Sunday, November 17, 2013

Red Cross - Letterrock Mountain Loop

Harriman State Park
Orange and Rockland Counties Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Red Cross Trail: Red blaze
Menomine Trail: Yellow blaze
Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail: Red blaze
Bockey Swamp Trail: Unblazed

Total Time: 2:30 hours
Estimated Distance: 5.9 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Not Recommended
Points Of Interest: Rhododendron Forest
Pros: Very quiet part of the park
Cons: No views, Burnt House Disappointing, Red Cross Trail needs Maintenance, Bockey Swamp Trail is overgrown

Google Map of Parking:

View 2013 Hiking Locations in a larger map

This was a wet and rainy day. There was rain predicted in the forecase for later in the day, but I checked the radar and all looked okay, so figured I was safe. However, the cloud cover was very low, creating a foggy mist the entire time, and the radar wasn't showing the rain. It was foggy the entire time with very poor visibility, and I couldn't see more than 200 feet in front of me. Had I realized what the weather was going to be like, I would have dressed much differently, as I came back quite wet.

I parked on Tiorati Brook Road, at the Red Cross Trail. I walked through the meadow, crossed the brook, and continued along the trail passed the Beech Trail and through a thick mountain laurel forest. The mountain laurels are evergreen, and they were wet and encroaching on the trail, and there was no way to avoid their wet leaves walking through the trail. The trail really needs to be widened at this point. This part of the hike left my pants soaking wet. I continued to the Menomine Trail, and went a little past on the Red Cross Trail to the Burnt House. I had never been there, but was very disappointed to see nothing there. There is just a whole in the ground with a stone foundation, but there is really no landmark here and it should just be labeled on the map as a ruin. I turned around and crossed the brook, and took the Menomine Trail, which climbs Letterrock Mountain to the shelter.

I took a break at the shelter to dry out a bit. I then took the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail down until the unmarked Bockey Swamp Trail. This trail was easy to follow the whole way back from here, but there are many points where it is very narrow and in the brush, so it is not an idea trail. I went to the end of the trail, back at the Red Cross Trail, and followed this back to my car.

Map of the Route
Harriman/Bear Mountain Maps, Northern Map

The Empty Field at the Beginning of the Hike

Another View of the Empty Field
The Fog Provides and Eerie Look

Stones Crossing the Tiorati Brook.
There is Usually Alot of Water Here, but its just a Trickle
now due to the Dry Spell

Bridge Over the Stillwater Brook, near the Burnt House

All That Remains of the "Burnt House"

Rock Formations at the Letterrock Mountain Shelter

Letterrock Mountain Shelter

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