Sunday, September 7, 2014

1779 Loop to West Mnt Fire Escape

Harriman State Park
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail: Red blaze
1779 Trail: White blaze
Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail: Yellow Blaze

Total Time: 3:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 6.3 miles
Level of Difficulty: Very Difficult
Level of Recommendation: Highly recommended
Points Of Interest: Owl Swamp, Cat's Elbow, Fire Escape
Pros: Varyation of terrain, excellent climbs and views
Cons: Proximity to Palisades Parkway keeps constant sound of cars

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

This hike tool longer than usual but was well-worth it. It was one of those memorable hikes that i'll remember the details for a long time. It was also my longest hike since my knee injury and surgery.

We parked our car near Queensboro Road in Stony Point, and walked up the road to the 1779 Trailhead. We took the 1779 Trailhead past all its intersections, and then crossed the Palisades Parkway where the trail crosses the highway. The area on the western side of the Palisades has some swamps formed by beaver activity. We continued and went towards the drained Owl Lake, and then continued to the brushy area and then to the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail.

We took the Ramapo-Dunderberg back down and across the Palisades, across the new bridge, and up the southern flank of West Mountain by the Cat's Elbow. There is a fascinating view here with views of the Hudson River, Haverstraw, and the western part of the park. The skyline from Manhattan is also visible here from the distance.

We then took the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail down, in an area known on old maps as the "Fire Escape" this is definitely one of the steepest trails in the entire park and was challeging going down. We continued along the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail up and down Horn Hill and then back to the 1779 Trail, which we returned on and went back to our car.

Map of the Route.
Harriman/Bear Mountain State Parks Northern Map
Crossing Over the Palisades Parkway on the 1779 Trail

Owl Swamp Through the Trees

Bridge Crossing a Beaver Swamp on the 1779 Trail
Right After Crossing the Palisades

Interesting X on the 1779 Trail

1779 Trail Prior to Meeting the Appalachian Trail

Huckleberry Grove on the 1779 Trail Prior to Meeting the Appalachian Trail

Crossing Over a New Bridge on the Ramapo-
Dunderberg Trail on the Foot of West Mountain
Shimmy Cutting Through the Graphite Mine on the
Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail. This Mine is Near the
Steep Ascent of the R-D Trail bit isn't on Any Maps

View at West Mountain. Facing Southwest.
Scenery Atop West Mountain

More Views Atop West Mountain.
Facing Southeast.

Me at the View

Me at the View with the Hudson River in the Background.
Facing Southeast.

Zoomed in towards the Hudson River.

View Facing South Towards Haverstraw and Hi-Tor

Descending the Fire Escape on the S-BM Trail

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