Thursday, October 30, 2014

Scarlet Oak Pond to MacMillan Reservoir

Ramapo Valley County Reservation
Bergen Co.,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
Silver Trail: Silver blaze
Scarlet Oak Pond Path: Unblazed
Pink * Trail: Pink blaze
Waterfall Trail: Yellow blaze

* This is a new trail near the MacMillan Reservoir, and its not yet on the map and I don't know its name.

Total Time: 1:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.6 miles
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Level of Recommendation: Highly recommended
Points Of Interest: Scenic lakes
Pros: Beautiful lake scenery and foliage
Cons: Very busy with lots of people, even on a weekday

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

This was a beautiful, late-October fall day with temperatures in the 70's. Though it was a weekday, I took a bit extra off for lunch to do this hike. I parked in the large parking lot at the entrance, and took the Silver Trail across the Ramapo River, and at the Scarlet Oak Pond took the wide loop trail around it. I then went back on the Silver Trail, climbing up the hill through the valley, and near the MacMillan Reservoir, I took a short spur to the south side of the dam. This used to be a well-known shortcut; now it's blazed pink and keeps on going after the dam.

I walked across the dam and headed back south on the Silver Trail, and then took the Waterfall Trail down. The waterfall to the side of this trail was not impressive due to the prolonged dryness. I took the Waterfall Trail back to the Silver Trail, back to my car.

Map of the Route. North Jersey Trails.

Small Pond Filled with Duckweed Near the Entrance of the Park

The Trail at the Beginning Crossing the Ramapo River

White Dove at the Beginning of the Trail.
It was Just Resting on the Bridge.
It had a Tag on its Foot - Must have been Released to the Wild.

View of the Ramapo River Crossing From the Bridge.
Facing South.

View Approaching Scarlet Oak Pond

Scarlet Oak Pond

Scarlet Oak Pond

Scarlet Oak Pond

Scarlet Oak Pond

Scarlet Oak Pond

Facing North Towards Hawk Rock

MacMillan Reservoir

MacMillan Reservoir

Intersection Of Silver Trail and Waterfall Trail

Monday, October 27, 2014

Kakiat Old Mill Trail Foliage

I walk around the bottom part of Kakiat on the Old Mill Trail on a fairly regular basis for exercise. On this particular beautiful autumn day, the sky was bright blue and trees were in vivid color. I took the following photo with my cell phone camera near the beginning of the Old Mill Trail facing towards the evergreen forest grove.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Doodletown Bear Mountain Loop

Bear Mountain State Park
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Cornell Mine Trail: Blue blaze
1777 E Trail: White blaze
Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail: Yellow blaze
Appalachian Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 2:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.8 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Highly recommended
Points Of Interest: Historic ghost town, scenic location, Bear Mountain
Pros: Historically significant hike, pretty scenery
Cons: Bear Mountain area is very busy with lots of people

Hiking Parter:
Rachel Friedman

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

This was a nice day with comfortable temperatures at the peak of the autumn foliage. We parked at the Doodletown Trailhead by the Cornell Mine Trail opposite Iona Island, and took the Cornell Mine Trail south to the "10 Footer" waterfall. We then crossed the stream and forked on to to the 1777 E Trail. We continued on this trail past the reservoir and through some of the Doodletown historic sites, and continued along the 1777 E Trail until the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail.

We took the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail north, along its concurrency with the ski trail, and then climbed up the hill on the trail to Seven Lakes Drive, where a very nice view facing south is afforded. We continued along the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail until Bear Mountain, where we took the Appalachian Trail along a paved path on the side of Hessian Lake, to the Oktoberfest.

Bear Mountain has an Oktoberfest every year, and this was the last week of it. Thousands of people come and drink beer in huge mugs that there is no way they can finish. The trail goes right through the Oktoberfest so I decided to check it out. The amount of people that come for this event is very impressive. Cars were backed up for quite a while on Seven Lakes Drive all the way back. A word to the wise: If you intend to go hiking in autumn, make sure to come early so that you get a good parking spot. We continued on the 1777 E Trail back to the car.

