Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hunter Mountain

Hunter Mountain Wild Forest
Catskill Mountains
Greene County,
New York

Devil's Path: Red Blaze
Hunter Mountain Trail: Yellow Blaze
Spruceton Trail: Blue Blaze
Colonel's Chair Trail: Yellow Blaze

Total Time: 8 Hours
Total Distance: 11.8 Miles

Hiking Partner:
Meir Fallen

I had actually planned to go on a two day hiking trip in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, but the plans fell through so I took the day off for a full day hike in the Catskill High Peaks. This hike took all day, with 3000 feet of total elevation gain. We started at Stony Clove Notch off Route 212, which is a deep valley surrounded by steep cliffs of 1500 feet surrounding both sides of the valley. We parked a the Devil's Tombstone State Campground, and took the Devils Path up its very steep ascent of Hunter Mountain.

At the 3500 elevation line, we veered off to the Hunter Mountain Trail, to its terminus at the summit, and then climbed the Fire Tower at the top of the mountain. Although the Fire Tower is closed at the top, you can still take it all the way up, and it affords an unbelievable panoramic view. We had lunch at Fire Tower, and then continued down the Spruceton Trail until the Colonel's Chair Trail. We took the Colonel's Chair Trail till its end at the top of the Skiing area, where there are further good views. The top of the skiing area is actually about 1000 feet lower then the mountain's summit.

We turned around back up the Colonel's Chair to the Spruceton Trail, and then went a bit more east on the Spruceton until the lean to and lookout. The lean to was brand new and just rebuilt. At this point we turned around back the way we came, and took a small detour at the Hunter Summit for the summit viewpoint that faces south. After that we continued back down the same route back to the car.

Map of the Route
At the beginning of the Trail.
Stony Clove Notch and Lake.

At the 3500 Elevation mark on Devils Path
The Fire Tower and Cabin at the Summit
On Tower facing South
From Tower facing east towards Kaaterskill High Peak
Meir near the top
with cabin below
Facing northwest towards WestKill Mountain
Looking up at the Tower
A snowshoe hare at the top.
This hare was huge, and it was really
freaky how it following us for food.
It must be a mascot on the top
of the mountain.

At an opening on the Spruceton Trail.
Facing east towards Tannersville.
View from Colonels Chair. Facing southeast.
At the top of the ski lift. Facing East.
Westkill Mountain from the Ski Lift top.
Facing West.
The Blackhead Range in the distance:
Thomas Cole, Black Dome, and Black Head.
Facing northeast from Colonels Chair.
Me at the Hunter south viewpoint.
Another view at the Hunter south viewpoint.
Facing south.

Yet another view at the Hunter south viewpoint.
Facing southeast.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Millbrook Mountain
Gertrudes Nose

Shawangunk Mountains
Minnewaska State Park
Ulster County,
New York


Millbrook Mountain Trail: Red Blaze
Gertrude's Nose Trail: Red Blaze
Millbrook Drive Carriageway
Hamilton Point Carriageway
Shore Drive Carriageway

Hiking Parters:
Shimmy Rosenberg
Yehuda Koblick

Total Time: 4.5 Hours
Total Distance: 6.5 Miles

I had long anticipated starting the summer with a solid hike in the Gunks. This was our oppurtunity. We started out early, and were early enough to park in the main parking area in Minnewaska (this area fills up pretty quickly and when that happens you have to park all the way down at the park entrance.) We started the hike by going down towards Lake Minnewaska, and bushwacking along the southern side of the lake above the cliffs. (There used to be an unofficial trail shortcut here to the carriageway, but it was very overgrown and hardly discernible.) From the overgrown shortcut bushwack, we took the Shore Drive Carriageway to the eastern end of the lake, where the outlet is, and then took the Millbrook Mountain Trail all the way to its terminus at Millbrook Mountain. At the summit there are excellent views as you are a straight vertical 1000 feet above the surrounding the terrain. (Millbrook Mountain has its eastern side as a sheer vertical cliff.)

From the Millbrook Mountain summit, went on the Gertrude's Nose Trail south along the edge of the escarpment south on the Millbrook Mountain Trail, towards Gertrude's Nose. There was one point near the power lines that cross the path where the trail descends, and there is a cave going into the ground with emits freezing air, which was very refreshing considering that this was a very hot and humid day. We continued along the trail, picking blueberrys along the way, all the way to Gertrude's Nose. Gertrudes Nose is a pointed edge where the escarpement bends backwards to dip for the deep Palmaghatt Ravine, and there are excellent views all around, and the boulder formations and fallen rocks are absolutely fabulous. The area is full of deep cracks in the rocks going hundreds of feet down. We Continued along the Gertrude's Nose Trail Trail until it hit the Millbrook Drive Carriageway, and from there took the carriageway back to the Hamilton Point Carriageway for a short while until it meets up with the Shore Drive Carriageway by the lake, and from there we returned back to the car.

