Sunday, July 28, 2013

Ringwood Manor Trail Loop

Ringwood State Park
Passaic County,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
Manor Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 1:15 hours
Estimated Distance: 3.3 miles
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Level of Recommendation: Not Recommended
Points Of Interest: Scenic mansion gardens and grounds, tranquil lake 
Pros: Pretty walk through mansion property,
Cons: $8 charge for parking, first part of hiking trail is an old road rather then traditional hiking trail,

Google Map of Parking:

View 2013 Hiking Locations in a larger map

The weather was rainy and steamy, so I had to pick a short hike that was not too intense. Although for most of the hike it was not raining, it did rain steadily for some time and I got considerably wet. I parked in the Ringwood Manor Parking lot, and walked alongside the Ringwood Manor Mansion next to the marble pillars and small pond. I continued through the grassy area alongside the south part of the Ringwood Mill Pond, where I picked up the Manor Trail. This is a loop trail that starts and ends at the same point. It is a rather uninteresting trail without any viewpoints or points of interest, aside from an old historical cemetery along the trail. After completing the loop and getting very wet, I explored the property a bit more and walked through some of the gardens and groves before heading back to my car in the main parking lot.

Map of the Route

Marble Pillar Columns on the Manor Grounds

Small Pond in Front of the Manicured Grounds

The Western Side of the Manor

Mill Pond from the Northern Side

Another View of Mill Pond

Old Historic Cemetery Along the Trail

Trail Passing Underneath a Fallen Tree

Confluence of Trails at the Beginning of the Loop

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Peters Kill Area,
Minnewaska State Park

Ulster County,
New York

Hiking Trails:

Red Loop Trail: Red blaze
Yellow Connector Trail: Yellow blaze
High Peters Kill Trail: Blue blaze
Bullwheel Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 1:45
Estimated Distance: 3.3 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Recommended
Points Of Interest:  Scenic brook, good view, and interesting terrain
Overall very scenic area
Cons: $8 charge for parking, very little shade on last part of hike

Google Map of Parking:

View 2013 Hiking Locations in a larger map

This hike was the first day after the official heat wave of 2013, where we had temperatures in the mid to upper 90's for a week straight. Though it wasn't in  the 90's, it was still in the upper 80's with a full sun and was pretty hot. I parked in the Peter's Kill Area off Route 44/55, and took the Red Loop Trail down to the Peter's Kill. At the bottom of the stream I took the short Yellow Connector Trail to the High Peter's Kill Trail. I then climbed up the western flank above the Peter's Kill, which is a plateau, expecting to find a good view there as the map says. While there is a view near the top, it is pretty overgrown and not too impressive.

I then went back down the trail to the Peter's Kill, crossed it, and then continued on the High Peter's Kill Trail up the steep climb on the eastern flank of the Peter's Kill. Near the top on the right there is a barrens area of white rock with an outstanding vista with views towards the main part of Minnewaska and the Catskills to the north.

I then continued along the High Peter's Kill Trail to the intersection of the Bullwheel Trail, and then took the Bullwheel Trail down. The top part of the Bullwheel Trail is covered with short brush and exposed, and much of the trail going down is also exposed. At the end of the Bullwhell Trail I decided to cover the other part of the Red Loop Trail that goes down to the Peter's Kill, so I took that trail again and veered off an old route that goes straight down to the Kill on the right. From there I took the Red Loop Trail back up the stream and then veered along with it to the east as it climbed the side of the ravine. At the top the trail goes through an exposed area and passes rock climbing cliffs to the left. Due to the heat and sun bearing down on me, I veered off to the left in the woods and following an a climbing trail back to the parking area.

Map of the Route
Shawangunk Trails: Mohonk Preserve

Carriageway leading into the beginning of the hike from the parking area

Brand new bridge crossing the Peter's Kill.
There was still fresh sawdust from cutting the wood from this bridge.

View from the Western Flank of the Peter's Kill Gorge.
The rocks across the deep valley are the view from
where the subsequent view pictures were taken.

