Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Snowstorm New A-SB Trail

Harriman State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Arden Surebridge (A-SB) Trail: Red blaze
Red Cross Trail: Red blaze

Total time: 0:35 min
Estimated Distance: 1.2 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Slightly recommended
Points of Interest: Lake Askoti
Pros: Was a great hike in the snow
Cons: End of hike requires long walk on the road

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

We had just gotten several inches of snow the day before, and I hear just a few more miles north in the mountains there had been a significant amount of snow. Thanksgiving is pretty early for a snowstorm, so this was quite unusual. But there was definitely a lot of snow, in the form of a thick, wet snow that seemed to stick to everything. It was quite beautiful and a scene to behold. Luckily I was off from work and able to explore in the morning, being that it was Thanksgiving. Although the storm had pulled out the night before, there was still some light residual snow falling throughout the morning including during this hike, making it a surreal experience.

I parked at the parking lot down by Lake Skanatati, and had planned on taking the A-SB Trail up the mountain to the view. Due to my limited time, I had intended to make the hike short and complete it at the view atop Pine Swamp Mountain, and then head back down the same route.

However, upon ascending the mountain, I noticed the trail being routed with a new route going towards the east. Now I noticed that the trail crews had been working in the area recently and refurbishing the trail. Now I figured that this was a work around the short rocky scramble. However, I was surprised to find the trail continuing along parallel to the road and not turning back west to the view!

I continued along the new trail, not sure as to its destination, until I noticed it finally merging with the original trail as it made the turn descending to the Pine Swamp. This seems odd to me as it would be seemingly eliminating a very important part of the trail which includes an excellent view! Perhaps the Red Cross Trail has been routed back to the view, though I'll have to further explore to know forsure. It was hard to tell exactly what was going on as well due to the snow covering the ground with no prior foot marks on the trail.

Once I approached near the original trail, I turned around and then bushwacked down towards the valley towards the Red Cross Trail as it descended towards the 7 Lakes Drive. I took the Red Cross Trail to the road, and then headed south along the road, along the side of Lake Askoti, all the way back to the parking lot. The road was eerily quiet; only one car had passed me during the entire walk along the road. I have to return to further explore what is going on here and how the rerouting of the trails has been done.

Map of the Route

Lake Skanatati at the Beginning of the Hike

Another View of Lake Skanatati

Dense Heavy Snow At the Trailhead

At the Beginning of the A-SB Trail

Beech Trees with Withering Foliage and Heavy Wet Snow

7 Lakes Drive. Sign Says "Icy When Wet"

Lake Askoti Behind the Trees

Lake Askoti

Lake Askoti. Note the Little Snow Man in the Middle

Zoom in to the Little Snowman

Lake Askoti

Lake Askoti

7 Lakes Drive and Lake Askoti

Lake Askoti

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