Sunday, January 5, 2014

Tom Jones-Victory Trail Hike

Harriman State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail: Red blaze
Victory Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 2:30
Estimated Distance: 3.2 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate, but difficult in snow conditions
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Points Of Interest: Excellent views on Tom Jones Mountain, evergreen forest
Pros: Good climb and excellent views
Cons: Parking can fill up on weekends

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

It had been extremely cold over the weekend, with lows on Saturday just shy of 2 degrees! As you can see from the first picture below, the temperate right before we headed out was 10 degrees. However, the forecast called for a big warm up on Sunday, and although we started out all bundled up, by the time the hike was over, it was already above freezing. In fact, it had rained heavily all afternoon evening as the temperature further warmed up. At the time of the hike, there was still a fresh layer of about six inches of snow from the storm on Thursday and Friday.

We had driven around looking to see if the lakes were frozen, and we met up with a ranger who said that none are yet posted as safe. The problem with this winter so far is that although it has gotten very cold, the weather is very inconsistent and then after excruciating cold it warms up to very high temperatures. This prevents the lakes from freezing over and allowing hiking on them.

We parked on Lake Kanawauke Road (County Route 106) at the trailhead and climbed up the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail to the top of Tom Jones Mountain. This mountain is a good but short climb offering outstanding views at its summit. We veered off to the shelter on the southern flank of the mountain, and then continued down the mountain on the trail. We then took the Victory Trail south and west, and looped back at the unmarked trail after the trail bend. We then took this trail back to the Victory Trail, all the way to the end of the trail by the road. We then walked along the side of the road adjacent to the swamp back to our car.

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

My Outdoor Thermometer Reading Shows 10.5 Degrees Farenheit.
This was the temperature when we started the hike. Brrr.

Lake Kanawauke Road Right Near the Trailhead.

Me at the Foot of Tom Jones Mountain

Shimmy Ascending Tom Jones Mountain
on the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail

Ascending Tom Jones Mountain, Facing Black Rock Mountain
with the Deep Notch in Between

Along the Summit of Tom Jones Mountain.
 I like the Perspective of the Trees and the Colors in this Photo.

View Atop Tom Jones Mountain.
Facing East Towards Jackie Jones Tower

Shimmie Hiking Atop the Tom Jones  Ridge.
Notice Lake Kanawauke in the Background.

Me Atop Tom Jones Mnt.

Tom Jones Summit. Facing Southeast.

At the Summit of Tom Jones Mnt. Facing  Southeast.

Atop Tom Jones Summit - Facing West.

Shimmy on  Top of the World

Sliding Down the Hill Towards the Tom Jones Shelter

Shimmy Overlooking the Tom Jones Shelter and View.

View from Tom Jones Shelter. Facing South.

View from Tom Jones Shelter. Same View as Above, Zoomed In.

Me in the "Ice  Shelter" at the Foot of Tom Jones Mountain.

Beautiful Verdant Pine Forest Near the Victory Trail
By the Short Connector Path.

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