Sunday, November 29, 2009

West Mountain
(Southern Portion)

Harriman State Park,
Rockland County,
New York

Ski Trail
Ramapo Dunderberg (RD) Trail: Red Blaze
Suffern-Bear Mountain (SBM) Trail: Yellow Blaze
Appalachian Trail (AT): White Blaze
Timp-Torne (TT) Trail: Blue Blaze
Beechy Bottom Road (an old road trail)

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

Total Distance: 2.5 Miles
Total Time: 1.5 Hours

Started at the lower end of the parking area at Anthony Wayne off the Palisades. Went south
along the ski/biking trail until the intersection of the RD Trail. Took the RD west up the
mountain, and passed along an old Graphite Mine on the way up. Continued up a good scramble
towards the intersection of the SBM Trail. At the intersection is an excellent view of the
Hudson River, Havertstraw, Hi-Tor, and Jackie Jones. It is an incredible view.

Continued along the SBM north to the interestion of the TT Trail, and made a left on this
short stretch to the intersection of the AT. There is another excellent view here facing the
Palisades Pkwy and Anthony Wayne. Took the AT down the mountain until Beechy Bottom Road, went north along Beechy Bottom Road for a little bit, then veered left and bushwacked down the
ravine and across the brook back to the car.

Map of the Route

 Marker at intersection of Ski Trail and AT

The Graphite Mine.
Note Shimmy on the tailings.

Shimmy climbing the scramble.

Me at the first lookout

 Looking West from the first lookout,
with Shimmy posing.

Facing South from the first lookout
- Pyngyp Mountain and Hi-Tor in the Distance.
Looking southeast from first Looking
Hudson River and Haverstraw Bay

Shimmy facing south
Me at the lookout.

In the area on the SBM Trail which was
devastated by a Forest Fire several years ago.

The West Mountain lookout.
Intersection of T-T and AT trails.
Facing West.

Sign at the intersection and campers.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ramapo Reservation

Bergen County
New Jersey


Schuber Trail
Marsh Trail
Silver-Yellow Trail
Silver Trail

Total Time:
1.5 Hours
Total Distance: 3 Miles

Started at the Parking area off Route 202 in Mahwah. Went along the Schuber Trail next to
Scarlet Oak Pond (where it is also joined with the Silver Trail). The trail was packed with
people - I have never seen so many people hiking before. I guess it was because it was a nice
Sunday with a beautiful blue sky, although it was a brisk autumn day.

I continued  along the Schuber Trail, where I passed the old cabin  ruins, and veered off to
view the falls. From there continued along the Waterfalls Trail to the Macmillan Reservoir
Dam, which was recently reconstructed. Took some pictures from the dam and continued along the
Silver Trail. Veered off on the Marsh Loop through the edge of the swamp, and then at the
intersection of the Yellow-Silver Trail went east along the edge of Matty Price Hill. There is
a really cool spring just bubbling out of the ground right here on the trail. It is one of the
best springs I have ever seen on a hike. Continued along and then bushwacked down back towards
the Yellow Trail where I took it back to the parking area.

Map of the route

Scarlet Oak Pond from the Silver/Schuber Trails

Bridge across stream on the Schuber Trail.
Cabin ruin is in the background.

The cabin ruin along the Schuber Trail

The Waterfall. Water level is low.

Another view of the waterfall.

MacMillan Reservoir. Facing West from Dam.

MacMillan Reservoir. Facing West from Dam, zoomed.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sterling Mine and Fire Tower

Sterling Forest State Park,
Orange County
New York

Sterling Lake Trail - Blue Blaze
Bare Rock Trail - Orange Blaze
Sterling Ridge Trail - Blue Blaze
Fire Tower Trail - Red Blaze
Fire Tower Connector Trail - Blue Blaze
Iron Mine Trail - Yellow Blaze

Total Time: 2 Hours
Total Distance: 4 Miles

Started at the Sterling Lake Visitor Center, and took the Sterling Lake Trail alongside the southern edge of the lake to the Bare Rock Trail, where I started asceding the mountain. Climbed up to the intersection of the Sterling Ridge Trail, and went south along the Sterling Ridge Trail until the Fire Tower. The Fire Tower was closed for the season - it is only open during the summer, usually only on nice days. There is a ranger station right next to the tower and a ranger oversees the visitors who climb the tower. I did contemplate jumping the fence that blocks the tower steps, as the people in front of me had just done, but I decided against it. Part of the reason was that the weather was cloudy and foggy anyways, so my view would have been limited.

