Sunday, October 5, 2014

Fingerboard Mountain to Greenwood Mine

Harriman State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Tiorati Brook Trail: Blue blaze
Appalachian Trail: White blaze
Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail: Red blaze
Surebridge Mine Road: Unblazed
Long Path: Green blaze

Total Time: 1:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.8 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Highly recommended
Points Of Interest: Varied scenery, Greenwood Mine
Pros: Very scenic area
Cons: Sound of motorcycles from nearby 7 Lakes Drive, Lack of panoramic view

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

The fall colors were really starting to show, and this was a great hike to view the foliage. It was a very cold day for this time of the year, and I regretted not bringing a sweater or light jacket. Though I was moving pretty fast and it was sunny so I stayed warm. I parked at the Tiorati Circle parking area, and took the short Tiorati Brook Trail up to the top where it meets the Appalachian Trail and Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail.

I took the combined Appalachian Trail and Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail south until the split near the Fingerboard Shelter, and then took the Appalachian Trail down the hill towards the Greenwood Mine. At the Greenwood Mine I took the Surebridge Mine Road for a short distance to the Long Path. I took the Long Path all the way to Arden Valley Road, and then walked along the side of the road up and over the hill back to the parking area.

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

Bright Red Huckleberries on the R-D/AT 

Autumn Colors Along the Trail

The Trail Atop Fingerboard Mountain

Summit of Fingerboard Mountain

Another View at the Summit of Fingerboard Mountain

View at the Summit of Fingerboard Mountain

Beautiful Colors on the AT

Greenwood Mine Area

Swamp by the Greenwood Mine

Another View of the Swamp

Lake Tiorati at the End of the Hike

Another View of Lake Tiorati

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Bear Mountain Zoo to Ft. Montgomery

Bear Mountain State Park
Rockland and Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
1777 Trail: Red Blaze
Appalachian Trail: White blaze
Twin Forts Trail: Blue blaze
Twin Forts Connector Trail: Red blaze
AT Connector Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 1:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.0 miles
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Level of Recommendation: Highly recommended
Points Of Interest: Bear Mountain Zoo, Bridges, Ft. Montgomery Historical Site
Pros: Interesting sights, good views, nice bridge views
Cons: Many parts are built up and paved and more of a walk than a hike

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

I was out of town for several days of the previous week, and therefore did not have an oppurtunity to go on any hike over the weekend. I had returned to see many of the trees changing color and the foliage really coming out. It suprised me how early this year the trees have changed. It is likely due to both the relatively cool August temperatures and little rain over the summer.

I had taken the oppurtunity to go on this shorter, easier hike due to the fact that it was a weekday and I was by myself. This is not a traditional hike in the woods, rather much of the area is paved and through points of interest. Though there are some fascinating river and bridge views, with three bridges encountered along the route.

I parked at the Hudson River landing picnic area in Bear Mountain, and took the path up the hill towards the zoo. The zoo entrance is where the Appalachian Trail meets up, and this hiking trail actually goes right through the zoo. I walked through the zoo, taking the spur to the river view and then back by the bear den. Walking towards the bridge, I then veered towards the other view right by the bridge, where the Twin Forts Trail begins.

The Twin Forts Trail connects the historic revolutionary forts of Fort Clinton, (which is now at the site of the Bear Mountain Zoo and bridge) and Fort Montgomery, which is on the other side of the Popolopen Brook. This trail goes under the Bear Mountain Bridge, down to the bottom of the Popolopen Valley, across a foothpath suspension bridge over the outlet of Popolopen Brook, and then up the hill to Fort Montgomery.

At Fort Montgomery, I ventured around the grounds and looked at some of the sites. I also went into the relatively new visitor's center and looked around. I then headed back along the Twin Forts Trail, and then took the Twin Forts Connector Trail to the street level above the bridge. I crossed the busy road, and then took the AT Connector Trail which bypasses the zoo. I then took this trail to its end, and then took the path back down to my car.

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

Pretty Foliage Along the Hudson River Connector Path

Anthony's Nose from View Along the Hudson River Connector Path

Bears in Bear Den in the Zoo, on the Appalachian Trail

Viewpoint in the Zoo Overlooking Anthony's Nose
and the Bear Mountain Bridge

At the Same Viewpoint, Facing South Towards Peekskill

Nice View of the Bear Mountain Bridge in Fall Foliage

Beautiful Colors and Bridge Silhouette at the
Entrance to the Twin Forts Trail

Beautiful Red Maple in Full Autumn Colors

View Directly Under the Bear Mountain Bridge on the Twin Forts Trail

New Plaque Dedicated to the Popolopen Creek Bridge on the Twin Forts Trail
(The William J. Moreau Popolopen Bridge)

Crossing the William J. Moreau Popolopen Bridge on the Twin Forts Trail

Route 9W Bridge Crossing of the Popolopen Creek

Pretty Colors on the Opposite Side of the Popolopen Creek

Fort Montogmery Archeological Site

View Inside Fort Montgomery Facing Bear Mountain

View of the Outlet of Popolopen Creek with the Bear Mountain
Bridge and Anthony's Nose

