Monday, April 8, 2024

Solar Eclipse Totality in Upstate New York

Thompson Park,
Jefferson County,
New York

I was fortunate to experience a full solar eclipse in North Carolina in 2017, and during that time was very inspired and I told myself that I would make sure to be at the next eclipse in upstate New York in 2024. Well, now it was seven years later and the time had come. I travelled with my family upstate, and I chose Watertown as it was in the center of the path of totality with one of the longest timeframes, and also has a park overlooking the city so we can see the city light and view during the totality. We went to Thompson Park which overlooks the city, and there was a large festival there with hundreds of people, music, and street vendors. It was quite a scene. Parking was closed in the park and we parked in the city streets and walked up the hill to the main part of the park. 

I had mentioned this point back in 2017, and the same held true now: Seeing the eclipse in totally vs. only partially (even at 99%) doesn't compare, as the effects are much more impressive when its in full totality. When totality was reached, a the crowd cheered loudly throughout. There were clouds that rolled in several minutes after the eclipse started, but once the totality approached we were able to witness the entire event through the thin clouds. In fact I even captured the movement of the move in front of the sun on video!

With my Camera & Equipment. Note the Large Crowd at Thompson Park
Approaching Totality - Viewed from my Solar Filter

Darkness Coming as Totality Approaches

Solar Eclipse Totality

Darkness During Totality

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Harriman State Park
Rockland / Orange Counties,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Blue Disc Trail: Blue blaze
Tuxedo-Mt. Ivy Trail: Red blaze
Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 2:00 hours
Estimated Distance: 3.9 Mile

Pros: Good views, scenic and quiet area, rock formations
Cons: None
Hike Type: Two Car
Level of  Difficulty: Slightly difficult

Google Maps of Parking:
First Car:
Second Car:

Hiking Partner:
Yehudah Koblick

Map of the Route

Brook at the Beginning of the Hike

Ascending up Almost Perpendicular / Daters Mountain

View at Almost Perpendicular

Elbow Brush Rock Formation

Claudius Smith Den View

Smith Rock View Over Tuxedo

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Allis Trail at Sterling Forest

Sterling Forest State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Allis Trail: Blue blaze
Sterling Valley Trail: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 2:05 minutes
Estimated Distance: 4.6 Miles

Pros: Very quiet area  (didn't meet anyone on the hike)
Cons: Not enough views on trail, noise from cars on road
Hike Type: Out and back
Level of Difficulty: Slightly difficult

Google Maps of Parking:

Route 17A climbs a nice ridge in Sterling Forest to an elevation of 1200 feet between Tuxedo and Greenwood Lake. Along the road there are great views facing east. I never had the opportunity to take the Allis Trail parallel to the road, and figured there would be great views along this trail. I was disappointed that they were much more limited then I had hoped for. Nevertheless, there was a viewpoint at the end near the pine grove after the gas line. I still recommend the trail for its peace and tranquility. 

I parked at the trailhead parking on Route 17A at the Sterling Valley and Allis trailheads, and crossed the road to the Allis Trail terminus, and took the trail north along the ridge and parallel to the road. After passing the gas line, I ascended the mountain to the pine grove and found a nice view here.

After the second pine grove along the top part of the ridge, I turned around back along the same way, and took a detour to the east side of Route 17A, to the top of a sweeping ridge and view. I then continued on a short bushwhack and then want back to the road, and then took the Sterling Valley Trail back to my car.

Map of the Route

Allis Trail Trailhead

Along the Allis Trail

At the Gas Line

View Ascending the Summit Towards the Pine Grove

The Pine Grove

Greenwood Lake in the Distance

Gas Line View

View from Route 17A