Thursday, July 25, 2019

Kakiat LinkedIn Hike

Kakiat County Park/
Harriman State Park
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Mountain Trail: Orange blaze

Total Time: 1:30 minutes
Estimated Distance: 1.7 miles

Pros: Good climb with nice views
Cons: None

Hiking Partner:
Many of my LinkedIn business contacts, including Brian Wallace, Shimon Rosenberg, Jacob Busani, and Jacob Engel

I have a nice group of LinkedIn business contacts, and decided to try something interesting and make a LinkedIn Local on the a mountain. So I organized a short hike up Kakiat with some amazing LinkedIn contacts. We parked at the Kakiat Park parking area after work about 2 hours prior to sunset, and climbed the mountain up the Mountain Trail to the first view at Kakiat Mountain. We had a LinkedIn discussion and Q&A at the first summit, and then the more serious hikers of the group ascended to the upper Kakiat summit. We then turned around and headed back down along the same trail, and met at the bottom for some more networking and group discussion.

Map of the Route

Me at the Trailhead Parking

Our Group Starting the Hike

First View Atop the Mountain

Above the Kakiat First Summit

Atop Kakiat First Summit, Looking Southeast

LinkedIn Local atop the Mountain

Group Photo atop Kakiat, with Brian Wallace in the Center

Atop the Rock on the Upper Kakiat Summit

The Group that Climbed to the Upper Kakiat Summit

Kakiat Upper Summit Sunset

View Towards the NYC Skyline from the Upper Summit

Picnic and Refreshments after the Hike

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Black Rock Mountain Loop

Harriman State Park,
Orange Co.
New York

Hiking Trails:
Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail: Red blaze
Dunning Trail: Yellow blaze
White Bar Trail: White blaze

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

Pros: Very scenic area and good climb, with great views and blueberries
Cons: Lacking shade

Hiking Partners:
Jacob Baldinger
Josef Friedman

This was another hot July day. I had the privilege of hiking with Jacob Baldinger, and friend from my youth who I'd go hiking with fairly frequently.

Unfortunately, I had left my camera SD card in my computer, and only noticed after the hike was complete. All my photos on this hike are lost. I just have a few that I snapped from my cell phone and photos that Jacob sent me.

We parked on Lake Kanawauke Road at the Ramapo Dunderberg Trail, and took the Ramapo Dunderberg Trail up to the Black Rock View. We continued along the ridge, with a great bounty of blueberries along the sunny area, and then descended the mountain on the Dunning Trail. We took the Dunning Trail to the White Bar Trail to the trailhead parking area on Lake Kanawauke Road, where we had our second car.

Map of the Route

Me on Black Rock Rock Mountain

Me on Black Rock Mountain

Me and Jacob on Black Rock Mountain

Blueberry Harvest

Jacob on Black Rock Mountain

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Cylburn Arboretum Hiking Trails

Cylburn Arboretum,

Hiking Trails:
Woodlands Trail
Ridge Trail
Azalea Trail
Circle Trail
Etta Stem Wedge Trail
Spicebush Trail
Ravine Trail

Total Time: 1:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.3 Miles

Pros: Scenic area within city limits
Cons: Lack of views

I was in Baltimore visiting family for the weekend, and went out early Sunday morning for a quick hike. While there aren't any mountains in the area, there are some nice parks with trails, including Cylburn Arboretum which lies within the northern part of the city limits.

Cylburn Arboretum is a 200 acre park with an old historic mansion that has been preserved, with beautiful grounds and a botanical garden. There are several trails in the area that go through the woodlands. The mansion and gardens are surrounded by a deer fence to keep the deer out and protect the plants and flowers, so you have to go through the deer fence several times. I covered most of the hiking trails in the park, going from one end of the park to the other.

It was a very hot and muggy day, with temperatures in the 90's. I parked in the main parking area, and walked towards the mansion and gardens. I then went the trailhead area past the main gardens and took the Woodlands Trail down towards the valley to its terminus where the old tran station once was.

I then went back and took the short Ridge Trail to the Azalea Trail, to the Circle Trail and then the Etta Stem Wedge Trail. I then took the new Spicebush Trail to the Ravine Trail, which I took back up the ravine to the Circle Trail and to the Volmer Center. I then went back to my car from there.

Map of the Route

Large Tree Meadow Before the Hike

Approaching the Mansion 

A View of the Mansion

Botanical Gardens

Start of the Hiking Trails. Woodlands Trail is to the Left.