Anthony's Nose from the Popolopen Creek Outlet

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Diamond Mountain and Lake Wanoksink

Harriman State Park
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Tuxedo-Mt. Ivy Trail: Red Blaze
Hillburn Torne Sebago Trail: Orange Blaze
Pine Meadow Road: Unblazed
7 Hills Trail: Blue Blaze

Total Time: 3:10 hour
Estimated Distance: 5.4 miles
Level of Difficulty: Difficult
Level of Recommendation: Highly recommended
Points Of Interest: Diamond Mountain View, Lake Wanoksink
Pros: Good climb and view, Remote Lake
Cons: Beginning Park is busy and small road part

Hiking Partner:
Stuart Gensler

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

This late September hike featured warm weather, but it was cloudy and had drizzled in the morning. This is a nice area of the park with many paths and trails, pretty lakes, and a good climb. We parked at the Lake Sebago Boat Launch. The area has recently been refurbished with new paving and a grassy area with new trees planted there.

We walked along the old path on the side of Lake Sebago past the old beach, then walked on 7 Lakes Drive south for a short time, and then took the Tuxedo-Mt. Ivy Trail to the Hillburn Torne Sebago Trail. We took the Hillburn Torne Sebago Trail up the steep climb to Diamond Mountain, where there is a good view on top. We then took the Tuxedo-Mt. Ivy Trail to Pine Meadow Road, and hooked back on Pine Meadow Road to Lake Wanoksink.

We took a break at Lake Wanoksink near the dam by the area where the path goes right to the lake. We then turned around and took the woods road to the 7 Hills Trail towards Conklin Mountain, and then continued along this trail down the mountain and to the car.

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

Newly Refurbished Boat Launch Area at Lake Sebago

Lake Sebago Atop the HTS Scramble

Lake Sebago from the Viewpoint Atop Diamond Mountain.
Facing North.

Stuart at the Above View

Me at the Above View

Walking Along Pine Meadow Road, with Early Foliage

Lake Wanoksink. Note the Shrubs Changing Colors.

Lake Wanoksink

Stuart Sitting on a Log at Lake Wanoksink

The Recently Fixed Dam at Lake Wanoksink

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Lemon Squeezer to Lichen Trail

Harriman State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Crooked Road: Unblazed
Appalachian Trail: White blaze
Arden-Surebridge Trail: Red Blaze
Lichen Trail: Blue Blaze
Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail: Red Blaze
Dunning Trail: Yellow Blaze
White Bar Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 2:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.3 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Highly recommended
Points Of Interest: Lemon Squeezer, Lichen Trail, Unique Scenery
Pros: Lemon squeezer formation, beatiful scenery and view by Surebridge Mountain
Cons: Difficulty parking

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

This is one of the most scenic areas in Harriman State Park. The parking proved more difficult than usual, as my usual spot on Arden Valley Road was blocked off. Arden Valley Road was recently refurbished, and the spot where I had usually parked in after the bend on the north side was blocked off by large boulders. I don't have an Island Pond parking pass, so I turned around and luckily found a small roadside spot on the south side right by the Crooked Road path.

We took took Crooked Road to the Appalachian Trail, and took the Appalachian Trail to the Lemon Squeezer, which is a pile of boulders and crevice that the trail goes through with some tight spots. We then took the blue-blazed Appalachian bypass route down and along the side back to the intersection of the Arden-Surebridge Trail, which meets the Appalachian at the Lemon Squeezer.

We took the Arden Surebridge to the Lichen Trail, and climbed up Surebridge Mountain from the Lichen Trail. This part of the area is very scenic with unique terrain that is full of large rocks and has sparse tree cover. It is also among the highest terrain in the park. There is also a very good view here on the Lichen Trail towards the west including Island Pond.

At the end of the Lichen Trail, which is very short, we took the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail to the Dunning Trail, down the mountain, to the White Bar Trail. This trail skirts along swampy area and eventually heads back to the Arden-Surebrige Trail. We took this trail back to the Appalachian Trail and then towards Crooked Road back to our car.

Map of the Route.
Harriman/Bear Mountain State Parks Northern Map

Me at the Entrance to the Lemon Squeezer

Going Through the Lemon Squeezer

Narrow Crevice in the Lemon Squeezer

Shimmy Ascending Surebridge Mountain at the
Beginning of the Lichen Trail

Dead Tree at the Beginning of the Lichen Trail

Me at the View on the Lichen Trail

Interesting Rocks and Colors Along the Lichen Trail

View from the Lichen Trail, Facing West.
Very Early Foliage is Apparent.

View on the Lichen Trail, Facing Southwest.

Large Rock Faces with Striations on the Lichen Trail

Island Pond from the Lichen Trail View

Beautiful Colors

Foliage Atop Surebridge Mountain

Shimmy on a Large Rock Face on Surebridge Mountain

More Beautiful Scenery Along Surebridge Mountain, on the R-D Trail

The Same View, Zoomed In

Shimmy Walking Across Giant Rock on the R-D Trail

Me at a Giant Rock Face on the R-D Trail