From the Fire Tower, descended along the Fire Tower Trail, which is actually more like a dirt road, to the Fire Tower Connector Trail, which took me back to the south shore of Sterling Lake and the Sterling Lake Trail. Took a turn off the Sterling Lake Trail to the Iron Mine Trail, which walks through all the ancient workings of the massive Sterling Mine. It walks next to the mine pits and dumps, and goes next to the old abandoned mine buildings. It then goes through to the old Sterling Furnace where the Iron Ore was smelted. From here took the road back to the parking lot to return to my car.

Map of the route.

Southern shore of Sterling Lake

Sterling Lake with Mountains in background.
Looking north.

Same picture as above zoomed out.

View from the Sterling Ridge Trail.
Looking north toward Sterling Lake.

Approaching the Fire Tower in the distance
in the cloudy haze.

The Fire Tower with the ranger station.

Looking up under the Fire Tower

The Ruins at the Sterling Mine

More Ruins at Sterling Mine.
The further building in the cable hoist.

One of the mine adits.
Entrance is sealed off by a gate.

The Sterling Furnace, where the iron ore was smelted.

Descriptive sign in front of the furnace

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mianus River Gorge

Mianus River Gorge Wildlife Refuge,
Westchester County
New York

Brink of Gorge Trail - Red Blaze
Fringe of Forest Trail - Blue Blaze
Bank of River Trail - Green Blaze

Total Time: 2.5 Hours
Total Distance: 4 Miles

This was a really nice and warm day in late fall. All the leaves had already fallen, with justa few remaining colorful trees, and the temperature was in the 60's. Started the hike at the beginning parking lot, and for the most part hiked along the river path the way down and hiked on the upper path on the return route. I was not familar with the trail names and their markings so I can't tell you which trail I hiked at each point - I just followed the closest one to the river there and the upper one the way back.

I took the offshoot to the Hobby Hill Quarry, which is a pegmatite quarry in the cliff of the
gorge. It contains shiny muscovite, crystallized feldspar, and large hunks of quartz including
rose quartz. I thought the trail continues here but it's a dead end, so I had to turn around
to get back to the trail. Continued along to the Resivoir view spur and then headed down to
the Havemeyer falls. Took some pictures by the falls and continued to the foot of the river where it empties into the Mianus Reservoir. Then turned around and went back, this time on the upper trail passing through many stone walls and old farmland.

Map of the route

Map at the trailhead

The Mianus River at the beginning of the hike

Along the river trail

The Hobby Hill Quarry

Rose Quartz wall in the Quarry

Autumn leaves on the trail

A random shot in the middle of the hike

The reservoir view. Looking south.

Havemeyer Falls.

Another view of the waterfall.

At the beginning of the reservoir. Facing south.


Ditto. Facing southeast.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Reeves Brook to Kakiat

Harriman State Park,
Rockland County
New York

Pine Meadow Trail - Red Blaze
Stony Brook Trail - Orange Blaze
Raccoon Brook Hills Trail (RBH) - Black Blaze

Hiking Partner:
Feige Koegel (My sister)

Total Time: 3 Hours
Total Distance: 5.5 Miles

This was a two-car hike. It was a nice but chilly day in the late fall, and most of the leaves had already fallen. We parked a car by Kakiat County Park off Route 202 near Suffern, and then drove the other car to the Reeves Meadow Parking area off of Seven Lakes Drive near Sloatsburg. We started at the Pine Meadow Trail, and went along the side of the brook to the Stony Brook Trail, and to the Kakiat Trail.

Followed along the Kakiat Trail all the way up to the intersection of the RBH Trail, and then climbed the Raccoon Brook Hill for an excellent view of Pine Meadow Lake and the eastern ridge of the Ramapo Mountains. Continued to the end of the RBH Trail back to the Kakiat Trail, and continued along the Kakiat Trail all the way back to Kakiat Park where we picked up the second car.

Map of the route

Beginning of Raccoon Brook Hill.
Facing west.

On top of Raccoon Brook Hill.
Facing north towards Diamond Mountain.

Same view as above, zoomed in.

Me at the top of Raccoon Brook Hill facing Diamond Mnt.

Pine Meadow Lake from Raccoon Brook Hill.
Facing Northeast.

 Looking towards the Ramapo Escarpment.
Facing east from Raccoon Brook Hill.

Same as above.

Same view as above facing North.

Above descent of Raccoon Brook Hill.
Facing South towards the Torne Valley.

Same view as above, with different lighting.

Descending Raccoon Brook Hill on ladder

Feige descending Raccoon Brook Hill

Russian Bear from Kakiat Trail and Gas Line