Deer Fence Door

One Tree Growing inside Another

Etta Stem Wedge Trail

Map at the End of the Hike

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Halfway Mountain & Diamond Mountain

Harriman State Park,
Rockland Co.
New York

Hiking Trails:
Pine Meadow Trail: Red blaze
Stony Brook Trail: Yellow blaze
Kakiat Trail: White blaze
Hillburn Tone Sebago (HTS) Trail: Orange blaze
7 Hills Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 2:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.9 Miles

Pros: Scenic area, good climb, great views, and blueberries
Cons: Lots of people at beginning part of hike on weekends

Hiking Partners:
Josef Friedman
Shimmy Rosenberg

This area is one of my most favorite area in Harriman State Park. It features incredible views with nice climbs and scrambles. The weather had been quite hot, and this was no exception.

We parked at Reeves Meadow, which was already quite busy despite being the morning, and took the Pine Meadow Trail to the Stony Brook Trail along the brook. The bridge across Pine Meadow Brook at the junction of the Kakiat Trail was broken and out of commission, with a sign by the pile of wood from the bridge that we will be rebuilding it soon. The water level was low enough to easily cross the brook on foot.

We continued along the Kakiat Trail to the Cascade of Slid waterfall, and then took the HTS Trail up to the view. This view is becoming quite overgrown with less to see. We then continued up the steep rock to the top of Diamond Mountain, at the intersection of the 7 Hills Trail.

There is a great view here, and it remains impressive along the 7 Hills Trail all the way to its descent back to the deep valley of Pine Meadow Brook. We continued along the 7 Hills Trail, crossing the brook, and then taking the Pine Meadow Trail all the way back to the parking area.

Map of the Route

Destroyed Bridge Across Pine Meadow Brook
at the Kakiat and Stony Brook Trail

Shimmy at the Bridge Crossing Site

Cascade of Slid Waterfall

Overgrown View at Halfway Mountain

Continuing our Ascent over Halfway Mountain

Climb up Diamond Mountain from Halfway Mountain

Me on Diamond Mountain

Top of Diamond Mountain, Facing South

Top of Diamond Mountain, Facing Southwest

Another View Facing More West

Shimmy Along the Ridge of  Diamond Mountain

Me on the Diamond Mountain Ridge

View on the 7 Hills Trail on Diamond Mountain

Diamond Mountain View Before the Descent into the Valley

Me at the Last View Before the Descent

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Daters Mountain to Elbow Brush and Claudius Smith Den

Harriman State Park,
Rockland/Orange Counties.
New York

Hiking Trails:
Blue Disc Trail: Blue blaze
Tuxedo-Mount Ivy Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 2:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.9 Miles

Pros: Good scrambles and great views, interesting rock formation
Cons: None

Hiking Partners:
Josef Friedman
Shimmy Rosenberg
Moses Ginsburg and sons

Claudius Smith Den is one of my favorite spots in Harriman. We visited the area from the southern approach, starting at Daters Mountain to Pound Mountain through the Elbow Brush.

We parked at the trailhead at the dead end on on Johnsontown Road, at the start of the Blue Disc Trail. We took the Blue Disc trail up the mountain, bushwacking on the part of the old trail to the view area. This mountain features a steep and challenging climb with an amazing view at the top. We continued along the Blue Disc Trail after the above, along Pound Mountain, to the Elbow Brush.

The Elbow Brush is a rock formation along the Blue Disc trail with a short cliff wall that goes along about 500 feet with several overhands and cave-like holes from talus boulders. The trail goes along the bottom of the formation and goes through a few interesting crevices and small caves. There used to be an alternate trail along the top of the formation as well, but the blazes have since been removed by the Trail Conference.

We continued from the Elbow Brush a short distance to Claudius Smith Den, which we climbed up for the top view. Claudius Smith Den features a crevice through cracked rock, with a beautiful view on the top along a steep cliff.

After Claudius Smith Den we turned around, and went on the old trail above the Elbow Brush formation. I don't know why they removed this spur trail. It is still there and easy to follow, but the blazes are gone. We continued along the Blue Disc Trail all the way back to the trailhead.

Map of the Route

Approaching the First View

Shimmy Scrambling Up the Daters Mountain

Daters Mountain View

Me at the Daters Mountain View

Me on the Rock at Daters Mountain View

Me in the Distance at Daters Mountain

Another View at the Daters Mountain View

Some more of Daters Mountain

One more at Daters

Our Group Hiking along the Blue Disc Trail

Me at the Elbow Brush

Elbow Brush Cave

Interesting Rock Formations at Elbow Brush

Josef at Claudius Smith Den Summit

Me at Claudius Smith Den