Sunday, December 27, 2009

Buttermilk Falls

Buttermilk Falls County Park,
Palisades Cliffs,
Rockland County NY

Total Time:
40 Minutes
Total Distance: 1 Miles

This was a very short hike, due to the fact that I wasn't feeling so well. I needed to do some shopping in the Palisades Center Mall and this was nearby. This is a very wimpy waterfalls most of the year, but can be very impressive after heavy rainfall. It had rained at least 2 inches the previous day, and all the deep snow had melted with this rainstorm. The water volume was incredible, and waterfall was roaring. The entire trail was muddied and had water flowing everything, thus making this relatively simple hike rather difficult.

Started at the parking trailhead off Greenbush road in West Nyack, and climbed the path the waterfall, which was absolutely stunning due to the large volume of water. Continued climbing the muddy trail to the viewpoint. At the viewpoint one can see the Palisades Mall through the trees to the North (its only about a mile away), and Route 303 directly below. To the far south the skyscrapers of Jersey City and Newark are visible.

Instead of heading back on the muddy and disgusting path, I bushwacked through the woods off the trail where it was drier. The waterfall is actually split into separate streams, and so I went down the less known split waterfall, and from there back to the car.

Map of the Route

Buttermilk Falls

The upper waterfalls below the main cascade.

The view from the lookout.
Facing southwest towards Orangeburg.

Jersey City in the distant skyline, facing south.

Rockland Psychiatric Center and Newark skyline
using telephoto lens. Facing south/southeast.

The smaller falls of the north flank of the brook.
On my descending route.

A view of the lower part of the main Falls.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

State Line Trail

Bearfort Mountain at
Greenwood Lake,
Abraham Hewitt State Forest,
Passaic County,
New Jersey

State Line Trail: Blue Blaze
Ernest Walter Trail: Orange Blaze

Total Time: 1.3 Hours
Total Distance: 1.5 Miles

Did this hike after a large snowstorm. It had just snowed about 6 inches over Saturday and Saturday night, and I did this hike on Sunday morning. The temperature was frigid and the winds were powerful, and I was the first person to hike this trail after the snowstorm. In fact I was the ONLY one to hike this as I didnt meet anyone crazy to venture out on such a frigid and snowy day. The hike up in a half-foot of snow with ice underneath was very difficult, as the ascent is pretty steep.

Parked at the trailhead which is literally on the NY/NJ State border, and climbed up the State Line Trail up the mountain to the Ernest Walter Trail, where I made a left and went south to the summit viewpoint. The rock part reaching the viewpoing was full of ice underneath the snow making this part extremely difficult. And the wind at the treeless top part was absolutely ferocious! I couldn't stay at the summit for too long as it was just too cold and I felt I was going to blow away! Being too cold to venture further to Surprise Lake, I turned back and headed the same way I came, skirting around some particularly icy areas I had approached on my way up.

Map of the Route

 The parking area.
The tire tracks are from my car
as the trailhead parking was not yet plowed.

My car at the trailhead.

First view while ascending.
Facing east across Greenwood Lake.

At the viewpoint looking east across
Greenwood Lake.

 Me at the viewpoint with
Greenwood Lake in background.

From viewpoint facing north.

 Ascending the snowy and icy summit

 Looking south. Greenwood Lake and Fox Island.

Looking southeast.
The lake is partially frozen.

 Don't know the name of this mountain.
Zoomed looking southeast.
The edge of Greenwood Lake is in the foreground.

View looking northwest.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Halfway Mountain and Stony Brook

Harriman State Park,
Rockland County,
New York


Pine Meadow Trail: Red Blaze
Stony Brook Trail: Orange Blaze
Kakiat Trail: White Blaze
Hillburn Torne Sebago (HTS) Trail: Orange Blaze

Total Time: 1.5 Hours
Total Distance: 2.7 Miles

This hike was the day after the season's first snow. The previous day it has snowed a slushy inch or two, but on this hike higher up in the mountains there was a good 4-5 inches of heavy wet snow. The complete coverage of the snow on the trees was absolutely gorgeous! This was also the same location I had gone the previous year on the first snowstorm of the winter.

Started at the Reeves Meadow Visitor Center off 7 Lakes Drive. Hiked parallel to the stream on the Pine Meadow Trail, to the Stony Brook Trail, and then along the Kakiat Trail past the Cascade of Slid, which is a small waterfall along the trail. At that point made a left and took the HTS Trail up to the lookout which had a great view in the snow. Went back down the HTS, to the Pine Meadow Trail, and took this back to parking area.

Map of the Route

At beginning of the Stony Brook Trail

Wow! What a shot!
The wet snow is still on the trees,
with the awesome contrast of the blue sky!
On the Stony Brook Trail at the Gas Line

Another view at the gas line

Cascade of Slid, zoomed out

Another view with a longer exposure.

Main waterfall at Cascade of Slid

Snow on trees climbing up the HTS Trail

Lookout on Halfway Mnt.
Facing West over Stony Brook Valley

Another view from Halfway Mountain, facing West.
Zoomed in.

Me on top of Halfway Mnt.