Sunday, April 18, 2010

Stahahe High Peak,

Boston Mine
Harriman State Park
Orange County,
New York

Total Time: 1:30 hours
Total Distance: 3 Miles

Stahahe High Peak Trail: Unmarked
Island Pond Road: Unmarked
Nurian Trail: Yellow Blaze
White Bar (WB) Trail: (white Blaze)

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

The previous hike was great and I wanted to do a hike around that area again. This was a hike I had never done before, which is quite unusual for me, and I was very much looking forward to it. We parked at the trailhead of the WB by Car Pond Mnt. We wanted to hike towards lake Stahahe, so we bushwacked down the stream that feeds the lake. There were several nice waterfalls and cascades along this bushwack. Once we hit the lake, we took the camp service road north through the camp to try to find the Stahahe High Peak Trail. (Harriman is full of summer camps run by State for underpriveledged children from New York City. The ranges don't like when you hike through the camps, so its best to avoid hiking through them in the summer.)

We has a hard time finding the Stahahe High Peak Trail from the Stahahe approach, as its not an official trail and is unmarked. My older trail conference maps have the unmarked trail but the newer editions of the map don't show this part of the trail from the Stahahe approach. We found the general area of the trail, and started heading up the mountain using a little bit of guesswork to maintain the route up the mountain. There are some sporadic "homemade" red blazes which were helpful in maintaining the route. Near the top is a short but sweet scramble.

Once at the top we were afforded and absolutely magnificent view. This is one of the best views in Harriman! (I know I have said this line countless times before on many different trails...) The view is unobstructed with miles of mountains and hills, with excellent views of Harriman, Sterling Forest, and Lake Stahahe directly below. We continued along the trail - at this point it is much better maintained. (I would recommend if you take this route on your own to do it from Island Pond Road as its a much easier route.) We continued until Island Pond Road, which is an old abandoned mining road that is now used as a hiking trail, and went north on Island Pond Road until we hit the Boston Mine (right after the Nurian and Dunning Trails).

The Boston Mine is one of the civil-war era iron mines in the region, with extensive deposits of rough magnetite iron ore in the dumps. This particular mine has a very impressive cut in the rock and has a deep hole. We ventured into the mine scrambling around on rocks in the water to take some good photos inside the mine.

After exploring the mine we headed back south on the Nurian Trail, continued where it intesected with the WB Trail (did this small stretch last week), and then continued along the WB back to our car at the trailhead.

Map of the route

Me sitting atop the upper waterfall.

The Lower Waterfall, right near Lake Stahahe

Beginning of Lake Stahahe,
where the stream enters in.

View from the south side of the lake

Same view as above, with a nice subject

Climbing the scramble before the summit
of Stahahe High Peak

Shimmy at the summit, facing southwest
with Lake Stahahe in the background

Another view of Lake Statahe from the summit
Facing southwest with the south portion of lake

A fuller view of the lake

View from the summit, facing west

The entrance of the Boston Mine

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Black Rock Mountain and Surebridge Mountain

Black Rock Mountain & Surebridge Mountain
Harriman State Park
Orange County,
New York

Total Time: 2:30 Hour
Total Distance: 3.5 Miles

Ramapo-Dunderberg (R-D) Trail: Red Blaze
Nurian Trail: Yellow Blaze
White Bar (WB) Trail: (white Blaze)

Hiking Partner:
Feige Koegel (My sister)

This was a gorgeous early spring hike. The hike was gorgeous and the weather was gorgeous. The sky was bright blue and the trees were just beginning to bud. We started the hike on Co. Rt. 106 (Lake Kanawauke Rd) at the R-D trailhead by the road, and headed north up Black Rock Mountain. Its a nice climb of a few hundred feet, with a good view at the top. At the view is the intersection with the Nurian Trail, which we took due west climbing back down the mountain until the intersection with the WB Trail. The WB and Nurian Trail join together here for several hundred feet. Then took the WB back up the edge of southern end of Surebridge Mountain.

The top of Surebridge Mountain was totally destroyed by a forest fire years ago, and the tree cover is very sparse, making the top full of exposed bedrock and excellent views throughout. We decided to bushwack up the top of the end of this ridge, as we could observer the panoramic views it beheld from below it. We found an old deerpath and bushwacked through to the rocky viewpoint for some excellent photos of a 360 degree view.

We then returned back to the WB Trail, where it shortly met the R-D Trail, which took south back to the Black Rock viewpoint. The back end of Black Rock Mountain is also very pretty with its fire-burned summit full of rocky points and rock scrambles. From there headed back down the mountain and back to our car.

Map of the Route

Black Rock Mnt Summit facing Southeast.

Me at the summit of Black Rock

On Black Rock Summit

White Bar and Dunning Trails Together

Feige ahead on the Dunning Trail in 
forest of exceptionally tall trees

Me on the summit of Surebridge Mountain.
What a view!

Me posing on Surebridge Summit

On summit of Surebridge Mnt
looking northwest with Island Pond below

Ascending the summit of Black Rock.
You can see the Sparse Tree Cover
Caused by the Forest Fire

Continuing ascent up Black Rock on return route.