Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pine Meadow / Stony Brook After Hurricane Irene

Harriman State Park
Rockland County,
New York

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

Total Time: 1:15 hr
Estimated Distance: 2.5 Miles

Level of Difficulty: Moderate to Slightly Difficult
Level of Interest: Beautiful hike along a roaring brook
Points Of Interest: Deep Scenic Valley after Power Lines, Cascade of Slid Waterfall

Google Maps of Parking:

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Hurricane Irene left a tremedous amount of rain in Harriman as well as significant damage. I took this hike three days after the hurricane to see the water level in the brook and observe the damage caused by the storm. Seven Lakes Drive was closed and apparently the bridge crossing the Ramapo River had been severely damaged by the rivers sheer force. I had to take an alternate route using Washington Ave, where I encountered serveral National Guard Troops helping with the rebuilding efforts. There was a bridge in Sloatsburg that was entirely washed away leaving several homes stranded, and the National Guardsmen were assisting with the reconstruction. Once I got to the hike, I found the Stony brook was roaring, and it was at the highest level I have ever seen it. The first bridge across the Stony Brook (Kakiat Trail) was entirely washed away. The second bridge across the Pine Meadow Brook (Kakiat and Stony Brook Trail) was very damaged and pretty much unusable (this bridge was very recently rebuilt so it was brand new at the time of its destruction). The third bridge across the Pine Meadow Brook (HTS Trail) was entirely washed away.

I parked at the Reeves Meadow Visitor Center off 7 Lakes Drive near Sloatsburg. Hiked the Pine Meadow Trail along the brook to the Stony Brook Trail. I crossed the brook at the broken bridge which was barely usable, but I was able to balance across. Then I went along the the Kakiat Trail past the Cascade of Slid waterfall. The HTS Trail bridge was washed away, so I went just a bit further upstream to cross the brook over the rocks, which turned out to be incredibly challenging due to the high water volume. Once I crossed I took the Pine Meadow Trail back towards the return and back to my car.

Map of the Route.

Kakiat Trail Bridge Washed Away

The Only "Standing" Bridge:
The Bridge of the Kakiat and Stony Brook Trail.
This bridge was new - I think it was built in 2009.

Close up on the only standing bridge.

Cascase of Slid Waterfall. Overflowing.

Location of where the HTS Bridge Once Stood.
There is one pole of the bridge remaining.

National Guardsman in Sloatsburg at Work.

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