Friday, December 31, 2010

Pine Swamp Mountain Snow Hike

Harriman State Park
Orange County,
New York


Arden Surebridge Trail: Red blaze
Long Path: Green blaze

Total Time: 30 min
Estimated Distance: 0.75 Miles

This was a very short hike on a beatiful winter day. This was my first hike after the big blizzard that dumped over 2 feet of snow. (See previous posting as we were hiking in the beginning of that storm. The storm took place Sunday/Monday, and I had not had a chance to go hiking until Friday. The weather warmed up that week and alot of snow melted, but it takes a very long time for 2 feet to melt, so there was still plenty of snow around.

New Years was on Saturday, so I took the oppurtunity to take some time off of work to enjoy this hike. I parked off 7 Lakes Drive by Lake Skanatati, and took the Arden Surebridge Trail up Pine Swamp Mountain to the viewpoint. I then bushwacked down from the viewpoint to the Long Path, and had gone into some crazy drifts several feet deep. I had not expected so much snow, and was not dressed in my regular snow gear, so I came home quite wet and snowy because of this. Once I hit the Long Path took at back along the shore of the lake back to the car.

I had forgotten to take my camera so picture below are from cell phone and low quality.

Map of the Route.
Frozen Lake Skanatati
At the beginning of the Arden Surebridge Trail
Ascending Pine Swamp Mountain
Continuing the short but worthwhile ascent.
Short scramble part climbing up
View from the top of Pine Swamp Mountain.
Facing south towards Lake Skanatati and Lake Kanawauke in distance
(You've seen this view before in this blog and will see it many times
again. It's one of the most famous views in Harriman State Park.
Same view but facing southwest
towards Black Rock Mountain
Facing west-southwest.
Towards Black Rock Mountain and beyond.
Lake Skanatati from the Long Path.

Evergreen rhododendron grove
Nope. Not yet.
I wait all winter for these to turn green...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Bradley Mine/
Bradley Mountain

Harriman State Park
Orange County,
New York


Lake Tiorati Trail: Blue blaze
Long Path: Green blaze
Appalachian Trail: White blaze

Hiking Partners:
Feige Koegel
Shimmy Rosenberg

Total Time:
2:00 hr
Estimated Distance: 3.4 Miles

The National Weather Service had issued a blizzard warning for Sunday, so we need to get most of this hiking done before the snow started. This was the first significant snow of the season, and they said it was going to be a big one. At the end of the storm there was 2 feet of snow in the area. It was cold and chilly in the beginning, and then started flurrying about half hour into the hike. For the last twenty minutes the snow really started picking up and we are glad we left when we did.

We parked at Tiorati circle, and took the short Tiorati Lake trail up the hill towards the water tower, and then from there we bushwacked along the water pipeline to the Long Path. From there we crossed Arden Valley Road and went up the steep incline through the mine tailing to the Bradley Mine. The Bradley Mine is one of the best mine exploration point, with a deep crevice of cut rock you walk through before getting to the main tunnel, which is very large and impressive.

From the Bradley Mine we bushwacked up to the top of Bradley Mountain, and then bushwacked down to the Long Path for a brief track, and then took the unmarked road trail to the Appalachain Trail. We headed north on the Appalachian towards the viewpoint on Fingerboard Mountain, and then bushwacked down the stream which had a beautful frozen waterfall. At this point the snow started falling at a steady pace. From there we went through the frozen swampy area to 7 Lakes Drive, and headed along 7 Lakes Drive walking along the side of the road back towards where we started.

Map of the route.

The ascent along mine tailings off
Arden Valley Rd.
The crevice in the rock at the beginning of the mine
Walking through the crevice
The entrance to the mine from the crevice
Inside the mine tunnel.
Lighting is thanks to my camera's night vision option.

Looking out the mine entrance from inside the mine.

Another view inside the mine with a vent shaft on the left.
View from atop Bradley Mountain. Looking south.
View from Fingerboard Mountain view on the AT.
Looking South.
Frozen Waterfall off the AT
Shimmy with a Deer Skull with Antlers.

Walking along 7 Lakes drive, with the snow just
started to come down steady.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sterling Mine Ski Area/
Lewis Mine

Harriman State Park
Orange County,
New York

Ski Trail: Unmarked
Menomine Trail: Yellow blaze
Nawahunta Fire Road: Unmarked

Hiking Partner:
David Bernstein

Total Time: 2:00 hr
Estimated Distance: 3.25 Miles

I had scheduled to meet with David Bernstein and go explore the Lewis Mine (also known as the Dunn Mine). This is an old abandoned iron mine and it was a while since I was last there. I had gotten to the parking area a bit early so decided to climb the abandoned Ski Trail before David arrived. I climbed up the left Ski trail to the top of the mountain, and bushwacked down the side down towards the Menomine Trail on the shore of the lake, and then back to the parking area where I encountered David. From there David and I took the Menomine trail the other way, west, across 7 Lakes Drive and we veered off on the Nawahunta Fire Road.

