Sunday, September 30, 2012

Nordkop Mountain,

Harriman State Park,
Rockland County,
New York

Hiking Trails:

Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 0:45 hours
Estimated Distance: 1.7 miles
Level of Difficulty: Slightly Difficult
Level of Recommendation: Recommended for a short but solid hike with good views, but views are urban with built up villages and highways
Points Of Interest: Short but strenuous hike, nice view

Google Maps of Parking:

View 2012 Hiking in a larger map

This hike was within a few days of the disappearance of murderer Eugene Palmer in the wilderness of Harriman. This fugitive had killed his daughter-in-law and then fled into hiding in the vast Harriman State Park, and as I write this blog entry three weeks later, he is still missing. Parts of Harriman State Park were closed because of this - specifically the area where they found his car near Lake Welch. In order to stay safe, I had to hike in a totally different area of the park where I would be. I figured that the beginning if the Suffern-Bear Mountain trail is far enough and feels distant enough for Palmer not to interfere with my hike.

I was short on time, and this makes for a good and short hike - walking up the mountain for a relatively short distance. There are two views, a lower view on a rock outcrop that faces east, and another view several hundred feet further facing south. I parked at the end of Chestnut Street right near 202, as this is the closest public parking area from the hike. (I once parked in the Commutor Lot underneath the highway overpass, and received a ticket.) In order to dot his hike, you need to do a little bit of walking through Suffern on 202, for about 10 minutes. I climbed up to the top, snapped pictures, and then came down the same way.

Map of the Route

Steep Ascent Part Heading Toward the First View

Rocky Area at the First View

Looking South from the First View,
Toward the Interstate 287 Ramp Bridge and Sheraton Crossroads.

Another View Facing Southwest. A view of both Highway Ram Bridges.
The mountain behind the ramp is "Hoodge Kop".

View Facing West from the First View.
Note the Early Fall Foliage.

View From the Second View.
Facing South to Suffern.

View South to Sheraton Crossroads.

View South Past Suffern Zoomed Into the Manhattan Skyline.
The right side is Lower Manhattan with the Word Trade Center dominating,
and the left is Midtown with the Empire State Building Dominating.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pine Swamp Loop,
Harriman State Park

Orange County,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Long Path: Green blaze
Dunning Trail: Yellow blaze
Arden-Surebridge Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 1:15 hours
Estimated Distance: 3.25 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Points Of Interest: Beautiful, serene forest and good view at the end

Google Maps of Parking:

View 2012 Hiking in a larger map

This is one of my favorite loop hikes in Harriman. Its a very peaceful, tranquil part of the park, and although there are ups and downs on this hike, there is no difficult climbing. There are many streams, swamps, and various forest types encountered on this hike. The weather was also a perfect early autumn day, with temperatures in the low 70's in low humidity.

I parked at the Lake Skanatati parking area off 7 Lakes Drive, and took the Long Path along the side of Lake Skanatati. I continued along past the lake inlet brook, and all the way to the Dunning path. I took the Dunning Path north, and then shortly after took short detour to bushwack up the hill on the left side of the trail to see if there is a view there. There was no view, but the flora and coverage on top here is beautiful. I climbed back down to the Dunning Trail towards the Pine Swamp, passing along to the left of the old Pine Swamp Mine, and then took the Arden-Surebridge Trail up and around Pine Swamp Mountain all the way toward the view. The view overlooks Lakes Skanatati and Kanawauke, and there are usually people here at the view. After the view continued the short descent down to the parking area and back to my car.

Map of the Route

Lake Skanatati at the Beginning of the Hike

Nice Forest Scene at the Intersection of Long Path and Dunning Trail

On top of hill by my small bushwack detour off the Dunning Trail

The Pine Swamp, in early autumn foliage colors.

Large cut in the Pine Swamp Mine

Famous view on top of Pine Swamp Mountain.
Facing south towards Lake Skanatati and Kanawauke in the Distance.

Another view from Pine Swamp Mountain. Facing southeast.

What an Amazing Blue Sky! Picture taken at the above view.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

South Mountain

South Mountain County Park,
Mt. Ivy,
Rockland County,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Long Path: Green blaze

Total Time: 1:45 hours
Estimated Distance: 4.5 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Recommended
Points Of Interest: Good and mostly easy walk along ridge

Google Maps of Parking:

View 2012 Hiking in a larger map

This hike starts near the very end of the Palisades Sill, as it dips into the group and goes underground. The Palisades is a narrow diabase ridge along the western side of the Hudson River, and ridge bends west at Haverstraw going to Mt. Ivy where it abruptly ends. I parked in the small parking area off Route 45, right near the Palisades Parkway intersection, and took the Long Path up. Shortly after the small climb, a nice view north opens up above the sheer cliff of the quarry wall below.

