Sunday, November 18, 2018

Horse Pond Mountain at Monksville Reservoir

Long Pond Ironworks State Park
Passaic Co,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
Hewitt Butler Trail: Blue blaze
Horse Pond Mountain Trail: White blaze
Highlands Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 2:40 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.5 Miles

Pros: Very scenic and quiet area
Cons: Power lines mar view

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg
Morty Rosenberg

I have been to the Monksville Reservoir area many times, but I never did this very scenic trail before. The route is along the ridge on the western and southern side of the reservoir. We did a two car hike, parking one car at the Hewitt Butler Trail trailhead on Greenwood Lake Turnpike, and another car at Lake Riconda.

It had just snowed on the previous Thursday an unseasonably early November snowstorm, with several inches of snow. The snow was still around in the area on this hike, making conditions for the hike more difficult. It was also very cold for this time of year, requiring us to bundle up more than usual for November.

We started from the first car on Greenwood Lake Turnpike and took the combined Hewitt Butler Trail and Highlands Trail along to the side of the reservoir, and then climbed up the ridge to the Horse Pond Mountain Trail. We passed several scenic ridges here, and then climbed back the last steep climb up Harrison Mountain, at the power lines, and then headed back down to our car at Lake Riconda.


Map of the Route.
(I had to color in the Monksville Reservoir
which is was not on my mapping software)

Plaque at the Parking Area

Shimmy and Morty at the Beginning of the Hike

Long Pond Ironworks Sign at the Trailhead

First Approach of the Monksville Reservoir from the
Hewitt Butler / Highlands Trail

Another View of the Monksville Reservoir

Above the Horse Pond Mountain after the Initial Climb

The First Viewpoint at Horse Pond Mountain

Me at the Above View

Self Timer with Me, Shimmy, and Morty

Monksville Reservoir from the First View

Mordy on the Hiking Trail with his Distinctive Yellow Jacket

Nice View of the Eastern Portion of the Monksville Reservoir

Nice View of the Most of the Monksville Reservoir from the Main View

View of the Northern Portion of the Monksville Reservoir

Me at the Main View at Horse Pond Mountain

Descending from the Top Vioew

View from Harrison Mountain from the Power Lines

View from Harrison Mountain

Another View from Harrison Mountain

From Harrison Mountain, Facing North

Power Lines on Harrison Mountain

Me at Harrison Mountain 
Shimmy and Morty Descending Harrison Mountain


Lake Riconda, Where we Parked our Second Car

Friday, November 16, 2018

Kakiat First Season November Snow

Kakiat County Park,
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Old Mill Trail: Blue blaze
Kakiat Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 22 minutes
Estimated Distance: 0.9 miles

Pros: Very scenic in fresh snow
Cons: None

We had an unusual November snowstorm. The forecast had called for a coating to an inch of snow and ice, but it snowed 10 inches in a rare November Nor'Easter that crippled the roads and messed up everybody's evening commute. The morning after the storm it had warmed up, and the sun came out. I took the opportunity to go on a quick hike at Kakiat County Park to enjoy the season's first snow, prior to heading off to work. I parked in the Kakiat parking lot, and took the short Old Mill Trail in its entirety, to the Kakiat Trail, when I took to the end back to my car.

Map of the Route

Entering Kakiat Park

The Mahwah River 
Mahwah River from the Bridge


Kakiat Field. Note the Freshly Fallen Leaves above the Snow.

Old Mill Trail Still with Greenery

Mahwah River from the Old Mill Trail

Fallen Pines on the Old Mill Trail

The Kakiat Brook

Kakiat Trail

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Forest View Trail to Closter Dock Trail Loop on Palisades

Palisades Interstate Park
Bergen Co.
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
Forest View Trail: Blue/White Blaze
Long Path: Green blaze
Closter Dock Trail: Orange blaze
Shore Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 3:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 6.3 Miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Pros: Peaceful walk along river and good views
Cons: Area is not remote

Hiking Partners:
Morty Rosenberg
Elad Hillman

This was a late autumn hike, and was my completion of all the hikes along the New Jersey Palisades. I had remembered that the previous year there was still much foliage in the area late in the season at the foot of the cliff, so I wanted to get one last seasonal fall hike with the foliage colors.

I parked with Morty on Route 9W at the Forest View Trail trailhead, and met up with Elad who joined us. We crossed the pedestrian bridge over the Palisades Parkway, and went to the Women's Federation Monument, a small stone edifice right near the cliff edge. There are some great views hear above the steep cliff wall which is probably about 300 feet straight down.

We took the Long Path South, and stopped briefly at the view at Ruckman Point, and then continued to Bombay Hook, which featured a narrow rock crevice with a small bridge above it, slightly off the trail. We continued along the Long Path, and shortly after the Palisades police station we took the Closter Dock Trail, which snakes down the steep hill to the Shore Trail. We walked along the Shore Trail north, along the side of the Hudson River, and then passed a nice seasonal waterfall along the side of the trail, and it was flowing strong.

We then took a short break and some pictures at Excelsior Dock, which juts in slightly into the river, and then continued north to the Forest View Trail. We took the Forest View Trail up the side of the cliff. This is a steep and difficult trail. We then took this trail south at the rim of the Palisades, where it coincides with the Long Path, past the Women's Federation Monument, and then back across the pedestrian bridge to our car at the trailhead.

Map of the Route

Morty on the Palisades Pedestrian Bridge

Palisades Parkway from the Pedestrian Bridge

Plaque at the Woman's Federation Monument

Women's Federation Monument

View at the Women's Federation Monument

Me on the Women's Federation Monument

Me at the View at the Women's Federation Monument

Me at the View Facing South

Morty at Ruckman Point

At Ruckman Point, Facing North

View near Bombay Hook

Morty on Rock at Bombay Hook

Elad at Bombay Hook

Long Path Trail Sign

Stone Tunnel at the Long Path/Closter Dock Trail Intersection

Foliage along the Shore Trail

Scenic Waterfall at the Shore Trail

Me at the Waterfall

View of Yonkers from Across the Hudson River

Barge on the Hudson River

Me on the Shore Trail

Fast Boat on the Hudson River

Manhattan Skyline, Facing South, from Excelsior Dock

On Excelsior Dock, Facing North

Steep Cliffs Above the Shore Trail

Morty and Elad along the Shore Trail

Shore Trail and Forest View Trail Intersection