Sunday, January 26, 2014

Frozen Lake Tiorati Islands

Harriman State Park,
Dater Mountain Nature County Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Total Time: 1:45 hours
Estimated Distance: 3.0 miles
Level of Difficulty: Difficult (due to conditions)
Level of Recommendation: Highly recommended
Points of Interest: Frozen lake, islands
Pros: Hike on a lake
Cons: Freezing cold

Hiking Partners:
Shimmy and Morty Rosenberg

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

This was a frigid hike. The lakes had finally frozen over, and the temperature was about 10 degrees with a strong wind. We had all covered up from head to toe including ski goggles and a ski mask. We wanted to hike on Lake Kanawauke first, but it seems like this lake never freezes over properly, even in the most frigid of temperatures. Lake Tiorati is probably the largest lake in Harriman State Park in terms of water area, and has several islands to explore. There were several ice fishermen present on the frozen lake.

On this hike we walked across the lake from north to south, making sure to go on all the islands and even small rock islands in the lake. There are two large islands in the middle of the lake; the rest are all much smaller. Though it was extremely cold and windy, the sun was out with a beautiful blue sky.

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

Driving Up 7 Lakes Drive.
There was a Snowstorm the Previous Day

At the Beginning of the Hike Along Frozen and Snowy Lake Tiorati

Footsteps in the Snow on the Lake

Shimmy Running Ahead

Me All Bundled Up.
Fingerboard Mountain in the Background

Lake Tiorati - Looking South

Morty up ahead. Note the Blowing Snow on the Lake

In the Middle of the Lake Facing North

Me in the Middle of the Lake

Heading Towards the Large Island

Morty in Front of a Fishemans Tent

View from the Big Island. Facing East.

Me on the Island

The Rosenberg Brothers  Walking Away from the Island

Mort Doing a Cartwheel on the Island

On a Smaller Island

Me in a Surfboat

Shimmy Coming Up to the Dock

Me at the Dock on the South End of the Lake

South End of the Lake. Facing West.

Heading Back. Walking North.

Me on Another Small Island

Another View Facing South with the Sun

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Daters Mnt, Pound Mnt, Claudius Smith Den Loop

Harriman State Park,
Dater Mountain Nature County Park
Orange and Rockland Cos.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Kakiat Trail: White blaze
Blue Disc Trail: Blue blaze
Tuxedo-Mt Ivy Trail: Red blaze
Ramapo Dunderberg Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 2:45 hours
Estimated Distance: 4.7 miles
Level of Difficulty: Difficult
Level of Recommendation: Highly recommended, one of the best hikes in the park
Points Of Interest: "Almost Perpendicular", Pound Mountain, Elbow Brush, Claudius Smith Den
Pros: Rugged, scenic hike with many views and points of interest
Cons: Beginning of hike too close to busy highway

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

This loop hike is one of my favorites in Harriman State Park. The area is incredibly scenic, with rugged cliffs along the hike. The weather was cold, but not frigid, and it had just snowed a coating the day before. During the hike we encountered a snow squall so we much of the hike felt very snowy.

We parked in Tuxedo at the park off E Village Road right before the Thruway, and crossed under the highway to River Rd, and then at the trailhead off the road took the Kakiat Trail at its western terminus. This part of the trail goes alongside the ridge below along the side of the rock cliffs of Daters Mountain above and the village of Tuxedo below. Eventually the trail turns as it enters Daters Park, and then intersects with the Blue Disc Trail and goes back into Harriman State Park.

We took the Blue Disc Trail up Daters Mountain in a steep climb to a feature known as "Almost Perpendicular", so described because of the straight cliff below. This area has an incredible and sweeping view. We continued along the Blue Disc Trail through bowl formation before Pound Mountain, and then up to the top of Pound Mountain. A little past the summit of Pound Mountain there is a formation known as the "Elbow Brush", where the trail goes through a rocky formation inside and underneath some rock formations. There is an official bypass trail which is an easier alternate than going through the tight rocks. Being that I am trying to complete all Harriman Trails and never took this bypass trail before, I now took the bypass trail.

