Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Claudius Smith Den and Black Ash Mine Mountain

Harriman State Park,
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Ramapo-Dunderberg (R-D) Trail: Red blaze: Red blaze
Tuxedo-Mt Ivy (TMI) Trail: Red blaze
Blue Disc Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 2:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.9 Miles

Pros: Scenic area, great views, and interesting rock formations
Cons: None

Hiking Partners:
Shimmy Rosenberg
Morty Rosenberg

As I was off for July 4, I naturally took the oppurtunity for a hike. The weather had been extremely hot all week, with the previous Sunday being over 100 degrees earlier in the week. There was a heat advisory in the area, and in addition to being very hot was also oppresingly humid. We parked at the R-D Trailhead right before the Thruway underpass, and walked along the road for a short distance to the trailhead. We took the trail up the climb to Smith Rock, a prominent overlook above Tuxedo, and then continued along to the TMI Trail to the Claudius Smith Den.

We took the Blue Disc Trail up the Claudius Smith rock formation, although Morty climbed up through the cave formation. After the view, we continued along the Blue Disc Trail up to the top of Black Ash Mine Mountain, and then descended the mountain to the Black Ash Swamp across the natural rock dam at the outlet of the swamp. We then took the TMI Trail back around to the R-D Trail. Instead of going back to Smith Rock, we took the old trail back and then bushwacked to the phone line trail, which we took back took the R-D Trail and back down the mountain and back to the trailhead. As we were finishing the hike, we heard the rumbles of thunder, with a strong thunderstorm approaching from the west. We made it in time though before the rain came.

Map of the Route

Morty Walking Along a Fallen Tree

View of Tuxedo from Smith Rock

View from Smith Rock

Me at Smith Rock Overlooking Tuxedo

Me at the Smith Rock View

View from Smith Rock Facing South

Morty at Smith Rock

Smith Rock Facing West

Morty Climbing up the Claudius Smith Den

Morty Along the Claudius Smith Den

Morty at Claudius Smith Den

Morty at Claudius Smith Den in the Cave

Claudius Smith Den Cave

View from Claudius Smith Den, Facing South

Morty atop Claudius Smith Den

Me at Claudius Smith Den

Rock atop Claudius Smith

Shimmy at Claudius Smith Den

Me at Claudius Smith Den

Claudius Smith Den, Looking Down

Looking West from Behind Claudius Smith Den

Rock Formation Behind Claudius Smith Den

Picking Blueberries along the Trail

Dead Tree along the Trail

Rock Formations on the Blue Disc Trail

View from Black Ash Mine Mountain, Facing North

Me at Black Ash Mine Mountain

Me at Black Ash Mine Mountain

Descending the Blue Disc Trail, Looking Towards Parker Cabin Mnt.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Panther Mountain View

Harriman State Park,
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Pine Meadow Trail: Red blaze
Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 1:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.8 Miles

Pros: Good climb and nice view
Cons: None

Hiking Partners:
Shimmy Rosenberg
Josef Friedman

We were short on time, so we chose a close trail that was relatively short in distance but still very scenic. We parked at the Ramapo Equestrian Center, which is the trailhead terminus of the Pine Meadow Trail, and took this trail as it climbs up the Ramapo Mountain Escarpment to the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail. We the continued up along the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail northbound, through the rocky area and ridge top. There are several good views here and we were afforded with some delicious blueberries and huckleberries along the trail. At the descent of Panther Mountain where the trail turns and goes down, we turned around and headed back, due to worsening weather conditions and time constraints. The weather was extremely humid and uncomfortable, and some ominous thunderstorm clouds appeared in the distance, prompting us to finish the hike sooner than anticipated.

Map of the Route

View at the Beginning of the Rocky Part on the S-BM Trail

Ascending Panther Mountain

Mountain Laurels on the Trail

Approaching the Main View

View Facing East

View Facing Southeast

Me at the Panther Mountain View

Shimmy at the Panther Mountain View

Me and Shimmy at the Panther Mountain View

View Facing Northeast, Towards south Mountain and Hi-Tor

View Beyond the Blueberry Meadow

View Below the Escarpment of Rockland County

Blueberry Fields along the Ridge Line

Me and Joseph Walking through the Blueberry Grove

More Blueberry Groves

Newly Ripened Blueberries

View Before the Trail Descent

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Black Rock Mountain in Black Rock Forest

Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Black Rock Hollow Trail: White blaze
Stillman Trail: Yellow blaze
Highlands Trail: Teal blaze
White Oak Trail: White blaze
Continental Road: Unblazed
Hulse Road: Unblazed

Total Time: 2:25 Hours
Estimated Distance: 5.1 Miles

Pros: Good climb, excellent view, quiet area
Cons: None

It had been some time since I had been in Black Rock Forest, and I wanted to visit Black Rock Mountain which afforded a good view. It was probably the warmest day of the year, with temperatures in the low 90's. However, the area is mostly shaded, and the humidity was low, which made the heat less noticeable. I parked on Route 9W at the Black Rock Hollow parking area. I took the Black Rock Hollow Trail up the steady ascent to the combined Stillman Trail and Highlands Trail, which I took to the top of Black Rock Mountain. This mountain is rather unremarkable and the climb forested without rocky areas until you reach the summit, which is rocky and has a prominent peak with excellent views.

I then descended the peak, and headed to the White Oak Trail, which I took across the Sphagnum Pond dam. I then took the short spur to the bird-watching boardwalk in the swamp known as the Phil Faurot Boardwalk, a short dead-end trail. I then went back to the White Oak Trail, passed the big White Oak Tree, and took the Continental Road, a wide, unblazed path, to Hulse Road, another wide path, descending down the mountain back to the trailhead.

Map of the Route

Information Kiosk at the Start of the Hike

Black Rock Mountain. Facing East.

Black Rock Mountain. Facing Southeast Towards Schunnemunk.

Black Rock Mountain. Facing North.

Black Rock Mountain. Facing Northeast.

Black Rock Mountain. Facing Northwest.

Black Rock Mountain. View Towards the Hudson Highlands Nature Center.

Me at the Black Rock Summit with the Hudson RiverBehind

Zoomed in More

Black Rock Mountain, Facing North Towards Newburgh and the Hudson River

A Fellow Hiker at Black Rock Summit

Black Rock Mountain, Facing South

Me at Black Rock Summit

Tree with a Sign Growing Through it at Sphagnum Pond

Approaching the Sphagnum Pond Dam

Walking Across the Sphagnum Pond Dam

A Tranquil Sphagnum Pond from the Dam

Sign Before the Birding Area Boardwalk Honoring Phil Faurot

Phil Faurot Birding Boardwalk

Swamp in the Birding Area

Another View of the Birding Area