Sunday, November 12, 2017

West Mountain Fall Hike

Harriman/Bear Mountain State Parks,
Orange/Rockland Counties,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Anthony Wayne Trail: White blaze
Fawn Trail: Red blaze
Timp-Torne Trail: Blue blaze
Appalachian Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 2:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.4 Miles

Pros: Very scenic area in Harriman, Good Views
Cons: None

Hiking Partner:
Josef Friedman

It was a late autumn  day with cold weather but bright skies. The previous two days were unseasonably color, and this day, although still very cold, was at least warmer than the others.

West Mountain is one of my favorite hikes in the area, and my last several hikes up West Mountain were the southern portion. So I decided to do the northern part this time and catch what I felt would be the last of the foliage.

We parked in the Anthony Wayne Rec Area parking lot, and took the Anthony Wayne Trail, to the Fawn Trail, and then to the Timp Torne Trail. We took the Timp Torne Trail south, climbing up the mountain including the rocky scrambles. At the intersection with the Appalachian Trail, we took the combined trail route to the view on both sides of the ridge, and then turned back and took the Appalachian Trail down the mountain. We took the Appalachian Trail to the Fawn Trail, and the Fawn Trail back to where it meets the Timp Torne Trail. BUt this time we took the Timp Torne south, down to the very bottom of West Mountain, to the Anthony Wayne Trail, which we took back to the parking area and our car.

Map of the Route

Bear Mountain While Ascending the Timp Torne Trail

Last of the Foliage on the West Mountain Ridge

Joseph at the top of one of the Rock Scrambles

View Facing North

View of Bear Mountain

Me on West Mountain

Me at the View

Hudson River Towards Peekskill

Bear Mountain in the Distance

Bear Mountain and Anthony's Nose

View on West Mountain Facing Northwest

View from West Mountain Towards the Parking Lot

Hudson River and Iona Island, with Dunderberg Mountain on the Right

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Black Rock Mountain Fall Hike

Harriman State Park,
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Ramapo-Dunderberg (R-D) Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 1:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.4 Miles

Pros: Very scenic area in Harriman, Good Views
Cons: None

The fall folaige season was definitely later this year than in previous years. Even though it was already November, the foliage and colors were still very strong. Unfortuneately, though, the weather was rainy and cloudy, with a gray sky. While I was on the hike it wasn't actively raining, but it was damp and felt rainy.

I parked on Lake Kanawauke Road, after the Little Long Pond, at the trailhead by the Ramapo Dunderberg Trail. I took the Ramapo Dunderberg Trail north up Black Rock Mountain, to the view at the intersection of the Nurian Trail. I then continued a bit further north on the Ramapo Dunderberg Trail, to the next view at the large rock face. I then turned around and continued along the same route back.

Map of the Route

Large Rock on the Ascent.
I Always Wonder if this is the Rock the Mountain is Name After

On the Ascent

Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail ascending a small scramble

At the First View

View from Black Rock Mountain, Facing East

Colors at the View

View from the end of the Nurian Trail

View Facing Southwest

More Strong Colors

On the Way to the Second View

View from Second View, Facing Northwest

View, Facing East

Good Color at the View

More Good Colors at the View

Me on the Hike

Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail

Very Large amount Starlings at the End of Hike

Monday, October 30, 2017

Ramapo Reservation Fall Hike

Ramapo Valley County Reservation,
Bergen Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Vista Loop Trail: Yellow blaze
River Trail: Orange/Green blaze

Total Time: 0:35 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.1 Miles

Pros: Scenic area
Cons: Very busy and crowded area

The previous day has a featured a large coastal storm with several inches of rain. I had time for a quick hike near my work at Ramapo Reservation. Fall foliage was in peak color, and it lasted later than usual than in previous years. I parked in the main parking lot, took the trail across the Ramapo River, and then took the River trail. The River Trail had many problems, from fallen trees to flooding, and each time I had an obstacle, I contemplated turning around. However, I persisted, but at the last flooded area, I fell off an unstable branch in the water and fell knee deep into the water. I then took the Vista Loop Trail back, taking the path parallel to Scarlet Oak Pond, back to my car.

The pictures below were taken with my cell phone camera.

Map of the Route

Scarlet Oak Pond

Scarlet Oak Pond and Hawk Rock

Scarlet Oak Pond Eastern Shore

Scarlet Oak Reservoir and Fall Foliage

River Trail Trailhead

Felled Tree Blocking the River Trail

Large Puddle Blocking the River Trail

Very Large, Impassible Flooded River Trail

Scarlet Oak Pond, on Return Route

Friday, October 27, 2017

Claudius Smith Den Fall Hike

Harriman State Park,
Orange Co.,
New York

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

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

Pros: Scenic area with excellent views and interesting rock formation
Cons: None

The forecast for Sunday called for a very stormy day, with torrential rain and strong winds. I decided to leave work on Friday, which was a beatiful and warm autumn day, at the peak of the fall foliage season, to hike, and make up the work on Sunday.

I prepared in the morning by bringing my hiking clothes with me in the car. After leaving the office and parking at the trailhead, I changed into my outdoor gear, and headed up the mountain. I parked in Tuxedo at the Ramapo-Dunderberg trailhead, walking underneath the Thruway overpass and alongside the road to the woods. I took the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail to the first view overlooking Tuxedo, and then continued to the intersection with the TMI Trail. I took the Blue Disc Trail up the Claudius Smith rock formation, being afforded with an excellent view of Harriman in full foliage colors from the top. I turned around and took the same route back to my car.

Map of the Route.

View of Tuxedo from Smith Rock

Zoomed in to Tuxedo

Smith Rock, Looking East

View of the Thruway, Facing South

From Smith Rock, Looking North

Smith Rock, Looking North

Trees Above Smith Rock

Me at Smith Rock

At the Above View Zoomed In

Gas Pipeline on the Ramapo Dunderberg Trail

Rock Cliff of Claudius Smith Den

Rock Formation at Claudius Smith Den

Blue Disc Trail at Claudius Smith Glen

View from Claudius Smith Den, Facing Southwest

View from Claudius Smith Den,Facing South

The Same View, Zoomed In

Claudius Smith Den Rock

Rock Slab above Claudius Smith Den

Claudius Smith Den, Facing West

Claudius Smith Den, Facing East

Claudius Smith Den View, Facing South

Fall Foliage Above Claudius Smith Den

Zoomed in Above View