Map of the Route

Route 299 Heading towards the Gunks.
You can see the sheet cliff wall.

Me and Yehuda at Lake Minnewaska
Near the Parking Area.

Lake Minnewaska, from the beach.

Lake Minnewaska from the beach
looking towards the eastern end of the lake

View of Sky Top in Mohonk in the haze,
along the Millbrook Mountain Trail
Looking north.

Shimmy and Yehuda,
at summit of Millbrook Mountain

Me at the summit of Millbrook.

On top a cliff at Millbrook

The "air-conditioned" cave hole.

Shimmy and I picking blueberries

Shimmy on top of a crevice
at Gertrudes Nose point.

Me sitting atop cliff at Gertrude's Nose

View from Gertrudes Nose facing across the
Palmaghatt Ravine towards Hamilton Pt.
and Castle Pt.

Yehuda walking along the Gertrude's Nose Trail

Balanced Rock near Gertrude's Nose

Rock formation near Gertude's Nose
with Yehuda in the distance

Cliff near Gertrude's Nose,
with Shimmy in the distance.

Shimmy on a rock stuck in a deep crevice

Shimmy at lookout at Patterson's Pellet.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Kakiat Mountain

Kakiat Mountain,
Kakiat County Park
Rockland County,
New York


Mountain Trail: Orange Blaze
Kakiat Trail: White Blaze

Total Time:
1.0 Hours
Total Distance: 2.4 Miles

I had to do a really quick hike early in the morning since my brother-in-law was getting married later in the day, and I was warned that I had to be on time. So I had to do a short, quick hike close to home. I go to Kakiat on a regular basis, usually once a week, so I usually don't take any pictures. However, this time was different since I just got my new digital SLR Camera (Nikon D5000). So I had to take the camera on its inagural hike and post the pictures on the blog.

It was an extremely hot and muggy day, so it was good I started early in the morning. Parked at the Kakiat parking area, crossed the new bridge accross the Mahwah River, and took the mountain trail up to the summit. Continued on the newly extended mountain trail to the end where it hits the Kakiat Trail, and took this all the way down to the end.

Map of the Route

The new bridge at the beginning of the hike
crossing the Mahwah River.
This bridge was built in Summer 2009.

Trout Fisherman in the Mahwah River.
Taken from the above bridge.

The Mountain Trail at the foot of the mountain,
where it is very wide.

View near the top. Looking southeast.
In the distant center is the RCC fieldhouse.

At the top of the escarpment. Facing south.
Note what a hazy day it was.

From the top looking north-northeast
toward the edge of Cobus Mountain.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pine Meadow 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:
1.0 Hours
Total Distance: 2.5 Miles

It had been really hot and muggy, and the weather had just turned beautiful, so I took some time off of work to take this short and easy hike. I started at the Reeves Meadow Visitor Center off 7 Lakes Drive near Sloatsburg. 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. When I hit the HTS Trail, took it south for a brief moment across the brook, and then hit the Pine Meadow Trail, which I took back to the trailhead. As this hike was spontaneous, I did not bring my camera with me. Since there aren't any lookouts, just a beautiful walk, I didn't bother taking pictures with my low-quality cell phone camera. Hence, the lack of pictures on this posting.

Map of the Route

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dunderberg Mountain

Southern Portion
Bear Mountain State Park
Rockland County,
New York

Total Time:
2:30 hours
Total Distance: 4.5 miles

Hiking Partners:
Yehuda Koblick
Shimmy Rosenberg

Timp Torne Trail (T-T): Blue Blaze
Ramapo Dunderberg (R-D): Red Blaze
1777 Trail: Red Blaze

It had been about 3 years since I was last at Dunderberg, so this trip was long overdue. Dunderberg Mountain jumps out of the Hudson River with its very steep incline. The mountain is full of remnants of an abandoned railway that was partially constructed in the 1890's for a hotel on the top of the mountain.

This was a very hot and muggy day, which restricted the views and made the extensive uphill very uncomfortable. We parked on Route 9W at the trailhead parking across from the Anchor Monument along the Hudson River. We started at the trailhead of the T-T and R-D where they confluence for a short time, and then veered off on the T-T Trail, along the old abandoned railway bed and the tunnels. Continued up the mountain to the viewpoint where Indian Point is clearly visible across the river, and went further until the intersection with the 1777 Trail, which we took south and then east down the mountain.

Map of the Route

One of the spiral railway tunnels

Me and Shimmy in one of the tunnels

View from inside the tunnel looking out.

At the viewpoint after the bend.
Looking South accross the Hudson River
and Verplanck in Westchester.

Indian Point Nuclear Reactor across the Hudson River.
The heavy haze makes it hard to see.

Me and Yehuda at the lookout, overlooking the Hudson

Shimmy swinging off a Jungle Vine

Shimmy and Yehuda reading the 1777 trail plaque

Me at the Anchor Monument, with Indian Point behind me.