Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Bear Mountain Major Welch Downhill

Bear Mountain State Park
Rockland/Orange Counties,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Major Welch Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: :30 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.6 Miles

Pros: Great scramble and views
Cons: Very busy on bottom
Level of Difficulty: Difficult

I usually make a trip to Bear Mountain on one of the Wednesday's in the summer when the park hosts the vintage car show. The show involves vintage and eclectic car hobbyists coming up the large lawn at Bear Mountain and showing off their cars. Its a nice event and very worthwhile visiting.

This time I had my wife drop me off at the Major Welch Trail where it crosses Perkins Memorial Drive. So this hike was down the mountain to the inn area and car show. I ran down the trail very fast, only stopping to take some pictures at the view and at Hessian Lake. My hiking shoes were in poor condition and combined with my lack of hiking sticks and no breaks really put me in pain the next day, spraining my leg muscles.

Please excuse the picture quality. They were taken with my cell phone camera.)


Map of the Route

Major Welch Trail Atop Bear Mountain

View on the Major Welch Trail

At the Famous Viewpoint

Bear Mountain Bridge in the Distance

Looking Towards Anthony's Nose and the Hudson River

Me at the Top

Hudson River and Anthony's Nose

Hudson River Facing North

Looking Towards Brooks Lake

Large Rock Face Descending the Major Welch

Hessian Lake Approaching Sunset

Hessian Lake with Anthony's Nose Towering Behind the Lake

Car Show at Bear Mountain

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Fawn Trail Extension

Bear Mountain State Park
Rockland/Orange Counties,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Fawn Trail: Red blaze
Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail: Yellow blaze
1777 W Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 1:10 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.3 Miles

Pros: Heavily forested area
Cons: No views
Level of Difficulty: Easy

I had heard that the Fawn Trail in Bear Mountain State Park had been extended along the foot of West Mountain. The trail used to end at the Appalachian Trail, and has been extended now to the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail. The extension is mostly along the previosly unmarked trail known as the "Bridle Path," though the beginning of the trail is newly blazed until reaching the Bridle Path.

I parked at the trailhead on Seven Lakes Drive near Perkins Memorial Drive, at the 1777 W Trail, and took that trail for a short distance until the Appalachian Trail. I took the Appalachian Trail slightly up towards the Fawn Trail, and then took the Fawn Trail east until its new terminus at the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail. I then took that trail to the 1777W Trail, which I took back to the trailhead where my car was parked.

Map of the Route

Continuation of the New Part of the Fawn Trail at the AT

Approaching the New Terminus of the Fawn Trail

End of the Fawn Trail at the S-BM Trail

End Trail Trail Markers

Cairn at the S-BM and the 1777 W Trails

Another View of the Cairn

New Sign of the AT Trail on the Tree

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Popolopen Gorge Loop and Ft. Montgomery Site

Bear Mountain State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

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

Total Time: 2:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.7 Miles

Pros: Scenic bridges, pretty gorge
Cons: Sound from highway nearby
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Hiking Partners:
Shimmy Rosenberg
Josef Friedman

The Popolopen Gorge is a steep gorge formed by the Popolopen Creek, flanked by the steep cliffs of Bear Mountain on one side, and Popolopen Torne on on the other. This loop trail involves two trails, one on each side of the gorge, for a fairly moderate hike.

We parked at the Fort Montgomery historical site, and took the combined Timp-Torne, 1777, and 1779 Trails under the Popolopen Gorge Bridge and then went off back to the road and crossed the Popolopen Gorge Bridge on the sidewalk of busy Route 9W.

Right after the bridge is the start of the Popolopen Gorge Trail, which we took alongside the southern flank of the Popolopen Creek. This trail meets up again with the combined Timp-Torne, 1777, and 1779 right before a newly constructed, sturdy bridge across the Popolopen Creek. We then the combined Timp-Torne, 1777, and 1779 Trail towards Brooks Lake, and we veered off slightly onto the Brooks Lake Trail to take a picture of Brooks Lake. We continued back on the combined trails, which we took back under the Popolopen Trail and back to car. When we came back, we spent a few minutes looking through the visitors center which talks all about Ft. Montgomery.

Map of the Route

Beginning of the Hike at Ft. Montgomery

Trail Going Underneath Route 9W Popolopen Bridge

Bear Mountain Bridge

Sign on Route 9W

Popolopen Creek from the Bridge

Flowers at the Beginning of the Hike 
Bridge Across the Popolopen Bridge 



Crossing the Creek on the Trail

Bridge Across the Popolopen Bridge

Trail Markers near Brooks Lake

Boardwalk over the Brooks Lake Inlet

Brooks Lake

Another View of Brooks Lake

Me at Brooks Lake

Shimmy Relaxing on a Bent Tree

Old Ruin near Brooks Lake

Whitetail Deer Awfully Close to us on the Trail

Going Back Under the Popolopen Bridge

Steps nearing the end of the Hike

Inside the Ft. Montgomery Visitors Center

Ft. Montgomery Visitors Center

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Neversink River Unique Area

Near Rock Hill
Sullivan Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Blue Trail: Blue blaze
Yellow Trail: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 1:25 minutes
Estimated Distance: 2.5 Miles

Pros: Remote area, flowering rhododendrons
Cons: No views and far walk to waterfalls

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Hiking Partners:
Josef Friedman

This area is in a remote region in Sullivan County, along the Neversink River. I was in the area of Monticello and had some extra time to take a hike in the region. I did not realize how far it is to falls, so we just ended up going down to the side of the river at the end of the hike. We took the Blue Trail to the Yellow Trail down to the side of the river. I was disappointed how far down the falls were and how uneventful the hike was otherwise.

Map of the Route

Neversink River Facing South

Above View Zoomed In

Neversink River, Zoomed North

Rhododendron Forest

Late-Season Rhododendron Forest