Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sams Point and Ice Caves Mountain

Sams Point Preserve
Shawangunk Mountains
Ulster County, NY

Sams Point Road Bypass Trail
Long Path: Blue Blaze
Ice Caves Trail: White Blaze
Lake Martanza Road Trail

Total Time: 2:30 min
Estimated Distance: 4.0 Miles

I was in Monticello for the weekend, so this was a good short hike not too far away. (The problem with the Catskills is that there are very few shorter trails and climbs; most trails are big commitments.) I parked at the Sam's Point Preserver parking area by Cragsmoor, and I actually arrived before 9:00 when the gate officially opens, so I had to park off in the woods, which I think they technically want you to do. Anyways, took the unofficial bypass trail from the parking area to the Sam's Point Road right below the cliff face. This is a convienent shortcut to avoid the crisscrossing boring old road. (The old road was actually used as a road for cars to go to the top of Sam's Point, as well as the Ice Caves, but was closed in the 1970's.) From there I cut across through the notch to the top of Sam's Point.

From Sam's Point, continued along the old road (and where it coincides with the Long Path) about .7 miles further to the Ice Caves. Took the Ice Caves Trail through the Ice Caves and steep cliff gulleys. The ice was already melted by now (although it sometimes lasts through June), but it was quite cold in the caves and my glasses got fogged up. After leaving the Ice Caves took the road back towards Lake Martanza, walked around the lake and back to my car on this path. Around the lake were excellent blueberry bushes, and I picked quite a bunch.

Map of the Route

Rock Face below Sam's Point

View from Above Sam's Point. Facing southwest.

Me at the top of Sam's Point

View from Long Path.
Facing north towards Minnewaska.
Mud Pond is at the left in the distance.

View from Ice Caves Mnt
right before entering the cave area.

Descending into the Ice Caves

Continuing the Descent

Walking along the Ice Caves Trail

The trail going thru a steep crevice

View Leaving the Ice Caves.
Looking North.

Communication Towers at Lake Martanza

Lake Martanza Shore

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Long Path at Big Hill

Harriman State Park,
Rockland County, NY

Long Path: Blue Blaze
Suffern-Bear Mountain (SBM) Trail: Yellow Blaze
Woodtown Road

Total Time: 1:45 min
Estimated Distance: 4.2 Miles

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

We started at the trailhead at the Long Path on Call Hollow Road, and headed up the mountain continuing up the Long Path. This is a gradual but good climb which is very scenic and well-forested. Continued past the woods road, and then continued to the intersection with the SBM Trail, which we took from there up the short scramble to the top of Big Hill, where there is a shelter and a nice view.

Continued down the long path, then took the woods road to another unnamed woods road which leads down to the Second Reservoir. From there took the Woodtown Road Trail to the first reservoir, and then the reservoir access road back to the trailhead where our car was parked.

Map of the route

Me at the trailhead

The shelter atop big hill. Facing north.

Atop Big Hill facing east.

On the rock at Bill Hill. Facing South.

Low Exposure shot facing east towards Hi Tor

Second Reservoir

Second Reservoir.
Notice the low water level due to the drought.

First Reservoir

First Reservoir from the dam

Monday, July 5, 2010

Diamond Mountain

Harriman State Park,
Rockland County, NY

Pine Meadow Trail: Red Blaze
Stony Brook Trail: Yellow Blaze
Kakiat Trail: White Blaze
Seven Hills Trail: Black Blaze
Hillburn Torne Sebago (HTS) Trail: Orange Blaze

Total Time:
2:30 min
Estimated Distance: 4 Miles

Hiking Partner:
Avigael Friedman

This was another day of the hottest heat wave of the summer. Temperatures were in the upper 90s, but we were mostly in the shade.  July 4th was on Sunday, and this was July 5th so we were off for the Holiday. We started at the Reeves Meadow Visitor Center on 7 Lakes Drive and took the Pine Meadow Trail and headed east till the Stony Brook Trail to the Kakiat Trail. Continued along the Kakiat Trail till the Seven Hills Trail, and then veered off north on the Seven Hills up the scramble, and then continued to the great view on the top. It is interesting that the trail conference maps don't show the view lookout here despite this being one of the best lookouts in the park.

Continued to the intersection of the Hillburn Torne Sebage (HTS) Trail on top of Diamond Mnt, and headed down the HTS back toward the Pine Meadow Brook valley. From there took the Pine Meadow Trail back to the trailhead.

Map of the route

Climbing the scramble on 7 Hills Trail

Climbing to the lower view on Diamond
Mountain on the 7 Hills Trail 

The view from Diamond Mountain facing west
towards the Pine Meadow Brook Valley 

View from 7 Hills Trail facing south.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Dater/ Pound Mnt
Claudius Smith Den

Harriman State Park,
Rockland and Orange COunties,
New York

Blue Disc Trail: Blue Blaze
Tuxedo-Mount Ivy (TMI) Trail: Yellow Blaze
Ramapo-Dunderberg (R-D): Blue Blaze

Total Time: 2.25 Hours
Total Distance: 3.3 Miles

Hiking Partner:
Yehuda Koblick

This hike was during the summer's hottest heatwave. The temparatures were in the mid 90's but this hike was mostly in the shade and the humidity was low so the weather was not too bad. This was a two car hike. We parked at the end of Johnsontown Road past Sloatsburg, and took the Blue Disc Trail up Daters Mountain to "Almost Perpendicular" (that is what it is called on the map), which is a nice short climb to a beautiful view and sharp cliff below. From there continued along the Blue Disc to Pound Mountain and the Elbow Brush, which is a crevice in the rock which you can scramble through.

From there we climbed up the Claudius Smith Den, which affords some outstanding views and interesting rock formations. At that point we took the TMI and then the R-D Trails back east towards Tuxedo, where we had left the return car at the trailhead of the R-D trail.

Map of the Route

View from Daters Mountain
at "Almost Perpendicular".
Facing south towards Reeves Meadow center.

Yehuda atop Daters Mountain
Me at Daters Mountain above the cliff.
Facing east.

View from Pound Mnt.
Facing east.
The crevice at the "Elbow Brush"
Claudius Smith Den
Yehuda on top of Claudius Smith Den

Looking down the cliff at the people below
from the top of Claudius Smith Den

This is a really good shot of the cliff
at Claudius Smith Den

Large Black Rat Snake we met at Claudius Smith Den
Crossing the pipleline at the R-D Trail.