Tuesday, September 28, 2010

West Point

I took a tour of West Point, and although this wasn't a hike, I got a phenomenal photo of the Hudson River from West Point as it passes through the deep gorge between Storm King Mountain and Breakneck Ridge. So I am sharing this photo with you. It was a stormy day (mind the pun) and the cloud coverage on the mountains really make this picture exceptional. I actually climbed Storm King two weeks later; these pictures will be posted soon.

From West Point looking North at the Hudson.
Storm King (Crow's Nest) to the left,
and Breakneck Ridge to the North.
Bannerman's Island is in the distant north.
This picture really looks like a Norweigan Fjord.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gurnee County Park,
South Mountain County Park,

Mount Ivy,
Rockland County,
New York

Long Path: Green Blaze

Map: Hudson Palisades Trails, New York Section
Start Point Map Coordinates: Near top of top right map

Total Time: 0:45 hr
Estimated Distance: 2.2 Miles

This was a weekday and I didn't have much time, so this was a perfect short hike close to home. Parked my car on Route 45 right before its end in Mount Ivy, at the newly renovated Gurnee Park parking lot. Talk the wide trail into the old quarry, and explored the quarry walls for minerals (it is devoid of any mineralization).

Then I headed back and then took a short shorcut to the long trail, which starts climbing the mountain here. A very short climb up there is a superb view which is directly above the straight quarry wall. Continued along the Long Path past the highest point of South Mountain, and went for another 7 or 8 minutes ahead, and then turned around and went back on the Long Path back to my car.

Map of the Route

Quarry wall close-up.

Quarry wall, rising straight up.
This area is known as "The Ampitheater".

From the first lookout, facing northwest
towards Cheescoate Mountain

From the lookout above the Quarry
Facing northwest towards The Timp
and West Mountain.

From the lookout at the top of the quarry.
Facing north.

From lookout, facing west towards
the Palisades Pkwy overpass construction
at Rt. 202, and the Ramapo escarpment beyond
(Limekiln Mountain, File Factory Hollow,
and Horse Chock Mountain)

A Juniper tree, with a Long Path blaze.
This park has more Juniper Trees than any
other area I have been to around here.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dater Mountain County Park
Sleater Hill

Rockland County,
New York

Blue Trail: Blue Blaze
Orange Trail: Orange Blaze

Harriman Park-Southern
Trail Map 118
Start Point Map Coordinates: 58,69

Total Time: 1:15 min
Estimated Distance: 2.2 Miles

This is a good short hike. It is in a new section of Daters County Park, and these two trails are new. I was excited to see these new additions in the 2008 Edition of the Harriman Trail Maps. Daters Park is adjacent to Harriman, and the Orange Trail continues into Harriman. I started at the parking area on Johnsontown Rd., and headed up the Orange Trail, until it intersected with the beginning of the Blue Trail. Went southwest on the blue trail until the view which is right above the Thruway. This view is literally directly above the highway, and you are looking down straight onto it.

Continued along till the end of the Blue Trail at the Orange Trail, and then took the Orange Trail back up the mountain and then down. There is a really good view here facing North and South Hills, and Diamond and Halfway Mountains in Harriman. This view is not show on the map, but it is a very good one. I continued down the Orange Trail back to the car.

Map of the route

Looking south at the Thruway from Sleater Hill

Looking south towards South Hill

Looking east at the village of Sloatsburg

Looking directly below at the Thruway

North Hill and Halfway Mountain

North Hill and Halfway Mountain

Monday, September 6, 2010

Horse Stable Mountain

Harriman State Park,
Rockland County,
New York


Sherwood Path: Unblazed
Power Line Trail: Unblazed

Hiking Partners:
Mordy Neuman
Chesky Rosenberg


Harriman Park-Southern
Trail Map 118
Start Point Map Coordinates: 58,77

Total Time:
1:45 min
Estimated Distance: 3.2 Miles

I was off for Labor Day so had a chance to do this short but sweet hike. I had already gone on a small hike up Kakiat in the morning with my wife, and then Mordy Neuman called me and asked me to join him for a hike in the afternoon. It was a beautiful day so I couldn't resist, but I needed to keep the whole thing from start to finish including the driving less than 2 hours. So I decided on Horse Stable Mountain which is very close by, and I hadn't been to in several years.

