Sunday, October 24, 2010

Long Mountain

Harriman State Park,
Orange County,
New York

Long Path (T-T): Green
Total Time: 0:40 hr
Estimated Distance: 1.4 Miles

Hiking Partner:
My Sister

This was our second hike of the day. Long Mountain is a great short hike with a pretty good yet easy climb and excellent summit views. We started at the Long Mountain Parking Area off of Route 6, and took a spur trail in the woods before hitting the Long Path. There are several spur trails in the woods north of the parking area, and you can use them as short alternates since this route is otherwise the same back and forth.

We literally ran the entire route up to the summit, took some pictures of the great view, and then ran back down the Long Path all the way back to the parking area.

I reminisced the last time I had hiked this mountain. It was about 5 years ago, immediately following a huge snowstorm. I hiked with two friends in a foot of snow in frigid temperatures, with several places near the top of the mountain having drifts several feet deep. It was one of my most memorable hikes.

Map of the Route

View of Popolopenwhere we just
were a few minutes earlier!
Facing east from the Long Mnt Summit.

Turkey Hill Lake, right below Long Mnt.
Facing soteast, with West Mnt in background.

Facing east towards Summer Hill
and Bear Mountain in the background.

Torrey Memorial Plaque on the Long Mountain Summit.

Me at the summit with Turkey Hill Lake

Zoom shot into Turkey Hill Lake with the foliage.

Popolopen Torne

Bear Mountain State Park
Orange County,
New York

Timp-Torne (T-T): Blue Blaze

Total Time: 1:40 hr
Estimated Distance: 1.0 Miles

Hiking Partner:
My Parents and Sister

This was the peak of the fall foliage. Popolopen is a very short hike, but one of the best and steepest in the area. It is a straight climb with excellent scrambling and requires usage of hands and feet. And the view on top is an extremely rewarding panorama. We started on the parking area on Mine Road, and climbed up the more western approach of the T-T Trail. This part of the trail is harder than the eastern part of the trail. Took this all the way up to the summit, and then continued down the T-T Trail via the eastern portion of the T-T back to the parking area. After we finished this hike my sister and I drove nearby to Long Mountain for our second hike of the day.

Map of the Route

From the first view while climbing Popolopen.
Facing southeast towards the Bear Mountain Bridge
and Anthony's Nose across the Hudson River.

Bear Mountain from the Popolopen view.
Facing south.

Looking east towards the Hudson River.

On top of the large rock at the Summit.

Facing West from the Summit.
The colors are breathtaking.

Facing east from the Summit
Looking towards Weyant's Pond.

At the summit, with Bear Mnt in the background.

Me at the memorial cairn at the summit.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lake Askoti Fall Foliage

Harriman State Park,
Orange County,
New York

On our way back from the Island Pond Hike, we took 7 Lakes Drive back home, and at Lake Askoti pulled over for some fall foliage shots. This is one of my favorite spots for fall foliage.

Island Pond Loop

Harriman State Park,
Orange County,
New York

Island Pond Road (unblazed)
Applachian Trail (AT): WhiteBlaze
Arden-Surebridge: A-SB

Map: Harriman Bear Mountain Trails
Trail Map 119
Map Coordinates: 72,68

Total Time: 2:50 hr
Estimated Distance: 4.7 Miles

Hiking Partner:
Marc Kushner

The fall foliage was beginning to peak. Marc and I have went the previous year on a beatiful foliage hike, so we did this hike together and kept up the tradition. We parked on Arden Valley Road off on one of the pullouts right before Island Pond Rd, and walked up the road for a short distance until Island Pond road, then took this towards the AT. When we hit the AT, we went east and along the northern shore of the Pond.

Island Pond is one of the prettiest lakes in Harriman and is the only large naturally formed lake in the park (i.e. not formed or enhanced by a dam). We veered off to take a few good photo shoots of the lake, and then headed towards the Lemon Squeezer. Went through the deep crevice there, and then took the bypass trail back towards the A-SB trail along the east side of the Island Pond. Continued all the way along the A-SB, around the lake in the distance, and veered off at the Island Pond Rd intersection for a detour to the lookout by Green Pond Mountain.

From there turned back around on the A-SB, and headed back to Island Pond Rd, at which point we went north on Island Pond Road back to Arden Valley Road, and then to our car. While we were driving him, we stopped to take some photos of Lake Askoti on 7 Lakes Drive for a beautiful foliage shoot.

Map of the route

Island Pond from the AT.
At the north side of the lake.


Ditto, facing southwest.

Me at the entrance to the Lemon Squeezer

Marc about to enter the Lemon Squeezer

Looking up the AT in the Lemon Squeezer

Me in the Lemon Squeezer

View from the A-SB facing southwest

At the Green Mountain viewpoint on the A-SB.


Fall foliage at the Green Mountain Viewpoint.

Facing Indian Hill from the Green Mnt viewpoint.
Facing west.

Fall foliage.

