Sunday, March 30, 2014

Wildcat Mountain and Waterfall

Harriman State Park/
Sterling Forest State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Total Time: 2:10 hours
Estimated Distance: 3.7 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Slightly Recommended
Points of Interest: Waterfall after heavy rain, Wildcat Mountain view
Pros: Good climb with view on top
Cons: Waterfall is seasonal, hike after view is boring

Hiking Trails:
Wildcat Mountain Trail: White blaze

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

Wildcat Mountain is on the western fringe of Harriman State Park, on the other side of the Thruway and Route 17. It should technically be in Sterling Forest, but it is still within the Harriman bounderies. I had climbed this mountain several years earlier, but in my quest to complete every marked trail with Harriman I realized that during that hike I may not have continued far enough along the trail border into Sterling Forest. I therefore elected to hike this again and ensure via GPS that we ventured past the Sterling Forest border in order to complete the entire portion of the trail within Harriman.

We parked at the parking area at the end of Route 17A where it meets Route 17. We took the Wildcat Mountain Trail up, and immediately noticed the waterfall. It has rained alot the previous day, perhaps several inches, and this had caused the ground to be overly saturated. The small trickling stream was in fact a roaring waterfall tumbling down, and was a sight to behold. The pictures do not do justice to the setting. Unfortunately this waterfall is not present the rest of the year, and is only visible after a large rainstorm.

The weather continued being unstable, and although it didn't actively rain on the hike, it was misty and moist the entire time. We headed around the loop the summit, and much of the view was shrouded by cloud cover. We continued along the path, passing a few remaining snow patches on the down-slopes facing away from the sun, and eventually made it to a small, unmarked pond within Sterling Forest, at which point we turned around and took the same route back.

At the view on our return, the visibility had improved, and upon looking towards the Ramapo Valley, we noticed the river had flooded and overflown its banks.

Map of the Route.
Harriman/Bear Mnt Southern Map

The Lower Cascade of the Waterfall

Zoomed Out to the Lower Cascade of the Waterfalls

The Wet and Foggy View from Atop.
Facing South Towards the Thruway and Route 17.

Shimmy at the View

Shimmy Walking Through One of the Last Patches of Snow

Odd Rock Near the Wildcat Mnt Summit

Small Melting Pond Near the Harriman/Sterling Forest Border

View on the Return Trip. Facing South.

Same View from Above on the Return Route, with Less Fog

View Facing East to Green Pond Mountain

View Looking Towards the Flooded Ramapo River. Facing East.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Anthonys Nose Northern Approach

Hudson Highlands State Park/
Camp Smith Military Reservation
Putnam and Westchester Counties,
New York

Total Time:
1:20 hours
Estimated Distance: 2.1 miles
Level of Difficulty: Slightly difficult, though difficult ice conditions
Level of Recommendation: Recommended
Points of Interest: Anthony's Nose View
Pros: Good climb and excellent view
Cons: Camp Smith Trail on the northern part of Anthony's Nose is an old dirt road

Hiking Trails:
Appalachian Trail: White blaze
Camp Smith Trail: Blue blaze

Hiking Partner:
Debbie Koegel

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

I had not been to Anthony's Nose in several years, so I was due a visit. We took the northern approach to the summit, but the southern approach is a better hike. Anthony's Nose is a rugged peak jutting out of the Hudson by the Bear Mountain Bridge, and the mountain has outstanding views at the top.

We parked on Route 9D after the bridge, and took the Appalachian Trail up the mountain, and at the intersection of the Camp Smith Trail, we continued on the Camp Smith Trail up to the top of the mountain. At the top we turned around and went back down the same route.

Map of the Route.
East Hudson Highlands

Debbie Climbing a Steep Icy Part on the Camp Smith Trail

Looking Across the Hudson River to Bear Mountain and Hessian Lake.
Facing West.

Looking Southwest Towards Iona Island and Dunderberg Mountain

Me in Front of Bear Mountain

Me Overlooking the Hudson

Bear Mountain Park Area

Bear Mountain Bridge and Popolopen Bridge.
Facing West.

