Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Bear Mountain AT Evening Descent

Bear Mountain State Park,
Orange / Rockland Counties.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Appalachian Trail: White blaze

Total Time: :30 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.6 Miles

Pros: Good descent with great views
Cons: None
Hike Type: One way
Level of Difficulty: Slightly difficult

Hiking Partners:
Joseph & Elisha Friedman

Map of Route:

Bear Mountain has a weekly vintage car show every Wednesday evening in the summer, with car enthusiasts descending upon the large lawn and showing off their cool cars to all their friends and visitors. I enjoy going to this show in the summer, and traditionally have my wife drop my off at the top of the mountain while I run down and meet her at the show at the bottom. Last year, with the show cancelled during Coronavirus, I didn't have a chance to do this, so was glad to make this hike once again.

I started the hike at the top on Perkins Memorial Drive, near the tower, and took the Appalachian Trail down from the summit view. We took the trail all the way down from close to 1300, to the bottom at 160 feet. We passed the seasonal waterfall which was in full swing from all the rain, and then the view overlooking Peekskill. We then continued along the steep steps all the way down to the field where the car show was in full swing.

Map of the Route

View at Bear Mountain Summit

View at Bear Mountain Summit - West Mountain

View at Bear Mountain Summit - Dunderberg & The Timp

Me at the Bear Mountain Summit

Looking Towards Peekskill

Bear Mountain Summit Tower

View of Peekskill and the Hudson from the new Trail

Bear Mountain Waterfall on the AT

Ski Jump Overlook

Ski Jump Overlook and Iona Island

Me at the Ski Jump Overlook on the AT

Bear Mountain Bridge from the Ski Jump View

Anthony's Nose and the Car Show

Me at the Bear Mountain Car Show

Monday, August 16, 2021

North-South Lake Sunset Rock and Marys Glen

Catskill Forest Preserve,
Greene Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
North-South Lake Trail: Yellow blaze
Escarpment Connector Trail: Yellow blaze
Escarpment Trail: Blue blaze
Sunset Rock Trail: Yellow blaze
Mary's Glen Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 2:45 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.6 Miles

Pros: Scenic lake, scenic hike, amazing views
Cons: None
Hike Type: Loop
Level of Difficulty: Slightly difficult

Hiking Partner:
Yehudah Koblick

Map of Route:

I used to go here often in my teens and lower 20's, but hadn't been back for a long time. I finally made a return trip after many years for Memorial Day, where I booked a campground and had intended to do some good hikes in the area. However, the weather was terrible, so I didn't camp out, but I did get to do one good hike in the afternoon in the area. I did this same hike back them, but the reversed direction, and I didn't stop at sunset rock. This time I made sure to stop at Sunset Rock as well, which affords a great view of the general North-South Lake area.

Yehudah and I camped together and shared a campsite. We were in Loop 1 of the Campground. We went from our campsite towards Mary's Glen, and walked along the North-South Lake Trail alongside the lake. We then took the Escarpment Connector Trail to the Escarpment Trail. We took the Escarpment Trail north, climbing up steadily to the first view at Artist's Rock. We then continued along the trail, and upon reaching the boulders below Sunset Rock, we scrambled up the side of the fallen boulders to the top of Sunset Rock, which afforded an amazing view of North-South Lake. We then took the short Sunset Rock Trail back to the Escarpment Trail, which we took to Newman's Ledge. Newman's Ledge offers a sweeping view of the Hudson Valley below as well as Round Top to the north. 

We continued the climb, reaching the Badman's cave, and then took the Mary's Glen Trail down. I could not believe the contrast between now when everything was all dry, and my trip in May when everything was all wet. Upon reaching Ashley Falls, it was just a trickle now, as opposed to a full waterfall on my previous trip. We continued along the Mary's Glen Trail to the road, and went through the campground back to our campsite.

Map of the Route

On the North-South Lake Trail

North Point from North Lake

Me and Yehuda at North Lake

North Lake

North Mountain Trail Connector Trailhead at the Campground

Artist's Rock

Artist's Rock

Artist's Rock

Me at Artist's Rock

North-South Lake from Sunset Rock

North-South Lake and Kaaterskill High Point in the Distance

Me at Sunset Rock

Me at Sunset Rock

Sunset Rock

Hudson River from Sunset Rock

Sunset Rock View

Sunset Rock Trail Intersection

Newman's Ledge

Newman's Ledge

Badman's Cave

Me at the Badman's Cave

Dried Waterfall at Mary's Glen

Dried Ashley's Falls at Mary's Glen

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

RBBN Hike Ramapo Valley Reservation

Ramapo County Reservation
Bergen Co.,
New Jersey

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

Total Time: 1:40
Estimated Distance: 2.7 miles

Pros: Scenic lakes and good views
Cons: Area is very busy
Hike Type: Loop
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Map of Route:

Hiking Partners:
RBBN Member Hiking Partners

The RBBN (Rockland Business Breakfast Network) offers various business networking events. This event featured a hike which I was elected to lead together with Shimon Rosenberg. With my office only a five minute drive from Ramapo Valley Reservation, this was an easy hike to get to right after work. 

The weather was hot and muggy, with thunderstorms predicted for the late afternoon. There were puffy clouds throughout the are, and I checked the radar and there were thunderstorms nearby. In fact we saw lighting and heard thunder in the distance, but the weather stayed dry for us for the duration of the hike.

We parked at the main parking lot for Ramapo Valley Reservation, and crossed the Ramapo River bridge and then took the River Trail. We walked along the Mahwah River and then crossed the brook at the Vista Loop Trail, passing along the most dry waterfall along the way. We continued along the Vista Loop Trail to the MacMillan Reservoir, where we took a break and did our business introductions. 

We then crossed the dam, which was dry, and continued along the Vista Loop Trail up the mountain to the view. We then descended along the Ridge Loop Trail, and then took the trail parallel to the Vista Loop Trail down to the Vista Loop Trail alongside the Scarlet Oak Reservoir, which we took back to our car.

Map of the Route

At the Trailhead

Coyote and Rattlesnake Sign at the Trailhead

Scarlet Oak Reservoir

Our Networking Group at Scarlet Oak Reservoir

Crossing the Brook

Shimon Rosenberg, Hike Cohost

Waterfall (Mostly Dry)

Hiking along the Vista Loop

MacMillan Reservoir

Me at MacMillan Reservoir

Our Group at the MacMillan Reservoir

MacMillan Reservoir Dam

Large Rockface Above the MacMillan Reservoir

Climbing Up to the View

At the Mountaintop View