Sunday, December 7, 2014

Pine Swamp Mountain Loop

Harriman State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

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

Total time: 1:30 min
Estimated Distance: 2.2 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Recommended
Points of Interest: Lake Skanatati, Pine Swamp Mountain Loop
Pros: Nice view and good bushwack atop Pine Swamp Mountain
Cons: Rerouting of A-SB Trail is a big disappointment

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

The weather had been much colder than predicted, and the winds were very strong. I was not expecting it to be so cold and had not dressed in my warmest garb. So I opted for a shorter hike than originally planned. I had been here the week prior and noticed a significant rerouting of the A-SB Trail, and wanted to further explore it. The week before it was snowing, and I was also constrained on time and couldn't properly check it out.

I had parked at the parking area by Lake Skanatati, and took the A-SB Trail on its new route which is further east from the original trail. I noticed some orange temporary fencing around the place of the original trail, showing a clear closure of the original trail to the viewpoint. I took the A-SB on parallel to Seven Lakes Drive, which you can see below the hill. I noticed this time that the Red Cross Trail has also been rerouted. Its new terminus was right before it descends to Seven Lakes Drive, cutting off about 1000 feet of the original trail where it starts from the viewpoint.

I took the A-SB trail until it connected to its original location where it bends due west. The original trail had a bunch of branches deliberately covering it showing that the trail is closed. I was curious as to what happened to the view and which trail goes there now, so I took the old A-SB route now now deblazed back to the great Pine Swamp Mountain view. I was very disturbed to notice that there is no longer any trail going to this viewpoint. I have no idea why they would reroute the trail around this excellent viewpoint. I certainly hope this is temporary and they plan to add a trail from the parking area back up the viewpoint.

From the viewpoint, I bushwacked around parallel to the trail, crossed over the valley due west, and climbed up to the western summit of Pine Swamp Mountain. The top of this mountain is easily walkable and there are even some fire pits showing more frequent usage, despite it being off the trail. I continued along the center of the ridge due south, and prior to meeting up with the Long Path I went down the steep hill to the Pine Swamp outlet stream which I took to the Long Path trail.

At the trail stream crossing, there was a large group of trail conference members with some tactical equipment used to raise up a large boulder in the stream, to enhance the trail crossing over the stream. From this point I took the Long Path back to my car.

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

Lake Skanatati from the Parking Area

Lake Skanatati from the Parking Area

Lake Skanatati and Lake Kanawauke from Pine Swamp Mnt View

Same View as Above, Zoomed Out

At the Same View, Looking Southwest Towards Black Rock Mountain

Large Pine Tree at the Summit of the Western Part
of Pine Swamp Mountain, This Tree is Clearly
Visible from the Parking Lot by the Lake.

Scenery Atop the Western Part of Pine Swamp Mountain

Fire Pit at Pine Swamp Mountain, off the Path

Crew Working on Hoisting Rocks in the Brook 

The Crew at Work, Climbing a Tree

Lake Skanatati from the Long Path

Lake Skanatati from the Long Path

Lake Skanatati from the Long Path

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