Sunday, September 22, 2019

Greenwood Lake and Bearfort Mountain

Appalachian National Scenic Trail Area
Greenwood Lake Village area,
Orange Co.
New York

Hiking Trails:
Village Vista Trail: Blue blaze
Appalachian Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 2:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.7 Miles

Pros: Quiet area, scenic view, interesting rock formation
Cons: None

This hike was on the last day of summer. It was a beautiful day with a bright blue sky, and somewhat on the warm side. Earlier in the summer I had hiked Bellvale Mountain from Route 17A to Village Vista, a prominent view overlooking Greenwood Lake. I wanted to continue along that trail further south on the Appalachian Trail on Bellvale Mountain, and this hike did that.

I parked at Lions Field Park in the village of Greenwood Lake, where the Village Vista traihead begins. I took the Village Vista Trail up Bellvale Mountain, where it makes an ascent along many switchbacks. At the end of the trail, I took the Appalachian Trail south to the short distance at the Village Vista viewpoint on Bellvale Mountain, where it has an incredible view over Greenwood Lake.

I then continued further south on the Appalachian Trail to the next view, and then turned around and went back along the same route that I came from.

Map of the Route

Information Plaque at the Beginning of the Hike in Lions Field Park

US Park Boundary for the Appalachian Trail on the Village Vista Trail

View of Greenwood Lake Village from the Village Vista Trail

Another View from the Village Vista Trail

End of the Village Vista Trail at the Appalachian Trail

View of Greenwood Lake from Village Vista

Another View of Greenwood Lake

Me at the Village Vista View
View Facing North

A Better View of Greenwood Lake

Interesting Character at the top of the Mountain

Me on Bellvale Mountain

View Before Descending Along the Appalachian Trail

Cool Rock Formation Along the Appalachian Trail

More Cool Rock Formations and Early Foliage Colors

More Foliage Colors

More Rock Formations and Colors

View Along the Appalachian Trail

More Nice Scenery

Additional Early Foliage

View from the South View on Bellvale Mountain

View Facing North, Towards Schunnemunk Mountain

Another View Facing North

Sunday, September 15, 2019

High Tor Late Summer Hike

High Tor State Park,
Near Haverstraw
Rockland Co.
New York

Hiking Trails:
Long Path: Green blaze
Blue Connector Path: Blue blaze

Total Time: 2:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.5 Miles

Pros: Good climb with great views
Cons: Urban area in view, graffiti

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

High Tor is the tallest peak of the Palisades, towering over the village of Haverstraw and the Hudson River. The peak offers 360 degree views from all sides, with a challenging hike that requires some scrambling. I had not been here in some time, and this was a hot, late summer day with a bright blue sky and low humidity.

We parked the first car at Old Route 304 and Ridge Road, and took the Long Path from there into the woods where it climbs the south side of High Tor. The trail then steeply ascends to the summit. Several years ago the Long Path was rerouted away from the steep climb that it used to take up directly on the scramble, to a more gentle ascent to the side. However, we did notice a new trail marker following the old steep scramble along the former route, which we took. After the summit, we descended further along the trail, where the trail turns into a wide path all the way back to the parking area along Central Highway, where we had our second car parked.

Map of the Route

Sign at the Beginning of the Hike About Keeping the Trail Clean

Shimmy on he First Ascent

New Marking on the Scramble Trail

NYC Skyline Facing South

Couple Overlooking Haverstraw at the First View

High Tor Cliffs and Haverstraw

New Apartments and Hudson River at the Foot of the Mountain

View South Towards New City

Lake DeForest and High Tor Summit

Zoomed into Lake DeForest

Facing North from the Summit

Haverstraw and the Hudson River

View Facing South

Shimmy at the Summit

Haverstraw and Surrounding Area, with a Conrail Freight Train

Me at the Summit Facing Haverstraw

Me Atop High Tor

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Hook Mountain Ridge

Hook Mountain State Park,
Near Rockland Lake
Rockland Co.
New York

Hiking Trails:
Long Path: Green blaze
Yellow Trail: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 2:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.8 Miles

Pros: Excellent views and scenic area
Cons: Not as rural as other hikes

Hiking Partners:
Shimmy Rosenberg
Sruly Rosenberg
Elad Hillman

Hook Mountain is a narrow ridge alongside between the Hudson River and Rockland Lake. It shoots up sharply with very steep cliffs just a short distance from the Hudson River, with the Long Path traversing the ridgeline.

We started at Rockland Lake landing where we parked the first car. We took the Long Path south, climbing the ridge from the notch, and took the unblazed spur path that traverses the view rather than the Long Path. There is an excellent view of the Hudson River and across it to Ossining. We then met back up with the Long Path and continued along the trail, where it remains unremarkable without any additional views for some time.

However, right where the mountain bend, there is an excellent view facing south towards Nyack and the Tappan Zee Bridge, and the trail then climbs to the summit of Hook Mountain once again affording an amazing view. We then took the yellow trail on the descent to Route 9W and back to our other car.

Map of the Route

Information Plaque about the Knickerbocker Ice Company at Rockland Lake

Hudson River from the First View

Croton Point Reservoir Across the River

Hi Point Facing North

View Facing South from the First View

View of Ossining and Boats in the Hudson River

Our Crew Looking down the Cliffs 

Another View

Smoking Embers from a Camper Fire that Wasn't Put Out

Walking along the Long Path

Middle View along the Ridge

View Facing Nyack and the Tappan Zee Bridge

View of the Palisades Cliffs and Hudson River

Looking Down to Nyack Beach State Park

Our Motley Crue of Hikers

Shimmy Rosenberg, Elad Hillman, Me, and Sruly Rosenberg

Another View of Nyack and the Tappan Zee Bridge

Cactus Grove on the top of Hook Mountain

View on top of Hook Mountain facing North with Rockland Lake

View into Rockland County Facing West from the Summit

Me on Hook Mountain

Our Group on the Summit

Tappan Zee Bridge Span

The Rosenbergs

Me at Hook Mountain Summit

Descending the Mountain