Sunday, December 21, 2014

Lake Massawippa and Brooks Hollow

Harriman State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Total time: 1:25 min
Estimated Distance: 2.2 miles
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Level of Recommendation: Recommended for off the beaten path hike
Points of Interest: Abandoned structures, Lake Massawippa Dam
Pros: Scenic lake
Cons: Very eerie location

Google Map of Parking:


I had been in this area on my hike several weeks prior (details on this hike), and bushwacked from the Long Path down from Howell Mountain through Brooks Hollow to the dam. I had noticed an additional trail going through the valley but I didn't have the ability to properly explore it, and it wasn't on the maps. I also had wanted to come back to further explore the area around the abandoned structures.

I parked on Route 6 opposite the dam on the small parking spot for the camp road. I crossed the street and took a slight bushwack over the road cut towards the old paved road heading north from Route 6 on the eastern side of Lake Massawippa. The road is very overgrown but is very distinct. It goes through an area of numerous abandoned and destroyed structures, and is quite creepy. According to the Harriman Trails book by William J. Myles, this used to be a boy scout camp. The old remaining structures are definitely creepy, and for those who enjoy this type of exploration, this is a great place. Few people are familiar with this area as its not on a hiking trail, and is in a lightly traversed region of the park.

The old road loses its pavement at the camp, but it continues distinctly it reaches the brook. At this point it disappears, but its only a short bushwack to get to the Long Path from here. I did that bushwack just to measure. Due to the high volume of water, crossing the brook proved difficult.

I then turned around back on that old camp road, and then near the lake dam veered off walk along one side of the dam to get some good lake views. I then turned around, headed back for the path, which I took to Route 6, and then walked west for just bit back to my car.

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

Frozen Seasonal Pond off the Path to the Abandoned Structures

The first of the Abandoned Structures

The Largest of the Abandoned Structures

Several Abandoned Structures, Presumably Bunkhouses

Dilapidated Structure on the Verge of Collapse

The Same Building as Above, Zoomed In

Partially Frozen Lake Massawippa from the Dam

The Same View, Zoomed Out

Lake Massawippa from the Dam, Looking Towards Brooks Mountain

Lake Massawippa from the Dam, Looking South.
Note Some of the Abandoned Structures Beyond the Lake's End.

1 comment:

  1. Those camps have been abandoned for a good 50 years. If not more I have been going to that lake( in my early years) to swim . There was a rope swing off a tree just beyond a large rock before you get to the abandon cabins. This lake is unusually deep .. to the point I have gone with snorkel gear and a great set of Lungs but still could not reach the car that it sticking headlights up( keep in mind this is just off a rock. Great scenic area. Look for times of old . I have found canteens buttons, many flasks. It's a very quiet place. Enjoy your next visit

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