Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sleater Hill Loop
Dater Mountain Nature County Park,

Rockland County,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Orange Trail
Blue Trai

Total Time: 1:10 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.4 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Points Of Interest: Viewpoint, views of Sloatsburg
Pros: Good views, nice loop, nice lookout of Suffern
Cons: Close to highway and loud at certain points, view of built up area takes away serenity.

Google Map of Parking:

View 2013 Hiking Locations in a larger map

I parked on the small parking area on Johnstown Road by Daters Mountain County Park, which is adjacent to Harriman State Park near Sloatsburg. I climbed the short steep part at the Orange Trail trailhead, and then continued along the Orange Trail north to the view (this view is not listed on the trail map). I then continued along the Orange Trail until its intersection with the Blue Trail, and looped back the entire length of the Blue Trail passing the view overlooking the Thruway, and then heading  back down the Orange Trail back to my car. I don't think these trails have any official names, so if anyone does now if these are named please feel free to comment.

Map of the Route

The view on top of the mountain from the Orange Trail.
Facing Northeast.

Same View Facing East Toward North Hill

Some Remaining Snow Near the Crest.
This may be the last remaining snow of the season.

View of Thruway from Sleater Hill.
Facing South, where Thruway cuts through Sloatsburg

View from Sleater Hill Facing  Northwest.
Thruway and Washington Ave. Neighborhood of Sloatsburg

View Facing Southeast from Sleater Hill
Part of Sloatsburg with Ramapo Torne in the Distance.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sentinel Peak and Tumamoc Hill

Sentinel Peak Park
Pima County,

Total Time: 0:40 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.3 miles
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Level of Recommendation: Recommended for a short and easy hike near downtown Tucson
Points Of Interest: Beautiful Saguaros and views of Tucson

Google Map Link

I was still in Tucson, Arizona for a trade show, and though it was the end of the day I wanted to take a quick hike before sunset. There is a small mountain called Sentinel Peak right outside of downtown Tucson, with sweeping views of the entire city of Tucson. There is a also a road up the mountain, but I found a parking area on the bottom of the mountain with a trail that climbs up.

I climbed up the trail towards Tumamoc Hill, and then turned back down to Sentinel Peak towards the road. As it was getting dark and late, I opted to head back down the road instead of up the view at Sentinel Peak. I only had my phone camera with me, and unfortunately my SD card on the phone got corrupted and I lost all the pictures from this hike.

Map of the Route

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Freeman Homestead Trail
Saguaro National Park

Eastern Section,
Pima County,

Hiking Trails:
Freeman Homestead Trail

Total Time: 0:35 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.3 miles
Level of Difficulty: Very easy
Level of Recommendation: Recommended for a short and easy hike in Saguaro National Park
Points Of Interest: Beautiful Sonoran Desert Scenery and Cacti

Google Map Link

I was in Tucson, Arizona attending a trade show for business, and although I was very very busy during the show I still managed this short hike in Saguaro National Park. This was a very short hike for my standards; I wish I had the time for a longer hike, but I take whatever time I could get to hike.

This was my first time in the eastern portion of the park, so I was unfamiliar with the area and did not even have the time to adequately plan a trail. I drove into the park by the Visitor Center, got a map, and intended to take a small part of the Tanque Verde Ridge Trail up to a vista and then turn around. However, I ended up on the very short Freeman Homestead loop trail because I parked too soon along the road.

I took the trail, which walks past very tranquil Sonoran Desert scenery with beautiful wild Saguaro's and other cacti. The trail goes down a small hill to a dry stream bed, along the side of the ridge, and then loops back up again. After I finished the hike, I took the Cactus Forest Drive loop road around for a 20 minute scenic drive.

Map of the route

Sonoran Desert Scenery
Note the rich flora and Santa Catalina Mountains in background

Another similar shot
Looking  up the Mountain
An interesting  twin Saguaro

Picture-perfect Saguaro

Saguaro's with the Rincon Mountains starting their ascent

Another nice cactus shot

Baby Saguaro starting to sprout

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Silvermine Lake Ski Area

Harriman State Park,
Orange County,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Ski Lift Paths

Total Time: 0:45 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.08 miles
Level of Difficulty: Slightly Difficult in over a foot of snow
Level of Recommendation: Recommended for a short hike, especially in the snow
Points Of Interest: Hike up old ski slope

Hiking Partner:

Shimmy Rosenberg

Google Map of Parking:

View 2013 Hiking Locations in a larger map

The previous day there was a large snowstorm, and it snowed almost a foot and a half. We had wanted to hike across a frozen lake, but the rangers had not posted any of them as accessible yet, despite them being fully covered with snow. Many parking areas are inacessible after a large snowstorm, and only the larger parking areas get plowed. Since we were short on time, and with limited trailhead parking availability, we went to the Silvermine Lake ski area and hiked up the left ski trail to the top, looped around, and took the right slope back down. The area was very busy with scores of people sledding down the slopes.

I do recall there having been a no sledding sign previously, but its no longer there and the crowds are large. I don't know why they would have blocked sledding, considering its a safe and fun place to do it with such a large hill. Anyways, I am glad its opened to sledding again.

On a side note, I do with there was a way to know in advance if any of the lakes are fully frozen and posted as accessible to walk on. The ice has to be 6 inches thick for this, and the park rangers are supposed to post the sign in front of the lake. If anyone knows of any website that posts this information, please feel free to post it in the comments.

Map of the Route
Lewis Brook at the Parking Area

Lewis Brook Entering Silvermine Lake

All the People Sledding on the Slopes

Shimmy Climbing the Mountain

View Near the Top, Facing North.

Facing Down to the Parking  Area Near the Top

Me Near the Top

Me at the Top in the Distance

View From the Top.
The Mountain on the right is Bear Mountain,
and the left is Poplopen Torne

Panoramic  Shot at the Top.

Old Ski Lift at the Top of the Right Ski Trail

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Stockbridge Mountain Appalachian Trail

Harriman State Park,
Orange County,
New York

Hiking Trails:

Tiorati Brook: Blue blaze
Appalachian Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 1:50 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.68 miles
Level of Difficulty: Slightly Difficult
Level of Recommendation: Slightly Recommended
Points Of Interest: Viewpoint, scenic and tranquil part of park

Google Map of Parking:

View 2013 Hiking Locations in a larger map

Much of the snow had melted during a brief warm-up during the week, but on Saturday night it had snowed an inch, which covered everything again. However, this small snow cover had covered many icy patches along the trail, making the hiking conditions very difficult. In fact, I had fallen at one point at badly bruised my arm.

I parked in the parking area at Tiorati Beach, and took the short Tiorati Brook Trail up the hill. I then took the Appalachian Trail north, going right near a large group of hikers, partially up Fingerboard Mountain, and then on the side of Stockbridge Mountain. There is a view here towards the south, but its not that great and pretty overgrown. I then took the trail gradually down Stockbridge Mountain back to the road. I was planning on continuing along the Appalachian Trail and cutting toward the Ramapo Dunderberg Trail, but due to the very difficult conditions I opted to head back along the road back to my car.

Map of the Route

Large Group of Hikers on Tiorati Brook Trail

Descending to the Stream Between Fingerboard
and Stockbridge Mountain
Ascending Towards the Viewpoint

The Viewpoint. Looking Southeast Towards Fingerboard Mountain

Another View of the View
Large Grove of Downed Trees, with the
Appalachian Trail Going Right Through Them.
This Grove was Downed by Hurricane Sandy.

Appalachian Trail Bridge Crossing the Brook

The Brook from the Bridge

Lake Tiorati and Tiorati Beach