkey Hill Lake, Facing East

Turkey Hill Island

Pistol Range Warning to Stay on Trail

Queensboro Lake Dam

Bear Mountain from West Mountain on the Fawn/Timp-Torne Junction

View Before Descending West Montain

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Kakiat Ice Storm

Kakiat County Park,
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Old Mill Trail: Blue blaze
Kakiat Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 22 minutes
Estimated Distance: 0.9 miles

Pros: Scenic with glazed layer of ice
Cons: None

The previous night there was a snowstorm that ended with freezing rain, leaving a glistening coating of ice on all the trees. As the clouds cleared and the sun came out in the morning, a beautiful scene unfolded. I took the opportunity for a short hike in Kakiat prior to going to work and enjoy the scenery. I parked in the parking area, crossed the bridge over the Mahwah River, and then took the Old Mill Trail loop around back to the Kakiat Trail, and then back to my car.

Map of the Route

Mahwah River by the Bridge

Icy Coating on the Old Mill Trail

Ice Coating on the Brush

More Ice Coating on the Brush

Old Mill Trail Ice Canopy

Continuing Along the Old Mill Trail

Old Mill Trail through the Pine Grove

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Silvermine Lake and Ski Icy Loop

Orange Co.
New York

Hiking Trail:
Menomine Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 1:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.7 Miles

Pros: Pretty lake and nice climb
Cons: Very icy conditions

I had just returned from a trip to Arizona, so this was quite a change in scenery from the warm weather and desert cactus. It had recently snowed, but the storm ended in ice, leaving a thick and slippery coating of ice covering everything. This made hiking conditions extremely difficult, and I had a very hard time navigating the trails. I had left without crampons as it was much less icy further south where I live, and was not expecting such slippery and difficult conditions.

I parked in the Silvermine parking area, and took the Menomine Trail on the side of the lake. The lake was fully frozen, but there were cracks and you could actually hear the lake making cracking noises underneath the ice. The weather was quite nice and warm for February, and was above freezing with a bright blue sky.

I took the Menomine Trail past the end of the lake, and then cut across the side of the mountain towards the top of the Silvermine  ski area. The Silvermine Lake area used to have a ski area with a chairlift and 2 trails down the slope. This has long since been abandoned, yet the slops are still there and can still be hiked up and down and used for sledding.

The climb up to the top of the ski slope from behind the lake where I was was less difficult because that side of the mountain was facing the sun, and did not really have snow or ice. However, once I got to the top, going down was an entirely different story. It was a solid sheet of ice and there was no easy way to navigate down, other than digging in sideways into the ice and snow as I descending. Some parts were too slippery and steeps and I was forced to descend on my rear end. I finally made it down to the bottom, which ended my hike and as I headed over to my car in the parking lot.

Map of the Route

Sparse Ice Cover on the Grassy Area of the Silvermine Ski Slope

Trailhead at the Menomine Trail by Silvermine Lake

Frozen Silvermine Lake

Fallen Tree in the Frozen Water of Silvermine Lake

Silvermine  Lake, Facing the Outlet

Icy Shore of Silvermine Lake

Fallen Trees on the Menomine Trail

Summit of Silvermine

On the Summit of Silvermine, Facing Popolopen Torne

View from the Top of the Ski Slope Area

More Expansive View from the Summit

Facing Downwards from the Ski Slope

A Couple at Silvermine Lake

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Finger Rock Trail

Pusch Ridge Wilderness,
Santa Catalina Mountains,
Pima Co., Arizona

Hiking Trails:
Finger Rock Trail

Total Time: 1:55 hours
Estimated Distance: 3.3 miles

Pros: Scenic Canyon and great views
Cons: Houses at trailhead take away from the natural feel

While out in the Tucson area in Arizona, I had decided to visit the area that I was in on the previous day and hike another trail in that area. I did another beautiful hike starting off in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson, and took the Finger Rock Trail northward through the steep canyon, flowing stream, and up the side of the ridge. Finger Rock is a prominent geological feature that looks like a finger sticking up, rising up from the steep floor of the canyon. I hike on the trail a little over a mile and a half, near the Finger Rock, and then turned around and headed back the same route.

Map of the Route

At the Beginning of the Hike, Entering Finger Rock Canyon

Laerge Saguaro before Finger Rock

Flowing Brook in Finger Rock Canyon

Rock Formations and Saguaro

Trail in the Canyon

Beautiful Cactus Grove in the Desert Canyon

Me with the Canctus

Dense Lush Greenery

Finger Rock in the Distance

Looking Back Through the Entrance of the Canyon

Looking into the Distance into Tucson

Me at the Above View

Cactus and Finger Rock

Finger Rock from Above the Canyon Wall

High Up in the Canyon

Beautiful Yellow Wildflowers.

Finger Rock 

Me in front of Finger Rock