Thursday, July 23, 2020

MacMillan Reservoir Ramapo Reservation

Ramapo Valley County Reservation
Bergen Co.,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
Ridge Loop Trail: Blue blaze
Vista Loop Trail: Yellow blaze
Reservoir Trail: Pink blaze
River Trail: Orange/Green blaze

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

Pros: Scenic Lakes
Cons: Always very busy

Google Maps of Parking:

My office is in Mahwah, and Ramapo Reservation in New Jersey is only a 5 minute drive. After leaving the office, I opted for a quick hike, parking at the main parking area at Ramapo Reservation, crossing the bridge over the Mahwah River, and heading up mountain on the heavily traversed Vista Loop Trail. I took this to the Reservoir Trail, and took a short break with some pictures at MacMillan Reservoir. In then descended on the Vista Loop Trail, passing the waterfalls, which was at a lower volume as it typically is in the dry summer, and then headed out along the River Trail to its end, and then crossing the river and then back to my car.

Map of the Route

Information Plaque at the Entrance of the Park

Scarlet Oak Pond 

Another View of Scarlet View Pond Prior to Sunset

Scarlet Oak Pond, Facing North

One More View of Scarlet Oak Pond

MacMillan Reservoir

Me at MacMillan Reservoir

MacMillan Reservoir from the Dam

Trail Marker and Route to Parking Lot

Waterfall along the Vista Loop Trail

Doe and Fawn near the End of the Hike

Scarlet Oak Pond at Sunset

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Hamilton Mine & Denny Mine Loop

Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park
Putnam Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Appalachian Trail: White blaze
3 Lakes Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 2:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.7 Miles

Pros: Quiet area and historical mines
Cons: Lacking good views

Hiking Partner:
Joseph Friedman

Google Maps of Parking: 

Continuing along my hikes in Fahnestock State Park, this was a trip further up the Appalachian Trail in an area I had not previously hiked before. I am trying to complete all sections of the Appalachian Trail within a short driving distance from my home. 

The weather was brutally hot, with a heat advisory in effect for the area, with temperatures in the mid 90's and high humidity. This hike was mostly shady, and intentionally didn't have any large elevation gains, but despite that it was uncomfortably hot and we couldn't have gone that much longer.

We parked at the AT Trailhead parking on Dennytown Road, and took the Appalachian Trail north up the ridge, and then down to Sunken Mine Road, a seasonal dirt road. We went on Sunken Mine Road up the hill and veered off at the Hamilton Mine, at the bend of the road. We explored the area and then took the unmarked trail to the 3 Lakes Trail.

The trail then went alongside John Allen Pond, and then we crossed over Sunken Mine Road again and continued along the trail, going up the ridge and then bushwacking for a short distance to the Denny Mine. This is a very large mine complex, with a long and deep pit and an extensive dump. However, it is very overgrown and hard to access, and it is also hard to get a photo of. We then continued back to the 3 Lakes Trail to the end at the parking area and returned to the car.

Map of the Route

Information Kiosk at the Trailhead Parking

Ascending the Mountain on the Appalachian Trail

Me on the AT Trail

At the top of the Mountain on the AT Trail

Somewhat of a View at the Top of the Mountain on the AT Trail

Beaver Dam at the Pond
Hamilton Mine Main Workings

Another View of Hamilton Mine

Hamilton Mine from the Top of the Hill

Me at the Hamilton Mine

Fish Swimming in John Allen Pond

John Allen Pond from the 3 Lakes Trail, Looking West

John Allen Pond, Looking North

John Allen Pond, Looking South

Looking Down into the Denny Mine

Another View of the Denny Mine

Deep Pit in the Denny Mine

Mine Wall at the Denny Mine
Old Abandoned Overgrown Structure at the 3 Pond Trailhead

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Stony Brook Evening Loop

Harriman State Park,
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Pine Trail: Red blaze
Stony Brook Trail: Yellow blaze
Connector Trail: Unblazed

Total Time: 1:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.2 Miles

Pros: Very scenic area
Cons: No view and busy, even on weekdays

Google Maps of Parking:

I did this evening hike on my way home from work. This area has been exceptionally busy since the Coronavirus outbreak, and I have been avoiding this area since then. I like visiting this area and come often, and figured a weekday evening hike was a good time to visit. It was indeed ok, but there were still many more people than I expected.

The weather was very hot, but it was already late in the afternoon with the sun not as strong. I took the Pine Meadow Trail to the Stony Brook Trail along the brook, until the area of the destroyed bridge. I took note of how eroded the trails had gotten since my last time here, from all the extra usage on these trails. I took the Connector Trail up the side of the hill at this point up to the Pine Meadow Trail. I took the Pine Meadow Trail back along the side of the valley and then down again to the brook and back to my car.

Map of the Route

Heavily Eroded Path at the Beginning of the Trail

Downed Tree Before the Reeves Brook Bridge on the Pine Meadow Trail

Heavily Eroded Trail Intersection of the Pine Meadow and Stony Brook Trails

Stony Brook Trail through the Gas Line 
Me on the Stony Brook Trail

On the Rocks in Stony Brook

Stony Brook

Destroyed Brook at the Stony Brook Crossing

Former Bridge Site at the Stony Brook Crossing

Sunset Colors Behind the Trees

The Sun Going Down Behind the Horizon

View from the Gas Line Crossing 

Gas Line on the Pine Meadow Trail

Monday, June 29, 2020

Yaupon Nature Trail and Oak Trail

Myrtle Beach State Park
Myrtle Beach,
Horry Co.,
South Carolina

Hiking Trails:
Yaupon Nature Trail
Sculptured Oak Trail

Total Time: 0:45 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.8 Miles

Pros: Nice nature trail near the ocean
Cons: Parking fee, heat and mosquitos in summer

Google Maps of Parking:

I was visiting South Carolina, and was in the Myrtle Beach area. While on my trip I stopped by Myrtle Beach State Park which has a few hiking trails right near the coast. I parked near the southern end of the park, and took the Yaupon Trail through the dense forest, to the little pond, which I then took the Sculptured Oak Trail. I took this trail to the park road and looked around the nature center area (though the nature center was closed.)

I then went back past the campground and took the Sculptured Oak Trail along the boardwalk over the swamp and back to the parking area. I walked for a short distance on the road back to my car.

Map of the Route

Yaupon Nature Trailhead Marker

Wide Portion of the Yaupon Nature Trail

Wooden Bridge Across a Stream

Me on the Trail

Wild Dwarf Palmettos 

Plaque Explaining the Dwarf Palmettos

Boardwalk Over the Pond

Green, Moss-Coated Pond

Plaque in Front of a Wax Myrtle.
This is what Myrtle Beach is Named For!

Trail Bridge

Yaupon and Sculptured Oak Trail Intersection

Boardwalk Across a Swamp

View from the Swamp along the Sculptured Oak Trail