Sunday, June 28, 2009

Breakneck Ridge

Hudson Highlands State Park,
Putnam County,
New York

Hiking Partners:
Shimmy Rosenberg

This is one of the greatest hikes in the Hudson Valley region. It’s almost a solid scramble from sea level to the 1200 foot mark. This hike has almost continuous views the entire hike and is a demanding hike.

Started hike at trailhead on Route 9D, by the tunnel, and climbed the Breakneck Ridge Trail to all the views and to the summit. Headed down south via the Notch Trail, to the Cornish Estate. The Cornish Estate is an abandoned and overgrown set of houses and farm houses, and you can go in and explore all the ruins. Then continued on the Notch Trail to the Brook Trail, past the cascading stream and waterfalls and over the Catskill aqueduct, back to Route 9D. Took Route 9D through the tunnel underneath the mountain and then back to the car at the trailhead.

Me on top of the tunnel over Route 9D.
The trail goes above the tunnel.

Me climbing a steep rock face
Shimmy scrambling Up

Me at the first view.
Looking south toward Cold Spring.

At the flag at the first viewpoint.

Looking south from the first viewpoing.
Bull Hill, Rt. 9D, and the Hudson.

Storm King Mountain across the river, facing west.

Sheer cliff wall on the south side of the mountain

Shimmy climbing a cliff

Facing north towards Bannerman Island and Newburgh

Heading up towards the summit

Facing southeast towards the summit of Bull Hill

Breakneck Ridge and Storm King across the river.
This area and south is locally known as
the "Hudson River Gorge".

Shimmy on the summit. Facing northwest.

In the abandoned Cornish Estate

Waterfall along Breakneck Brook

Looking up the mountain from Route 9D, right
beforethe tunnel, at the end of the hike.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Cranberry Mine

Harriman State Park
Orange County,
New York

I have been wanting to explore this old iron mine for a while. Harriman State Park has many old abandoned iron mines from the civil war era and older, and most of them are off the beaten path, especially this one. The weather was wet and rainy, and this is the coldest and wettest June I can ever remember. There was hardly a day this month that it did not rain. The trails and paths were extremely muddy and slippery, which made this hike rather challenging.

Parked at the Anthony Wayne Recreation area off the Palisades Parkway. Normally I don't like parking here in the summer because there is a $6 admission charge, but due to the weather there was nobody at the entrance station. Took the Anthony Wayne Trail northwest across the highway until 7 Lakes Drive, where I veered off to the road that leads to the Cranberry Mine. Off the road is this boarded-up old stone house, which I found quite strange. Started heading up the Cranberry Road path, and I found it to be extremely overgrown and had lost it and ended up bushwacking the direction towards the mine. I actually got stuck in what must be called the "Sand Pit" on the Harriman Trail Map, which is a large overgrown meadow with a swampy bottom. I bushwacked thru this as well and eventually found the road again which lead me to the mine.

After finally finding the mine, which has a larger and smaller entrance, I explored the area a bit. Inside the mine is a door that goes into yonder. I was afraid to venture in as I was by myself and lacked a flashlight. After thoroughly exploring the old mine area, bushwacked along the adjacent stream right near the mine down the mountain back towards 7 Lakes Drive, then walked on 7 Lakes Drive back north towards the Anthony Wayne Trail. Along the side of 7 Lakes Drive was the Queensboro Brook, which was extremely bloated and overflowing due to the excessive rains. Took the Anthony Wayne Trail back to the parking area and ended here.

Looking east towards West Mountain
from the Anthony Wayne Trail

A totally muddy Anthony Wayne trail

Anthony Wayne Trail marker at 7 Lakes Dr.

The "Sand Pit" - totally overgrown muddy
field I had to bushwack through

The "road" to the Cranberry Mine, overgrown

The Destination: Cranberry Mine

The door inside the mine

Another mine profile

An abandoned stone Park house

The overflowing Queensboro Brook

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Cheescote Mountain,
Cheescote Town Park,
Rockland County,
New York

I had gone to Cheesecote Mountain to explore all the unmarked trails there several weeks earlier, but got rained out and had to leave earlier. So I had decided to return on a nice do and more thoroughly go through the trails. Parked on Cheese Cote La. and took the short path to Cheesecote Pond and the Long Path. Then took an unmarked trail north to the summit, where there were great views of Horse Chock Mountain and the Jackie Jones tower. Continued on the unmarked path, not knowing where it would leave me, until it ended at a narrow paved road. This road looked very newly paved and I took it south, and it led me back to the pond where a new parking lot was being constructed there. Apparently they will be developing this park and providing car access. Hiked around the lake and back to the short path to my car, then circled the mountain and found the road that climbs the mountain. This is a very recently paved road and they are now allowing vehicular traffic all the way up to the pond from Willow Grove Road. This new road is very interesting, being very narrow and curvy, and ascending about 400 feet.

Cheescote Pond from the Long Path

Looking west from the summit to Horse Chock Mnt.

Jackie Jones Mnt with tower from summit.
Looking west.

Looking northwest to Willow Grove Rd.
as climbs up the mountain

Kakiat Short Hike

Kakiat County Park,
Rockland County,New York

Took a short hike with my young daughter up to the lower view of Kakiat Mountain. Took the Mountain Trail up to the Lower viewpoint and took the same way down.

At the top