Sunday, December 29, 2013

Kakiat Before Rain

Kakiat Before Rain
Kakiat County Park
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Mountain Trail: Orange blaze

Total Time: 0:55
Estimated Distance: 1.5 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Recommended for short and sweet hike
Points Of Interest: Kakiat Mountain View
Pros: Bottom part of park very busy

Google Map of Parking:

View 2013 Hiking Locations in a larger map

Kakiat is one of my favorite short hikes. Its close to home and is a short and sweet climb with an excellent view. The weather forecast had called for heavy rain most of the day. When I woke up in the morning, it had not started raining yet. I checked the radar and noticed I have a about an hour or two until the rain starts, so I opted for this quick and close-by hike and beat out the rain. One of the few weather conditions that I will not go hiking in is a steady cold rain. I was glad to have gotten in this hike before the storm. I parked in the main Kakiat parking area, and took the orange-blazed Mountain Trail up Kakiat Mountain to the upper viewpoint. I then took returned the same route down.

Map of the Route

View from Lookout Facing Northeast.
Cobus Mountain on the Left and South Mountain in the Distance

View from the Lookout Facing Southeast

View Facing East/Southeast with RCC
(Rockland Community College) in View
and the Palisades in the  Distance

Rock at the Lookout

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Goshen Mountain Loop

Harriman State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail: Red blaze
Appalachian Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 2:10
Estimated Distance: 4.5 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Not Recommended
Points Of Interest: Lake Tiorati, Appalachian Trail
Pros: Trails are quiet
Cons: No dramatic views

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

Google Map of Parking:

View 2013 Hiking Locations in a larger map

A few weeks back on that abnormally frigid day in November with Shimmy we had meant to take this route as a continuation, but the cold weather was getting to us so we had to cut that hike short. This hike was the continuation and a little bit extra. The weather had been very strange. It had peaked on the hike to about 65 degrees, which allowed me to hike short-sleeve T-shirt. I don't ever previously recall hiking in short sleeves in late November. All the snow from the previous weeks snowstorms had virtually melted, which just few patches remaining.

We parked at the Tiorati Circle parking area, and walked along Lake Tiorati Road, which is closed in the winter. It was fascinating to view Lake Tiorati covered with ice but melting with  steam clouds forming from the melt and then blowing over to the side of the lake. We veered off the road at the bend, taking the unmarked former route of the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail towards the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail. We then headed north on the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail up Goshen Mountain, and then back down to the six-way intersection of the Ramapo-Dunderberg, Appalachian, and unmarked Bockey Swamp Trail. We took the Appalachian Trail west and crossed over Seven Lakes Drive, crossing the brook and climbing up Fingerboard Mountain. When we reached the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail, instead of climing up the hill, we veered directly south along the side of the ridge towards the Tiorati Traffic Circle and back to our car.

Map of the Route

Lake Tiorati Road, Closed for the Season

Steam Cloud Forming on the Shore of Lake Tiorati from Melting Ice

Lake Tiorati from the Northern Bank

Clouds Forming Over Lake Tiorati frrom Melting Ice,
These Fog Clouds Blew into us Several Hundred Feet Away from the Lake

Very Large Bees or Hornets Nest that has been Discontinued

Ramapo-Dunderberg Along the Goshen Mountain Ridge

Me at the Top of Goshen Mountain

Interesting Colors at the Top of Goshen Mountain

Very Unique Photo Perspective Atop Goshen Mountain.
It's Hard to See Which are the Clouds and which are the Mountains

Another View from the Top of Goshen Mountain

Along the Appalachian Trail

Some Remaining Snow in the Evergreen Mountain
Laurels on the Appalachian Trail

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Halfway Mountain Snowstorm

Harriman State Park
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Pine Meadow Trail: Red blaze
Stony Brook Trail: Yellow blaze
Kakiat Trail: White blaze
Hillburn-Torne-Sebago (HTS) Trail: Orange blaze

Total Time: 1:50
Estimated Distance: 2.7 miles
Level of Difficulty: Difficult in snow conditions
Level of Recommendation: Recommended
Points Of Interest: Stony Brook and Halfway Mountain
Pros: Good hike for a fresh snowstorm
Cons: Been here many times

Google Map of Parking:

View 2013 Hiking Locations in a larger map

It had just snowed about 8 inches on Saturday/Saturday night, so there was a fresh layer of new snow. When I headed out some of the roads were still covered with snow, and I ended up driving through Harriman first only to see that there was no parking at many of the trailheads since they weren't plowed yet. I ended up driving to the Reeves Meadow area, which is the busiest trailhead in Harriman, and I knew it would be plowed there.

It was still surprisingly quiet along the hike, with only few cars in the usually busy parking lot. Once I had gotten to the Stony Brook Trail there was only one  pair of footsteps ahead of me, and when I took the HTS Trail I was the first one to take it since the snow. I turned around at the HTS views and went back down, and my plan was to cross the brook and go down via the Pine Meadow Trail. However, it was very hard to cross the show and ice-covered brook with all the new water and no bridge. Once I crossed I headed back down via the Pine Meadow Trail.

Map of the Route.
Harriman/.Bear Mountain Trails Southern Map

Snowy Bridge Near the Beginning of the Hike

Snow and Ice Covered Stony Brook

Thy Sky Starting to Clear at the Gas Line Crossing.