Chesky Rosenberg came to pick me up in his '86 Volkwagen Cabriolet convertible. This car should have been to chop shop years ago and its a miracle it was still running. We parked at the end of Wilder Rd where it hits Route 202, and walked down 202 south till we bushwacked down the hill to the Sherwood Path. We took the Sherwood Path past the Power Lines and up the mountain, and veered off to the left at the Power Line Trail, which further climbed the mountain and met up with the power lines.

Near the top of the Power Line Trail is a large rock, know as "Horse Stable Rock", which has some overgrown views down below into Rockland County. A little bit after that the Power Line Trail abruptly ends right before a deep notch in the mountain which the Power Line climbs over. There is a great view here. At this point we bushwacked up another 200 or so feet to the true summit of the mountain (which lacks a view), and went over and descended into the valley where the Sherwood Path is. Continued along the Sherwood Path back down the mountain and back to our car.

I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures. I didn't bring my camera along and we had to use Mordy's phone camera, which doesn't really do justice but is better than nothing.

Map of the Route

Power Line Trail heading up the mountain.

Me near Horse Stable Rock.
Looking northeast towards South Mountain.

Me on top of Horse Stable Rock

With Chesky under the Power Lines.

The end of the Power Line Trail,
where the power line dips into the deep valley.
Facing southwest towards Cobus Mountain.

Looking northeast from the end of the Power Line Trail,
bushwacking up to the top of the mountain.

Crossing the Mahwah River near the end.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Conklin Mountain
and Lake Wanoksink

Harriman State Park,
Rockland County,
New York

Seven Hills: White Blaze
Buck Trail: Yellow Blaze
Tuxedo-Mount Ivy Trail (T-MI): Red Blaze
Pine Meadow Road (Unblazed)

Map: Harriman Park-Southern
Trail Map 118
Start Point Map Coordinates: 61,73

Total Time: 2:45 min
Estimated Distance: 5.0 Miles

I parked the car at the Boat Lauch off of 7 Lakes Drive off, and headed up the 7 Hills Trail which begins right here. Climbed up Conklin Mountain on the 7 Hills, and then at the intersection with the Buck Trail continued along the ridge of Conklin Mountain. Although this mountain is relatively high in regards to its surrounding, there are suprisingly no views from its summit or ridge.

The Buck Trail is unique in that it has two spurs near the end, with different blazes to identify each spur. I took the plain yellow spur (in contrast to the yellow/black blazed spur), which ends at Pine Meadow Road, which is a wide footpath used by hikers and cross-country skiers. From there I took the T-MI Trail around the swamp and back towards Pine Meadow Road. I then took Pine Meadow Road south towards the southern end of Lake Wanoksink, where I took some pictures and then headed back and veered off towards the unmarked spur which leads to Monitor Rock and the 7 Hills Trail, and then took this back to my car. At the end at the Lake Sebago Boat Launch I took some good photographs of the lake.

(On the Map below, it shows the old Johnsontown Road before 7 Lakes Drive was built, and the parking area is actually showing in the water on the map.)

Map of the Route

7 Hills Trailhead Marker

Swamp below the Lake Wanoksink Dam

Lake Wanoksink at its southern end. Looking North.

 Looking northeast across Lake Wanoksink

Looking south at Lake Wanoksink.
Note how crystal-clear the water is.

Another view of Lake Wanoksink, facing northeast.

Monitor Rock.

Canoe on Lake Sebago.
Taken from Boat Launch facing southwest.

Close-up of canoe on Lake Sebago.
Facing east across the lake.