Hurst Trail: Blue blaze
Appalachian Trail: White blaze
Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail: Red blaze
Total Time: 2:15 hr
Estimated Distance: 2.8 Miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Recommended for beautiful flora
Points Of Interest: Beautiful and lush trees and plants
Google Maps of Parking:
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This was a hike in late autumn, and the first hike with all the trees already having shed their leaves. However, this hike goes through a beautiful area of Harriman State Park rich in different plant types such as evergreen Mountain Laurels, colorful lichen, and green pine and hemlock forests. So despite the leaves gone in most of the trees, this hike was still very colorful. We parked off Seven Lakes Drive off the entrance to Camp Thendara, but we got a notice on the windshield stating that it's illegal to park here. Glad there was no ticket and the car wasn't towed.
We took the short Hurst trail up to the Fingerboard Mountain shelter where it hits the combined Appalachian and Ramapo-Dunderberg Trails. Continued on the Ramapo-Dunderberg after the split, taking it all the way down to the Bottle Cap Trail. The Bottle Cap Trail is an unofficial trail with it's markings using bottlecaps, hence it's name. This trail is not recommended for inexperienced hikers due to its overgrown state and easyness in missing the markers. I was on this trail about three years ago and found it much easier to follow in the past then it was now. All the downed trees and flooding from the recent severe storms have taken a big toll on this unmaintained trail.
We took the Bottle Cap all the way to the end where it nears 7 Lakes Drive and then went back to our car.
|Map of the Route|
|Ascending the Hurst Trail, Looking Towards the Shelter|
|Gary Reading the Trail Intersection Sign|
|On Top of Fingerboard Mountain. Facing West.|
|Gary Atop Fingerboard. Facing East Towards Lake Tiorati.|
|Lake Tiorati From Fingerboard Mnt.|
|Amazing Colors on the Mountaintop|
|More Amazing Colors. The Bright Red Plants are Blueberries.|
Blueberries are late foliage plants.
|Me Atop Fingerboard with the Red Blueberries|
|Fingerboard Viewpoint, facing southeast.|
Jackie Jones Tower is in the Distance.
|Bottle Cap Trail In the Valley.|
Note the Marker on the Tree.