Sunday, January 25, 2015

Fingerboard Mountain and Frozen Lake Tiorati

Harriman State Park,
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Lake Tiorati Trail (Blue blaze)
Appalachian Trail (White blaze)
Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail (Red blaze)
Hurst Trail (Blue blaze)

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

Total time: 2:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.3 miles
Level of Difficulty: Very easy
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Points of Interest: Fingerboard Shelter, Lake Tiorati Islands
Pros: Beautiful terrain and amazing lake hike
Cons: None

This was my first frozen lake hike of the season in Harriman. I had figured by now the lakes had been frozen, and the previous day we had gotten a good snowstorm with 8 inches of snow. I wanted to do both a mountain hike in the snow as well as a hike on a frozen lake, so this seemed to be a very good choice. The weather was beautiful, with bright sunny skies in the mid-30's and low winds.

I did notice on my drive up that Lake Welch and Skanatati/Askoti were also frozen, with signs posted by the rangers that it was safe to walk on. Lake Kanawauke had still posted as unsafe, as it has always been in recent years. In fact, I don't recall a time in recent memory that Lake Kanawauke was ever posted as safe for walking on the ice. My long-time hiking partner Shimmy had broken his toe in the fall and was unable to hike for a while, and this was his first hike back after his recovery.

We parked at the parking area at Tiorati Circle, and took the Lake Tiorati trail up and then took Arden Valley Road for a short distance up to the crest. Arden Valley Road is closed in the winter so you can walk right in the middle of the road. From there we went south on the combined Appalachian Trail/Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail along the crest of Fingerboard Mountain, until the intersection of the Hurst Trail. There is a shelter at this spot, where we took a short break and met a large Asian hiking group having lunch. We took the Hurst Trail down the mountain, and were the first to blaze through the snow. At one point going down we lost the trail and had to bushwack until we found the trail again. We continued along the trail through a nice evergreen Mountain Laurel thicket, and then to 7 Lakes Drive. We crossed the road and slid down on our rear-ends down the steep embankment towards Lake Tiorati.

We ended up on the southern part of Lake Tiorati. We walked north towards the center, heading towards the largest island in the middle of the lake. We passed many fisherman along the way and chatted with them. We hit the long island from the southern part, and hiked in middle of the island from south to north. We then continued along the frozen lake north veering slightly towards the west back to our car in the parking area.

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

Snowy Trail Ascending Fingerboard Moutain

Shimmy on the Hiking Trail

View of Lake Tiorati and Island from Fingerboard Mountain

Me at the Above View

Descending a Gap along the Trail

Me at a Rockface on Fingerboard Mountain

Snow Goons Atop Fingerboard Mountain Summit

Fingerboard Mountain Summit. Note the Colors!

Fingerboard Mountain Summit View. Facing East.

Large Asian Crowd Making Lunch in the Fingerboard Shelter

Shimmy in an Evergreen Mountain Laurel Grove on the Hurst Trail

Shimmy in Midst of Throwing a Snowball at me
while Sliding Down to Lake Tiorati

First View of Lake Tiorati from the Southwest End.
Looking North, Towards Islands

Shimmy Making Fresh Footsteps in the Snow above the Lake

Snowman on the Lake

Lake Tiorati. Facing Northwest.

Me Posting at Lake Tiorati

Large Group of Ice Fishermen

Lake Tiorati, Facing North.
Fingerboard Mnt on Left and Island on Right

Pine Trees on the Island

View Facing West from the Island

Shadow of Shimmy and Myself

Panorama in Middle of Lake Tiorati

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