Thursday, August 20, 2015

Wellesley Island State Park

Thousand Islands Region
Jefferson Co.,
New York

Eel Bay Trail
Narrows Trail
South Bay Trail
Pond Loop Trail
Granite Trail
Middle Trail

Total Time: 1:15 hours
Estimated Distance: 3.33 mile

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Level of Recommendation: Recommended for a good hike in the area
Points Of Interest: Views along the water and islands

I had gone with my family on a camping trip to Wellesley Island in the Thousand Islands Region of New York. This area is very scenic, with over 1800 islands dotting the St. Lawrence River in the U.S. and Canada.The campground we had stayed at is a state park, and includes many short hiking trails along a scenic portion of the island.

I parked my car at the Minna Anthony Nature Center, and took the Eel Bay Trail about a mile alongside the water. The Eel Trail ends at the Narrows, which is a tight passageway between Wellesley Island and the island next door. The deep potholes are positioned at the intersection of the Eel Bay and Narrows Trail.

The Narrows Trail goes up and down a few times, and then turns into the South Bay Trail. I took the South Bay Trail to the Pond Loop Trail, going along the pond on the island, which I then took to the Granite Trail. The Granite Trail is a rocky area with large granite boulders and bedrock and sparse tree cover. At the end of the Granite Trail, I took the Middle Trail back to the nature center.

Map of the Route

Eel Bay

Eel Bay

Eel Bay

Eel Bay

Eel Bay

Granite Outcrop Plunging Into Eel Bay

Eel Bay

Cute Chipmunk

Boardwalk Along the Eel Bay Trail

Mosquito Island in Eel Bay

Potholes at the Eel Bay and Narrows Trail

Corner of Eel Bay and the Narrows.
I Saw a River Otter Here but was Unable to Get a Picture of it.

The Narrows

The Narrows

End of the Narrows

South Bay

Pond on the Island

Outlet of the Pond

Granite Outcrops on the Granite Trail

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Lake Henry Loop

Continental Soldiers Park
Bergen Co.,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
Lake Henry Trail: Unblazed

Total Time: 0:20 hours
Estimated Distance: 1.0 mile

Level of Difficulty: Very Easy
Level of Recommendation: Recommended for a short, quiet, and easy walk
Points Of Interest: Tranquil Lake and pretty scenery
Pros: Quiet area and very pretty lake with lots of interesting waterfowl

I had been very busy over the summer and had not had the oppurtunity to do much hiking from late July. I was also busy at work and couldn't take any time off from work. I had a meeting in Mahwah one fine day during the week and took the oppurtunity to do this very tranquil walk around this little-known lake directly across from Ramapo College.

I parked at the parking area at Continental Soldiers Park, and entered the path to the lake at its eastern side. I did the loop around the lake, crossing both bridges and the inlet and outlet spur of the Ramapo River. This is a great place to see interesting watefowl. Aside from the typical ducks and geese, I saw a large white heron and swans.

Map of the Route.
North Jersey Trails

Lake Henry from the eastern shore,
Facing West towards Hawk Rock

Zoomed in to Hawk Rock
Note the People atop of the Rock

Lake Henry from the Northeastern Side

White Heron on the Northern Side of Lake Henry

Bridge Crossing the River Inlet of the Mahwah River to Lake Henry

The Mahwah River north of Lake Henry

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Ice Caves to Lake Martanza

Sam's Point Area,
Minnewaska State Park,
Ulster Co,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Loop Road: Unblazed
Long Path: Green blaze
Ice Caves Road Path: Unblazed
Ice Caves Trail: White Trail

Total Time: 2:00 hours
Estimated Distance: 4.1 Miles
Level of Difficulty: Difficult
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Points of Interest: Excellent views, Ice Caves, and Ice Caves Scrambles
Cons: Entrance fee, lots of people on weekends, and lack of shade

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

This is one of my favorite hikes in the area. The views are outstanding and the Ice Caves are spectacular. I had not been here the previous year and this was my first time here since the state acquired management of this area as Minnewaska State Park (prior to 2015 it had been part of the Open Space Institute.) I was surprised to find out that it is now managed by the state park system. Not sure what the ramifications to this are, but hopefully they'll build some more trails in this area.

We parked at the Sam's Point parking area (parking is $8.) We took the loop road for a shor distance until the unmarked shortcut which cuts out the curve. We then took the next shortcut right up to Sam's Point. Sam's Point creates a great view looking south, east, and west. The park system had removed the rock fences blocking access to the edge of the cliff so the cliffs are now in a more natural state.

We continued along the Loop Road, and veered off to the Ice Caves Road. We then took the Ice Caves loop, went back to the Ice Caves Road, and then took the Loop Road around Lake Martanza. We encountered an abundance of blueberries on the eastern side of the lake. We continued along the Loop Road all the way down to the parking area.

Map of the Route.
Shawangunk Mountains Western Map

People Atop Sam's Point, Taken from the Visitor Center

The Climb up to Sam's Point

Cave at Sam's Point

Ascending to Sam's Point

Continuing the Ascent

Shimmy in a Notch by Sam's Point

Me Atop Sam's Point

From Sam's Point, Looking West

Me Atop Sam's Point

Shimmy Atop Sam's Point

New Information Tablet About the Ice Caves Trail

View from the Entrance to the Ice Caves

Me Descending into the Ice Caves

Large Crevice in the Ice Caves

Me in a Cave

Ice in the Cave. Yes, its August!

The Path Snaking Inside the Caves

View at the Exit of the Ice Caves

Lake Martanza

Lake Martanaza

Abandoned Blueberry Picker's Hut

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Reeves Meadow to Chipmunk Mountain

Harriman State Park,
Rockland Co,
New York

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

Total Time: 2:15 hours
Estimated Distance: 3.4 Miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Recommended
Points of Interest: Pretty brook, good climb
Cons: Lots of people on this trail

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

This was a very hot day and was in the 90's. This is a mostly shady hike in a deep and narrow valley, so figured it was good for the day. We parked in the Reeves Meadow parking area, and took the Pine Meadow Trail. There were some artists we encountered at the beginning of the trail painting some pretty brook scenes. I took plenty of pictures, but only noticed afterwards that I had left the SD in my computer and therefore none of the pictures came out.

We took the Pine Meadow Trail to the Stony Brook Trail, to the Kakiat Trail and then the HTS Trail. We crossed the brook on the new HTS Trail bridge and continued up the mountain to the 7 Hills Trail. At this intersection there is a beautiful and prolific blueberry bush that for some reason this year was licked dry. I don't know if the bush is past its prime or if someone picked it clean. We headed down the 7 Hills Trail, and went down the Pine Meadow Trail all the way back to our car.

The pictures below are taken from my cell phone camera after I realized all the pictures taken earlier were not saved.

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

Rocks on a Fallen Tree along Stony Brook

Interesting Tree Along the Pine Meadow Trail