Sunday, April 26, 2015

Buttermilk Falls and Blauvelt State Park

Buttermilk Falls County Park/
Stephen Rowe Bradley Town Park/
Sean Hunter Ryan Memorial County Park/
Blauvelt State Park/
Schuyler Town Park,
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Blue Trail: Blue blaze
White Trail: White blaze
Long Path: Green blaze
Red Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 2:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.5 miles
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Level of Recommendation: Only beginning part Recommended
Points of Interest: Waterfalls and View
Pros: Scenic area, nice waterfall and good view
Cons: Area is too built up, close to roads and highways

This hike takes the record for traversing the most parks within a single hike. It includes a state park, two county parks, and two town parks all within the same hike. I parked at the Buttermilk Falls parking area on Greenbush Road in West Nyack, and climbed up the hill to the falls. The falls are pretty but they are not large. In fact in the dry season it is merely a trickle. However, with the recent rains there was a good amount of water present. After the falls I continued along the Blue Trail up to the top view. This view affords a very scenic vista facing west and south.

After the view I took the White Trail due east, crossing the street and passing a residential area. I took this trail to its terminus at the Long Path. I took the Long Path a slight distance north just to see where it comes out by the road, and then turned around and took the Long Path all the Red Trail in Blauvelt State Park. I took a slight veer-off at the view.

I then took the Red Path, and continued along to where it meets the other White Path right after Schuyler Road. I continued along the White Path back to the parking area.

Map of the Route. Hudson Palisades Trails.

Buttermilk Falls

Small Cascade Above Buttermilk Falls

Beautiful White Flowers (Don't Know What these are Called)

A Raven. Raven's are Uncommon in this Area.
I was Able to Distinguish this Bird from a Crow by its Larger Size and Distinctive Calling.

View At the top of Buttermilk Falls Park.
Facing Southwest. Route 303 is Below.

Blue Hill Plaza, Rockland's Tallest Building,
Viewed from the Buttermilk Falls Park View. Facing Southwest.

Large Solar Field Above the Landfill, as Viewed from the Buttermilk Falls Park View.Facing Northwest. 

Forsythia. These are Common Hedge Plants, but this is the First Time
I ever saw one wild in the Wood.

Empty Basin to Catch Water Along the White Trail

White Daffodils I Encountered While on the Long Path

View of Downtown Nyack and the Hudson River Behind the Trees.
Picture Taken from the Long Path.

View of the Manhattan Skyline to the South near the Red Path Intersection.

The Picture Above, Zoomed Out. Facing South.

From the Above View Facing Slightly More the Easy, Facing Newark

Sunday, April 19, 2015

West Mountain Ridgeline

Harriman State Park
Rockland and Orange Cos.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Anthony Wayne Trail: White blaze
Fawn Trail: Red blaze
Timp-Torne Trail: Blue blaze
Appalachian Trail: White blaze
Beechy Bottom Road: Unblazed

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

Total Time: 2:45 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.5 miles
Level of Difficulty: Difficult
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Points of Interest: View, terrain, and historical mine
Pros: Excellent climb and several views
Cons: None

West Mountain is one of my favorite mountains in the Harriman/Bear Mountain area. It has multiple views as well as a good climb with some scrambling. I had not done the ridge above Anthony Wayne in a long time, and figured the spring weather would provide us a good opportunity for this. We parked at the northern end of the Anthony Wayne area, and headed on the Anthony Wayne Trail to the Fawn Trail, and then to the Timp-Torne Trail, which ascends up the ridge.

The ridgeline of West Mountain along the Timp-Torne Trail is relatively narrow, providing excellent views on both sides of the ridge. The Timp-Torne Trail meets in conjunction with the Appalachian Trail, and at the split we continued along the Appalachian Trail down the mountain, and cut across along a spur to Beechy Bottom Road. We veered off road a little bit further down Beechy Bottom Road to view the Mica Mine, an old 1800's era mine which used to provide large Mica sheets. We then continued on the Beechy Bottom Road taking the path that goes back to the parking area, back to the parking area where our car was located.