The Stony Brook in the Scenic Narrow Area After the Gas Line

Bridge Crossing the Pine Meadow Brook

Climbing Up Halfway Mountain on the HTS Trail,
Making the First Footsteps up the Mountain

View from Halfway Mountain, Looking Over the
Pine Meadow Brook Valley to Chipmunk Mnt

View from Halway Mountain, Looking West.

View From Halfway Mountain Looking West, Zoomed.

Evergreen Mountain Laurels Along the Pine Meadow Trail

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Route 6 To Stockbrige Mountain Loop

Harriman State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Long Path: Green blaze
Menomine Trail: Yellow blaze
Nawahunta Fire Road: Unblazed

Total Time: 2:20
Estimated Distance: 5.2 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Recommended
Points Of Interest: Cave Shelter, Stockbridge Shelter, Lake Nawahunta
Pros: Less traversed part of the park, points of interest
Cons: View is not that great

Google Map of Parking:

View 2013 Hiking Locations in a larger map

When I had hiked the Long Path to Long Mountain several weeks ago, I had determined to also hike the Long Path going south from this point up Stockbridge Mountain. So this was my oppurtunity, and I did a loop going down the Menomine and then taking the Nawahnunta Fire Road back. I parked  at the Long Mountain semicircle trailhead, and took the Long Path south through the deep valley, up Stockbridge Mountain, and then along the ridge. Near the top of the ridge is the "Cave Shelter" a rock formation with a few small caves and passageways formed from fallen rock.

Just a short distance after is the top of Stockbridge Mountain, which affords a slightly overgrown view and a shelter. I met some hikers at the shelter making a fire and cooking a late breakfast. From here there is a short scramble down, where the trail meets the Menomine Trail. I took the Menomine Trail down the mountain to Lake Nawahunta, and then took the unmarked but well-maintained Nawahunta Fire Road. The Nawahunta Fire Road meets back with the Long Path, and I continued north upon reaching the Long Path back to my car.

Map of the Route.
Harriman/Bear Mountain Trails - Northern Map

Long Path sign on Interesting Tree,
White Ascending  Stockbridge Mountain

Cave Shelter.
Note the  People Climbing up on the Long Path

Another View of the Cave Shelter

Rock Atop the View Area of Stockbridge Mountain

Fallen, Horizontal Tree on the Summit of Stockbridge Mountain

Group of People Camping at the Shelter Making a Fire

View Atop Stockbridge Mountain

Nice Pine Forest on the Menomine Trail, near Lake Nawahunta

Approaching Lake Nawahunta

Lake Nawahunta

Lake Nawahnunta

Lewis Mine

Monday, December 2, 2013

Little Tor Loop,
High Tor State Park

Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Long Path: Green blaze
Little Tor Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 1 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.3 miles
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Level of Recommendation: Recommended for an easy hike to a view
Points Of Interest: View of the Haverstraw Area
Pros: Excellent Views
Cons: Full of Creepy Graffiti, Views are Very Urban

Google Map of Parking:

View 2013 Hiking Locations in a larger map

I had was able to take off Monday morning for a short and easy hike. Little Tor is a short mountain popping out of the Palisades Ridge with dramatic views and a steep cliff face. I parked at the top of Central Highway, and then the took the Long Path west. Where the power lines cross, I veered off onto the power lines trail to the top to get glimpse of the view here. The view is very good, but it is full of graffiti which really ruins the atmosphere, together with the power lines. You can merge right back onto the Long Path from here, and I did that and continued along the Long Path until the Little Tor Trail. Although this trail is not an official trail on the map, it is blazed with a white blaze. I took the Little Tor trail  up to the top, and then climbed down by bushwacking back to the Long Path, and then went back to my car.

Map of the Route.
Hudson Palisades Trails - New  York Section

View from the Power Lines Looking Northwest
Towards West Haverstraw and Stony Point

View from the Power Lines Looking North

Rocks Atop the Power Line View

View of the Ramapo Mountains.
Facing Northeast.

View of Haverstraw and  Power Plants from Little Tor

View of Garnerville from Little Tor

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Lake Roland,
Robert E. Lee Memorial Park

Baltimore Co.,

Total Time: 1:30 hours
Estimated Distance: 1.52 miles
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Level of Recommendation: Recommended
Points Of Interest: Scenic walk around lake
Pros: Lake views and nice topography
Cons: In a built up area, last part of hike busy on weekends

I was in Baltimore over Thanksgiving weekend visiting family. I stuck around until Sunday, and took a short hike Sunday morning with my kids and nieces and nephew. I am not familiar with the Baltimore area, but the city does have some scenic deep valleys with nice trails. We took the trail around the southern part of Roland Lake, starting at the parking area east of the dam. We crossed the stream over a large fallen tree, then down the ravine through the swampy area, then to the "cave" (actually seems to be an old pegmatite mine), and then around the lake to the railroad track. This is a very active railroad with the Baltimore Light Rail coming about every 10 minutes or so. We crossed the railroad bridge, and then went through the dog park area, and the across the new bridge by the dam and then back to the parking area. There is a "No Trespassing" sign by the railroad bridge, but it was only facing northbound. Once we crossed the bridge we noticed there was another "No Trespassing" sign posting where we came from, but coming from our direction there was no sign.

Map of the Route

Crossing the Brook at the Incoming Brook,
With an Old Stone Bridge in the Rear

Crossing the Fallen Tree Over the Narrow Dip

Lake Roland  from the View Area Above the Cave

Me at the Above Spot

Dense Evergreen Ivy Along the Hike

Great Blue Heron at the Foot of the Dam

The Dam and Outgoing  Brook