Sunday, May 24, 2009

Reeves Brook, North Hill, Pulpit

Harriman State Park,
Rockland County,
New York

Started at the Reeve's Brook visitors center near Sloatsburg, and quickly veered off the Pine Meadow Trail to the Reeves Brook Trail. Followed this trail up to the end, and then too the Raccoon Brook Hills (RBH) Trail east up the Pulpit scramble and viewpoint. Then headed north on the Hillburn Torne Sebago (HTS) Trail, down to the Pine Meadow Trail, and cut accross on a newly blazed cut-through to the Stony Brook Trail and back to the car.

Seven Hills Trail Scramble

Ascending the Pulpit Scramble

View atop the Pulpit, looking Southe

Another view of the above.

Me atop the Pulpit

On HTS trail looking north.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Shore Trail and Giant Stairs

Palisades Interstate Park,
Rockland and Bergen Counties,
New York and New Jersey

Hiking Partners:
Yehuda Koblick

This was actually the 3rd Sunday in a row I did a hike in the Palisades. Was on my way back from an event from Brooklyn so this hike made the most sense in terms of location. Parked on the State Line Lookout off the Palisades Parkway, and headed north on the Long Path (LP). Passed the NY/NJ State Line (crossing over into NY), and took a picture of the monument there. Continued on the LP and Spurred off on the Shore Trail to descend down the cliffs to the shore, following the stream to Peanut Leap Falls. The falls are right above where the Stream enters the Hudson River. The falls are on the site of an ancient destroyed mansion called the Pergola.

Continued along the Shore Path south along the Hudson River edge. Scrambled along the crazy Giant's Stairs, which are massive columns of diabase which tumbled from the sheer cliffs above. This part of the hike is very intense with the entire portion rocky and uneven. Took the Forest View trail back up (this is a very steep and winding ascent thru a small notch in the vertical cliffs), and then headed north on the Long Path back to the car.

I just have to comment at this point on how awful and innacurate the 1991 edition of the Trail Conference Maps on the Hudson Palisades Trails are. I don't know if the newer editions are better but I suppose I should make the investment.

Looking north from the Overlook

Sheer cliff walls facing north from the Overlook

Me at the Overlook

Facing south from the Overlook, viewing the
city of Yonkers across the Hudson

Me and Yehuda at the Overlook

The monument at the NY/NJ Border

View north from the Long Path before the
descent with the Tappan Zee Bridge in view

Shore Trail Warning Sign

Descending the trail near the falls

At Peanut Leap Falls.
I am sitting on the ruins of the Pergola.

Me and Yehuda at Peanut Leap Falls
Yehuda on the Hudson River shore at the Pergola

Yehuda scrambling along a small portion
of the Giant Stairs

Giant Stairs with the Overlook on top,
more then 500 feet straight up

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kakiat Short Hike

Kakiat County Park,
Rockland County,
New York

This was a short Lag Ba'Omer Hike where I quickly ran up Kakiat to the lower viewpoint and ran back down. Wasn't even sure if I should post this since it's such a short close hike but I decided to after all. Took the orange-blazed Mountain Trail up, then bushwacked the shortcut to the lookout, then took the same trail back down. The photo was taken from my camera phone so the quality is awful.

Looking Southeast from the lookout.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

High Tor Mountain

High Tor Mountain State Park,
Palisades Ridge
Rockland County, NY

High Tor is the highest peak of the Palisades. Although its not a tall mountain by any standards, its peak sharply juts out from the surrounding level area and is very prominent. The top part of the mountain is a sharp jumble of solid diabase, and requires three challenging scrambles.

I started out on the Long Path by South Mountain Road, and climbed up the Long Path. The entire Long Path has been shifted ascending this mountain. The path used to start by Scratchup Road, and was rerouted because the Tilcon Mining Corp selfishly closed off the trail. And the top part where the scramble was also rerouted, and my guess is that there are some loose rocks there and some idiot who didn't know what they were doing got hurt or killed climbing so they rerouted the trail. The old scramble route still has the old trail markers painted over and easily visible, and this is the route I took to the top. The summit affords an excellent panoramic view, especially of Haverstraw directly below but also of the Stony Point, the Hudson Highlands, New City, Lake DeForest and Manhattan, and the Haverstraw Bay (which is the widest part of the Hudson River.)

From the summit turned around and took the official route which skirts the scramble. At the bottom of the scramble took the old Long Path before its other reroute onto the Tilcon Property. Took this all the way down back to the road. So essentially I did an "8" hike, without going on the same trail twice.

The first scramble.
Note the covered over blazes.

Looking south viewing Lake DeForest.
Manhattan is slightly visible towards the right.

Facing east towards the Haverstraw Bay.
Westchester County is across the river.

Me with Lake DeForest in the background

Haverstraw and W. Haverstraw from the Summit.
Looking North.

Looking far north towards the Highlands:
West Mnt, Bear Mnt, and the Timp

Me on the summit

Overlooking Haverstraw

View of the Tilcon Quarry coming down towards the end.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Hook Mountain

Hook Mountain State Park,
and Rockland Lake State Park,
Palisades Ridge,
Rockland County, NY

This was the first hike of the season where everything actually turned green and all the leaves sprouted. This felt like my first true spring hike. The weather prediction had called for rain, and when I started the hike it had not yet started raining. About a few minutes into the hike the rain started, and it get heavier and heavier as I went along.

I parked on Route 9W at its crest on Hook Mountain. Went up the mountain via the Yellow Trail (I don't know if this trail has a name as it's not on the Trail Conference Maps), and then bushwacked for just a short bit to the Long Path. Took the Long Path to the summit of the mountain, and continued north along the sharp ridge to the next summit. Then header down a different Yellow Blazed trail, which took me to the Rockland Lake Golf Course. From there bushwacked back to Route 9W, and then walked on the side of Route 9W back up the mountain to the car.

Near the summit looking South towards Nyack

The final ascent on the Long Path to the summit

Looking west towards the south ridge of Hook Mnt.
Looking south at the Tappan Zee Bridge
and the Hudson River in the foggy rain.
Cactus on the summit.
This is the only place in the region I have seen
wild cactus growing. It's all over the summit.

Me at the summit looking south.
Looking north from the summit:
Rockland Lake (left), Palisades Ridge, Hudson River

On the edge of cliff over the Hudson River

Looking down from the sheer cliff
over picnic tables at Nyack Beach State Park

The sheer cliff wall on the eastern side.
These cliffs were caused by quarrying
for traprock in the late 19th century.
A small pond along the descending Yellow Trail
with raindrops falling above the leafy waters.