Sunday, October 13, 2013

Appalachian Trail to Island Pond

Harriman State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Appalachian Trail: White blaze
Island Pond Road: Unblazed
Arden-Surebridge Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 2:20 hours
Estimated Distance: 4.3 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Points Of Interest: Island Pond
Pros: Scenic remote natural lake, viewpoint
Cons: Hike up Applachian Trail not very dramatic

Hiking Partners:
Moshe Reich
Eli Shulman

Google Map of Parking:

View 2013 Hiking Locations in a larger map

It was a beautiful fall day and the foliage was beginning to peak. We parked at the Elk Pen by Arden Valley Road, and I was surprised to see that the parking area had been paved. We had intended to take the Arden-Surebridge Trail up, but noticed that the Appalachian had been re-routed off of Arden Valley Road instead through the meadow parallel to the road. So we had started out on the road looking for the trail when I noticed what had been done. We then took the Appalachian Trail up the mountain, and along the way encountered NY/NJ Trail Conference Members doing trail maintenance. We continued along past Island Pond Road to the northern view of Island Pond which has a beautiful lake lookout where you can also climb down to the lake. The scenery with the foliage was very impressive.

Island Pond is one of the few natural lakes in the park, and its outlet is not dammed. Much of its sides are surrounded by swamp, but its northern flank abuts into the water and is its nicest vantage point. We then turned around and made a slight detour from the Appalachian Trail to Island Pond Road, and took Island Pond Road south to the Arden-Surebridge Trail. We then took the Arden Surebridge Trail to the view which looks across the Ramapo River Valley, and then climbed down this steep part of the mountain until the Elk Pen open area and then back to our car.

Map of the Route. Harriman/Bear Mnt State Parks Northern Map

Impressive Maple Tree Along the Appalachian Trail

Volunteer Trail Workers Fixing Up the Appalachian Trail

Old Structure Diverting the Flow of Water Near the Inlet of Island Pond

Approaching the Island Pond Lookout

Island Pond Lookout, Facing South



Island Pond Lookout, Facing West


Eli Shulman at the Island Pond Lookout

Me at the Island Pond Lookout

Moshe Reich at the Island Pond Lookout

View at the Arden-Surebridge Trail Prior to Descending. Facing North.

View at the Arden-Surebridge Trail Facing East
Across the Ramapo River Valley

Large Meadow at the bottom of the Mountain on the A-SB Trail

Intersection and Signposts of the Appalachian Trail

Elk Pen at the End  of the Hike

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