I continued east along the Long Path, over the South Mountain summit, and then hit the next view which faces south in about a mile. Continued along the Long Path all the way to South Central Highway, which is a road that climbs the mountain as a busy and windy road. From here turned around and took the unmarked woods road, which runs parallel to the Long Path, all the way to the communications tower, and then back to the Long Path and the same way I came.

Map of the Route

Sheer Cliff Wall on the Quarry.
This is near the beginning of the hike.

View Above the Quarry Wall.
Facing North/Northeast Towards West Mountain and The Timp

View above the Quarry Wall facing Garnerville
and Cheescoate Mountain in the Distance. Facing North.

Another View Above the Quarry Wall.
Facing West Towards the Palisades and
File Factory Hollow in Harriman.

Another View of the Above, More Zoomed.

View Past the Summit, Facing South.

Another View, Facing Southeast.

Another View Facing South.

Sign at the Trailhead of Central Highway.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lake Sebago Blauvelt Mnt Loop
Harriman State Park

Rockland County and Orange County,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Tuxedo-Mt. Ivy Trail: Red blaze
White Bar Trail: White blaze
Triangle Trail: Yellow blaze
Victory Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 2:40 hours
Estimated Distance: 6.5 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Recommended
Points Of Interest: Very tranquil and remote part of the park

Google Maps of Parking:

View 2012 Hiking in a larger map

I took this hike on a fantastic September day, with bright blue skies, low humidity, and a temperature in the mid-70's. Although the first part of this hike is along a busy stretch along Lake Sebago and close to the road, the remainder is very remote and quiet. I only encountered one person on the rest of the hike.

I parked at the Lake Sebago Boat Launch, and walked south along the eastern shore of Lake Sebago all the way to the dam, and then from there took the Tuxedo-Mt Ivy Trail and up to the small notch. From there it joins the White Bar Trail briefly, and then merges off. I continued along the White Bar Trail past the Dutch Doctor Shelter, and then went along the Triangle Trail to the western spur of Lake Sebago. From there continued along the Triangle to the southern shore of Lake Skenonto. This lake is very remote without any road access, and is indeed very pretty.

From Lake Skenonto I took the Victory Trail south back to the White Bar Trail, where it ascends a shoulder of Blauvelt Mountain, and affords a moderate view at the top of the climb. From there continued south back to the Tuxedo-Mt Ivy Trail and then retraced my way back to the car.

Map of the Route

Lake Sebago, from the eastern shore.
Looking west across the Lake.

Dutch Doctor Shelter

Western Spur of Lake Sebago.
Facing east. Note the Maple Tree starting to change color.

Southern end of Lake Skenonto.

Same View as Above, Zoomed out.
Parker Cabin Mountain in background.

View from White Bar Trail on Blauvelt Mountain.
Facing West.

Interesting Orange Mushrooms along the Tuxedo-Mt Ivy Trail.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Timp Loop

Bear Mountain State Park
and Harriman State Park
Rockland County,
New York

Hiking Trails:

1777 Trail: Red blaze
Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail: Red blaze
Timp-Torne Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 2:45 hours
Estimated Distance: 6.1 miles
Level of Difficulty: Difficult
Level of Recommendation: Highly recommended
Points Of Interest: Excellent Views and Tough Climb

Google Maps of Parking:

View 2012 Hiking in a larger map

This is a an excellent, yet long and difficult hike. Although it was already September, the weather was hot and muggy, adding to the difficulty in this hike. The main destination on this hike is a rocky, almost vertical mountaintop known as "The Timp". This mountain affords one of the best views in the area.

I parked on Route 9W/202 on the southern trailhead of Dunderberg Mountain, by the 1777 trailhead. Took this historic trail which traces the revolutionary war route (there is a plaque at the beginning of the trail explaining this), and took it up the mountain until the intersection of the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail. Went east on the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail and crossed over to the Timp-Torne Trail at the intersection before The Timp. From there went ahead to The Timp, and took a break to take in the great views and snap some good photos.

 From The Timp summit, I headed down on the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail, steeply down into the Timp Pass, passing along interesting boulders and rock formations along the way. I got off the trail in the deep notch and took the Timp Pass Road south briefly until the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail. This trail skirts around the bottom of the Timp, descencing slightly, before turning back up to a very difficult ascent of the mountain, where it eventually meets up with the Timp-Torne Trail. I took the Timp-Torne Trail east, back to the 1777 trail, where I headed back down the mountain and the way I had come.

Map of the Route

View Approaching The Timp, Looking South.
Note the Pretty Yellow Flowers

View From The Timp Looking South.

A View of the Rocky Timp Summit,
Facing West to West Mountain

Another View from The Timp of West Mountain

Looking Northwest to Bear Mountain

Facing Southeast, with the Hudson River Behind the Trees

View of West Mountain Across The Timp Pass

View North to the Hudson River and the Hudson River

Same View, Zoomed Out

Interesting Rock Resting on Tree, Approaching The Timp Pass