We then continued to Claudius Smith Den, a famous feature in Harriman with a rock cave and excellent view, and then continued along the Tuxedo-Mt Ivy Trail to the Ramapo Dunderberg Trail back to the trailhead and our car.

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

Me on an a Rusted Out Car at the Beginning of the Kakiat  Trail

View of Tuxedo Along the Kakiat  Trail
(Right Before Slight Descent by the Brook)

Shimmy Walking Along the Kakiat Trail

Me Walking Along the Kakiat Trail

View Ascending the "Almost Perpendicular" Cliff on Daters Mountain

Shimmy on the Rockface Ascending "Almost Perpendicular"

Me Atop the "Almost Perpendicular" Cliff Face on Daters Mountain

Looking Up at a Cliff Face

Me Ascending On of the Cliffs at Daters Mountain

View Near the Top of "Almost Perpendicular"

Me at the Top at the Viewpoint

Another View

Rock Formations at the Elbow Brush.
The Trail Goes Through the Rocks.

View Atop Claudius Smith Den

The Same View Zoomed Out

Famous Perspective of Claudius Smith Den

Claudius Smith Den. Interesting Perspective.

The Gas Line on the Ramapo Dunderberg Trail

View of Tuxedo from the Ramapo Dunderberg Trail at Smith Rock

Another View of Tuxedo from Smith Rock, Zoomed  Out.
Note the Thruway Towards the Left and Trail in the Distance.

Helicopter Servicing Power Lines on the Way Home on Route 17.
There was a Person There Dropped on a Cable from the Helicopter.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

TMI Trailhead-Breakneck Mountain Loop

Harriman State Park
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Tuxedo-Mt Ivy (TMI) Trail: Red blaze
Breakneck Mountain Trail: White blaze
Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail: Yellow blaze
Red Arrow Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 3 hours
Estimated Distance: 6.6 miles
Level of Difficulty: Slightly difficult
Level of Recommendation: Recommended for a quiet, natural hike
Points Of Interest: Solitude, Breakneck Mountain, Mountain Laurel Forest, Third Reservoir
Pros: Very quiet part of park, Scenic natural area
Cons: Lacks good panoramic views

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

This hike was a longer than usual hike in a remote park of the park. Though there were three other cars in the  trailhead, I didn't see anyone on the trail the entire time, which is unusual especially considering this was a Sunday. The snow was still gone, and the weather was a bit warmer than seasonal, and there was no snow whatsoever.

I started at the Tuxedo-Mt Ivy Trail on Diltzes Road right off Route 202 near Ladentown. I took the trail up the mountain on the newly routed trail, and continued along this trail past the Red Arrow Trail and past the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail. At this point there is an extensive mountain laurel forest, which affords nice evergreen color to the otherwise drab brown. I continued past Woodtown Road and all the way to the intersection the the Breakneck Mountain Trail.

Breakneck Mountain is at a relatively high elevation, with nice rocky exposures, but it lacks good vistas and scrambles. The Breakneck Mountain Trail goes along the length of the ridge. I took this trail in its entirety to the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail, and then took that trail east. The Third Reservoir is right there, and it was mostly frozen over. I continued along the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail to the Red Arrow Trail, took the short Red Arrow Trail in its entirety, and then returned back down the mountain and back to my car on the Tuxedo-Mt Ivy Trail.

Map of the Route. Harriman/Bear Mnt State Park Southern Map

View While Ascending the Mountain.
Facing East Towards the Hudson River at West Haverstraw 

The Same View as Above, Zoomed Out.
Limekiln Mountain is Across the Valley

Green Mountain Laurel Forest on the TMI Trail

Beginning of the Breakneck Mountain Trail

Temporary Clearing of the Clouds, Interesting Photo Perspective

Bare Rock Faces Along the Breakneck Mountain Trail

Summit of Breakneck Mountain

Grassy Area Atop Breackneck Mountain

Third Reservoir from the SBM Trail

Another View of the Third Reservoir