Map of the Route.
Harriman/Bear Mountain Trails Northern Route

Plaque at the Cornell Mine Trail

Beautiful Sugar Maple Along the Cornell Mine Trail

The "10 Footer" Waterfall

A Closer Up Perspective of the "10 Footer".

Plaque at the Trail Above the 10 Footer

One of the Many Abandoned Structures in Doodletown,
With a Plaque Explaining what this was

Autumn Colors in Doodletown, with Bald Mountain
(the Western Part of Dunderberg) Looming Overhead

Another Nice View at the Doodletown Reservoir

Doodletown Reservoir, with the June Cemetery Behind the Water

Doodletown Plaques on the 1777 E Trail

The 1777 E Trail in Doodletown

Fall Colors on the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail

Beautiful View Where the S-BM Trail Hits 7 Lakes Drive.
Facing South to Dunderberg Mountain and West Mountain

At the Same View Facing Southwest Towards West Mountain

Bear Mountain Inn at the End of the S-BM Trail,
with Anthony's Nose in the Background

Fall Foliage from the South Shore of Hessian Lake

South Shore of Hession Lake, Looking North.
Note the Sun on the Trees on the Foreground but not the Background

Oktoberfest at Bear Mountain

Sunday, October 19, 2014

High Point State Park Monument Loop

Sussex Co.,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
Sterling Ridge Trail: Blue blaze
Appalachian Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 1:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.6 miles
Level of Difficulty: Easy (though conditions difficult)
Level of Recommendation: Recommended
Points Of Interest: Expansive ridge views, tower, Lake Marcia
Pros: Excellent views abound
Cons: Lack of extensive trail loops, lots of people, lots of non-natural structures

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

The peak of autumn was arriving, and I had wanted a mountain with very good vistas, which this area certainly has. I had a tradeshow nearby in New Jersey, and headed nearby to High Point to check out the place. Although it was sunny, it was an extremely code day for October, and the wind was howling on top of the mountain. It was the type of steady wind that can almost make you fall. Though I wanted this hike to take longer, I was simple worn out at the end and cut out and turned around earlier than I had intended to.

Parking here is free after Labor Day, but during the summer it costs $10 to get in (New Jersey residents pay $5.) I parked near the tower and walked inside. It was the last day that the park staff were allowing people to climb the tire prior to closing it for the winter, so I am glad I arrived when I did. I climbed all 200 or so feet of the tower, but was disappointed to find nothing in top, with dirty and hazy windows.

After climbing the tower, I went along on the Sterling Ridge Trail, and then took it down the hill down to the end of the trail where it meets the Appalachian. Took the Appalachian up the next hill, and then cut across to the road to take pictures of the lake, Lake Marcia. I then cut back up to the Appalachian Trail and then continued on the Appalachian Trail back to Sterling Ridge Trail, and then took the road to the tower back to my car.

Map of the Route.
Kittatinies Northern Map

View From High Point Facing Northeast

View from High Point Facing West Towards the Delaware Gap

View from High Point Facing East

View of the Monument

Another View of the Monument

View of Port Jervis and the Delaware River from High Point.
Facing Northwest.

Rocky Promenade from Atop High Point, near the Tower.
Facing North.

Staircase Inside the Tower

View on the Shawangunk Ridge Trail Heading South.

View of the Monument from the Shawangunk Ridge Trail

Interesting Tree on the Appalachian Trail

View of the Monument from the Distance on the AT Trail. Facing Northeast.

View from the Lookout Plan on the Appalachian Trail

Lake Marcia Through the Trees

Another View of Lake Marcia

And One More View of Lake Marcia

Dense Foliage on the AT

On the Return Route Back to the Monument

The Southern Terminus of the Shawangunk Ridge Trail, with the new Blaze

Lake Marcia from the Northern Shore