View from the eastern flank of the Peter's Kill Gorge,
on the High Peter's Kill Trail.
Looking south towards Beacon Hill.

Me at the Above View

Me at the Above View, Facing North

From the Above View Facing North Towards the Catskill High Peaks

Large Exposed Area on the Bullwheel Trail

View from the Red Loop Trail Descending Towards the Peter's Kill
Facing North. I believe that  Mountain up Ahead is Slide Mountain

Peter's Kill Flowing  through the White Quartz Rock.
The Water Level is Low

A nice natural pool in the Peter's Kill.
Though swimming is not allowed here, you will often
see people swimming here

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Chipmunk Mountain Loop
Harriman State Park

Rockland County,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Pine Meadow Trail: Red blaze
Stony Brook Trail: Yellow blaze
Kakiat Trail: White blaze
7 Hills Trail: Blue blaze
Hillburn-Torne Sebago (HTS) Trail: Orange blaze

Total Time:
Estimated Distance: 3.5 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Recommended
Points Of Interest: Scenic Brook, Good view
Pros: Enjoyable popular hike in harriman, good blueberries on top of mountain
Cons: Very busy with people on weekends - the beginning is the busies trail in Harriman

Hiking Partners:
Shimmy and Morty Rosenberg

Google Map of Parking:

View 2013 Hiking Locations in a larger map

This was a very hot and steamy day, and the first day of the week-long heatwave where the temperature was in the mid-90's. This trail is mostly wooded and covered, so we remained cool most of the time, except at the summit, which is exposed. We parked in the Reeves Meadow area, and headed up the Pine Meadow Trail, to  the Stony Brook Trail, to the Kakiat trail, to the HTS Trail, where we crossed the brook where the bridge was out to the Pine Meadow Trail again. From the Pine Meadow we took the 7 Hills Trail up the mountain to the view at the top of the mountain. I always called this area "North Hill", but really this is a bigger mountain that deserves a better name. I saw now on the new editions of the trail conference maps that they named this summit where the view is "Chipmunk Mountain". Although I think this name lacks originality, I will use this name in the future for this mountain, for the lack of a better name. At this point we took the HTS Trail down back toward the brook, and then took the Pine Meadow Trail all the way back.

Map of the Route.
Harriman/Bear Mountain State Parks Southern Map

Shimmy & Morty on a fallen tree over the Stony Brook.
Camera is hazy from the humidity

Ascending the blueberry patch on the 7 Hills Trail
right before the intersection of the HTS Trail

Morty At the Top

Me at the Top in the Huckleberry Bushes

View at the Top

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Pound Swamp Mountain,
Harriman State Park

Rockland County,
New York

Hiking Trails:

Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 1:30
Estimated Distance: 2.9 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Recommended
Points Of Interest: Irish Potato Rock Formation, Pound Swamp
Pros: Scenic, quiet hike, features one of the few natural and remote ponds in the park
Cons: Pound Swamp Mountain has no view at the summit

Hiking Partner:

Yehuda Koblick

Google Map of Parking:

View 2013 Hiking Locations in a larger map

This was a quick hike which we did during the week. We parked at the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trailhead on County Route 106, right after the Harriman State Park sign, and took the trail up the Irish Potato. We continued along the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail down Irish Mountain and then up again to Pound Swamp Mountain. There is no view here at the summit - its full of trees and shrubbery all around. We turned around and took a detour to the Pound Swamp, and then cut back to the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail and took the same route back.

Map of the Route.
Harriman-Bear Mountain Trails Southern Map

Large Toad at the Beginning of the Hike

Yehuda at the Irish Potato,
a large Rock Sitting Atop Irish Mountain

Yehuda near the Summit of Pound Swamp Mountain

Looking Down from Near the Summit of Pound Swamp Mountain.
Not Much of a View Here!

Upper Pound Swamp.
A beautiful, serene, and natural pond.

Upper Pound Swamp

Beaver Chomps on the Tree on the Shore of Upper Pound Swamp