Monday, April 25, 2016

Nordkop Mountain Summit,
Harriman State Park

Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Suffern-Bear Mountain (SBM) Trail: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 1:30 Hours
Estimated Distance: 2.5 Miles
Level of Difficulty: Slightly difficult
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended

Points of Interest: Rocky climb and Excellent Views
Cons: Highway traffic and built up area, trash and graffiti

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

Nordkop Mountain juts up out of Suffern and has two excellent views of the area. I have hiked up Nordkop Mountain many times, and have noticed that the true summit is further north on a rocky promenade. I had been meaning to go there and check out the true summit for quite some time, but never got around to it.

We parked on Chestnut Street in Suffern right before Route 202 (there is a 2 hour streetside parking available here), and walked along Route 202 to Route 59, underneath the wide Thruway/I-287 overpass. The Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail starts shortly after on the right side off the sidewalk. We started the rocky climb up, but instead of going straight on the SBM Trail, we veered towards the left northward, climbing the mountain over large rocks and scrambling up. We noticed that there is an unofficial route marked by pink strings climbing the mountain, and we took this path to the summit. We passed the gas pipeline, and afterwards a steep rocky incline towards the summit. There is an excellent view here, but unfortunately it is covered in graffiti.

We then went past the summit and veered east, bushwacking easy terrain for a short distance to the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail. We then went on the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail back down the mountain, passing the two viewpoints along the way. The higher viewpoint is terribly filthy, littered with trash and fouled by graffiti. We continued down along the trail to its terminus at Route 59, and then walked along the road back to our car.

Map of the Route.
Harriman/Bear Mountain State Parks Southern Map

SB (Suffern Bear-Mountain) Mosaic at the Trailhead 
Me Ascending the Mountain

Me on a Rock Face Climbing the Mountain

Large Ugly Grub Along the Trail

View from the Summit, Looking South

View Looking South, with Franklin Turnpike in View

Thruway and I-287 Overpass with the Sheraton Crossroads


Zoomed into Hillburn

View from the Summit Looking Northwest

Flowers in Bloom

Me on the Summit Rock at the Highest Elevation

Me at the the Nordkop View on the S-BM Trail

Downtown Suffern

Suffern Train Station, Franklin Turnpike, and Manhattan Skyline
Databit Office

Good Samaritan Hospital

I-287 and Route 17 Split in New Jersey

Shimmy Along the Lower Nordkop View

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Catamount Mountain,
Harriman State Park

Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Pine Meadow Trail: Red blaze
Sherwood Path: Unblazed
Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 2:30 Hours
Estimated Distance: 4.1 Miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended

Points of Interest: Excellent View

Hiking Partner:
Rayzi Friedman

This hike was on a beautiful April day, with full sunshine and temperatures in the 60's. The trees and their buds were blooming, and the sky was a strong blue. We parked at the Rockland Equestrian Center on Route 202, which is the trailhead for the Pine Meadow Trail. We took the Pine Meadow Trail up the small ascent to the Gas Line, and headed southwest along the gas line path to the Sherwood Path. The Sherwood Path is a wide but unmarked trail that climbed the Ramapo Mountain Ridge in between Horse Stable Mountain and Catamount Mountain. We took the trail up, all the way to the Stone Memorial Shelter.

We then took the Suffer-Bear Mountain Trail along the top of the trail to the view atop Catamount Mountain. This is a sweeping view looking over the entire Rockland County, with the Manhattan skyline in excellent view. We then continued north on the trail as it descended into the gap between Catamount and Panther Mountains, and then took the Pine Meadow Trail all the way back down to its terminus at the horse stables.

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

Walking Along the Pipeline Path

Greenery on the Sherwood Path

The Sherwood Path at the Power Lines

Wrecked Car on the Sherwood Path

Overnighters at the Stone Memorial Shelter

Rocky Walk Along the S-BM on Catamount

View of Rockland County from Catamount

RCC and the Manhattan Skyline from Catamount

Soaring Turkey Vulture

Does this need a Caption?

Me at Catamount

View at Catamount Looking East

View from Catamount Looking South

View from Catamount Over Rockland County

Forshay Road Construction

Wesley Hills near Willow Tree

Trees in Bloom

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Harriman State Park Late Season Snow

Drive Through Harriman State Park in the Snow
Rockland/Orange Counties,

New York

For an exceptionally mild winter, April had started out pretty cold. The night before this hike was in the 30's with rain, but snow was predicted upstate. Additionally, there was a high wind warning in the area with very strong winds. The morning started out very cold and winter-like, and felt more like February than April!

Upon driving north towards Harriman, as I entered the park and drove to a higher elevation, there was snow on the ground! at to 1000 foot mark there was about 3 inches of wet, heavy snow! This despite the trees already starting their bloom. On the way up to the hike while driving on County Route 106 (Gate Hill Road/Lake Kanawauke Road) I encountered some surreal scenes which I photographed.

Lake Welch

Crow Sitting upon a Blooming Tree in the Snow

The Same Picture Zoomed Out.
This is by the Lake Welch Causeway

Lake Welch

Lake Kanawauke (Little Long Pond)

Hiker Xing Sign at the Ramapo Dunderberg Trailhead

The Hiker Xing Sign

Road Before the White Bar Trailhead, Where I Parked

Carr Pond Mountain Snow

Harriman State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
White Bar Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 0:50 Hours
Estimated Distance: 1.4 Miles
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Level of Recommendation: Recommended

Points of Interest: Short climb to good view

Despite an almost snowless winter, the month of April gave us this brief but beautiful snowstorm in the higher elevations in the mountains. The day was unseasonably cold, with temps in the 30's, combined with a high wind warning with gusts over 30 MPH. This made the wind chill feel like the upper teens.

I had to attend an event late morning, so I had to do a brief hike. I picked this area which is a relatively short hike to a good view, and a quiet area in Harriman. I parked at the trailhead by the White Bar Trail on Route 106, right before it goes around the sharp bend. The irony is that the the road to the trailhead is closed in the winter, but was opened already for the spring, despite the fresh snow.

I took the White Bar Trail south, up the small ridge, down the valley, and up again to the view at Carr Pond Mountain. The view was incredibly windy, and I could not stay there for long. I then turned around and took back the same route back down.

Map of the Route
Harriman/Bear Mountain State Parks Northern Map

Snow-Covered Carr Pond Mountain

Heavy, Wet Snow Covering Everything

From the View at Carr Pond Mountain

View at Carr Pond Mountain

Sprouting Greenery with Snow on it