Monday, October 17, 2011

Lake Welch and Jackie Jones Firetower

Harriman State Park,
Rockland Co.,
New York


Suffern-Bear Mountain (S-BM) Trail: Yellow blaze

Total Time:
1:40 hr
Estimated Distance: 2.4 Miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Recommended
Points Of Interest: Scenic Lake, Amazing view from Fire Tower

Hiking Partners:

S&M Rosenberg

Google Maps of Parking:

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I have been to this Fire Tower many times, and I especially enjoy going during the fall. Several years ago before I started the blog I had taken the old S-BM Trail route down from the Fire Tower to Lake Welch. It was during the winter and the entire way down was an ice slide. This route was the original route of the SB-M trail and was instead routed down towards the Orak ruin, but the old unmarked trail remained. I had noticed they had cut some trees and reblazed a path in that same area, apparently to install an electric wire or pipline or something going to the Jackie Jones communication tower. This new wide path pretty much follows the S-BM route, and this I decided to take this route up.

This hike was at the beginning of the peak of the autumn foliage. We parked on Lake Kanawauke Rd (County Rt. 106) right after it crosses the Minesceongo Creek. We took the S-BM along the northern flank of the road, and then where the S-BM splits off the trail to go to the Irish Rock, we went off the S-BM on the unmarked trail which takes you to the Beaver Pond Campsite. The campsite was already closed for the season and was deserted. We looked around and then took the campground road down to the main road, and then hit the side of Lake Welch by the dam for some pictures. We then crossed the road and tool the old original S-BM trail up the mountain to the Jackie Jones fire tower. We climbed the tower taking some excellent fall foliage shots with the panoramic views, and then we headed down the S-BM passing through the ORAK ruin and then back to the parking area.

Map of the Route

Near the beginning of the hike,
right after the spur of the S-BM Trail.
Looking southwest towards Jackie Jones Mountain
with the communication tower on top.

The Rosenberg Brothers in the foliage

Pond at the Campground.

Walking down the campground road.

Lake Welch from the northeast shore.

The recently trees cut down to make a path up to Jackie Jones Mnt.
This used to be the old S-BM route.

Me on the Fire Tower.

From the Fire Tower, facing north towards Bear Mnt and Breakneck.

From the Fire Tower, overlooking Lake Welch to the west.

From the Fire Tower,
looking south towards NYC and the visible Manhattan skyline

From the Fire Tower,
looking east towards the communications tower, the Hudson, and Hi-Tor.

A better view of Lake Welch from the Fire Tower.
With the island in the middle.

Structure in the ORAK ruin along the S-BM Trail heading down.

Another structure in the ORAK ruin.

Walking down near the end of the hike.

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