Thursday, August 21, 2014

Popolopen Brook to Queensboro Lake

Bear Mountain / Harriman State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Timp-Torne Trail: Blue blaze
Popolopen Gorge Trail: Red blaze
1777 Trail: Red blaze
1779 Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 1:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 3 miles
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Level of Recommendation: Slightly recommended
Points Of Interest: Popolopen Brook and bridges
Pros: Scenic area
Cons: Noise from Palisades Parkway, Proximity to gun range

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

I have hiked up Popolopen Torne many times, and its a great hike. I have also hike along the Popolopen Brook many times, but only ventured from Popolopen to Queensboro Lake once in my recent memory. So I decided to revisit this area along the scenic brook surrounded by a deep gorge.

I parked at the Popolopen Parking area right below the mountain, and noticed several new things. First of all, Mine Road is now closed to traffic after Popolopen where it enters West Point Property. I also noticed a new information kiosk at the foot of the trail where it goes up the mountain, as well as some interesting woodwork projects and signs from trail volunteers. I hiked the Timp-Torne Trail down and then made my way to the gorge, where there is a brand new, solid bridge crossing the Popolopen Brook. This crossing had been out for a while and was destroyed by one of the recent storms (I think Hurricane Irene.)

I crossed the bridge, and the trail meets up with the Popolopen Gorge, 1777, and 1779 Trails to confluence four trails. I continued along the path, crossing the next interesting bridge, making my way towards Queensboro Lake. However, I heard gunshots in the distance, and they got closer and closer as I approached the Police Training Range by Queensboro Lake. There is a warning sign about this, but hearing the constant gunshots so close made me uneasy so I turned around at the trail split near the shooting range instead of going all the way the Queensboro Lake.

I took the same return route back, but went up the western flank of the Timp-Torne Trail instead and then walked a short distance on the road back to my car. I had noticed some Magnetite on the ground near the parking lot, and know the distance is very close to the old Forest of Dean Mine and Queensboro Furnace, but upon exploring the area I noticed a large dump of iron ore with lots of magnetite right near the parking area. Its interesting to explore this area and notice the unique rock types present there.

Please note my camera is out of commission; these pictures were taken with my cell phone.

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

Road Closure of Mine Road

Interesting New Artifacts near the Parking Area

Interesting Sign Posted at the Trailhead Parking Area

Sign Posting Restricted Area of West Point Off the Trail

Descending Towards the New Bridge

At the New Bridge Prior to Crossing

Overnight Camper in a Tent on the Trail

Confluence of all 4 Trails

Interesting Bridge Crossing the Queensboro Brook

Another View of the Bridge

Queensboro Brook from Atop the Bridge

Pistol Range Sign at the Split Between the
Popolopen Gorge and Timp-Torne Trails

The Other Side of the Bridge on the Return Route Home

New Kiosk at the Foot of Popolopen

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