Facing South Down the Hudson

Large Freight Trail Going on the Iona Island Rail Bridge

Helicopter Hovering Over the Popolopen Bridge.
There was an Active Search and Rescue for a Missing Person

Small Frozen Pond Along the Camp Smith Trail

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Cobus Mountain Snow

Kakiat County Park and Harriman State Park
Rockland Co.,
New York

Total Time: 1:30 hours
Estimated Distance: 2.7 miles
Level of Difficulty: Difficult snow and ice conditions
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Points of Interest: Cobus Mountain View
Pros: Good climb and excellent view
Cons: None

Hiking Trails:
Old Mill Trail: Blue blaze
Kakiat Trail: White blaze

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

I had a mineral trade show to attend, so had to do a short and sweet hike. The conditions were still fairly icy and snowy, but luckily I had my new Italian crampons which really did make my hike up the mountain much easier. I parked in the Kakiat parking area, crossed the bridge above the Mahwah River, and then took the Old Mill Trail around to the Kakiat Trail. I took the Kakiat Trail up past the gas lines, and then right before the trail curves south, I bushwacked up to the rocky part of Cobus Mountain to the view. This bushwack part is very steep and difficult to traverse until you get to the rocky part

Cobus Mountain has an excellent view, and since its off any trail its not very well-known. There is a larger summit of Cobus Mountain further west, but this is the one with the view. I then turned around and headed southeast down towards the gas line trail, which I then took to the Kakiat Trail. I followed the Kakiat Trail back to the park area and towards my car.

Now about those Italian crampons: I had received these to try out as an endorsement, but received them at the end of the winter. I was excited to try them out, and as it turned out, this was the last possible week I was able to use them since the snow had mostly melted the following week. The crampons are tied on to the bottom of your shoe or boot with a string clamp, and they have metal spikes that dig into the snow and ice in order to maximize traction.

The crampons were hard to get on at first and kept on falling off (they didn't come with any instructions so I had to figure this out). However, once I get them on tight and snug by looping the string around all sides, they stayed on the whole time except for one time. They definitley helped me get up the mountain, and I don't know how I would have done to the steep bushwack part without them. They definitley felt awkward on the rocky parts of the hike that didn't have snow cover, since the foothold is elevated, so their ideal usage is when the ground is fully covered. They would also be great for hiking over frozen lakes where the snow has already compacted.

I definitely recommend these for winter hikes, and you can pick one up for a very affordable price on the following website:

Map of the Route

My New Italian Crampons

Mahwah River on the Old Mill Trail

Old Mill on the Old Mill Trail

Old Mill Trail Near its Terminus

Ascending Cobus Mountain

Looking up the the Rocky Viewpoint

View from Cobus Viewpoint Looking North Across the Valley
to the True Cobus Mountain Summit Past the Power Lines

Cobus Mountain View - Facing Southeast

View from Cobus Facing Southeast Towards Suffern High School

View Facing East

View Facing South.
Kakiat Mountain is Across the Valley

Same View at a Different Zoom Perspective.
Sheraton Crossroads is in the Distance

View Facing Southwest While Descending Cobus.
Facing Towards the Power Lines Above Kakiat

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Frozen Lake Skannatati Lake Askoti Loop

Harriman State Park,
Orange Co.,
New York

Total Time: 1:20 hours
Estimated Distance: 2.3 miles
Level of Difficulty: Difficult snow and ice conditions
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Points of Interest: Frozen lakes and view
Pros: Hike on lakes and great viewpoint
Cons: None

Hiking Trails:
Arden Surebridge (A-SB) Trail: Red blaze
Red Cross Trail: Red blaze
Long Path: Green blaze

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

I was supposed to be in Toronto for a friend's wedding, but my flight was cancelled due to the pending snowstorm (which never arrived and only hit areas south). I spent a good part of the day in the airport trying to get on to other flights and standby flights to no avail. Once I came back home I needed to get out for a hike.

I wanted to a hike that was not too long, had a frozen lake, and a viewpoint. This was the perfect hike for what I needed. I parked at the parking area at Lake Skanatati, and climbed up the mountain on the A-SB Trail to the view. The icy conditions and deep snow going up made it difficult. After the view I took the Red Cross Trail down the mountain to the northern part of Lake Askoti, and went along the center of the frozen lake across the small island and to the southern part by the Long Path. I then took the Long Path for a short distance, crossing 7 Lakes Drive and then went on top of Lake Skannatati to the western part of the Lake. I then took the Long Path heading east back to my car.

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

View of Lake Skannatati and Lake Kanawauke from Pine Swamp Mountain

View of Lake Skannatati from Pine Swamp Mountain

Zommed Out From the Above View To the Same Lakes

At View Panned Slightly West

Coming in to Lake Askoti

Frozen Lake Askoti. Looking South Toward the Island.

Frozen Lake Askoti - Looking Northeast

Frozen Lake Askoti - Looking North

On the Lake Askoti Island

Frozen Lake Skannatati - Looking Southwest.

Lake Skanatati - Looking East With the Parking Area Towards the Right

Lake Skanatati - with the Big Rock Off the Peninsula to the Right.

Self Portrait Off the Rock and the Peninsula

Ice Fisherman on Lake Skannatati.