Friday, March 20, 2015

Kakiat Last Season Snow

Kakiat County Park
Rockland Co.,
New York

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

Total time: 24 minutes
Estimated Distance: 0.9 miles
Level of Difficulty: Very easy
Level of Recommendation: Recommended for a short hike

This seems to be the last snow of the season. The previous week had seen temperatures up to 50 most of the week, and much of the massive snowcover had melted. This new snowstorm was a wet, fluffy snow of about 5 inches, and I took advantage of going on a short and easy walk during the snowstorm.

I parked in the Kakiat parking area, crossed the bridge over the Mahwah River, took the Old Mill Trail around the loop to the Kakiat Trail, and then took the Kakiat trail back. I do this walk quite frequently, but due to the nature of this being the last snowstorm of the season, I felt the need to document and share my walk this particular time.

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

Mahwah River During Snowfall

White Fluffy Snow On Tree Covering Small Stream

Large Pine Trees in the Pine Grove

The Old Mill near the end of the Old Mill Trail

Pack of Robins in the Snow, Wondering if they Arrived to Early

The Bridge at Kakiat Over the Mahwah River

Another View of the Bridge at Kakiat


The Mahwah River from the Other Side of the Bridge

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Daters Mountain Snow Hike

Harriman State Park
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails: Blue Disc Trail

Total time: 1:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.6 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Points of Interest: Daters Mountain View
Pros: Good climb to a great view
Cons: None

Hiking Partners:
David Cynamon

I only had about an hour for a hike this morning, and this was a great hike that is relatively short. I had not been to this area in a while. Although spring was only a week away, it was cold and very windy, with very strong and uncomfortable winds at the top of the mountain. Much of the snow had melted the previous week, but there was still plenty left and almost full coverage.

We parked at the dead end by Johnsontown Road, and took the Blue Disc from its terminus past the gas pipeline and climbed up the mountain. The top has an excellent view of the surrounding area, with a vertical cliff face going straight down about 200 feet. On the trail map, this cliff face is called "Almost Perpendicular" due to its sheer wall. We turned around at the top, taking one of the original trail paths down towards the gap, and then back down the Blue Disc Trail the same way that we went up.

Map of the Route. Harriman State Park Southern Map.

David at the Beginning of the Hike on the Blue Disc Trail

David Ascending Daters Mountain on the Blue Disc Trail

David on the Last Ascent Before the View

View from the Top, Looking Southwest

At the View Looking Northwest

At the View Looking West

Me at the View

Me at the View

David at the View

Me and David

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Frozen Greenwood Lake

Orange Co.,
New York

Total time: 1:20 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.1 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Points of Interest: Frozen scenic lake
Pros: Very pretty scenery and frozen lake
Cons: Not a quiet tranquil area

Greenwood Lake is the largest lake in the area. It spans both New York and New Jersey, and is in a scenic, mountainous area. I had heard that its quite busy and exciting on the lake in the winter once the lake freezes, but had never before gone to check out the situation. I noticed the most activity was on the north end of the lake by Greenwood Lake Village, where all the people were. All other parts of the lake I saw were empty, and I don't feel comfortable walking on a frozen lake with no people around.

I parked at the northern arm of the lake, in the village, and walked south, under the bridge, the wide part of the lake. The lake opening up wide with snowy mountains on both sides was particularly scenic. Indeed there were many people present, from lake hikers to ice fisherman, from snowmobilers to ATV riders. I had also seen ice fisherman that picked up some pickerel. I walked south for some time until there were no more people, and I headed west and then headed north along the western side of the lake. There were some more ATV'ers here in the area and then I noticed a snowbiker on the lake! Apparently they made a snowbiker trail and there was a snowbiker enjoying this trail. I then continued north the northern end of the lake where the park is, and then went along the local roads back to my car.

Map of the Route

Greenwood Lake Village, at my Entrance to the Lake

Looking Further Out at Greenwood Lake Village

Approaching the Bridge, which I Hiked Underneath

Boat Docks and ATVers

Heavy Lake Usage is Apparent

Approaching the Wide Part of the Lake

Looking West

Lots of Activity Along the Lake

Looking South

Ice Fisherman Drilling a Hole

Greenwood Lake Looking South

Greenwood Lake Looking West

Snowbiker on Greenwood Lake. Looking North.


Large Group of Ice Fisherman Near the Park Area

Greenwood Lake from the Park Gazebo

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Frozen Ramapo Lake

Ramapo Mountain State Forest,
Bergen and Passaic Cos.,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
MacEvoy Trail: Blue blaze

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

Total time: 2:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.4 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Points of Interest: Frozen lake, scenic area, historical sites
Pros: Pretty scenery and frozen lake
Cons: Lots of people

Ramapo Lake is a scenic lake in the Ramapo Mountains of New Jersey. There is no direct road access, and it requires a short hike to get, which adds to its scenery. Nevertheless, it is still very busy here on weekends, and I was surprised how busy it was considering it was a cold winter day with snow in the forecast. The snow was expected later in the day, and we got back just in time as the snow had just started falling prior to getting home.

We hiked up the MacEvoy Trail to the lake. This part of the trail was particularly icy and very difficult, and I did not have crampons since losing my other ones several weeks prior. Once we got to the lake dam, we walked across heading northwest to the other end of lake where all the islands are. This lake has many islands, and we explored many of them. The largest island contains a ruin of some old furnace. We explored this too, though I have no idea what the purpose of this was for.

From the large island we passed a pocket of ice fisherman, and then I headed down to the southern end of the lake which gets narrow and swampy. From there I cut across to the ring road, and headed back north to the dam and the McEvoy Trail. We took the MacAvoy Trail back down to the parking area.

Map of the Route
Jersey Highlands Map

Shimmy Walking Along the MacEvoy Trail Towards Ramapo Lake

Shimmy Resting on a Large Rock on the MacEvoy Trail

Me at the Beginning of the Lake Near the Dam

Looking North Towards Castle Point

Shimmy on Ramapo Lake

Me on  Small Island at the Northern Part of the Lake

Me Between the Islands

Approaching the Large Island, with the Furnace in the Background

Abandoned Storage Depot on the Big Island, Covered in Snow

Large Furnace on the Island

Another View of the Furnance

Ice Fisherman at Ramapo Lake

Heading South 

View from the Southern End of Ramapo Lake Towards Castle Point