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

View of Bear Mountain while Ascending West Mountain on the T-T Trail

Fresh Spring Greenery

Me Atop a Scramble on the T-T Trail

Me Atop a Rockface

Another Perspective of the Above Picture

First Significant Viewpoint, Facing West

Another View of Bear Mountain

Me a the View

Me at the View

Me at the View

Walking Through Notch in Large Rock Wall

Me Again

Add caption

FromWest Mountain Facing South

Tree Flowers Sprouting

A Black Vulture I Encountered Along the Trail

Nice View Starting the Descent

Another Nice View on the Descent

Beechy Bottom Mica Mine, off the Beechy Bottom Road

Monday, April 13, 2015

Kakiat Warm Weather

Kakiat County Park
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Mountain Trail: Orange blaze
Kakiat Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 1:05 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.1 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Points of Interest: View
Pros: Good view and scenic hike
Cons: Power lines and gas lines take away from the natural feeling

I did not have a chance to go on a hike the Sunday before, but was able to take off for a little bit Monday morning for this relatively quick hike. The weather had been very warm, with temperatures in the 70's. I had taken my new camera and shot some photos, only to realize I had taken out the memory card and was therefore unable to save any of the pictures. I took a few pictures from my cell phone, but they are not quite as good as I would have liked them to be.

I parked in the circle in the Kakiat parking area off Route 202, crossed the bridge on the Mahwah River, and took the Mountain Trail all the way up to the upper Kakiat viewpoint. I then continued along the trail to the gas line, and went down along the gas line to the Kakiat Trail. I took the Kakiat Trail back to its terminus at the bottom of the mountain.

Map of the Route
Harriman/Bear Mountain Trails Southern Map

View at the Top of Kakiat, Facing Southeast.

View from Kakiat Facing Northeast

Panorama from the Top of Kakiat

View from the Top of Kakiat, Facing East

Interesting Tree Shadow

View Descending the Gas Pipeline

Another View Descending the Gas Pipeline

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Pine Swamp Brook and Mountain Snow

Harriman State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Long Path Green blaze

Total Time: 0:50 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.5 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Points of Interest: Lake and views
Pros: Overall very scenic area
Cons: Off-trail hike may be hard to follow unless you are familiar with area

This is a great hike, and very similar but backwards to what I did back in November. The previous day it had rained a cold rain with temperatures in the upper 30's. I noticed there were even some wet snowflakes mixed in. I had make an assumption that there would likely be an accumulating snow in the higher terrain, and decided to go the morning after on a short hike in the mountains and take a look. Sure enough, everything was covered with a fresh layer of about 3 inches of wet snow. Everything was melting fast due to the warming temperatures and bright sky. I am glad I got out when I did to experience one more hike in the snow.

I parked at the parking area by Lake Skanatati off Seven Lakes Drive. I walked along the Long Path which goes on the northern side of the lake, until the stream inlet of the Pine Swamp Brook. I wanted to check out what the rangers did here. When I was here back in November, they were hoisting some rocks in the stream to make a better crossing.

I then climbed up Pine Swamp Mountain on a deer path which goes along the ridge of the mountain. I then cut across to the western part of the mountain, where the old A-SB Trail used to go prior to its rerouting, and then took the former trail to the Pine Swamp Mountain view. I know I have stated this many times before, but I'll say it again. I don't know why the trail conference would decide to reroute the trail away from this great and easy view. I don't understand the logic behind it and it's a real loss. The bottom line is that the view will never go away so even if there is no trail those people who always visited this view will still keep coming to visit it. Anyways, I climbed down after the view on the former A-SB Trail back down the mountain.

Map of the Route
Harriman/Bear Mountain Trails

Lake Skanatati with the Snow, Retreating Ice, and Blue Skies

Shoreline of Lake Skanatati

Along the Long Path

Rock Jutting into Lake Skanatati

Lake Skanatati from the Long Path

Small Cascade on Pine Swamp Brook at its Crossing by the Long Path

Hemlock Trees at the Pine Swamp Brook

Pretty Snow Scenery with Evergreens Above Pine Swamp Mountain

Small Evergreen Covered with Heavy Wet Snow

A Couple at the Pine Swamp View

Another Perspective of the Above Picture

Lake Skanatati and Lake Kanawauke from Pine Swamp Mountain