Sunday, March 28, 2010

Nordkop Mountain

Harriman State Park
Rockland County,
New York

Total Time: 1:00 Hour
Total Distance: 1.5 Miles

Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail (SBM): Yellow Blaze
Woods Road: Unmarked

This a a short hike with a good climb and excellent views. The hike starts in Suffern on Route 59 right after the Thruway underpass. I once parked in the Parking lot under the overpass and got a ticket, becuase I didnt have a parking permit. So this time to avoid getting a ticket, I parked near downtown Suffern on Chestnut St. right before Route 202, and walked along 202 to Route 59, and went under the long underpass. The trail starts on the right about 200 feet after the underpass. This is the southern terminus of the SBM Trail. It's a long trail - it goes all the way to Bear Mountain, 25 miles later.

Started the climb on the SBM, and encountered a pack of wild turkeys on the way up. They ran away from me although from what I hear they are not afraid of people and can attack and be a nuisance. Continued up to the summit viewpoint, where there is a sweeping view of downtown Suffern, Mahwah, Hillburn, and the skyscrapers of Manhattan in the far off distance. Once at the top, took the woods road down to Hemlock Rd/Pavilion Lane, which took me back to Rt. 202, where I once again crossed under the Thruway and took the sidewalk back to my car on Chestnut St.

Map of the Route

Route 59 underpass of the Thruway,
where 87 and 287 come together.
This is an enormous highway underpass.

The beginning of the SBM Trail,
right outside of Suffern

The Turkeys I encountered while Ascending

Rock Face Scramble on the way up

Facing south at the I-87 and I-287
Highway Interchange with Sheraton Crossroads.

View from the lookout.
Facing west towards Hillburn.

View of Suffern from the summit viewpoint.

Zoomed out with Suffern/Mahwah Panorama.
Sheraton Crossroads is in right edge.

Zoomed in to the Manhattan skyline in the haze.

View of eastern portion of Suffern
with Good Samaritan Hospital on the left hand side.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Limekiln Mountain

Harriman State Park
Rockland County,
New York

Total Time:
1:00 Hour
Total Distance: 1.75 Miles

Tuxedo-Mount Ivy (TMI): Red Blaze
Limekiln Mountain: Unmarked

The weather has really been warming up, and I have traditionally done this same hike around this time of year the past several years. Its a short and quick hike with a good climb and a good view. And its really close to home. So overall its a great hike when I am short on time. I started on the parking lot on Diltzes Rd, and took the TMI trail along the Gas Line. After the trail veers away from the powerline and into the mountain, it meets the unmarked Limekiln Mountain Trail as soon as you enter the woods. Made a right turn onto the Limekiln Mountain Trail and climbed the trail until the summit viewpoint. Then went down the mountain the same way about halfway down, and then veered right off the trail, bushwacking to the stream and the TMI trail (I did this so I can take a slightly different route back). Once I hit the power lines back took that instead of the gas line back to the parking area. (The gas line and power line run parallel to each other about 75 feet apart, with dense brush in between.)

Map of the Route

View at summit view with famous Rock.
Facing southeast - Camp Ramaquois Lake.

View from summit facing south.
Route 202 Swamp and Power lines.

View from summit view facing east
towards Haverstraw, the Hudson River,
and Hi-Tor mountain to the right.

View from Summit view facing east.
Bottom part of Cheescoate Mountain
is in close range.
Further range is the Palisades.

Power Lines and Gas Line near trailhead

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Big Beech Mountain

Long Pond Ironworks State Park/
Wanaque Wildlife Management Area/
Tranquility Ridge (a Passaic County Park),
Passaic County,
New Jersey

Total Time:
3:00 Hours
Total Distance:
5 Miles

Sterling Ridge Trail (Blue Blaze)

This was an absolutely brutal hike. Not because of the terrain, but because of the conditions. There had been a huge snowstorm a week before, with about 2 feet of snow, and the warm weather in the week following the snowstorm has melted much of the snow. I had thought that most of the snow had melted even on top of the mountain, but I was very wrong. There were deep wet patches and I was totally unprepared in dress, but I just kept going.

I parked at the Long Pond Ironworks site by the Intersection of Greenwood Lake Turnpike and Awosting Road, and started hiking at the southern terminus of the Sterling Ridge Trail, heading north past the abandoned iron works sites. The iron works are remnants from the revolutionary war age where this area was heavily mined for its rich iron ore. I passed many foundations and historic markers at the beginning of the trail. Continued heading up the trail, and finally ascended Big Beech Mountain. This was the most strenuous part, and proved almost impossible in the deep wet slushy snow and worn out low boots. But I was determined and made it up the mountain. There is a false summit - once you reach the lower viewpoint which has nice views to the south, you realize the mountain keeps on climbing ahead of you. Continued along to the main viewpoint, which provided excellent views to the south, west (including Greenwood Lake), and the east.

I wanted to continue a bit forward and take a lollipop loop back via the Jennings Hollow Trail, but was too wet and cold to do so. I headed back the same way following my own bootmarks and came home to a warm chicken soup.

Map of the Route

Historical Marker by the abandoned Company Store

The company store ruins

Bridge crossing the Wanaque River.
This river drains Greenwood Lake
and enters the Monksville Reservoir right here.
Notice the confluence of trail markers.

Ascending the lower viewpoint
on Big Beech Mountain.
This part was almost impossible.

Magnificent view of the Wyanokies
Facing south towards Monksville Reservoir

Zoomed in to Wyankoie High Point

Facing east from near the summit
to the Ramapo Mountains.

Fantastic Tree at the top lookout

From the lookout facing Southwest

Facing west towards Greenwood Lake