Sunday, January 5, 2020

Bull Hill Hudson Highlands

Hudson Highlands State Park,
Nelsonville Nature Preserve
Putnam Co.
New York

Hiking Trails:
Nelsonville Trail: Green blaze
Undercliff Trail: Yellow blaze
Washburn Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 2:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.7 Miles

Pros: Good climb and good views
Cons: Erosion and construction on Washburn Trail

Hiking Partners:
Shimmy Rosenberg
Yehudah Koblick

We had intended to do a full loop to the summit of Bull Hill, which is a good climb at about 1500 feet. However, there wasn't enough time in the end for the full loop, so we ended up changing the itinerary. We parked at the trailhead parking at Nelsonville Nature Preserve at Gatehouse Road. We took the Nelsonville Trail west for a short distance to the Undercliff Trail, climbing up the mountain on it's souther flank, passing several views on the way until we reached the Washburn Trail. Due to the time issue, combined with extremely strong winds, we decided to bail out at the Undercliff Trail.

We climbed down on the Undercliff Trail, which was highly eroded and under repair. We took the Undercliff Trail down the mountain, to the trailhead, and we then took an Uber from the parking area, back to our car. This was my first successful Uber trip in a hike to complete a longer route.

Map of the Route

Plaque at the Nelsonville Preserve

State Park Property Marker for Hudson Highlands State Park

First View on Bull Hill

Yehudah on the First View Rock

At the First View Facing East

Small Waterfall While Ascending the Mountain

Second View: Facing South with Hudson River and Constitution Island

Looking Across the River to Storm King Mountain

Me at the Second View

Facing South Towards Cold Spring

Trail Area Closed for Rehabilitation

Storm King Across the River

Me at the Second View, Facing North

Shimmy on Bull Hill

Village of Cold Spring from the Cold Spring View

Me, Shimmy, and Yehudah at the Cold Spring Overlook

Trail Rehabilitation Along the Washburn Trail near the Old Quarry

View on the Washburn Trail Across the Quarry

New Plaque at the Washburn Trailhead

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Cascade Falls, Patapsco Valley State Park

Ellicot City
Howard County
Maryland

Hiking Trails:
Cascade Falls Trail
Ridge Trail
Old Connector Trail
Old Track Loop Trail
Morning Choice Trail

Total Time: 1:40 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.5 Miles

Pros: Scenic area in the Baltimore area
Cons: No views

Hiking Partner:
Ari Gunzberg

I had been visiting family in Baltimore for the weekend, and joined my Baltimore friend Ari Gunzberg for a quick Sunday morning hike in the Baltimore area. Ari, a Baltimore native, was very familiar with the hiking and trails in the area, and was my guide for this hike, doing all the planning.

The weather forecast was for a heavy, steady rain. Luckily the rain held up in the morning and we had a dry and pleasant hike. The rain started shortly after we finished the hike on our way back.

We parked at the trailhead parking on Landing Road, and took the Cascade Falls Trail. This trial goes alongside the brook in a ravine and ends near the Patapsco River at Cascade Falls. We then took the Ridge Trail alongside the top of the ridge over the Patapsco River. From there we took the Old Connector Trail to the Old Track Loop Trail, and then to the Morning Choice Trail which we took back to our car.

Map of the Route

Trail Information at the Beginning of the Hike

Me at the Kiosk at the Beginning of the Hike

Strange Rock Instrument Like a Millstone along the Cascade Falls Trail

Ari Gunzberg Crossing the Cascade Falls Brook

Approaching Cascade Falls

Cascade Falls, Patapsco Valley State Park

Me at Cascade Falls

Ari at Cascade Falls

Small Home Ruins Along the Patapsco Gordge

Another Home Ruins

Larger Home Ruins

Me and Ari at the Old Track Loop Trail

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Bear Mountain Hessian Lake Loop
Bear Mountain State Park,
Rockland/Orange Cos.
New York

Hiking Trails:
Major Welch Trail: Red blaze
Appalachian Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 0:40 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.3 Miles

Pros: Picturesque lake and scenic area
Cons: Built up area with many people

I was off from work for the Christmas Holiday. I had several things scheduled throughout the day, but had a little bit of time at the end of the day for a hike. This is more of a walk than a hike on a paved path, but being the area is mostly along hiking trails and in the mountain area I am including this in the blog.

I parked in the main parking area in Bear Mountain, and walked towards Hessian Lake, and took the path along the western shore of the lake concurrently with the Major Welch Trail. I continued around the loop of the lake, where I joined the Appalachian Trail on the eastern side of the lake. I then continued back to my car for a short and scenic loop around the lake.

Map of the Route

Sign at Hessian Lake at Bear Mountain

A Frozen Bear Mountain, Facing North from the Southern End

Tiny Island on Hessian Lake with Two Trees

Anthony's Nose from Across Hessian Lake

Overlook Above Hessian Lake

Me at the Overlook Above Hessian Lake

Hessian Lake from the Northern Point, Looking South

Bear Mountain and Hessian Lake

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Black Mountain Winter Hike

Harriman State Park,
Orange & Rockland Counties,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Red Cross Trail: Red blaze
Arden-Surebridge Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 2:55 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.8 Miles

Pros: Very Quiet area, excellent views
Cons: Highway crossing is difficult

Hiking Partners:
Yehudah Koblick

This was a cold but sunny winter day. We parked at Anthony Wayne in the huge parking lot, and crossed over the highway overpass on the Anthony Wayne Trail, which we took to the 1779 Trail. We took the 1779 Trail south for a while to the joint Appalachian Trail and Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail, which we took west up Black Mountain on a good climb up.

We took some pictures at the top, and then headed back down along the same route, but then continued along the Appalachian/Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail to the Palisades Parkway, which we had to cross. We took this to the bike trail, which we took back to the hiking area. Yehudah ran ahead to the car and picked me up in between the two parking lots.

Map of the Route

Snow and Ice along the 1779 Trail 
More Snow and Ice along the 1779 Trail 


Ice Coating on Brush

Snow and Ice Looking Towards Black Mountain

Ice Covering on Small Brush

Fallen Tree on the R-D/Appalachian Trail

Approaching the Summit of Black Mountain

Final Ascent up Black Mountain

Me at Black Mountain

Black Mountain Summit, Facing West

Black Mountain Summit, Facing Southwest

Black Mountain, Facing West

Black Mountain Summit, Facing East to West Mountain

Snow an Ice in a Shady Spot

Black Mountain, Facing South

Yehudah on Black Mountain

Me at Black Mountain

Trail Along Black Mountain Summit

Midday Sun over Black Mountain

Yehudah on Black Mountain

Intersection of Appalachian Trail and the Bike Path