Sunday, February 5, 2017

Manitoga Preserve Nature Center

Putnam Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Lost Pond Loop: White blaze
White Pine Loop: Red blaze
Wickopee Loop: Blue blaze
Spur Trails: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 1:30
Estimated Distance: 2.4 miles

Pros: Scenic, quiet area
Cons: Views are not very dramatic

A couple of weeks earlier I had done a hike with Shimmy, and we ended the hike at Manitoga Nature Preserve. I was using an old trail conference map that just showed one unmarked trail going from the Osborn Loop Trail down to the Manitoga parking area. However, upon arriving there, we noticed many more trails that seemed to have been more recently blazed. I determined then to head out in the near future and explore the area more. I purchased a more recent version of the East Hudson Highland Maps, and set out to cover all the marked trails in Manitoga.

The temperature was seasonal, if not a bit warm. There was still snow in most of the area from the storm earlier in the week, through the sun-facing slopes lacked snow.  The way the trails work here is that they are all loops, and all start out together in the beginning. I parked in the parking lot, and took the Lost Pond Loop in its northern direction. The Lost Pond Trail is the longest trail of the area, going along the brook to its ascent to the Lost Pond, a small and tranquil pond near the top of the Manitoga preserve border. I took the trail up to the Lost Pond, then back down, while taking the two small view spurs. The first view near the beginning is very poor, with not much to see. The second view, on my way down, is a bit longer of trek off the path, but does afford a much better view of the Hudson and across the river at Fort Montgomery.

At a point known as "Four Corners,", where all the trails meet and intersect, I took the White Pine Loop to the Deer Pool back down to the Lost Pond on the northerly side, and then took the Wickopee Loop back for four corners. I then continued on the remainder section of the Lost Pond Loop on its southern portion back down to the bottom and back to my car.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Daters Park View in Snow

Dater Mountain Nature County Park,
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Orange Trail: Orange blaze

Total Time: :25 min
Estimated Distance: 0.7 Miles

Pros: Short hike to nice view
Cons: Noice from nearby highway

It had just snowed the day before about an inch from an Alberta Clipper system. The next morning I went on a very short hike on the way to work to enjoy the snow before it all melted (it was all gone later in the day.) I parked at the Dater's Mountain Park Trailhead, and took the Orange Trail up the mountain. After crossing the brook and the valley, I reached the view, which faces across the Stony Brook Valley into Harriman State Park. I then turned around and went back the sme route.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Millbrook Mountain Loop,
Mohonk Preserve,

Millbrook Mountain Loop
Mohonk Preserve,
Shawangunks Mountains, 
Ulster Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
West Trapps Connector Trail: Yellow blaze
Millbrook Ridge Trail: Blue blaze
Millbrook Mountain Trail: Red blaze
Coxing Trail: Blue blaze
Trapps Carriage Road: Unblazed

Total Time: 3:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 6.2 Miles

Pros: Highly scenic area, excellent views and climbs
Cons: Parking fee

Hiking Partners:
Shimmy Rosenberg

This is a highly memorable hike. Rain had been predicted in the afternoon, but the morning featured a dense fog in the entire Hudson Valley. We had brought rain gear to combat the possibility of rain. When we started climbing the mountain on Route 44/55, at a certain point we reached above the fog level and into a beautiful sunny day! Since we were high up and at the cliff edge, we could see the cloud level from the ground-level fog directly below up! In the distance, the peaks remained in view above the cloud level.

We parked at the West Trapps Trailhead in Mohonk Preserve, off of Route 44/55. We took the very short West Trapps Connector Trail to the carriage road over the road, and then took the Millbrook Ridge Trail that starts here. This trail climbs immediately over a short period on rocky white rock to a beautiful view on the ridgeline. The trail then continues along the edge of the cliff line for a while, until it eventually starts climbing up to the final ascent to Millbrook Mountain.

Millbrook Mountain is one of the most dramatic mountains in the Shawangunks. One side of the mountain is a vertical wall several hundred feet down to a boulder-strewn talus pile of huge rocks. The views here are incredible. We took a short break at the summit of Millbrook, taking many pictures, and then headed back down via a loop on the Millbrook Mountain Trail to the Coxing Trail. We took the Coxing Trail back to the Trapps Carriage Road, which we took back to the Trapps Bridge to the trailhead.