Island Pond western shore, on the return route.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Storm King Mountain

Storm King State Park,
Orange County,
New York

Stillman Trail: Yellow Blaze
By-Pass Trail: White Blaze

Map: West Hudson Trail
Trail Map 7

Total Time: 1:35 hr
Estimated Distance: 2.3 Miles

Storm King Mountain is one of my favorite mountains in the area. Its dramatic landscape and sweeping views are outstanding. This was a picture perfect autumn day - the trees had just started changing color, and there was not a cloud in the deep blue sky. Rarely have I seen a day with such exceptional visibility. The Catskill Mountains were beatifully visible despite being many miles distant.

I had left an umbrella in West Point a few weeks prior so that is why I decided to hike Storm King, so I can pick up the umbrella as West Point is on the Way to Storm King. Before I describe the trail route, I will take this liberty to maledict the cruel and nefarious map makers of 3rd Edition (2000) of the West Hudson Trail. The trail listing is extremely poor and its accuracy is just awful. Shame on you!! I have heard the new edition is much improved, so on my next availability will purchase the updated maps.

I started at the main parking area on Route 9W, opposite Butter Hill, and headed up the Stillwell Trail. Climbed up this short but good climb to the top of Butter Hill, which offers stunning views of the Crow's Nest and the south. Continued along trail past the view along to the west with Schunnemunk, and then along the northern ridge of Storm King with its outstanding viewpoints of Cornwall, Newburgh, the Hudson River, and Beacon Mountain. From there took the By Pass Trail, and then took the unmarked trail past the end of the Bypass Trail back to the trailhead.

Map of the Route

At the Trailhead looking east to the Storm King Summit.
Breakneck Ridge is in the distance across the river.

The summit of Butter Hill from the trailhead.

Looking down at Route 9W over the Crow's Nest.
Facing South from atop the summit of Butter Hill.

Me at the top of Butter Hill

Facing north at the Hudson Valley at the view past Butter Hill.
A birdwatcher placed this electric owl on a bamboo pole to
view the migratory patterns of the birds.

Facing northwest. The Catskills and Gunks are in the far distance.

At the north view near the summit.
Standing atop the Hudson River at Newburgh Bay

Newburgh from the summit. Facing northeast.

Beacon Mountain. Facing northwest.

Cornwall and the Hudson Valley, with Gunks in distance.
Facing west.

Facing south from the south summit view.
Overlooking the quarry at Bull Hill, the Hudson, and Cold Spring

Facing south at the Crow's Nest.

Me at the south summit view.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Parker Cabin Mnt,
Lake Skenonto

Harriman State Park.
Rockland County,
New York

Ramapo-Dundergerg (R-D): Red Blaze
Victory Trail: Blue Blaze
Triangle Trail: Yellow Blaze

Map: Harriman Park-Southern
Trail Map 118
Start Point Map Coordinates: 65,72

Total Time: 2:30 hr
Estimated Distance: 4.5 Miles

Hiking Partners:
Feige Koegel (my sister)
Eli Koegel (my nephew)
Yisroel Gewirtzman

This was our first fall hike. It was really the very beginning of the foliage colors, and almost all the trees were still green. Nevertheless there were still some good colors to be found. We parked on Lake Kanawauke Road (County 106) after the Little Long Pond, at the R-D trail parking area. Climbed up Tom Jones Mountain, which is a very short but steep hike up the mountain, with a nice view on top. The Catskill Mountains are visible from the summit to the far north. Continued down the R-D, where it intersected with the Victory Trail. Headed south on the Victory, and took the unblazed shortcut bypass road, and then continued along the trail to Lake Skenonto. Lake Skenonto is a very pretty and isolated like in Harriman with no public roads leading to it.

We intented to take the Trianlge Trail up Parker Cabin Mountain, but got distracted and went about 800 feet beyond the intersection before turning around back to the Trianlge Trail, which slowly climbs up Parker Cabin Mountain. The last stretch up Parker Cabin Mountain is a really good and steep scramble. From the top of Parker Cabin Mountain, which has a great view of Lake Sebago, went north on the R-D Trail, and by the previous intersection at the vallery between Parker Cabin and Tom Jones Mountains, we took the Victory Trail back to the road, and then headed along the road past the side of the swamp. This swamp was made by beavers and trees down by beavers with the characteristic bite marks are present in this swamp.

Map of the route

At the summit of Tom Jones Mnt
Facing east towards Jackie Jones Fire Tower

At the summit with Eli Koegel and Yisroel Gewirtzman

The Gunks and Catksills in the far north distance from Tom Jones

Descending the deep valley between Tom Jones
and Parker Cabin

Lake Skenonto, facing south.

Ditto, with me.

Me on the Peninsula in Lake Skenonto

Lake Skenonto from the Peninsula.
Facing southwest.

Yisroel climbing the Parker Cabin Mnt scramble

Lake Sebago from atop Parker Cabin Mnt.
Facing southeast.