The Lewis Mine is only about a 1000 feet from the start of the Nawahunta Fire Road, and its right off the trail on the right. We went in and explored a bit, then continued further along the Fire Road for a short while and then turned around and looked for the upper portion of the mine, which is a bit further off the trail and hard to find. From there we bushwacked up the top and then back down towards 7 Lakes Drive, and back to the parking area where we started.

Map of the route
The Ski Trail from the parking area.
There is about half inch of snow on the ground.

Looking down towards the parking area
while climbing the ski trail
Looking north towards Bear Mountain
from the Silvermine Summit

Descending Silvermine Mountain
bushwacking towards the lake

Silvermine Lake from the shore. The Lake is frozen.

Silvermine Lake from the Menomine Trail

The Lewis Mine

Strange Icicle Formations growing inside the mine.

The hidden upper part of the Lewis Mine.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Kakiat Waterfalls

Kakiat County Park
Rockland County,
New York


Old Mill Trail: Blue blaze
Kakiat Trail: White blaze
Gas Line Trail: Unmarked
Unmarked Kakiat Trails

Total Time:
1:00 hr
Estimated Distance: 1.9 Miles

I had not been able to hike the previous day on Sunday because of a large rainstorm. It was a heavy cold rain, which is one of the few conditions that I don't go hiking in. So I made up for this by doing a short hike to the waterfalls at Kakiat, knowing all that rain was going to provide enough water to make the waterfalls beautiful.

The Kakiat waterfalls are seasonal. In the dry summer months they are nothing more then a trickle; the best time to visit them is after a good rainfall. I started the hike at the Kakiat parking circle, crossed the bridge and took the Old Mill Trail past the old mill to the end. Then took the Kakiat Trail west towards the mountain, and after crossing the gas line climbed just a little bit and veered off to the left to the stream, where I took it along up through the series of cascading waterfalls. There are several small waterfalls here, and each make good photo oppurtunities. After getting to the top of the highest falls, bushwacked back to the Kakiat Trail, took it down to the Gas Line, then took the Gas Line Trail south. From there headed off the spur near the mountain trail at the southern end of the Kakiat park border, and then took another path from there back to the parking area.

Map of the Route
The Old Mill
The Lowest Waterfall
The second waterfall
The second waterfall cascade
The third waterfall
The top (and largest) waterfall
Another view of the top waterfall
The two splits of the top waterfall

Sunday, December 5, 2010

New Appalachian Trail/
Bear Mountain

Bear Mountain State Park
Rockland and Orange Counties,
New York

Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail: Yellow blaze
Appalachian Trail: Red blaze
Major Welch Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 2:15 hr
Estimated Distance: 3.75 Miles

The was the first hike in the real winter. The high for the day was in the low 30's, and it was very windy. I needed my winter coat, hat, and gloves for this hike, as this was the first hike to break in the winter season.

I had heard that the Appalachian Trail had been entirely re-routed with a brand new trail to the top, and I have been anxious for a while to try it. This was finally my oppurtunity. I parked near the Ice Skating Rink, and headed up towards to old Appalachian Route, and suprising it wasn't there. The S-BM Trail was instead extended all the way to the bottom of Bear Mountain, and the Appalachian Trail was pushed further north. It took a while for me to figure this out while I was heading the wrong way looking for the trail.

I finally found the new trail, which starts right near the southern end of Hessian Lake. This new trail is impressive and quite an architectural feat, with the entire path being steps and gravel to the top (to prevent erosion). The Trail climbs a steep part of the mountain in meandering stairs, and then juts to the south while passing a nice seasonal waterfall, and eventally meets up with the original trail right near the end of dead-end circle at Perkins Drive. The trail officially continues along its original route up Perkins, but I saw they were rerouting it back to its original trail location. I decided to take this original and future portion of the trail to the top. The top was cold and very windy, and I had to quickly snap a few pictures before running back to the trail out of the exposure due to the fierce chilled winds. Headed down the mountain by way of the Major Welch Trail, and took this trail all the way back to my car.

Map of the route
Harriman-Bear Mountain State Park Map
The beginning of the New Appalachian Trail
at the foot of Bear Mountain near Hessian Lake
The ascent is all newly placed steps.
Steps and new bridge on the ascent
The first view, less than halfway to the summit.
Facing southeast towards Iona Island in the Hudson.
Small Waterfall on the AT
The view at the summit. Facing southwest.
Descending down the Major Welch Trail.
Heading north-northeast.
The Major Welch viewpoint.
Facing east towards the Bear Mountain Bridge
and Anthony's Nose on other side of the Hudson
Me at the Major Welch viewpoint.
The information sign at the beginning of the AT
explaining the new Trail system at Bear Mountain