Friday, May 18, 2012

Buttermilk Falls County Park

West Nyack
Rockland County,
New York

Hiking Trails:

Buttermilk Falls Trail (blue blaz)
White Trail (don't know the name of this trail

Total Time:
1:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.3 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Recommended for a short but scenic hike
Points Of Interest: Small waterfall, easy-to-hike view

Google Maps of Parking:

View 2012 Hiking in a larger map

Buttermilk Falls provides for a scenic, short hike with a nice small waterfall and view. This is a very good hike for kids. The waterfall is not dramatic and is seasonal, meaning in the dry summer months it is really unimpressive. However, in wet seasons it provides a cute waterfall. We had recently received lots of rain so the waterfall was nice. Another nice thing about this trail is that you can do a complete loop.

We started at the parking lot on Greenbush Road, and hiked up the trail to the waterfall. Continued past the waterfall to the viewpoint, which faces west viewing much of Rockland County with the Ramapo Mountains in the distance. From the continued down until the White Trail, which we took back to the car.

Map of the route

Me on tree above waterfalls

Buttermilk Falls

View from the top, facing southwest.
The tall building in the center is Blue Hill Plaza.

Facing South towards Route 303.

Another view from the top

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mill Creek Marsh
, Secaucus

Hudson County,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:

Mill Creek Marsh Trail

Total Time: 0:40 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.4 miles
Level of Difficulty: Very easy
Level of Recommendation: Recommended as an ecologically scenic nature walk
Points Of Interest: Marsh terrain, birdwatching

Google Maps of Parking:

View 2012 Hiking in a larger map
It is not too often that I go hiking through a swamp. This hike is in New Jersey's well-known meadowlands, and lies within a five mile distance to the skyscrapers of Midtown Manhattan. I had a show in the Meadowlands Exposition that Sunday, and this hike is just around the corner. I had seen a path going through the swamp with planks and bridges many times while driving down the New Jersey Turnpike as it enters Secaucus. I was always curious about this path, and finally had the oppurtunity to hike here. I parked at the end of the shopping center where Park Plaza Drive curves into Mill Creek Drive. There is official parking for the trail here. The trail is a flat gravel path, and doesn't have much tree cover. It was a hot day which made it a bit uncomfortable out in the strong sun, and I was glad I brought along sunblock.

The trail goes right through the brackish marsh on an elevated path with many bridges, planks, and boardwalks. There are many interersting birds to see here, and the water abounds with small fish. The hike really smells like a swamp though. I took the eastern-sided route, went off on on the short dead-end spur, came back, and then took the western spur. The western spur goes parallel to the New Jersey Turnpike and has a a long boardwalk.

Entrance to the Trail

Looking at the path at the beginning of the Trail

Manhattan skyline in the distance behind the swamp

Another view of Manhattan skyscrapers, through the Cedar Tree Remnant

The Path through the Marsh

Large Boardwalk Bridge

Remnants of the old Cedar Grove

Hundreds of Swarming Fish in the Marsh

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Campgaw Mountain County Reservation

Ramapo Mountain State Forest,
Bergen County,
New Jersey

Trails: Old Cedar Trail: Red blaze

Total Time:
1:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.2 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Recommended for a tranquil hike
Points Of Interest: Viewpoint and tranquil nature

Google Maps of Parking:

View 2012 Hiking in a larger map

Campgaw Mountain is a small mountain (or large hill, depending how you look at it) in Northwestern Bergen County. While it doens't contain any rugged peaks or exhilirating hiking, it does afford a very large network of tranquil and well-marked trails in a very small area. There is a small downlhill ski area with about a 200 foot vertical drop.

I parked in the northern end of the large parking lot near the ski lifts, and took the Old Cedar Trail up the mountain. The Old Cedar Trail is the longest trail in the park, and makes a complete loop, starting at the same point where it ends on the road. I climbed up the mountain and veered off at the top to take a look at the view by the top of the ski lifts. Continued back on the trail, going down and then going along the stream, down to the more developed park area at the bottom. From there headed along and continued past the lake, across the road, and along the brand new trail bridge back to the area where I parked.

Strange Pods on top of the mountain.
There are several of these and I don't know what they are for.

View from the top of the ski lift. Facing east.

From top of ski lift, facing northeast.

From top of Ski Lift facing north, with Sheraton Crossroads
Ramapo Mountains in view. The small jagged mountain in the
right center is Cheesecoate Mountain.

Power lines at the bottom.

Interesting trail marker along the Old Cedar Trail