Sunday, October 18, 2015

Surebridge Mountain to Black Rock Mountain

Surebridge Mountain to Black Rock Mountain
Harriman State Park
Orange Co,
New York

Hiking Trails:
White Bar Trail: White blaze
Nurian Trail: White blaze
Dunning Trail: Yellow blaze
Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 1:50 hours
Estimated Distance: 4.0 Miles
Level of Difficulty: Difficult
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended

Points of Interest: Highly scenic, excellent views
Cons: None

Although not yet peak foliage, the trees were still exhibiting beautiful colors. The weather was unseasonably cold for this mid-October Sunday, and was only in the low 40's! I was wearing a sweatshirt and the sun was strong, so for most of the hike I was fine, save for the end which I'll describe later.

I parked on County Route 106 where it goes around the bend at the White Bar Trail Parking area. I took the White Bar Trail north, then continued north on the Nurian at the intersection, and then took that trail to the Dunning Trail. At the Dunning Trail I visited the Boston Mine, which is right off the trail, and then continued along the Dunning Trail. I took this trail to its confluence with the White Bar Trail, and at the trail split I bushwacked up the steep western flank of Surebridge Mountain. Its a rocky climb, but with an amazing view at the top. In my opinion this is one of the best views in the entire Harriman, and its off-trail.

From the top of Surebridge Mountain I headed east along a little-used unofficial path back to the Dunning Trail. At the intersection of the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail, I headed south along the rocky and lichen-studded ridge of Black Rock Mountain. In the distance, I watched as an ominous cloud was approaching ever closer, and finally, along the ridge, the cloud had fully enveloped me. It became very blustery and then started snowing, with odd, thick pellets of crystallized ice balls. I was most uncomfortable being atop the ridge with howling winds, no tree protection, and a cold, strange snow. As fast as the storm was upon us, it disappeared, moving to the east and giving us the same strong sun as was out before.

I continued to the view at Black Rock Mountain before its descent, and took the Nurian Trail down the mountain, back to the White Bar Trail, and then back to the parking area.

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

The Road by the White Bar Trailhead Parking

Walking Along the White Bar Trail

Approaching the Boston Mine

Inside the Boston Mine

Climbing Up Behind the Boston Mine back to the Dunning Trail

Bushwack Ascent Up Surebridge Mountain

View Approaching the Summit of Surebridge Mountain

View from Surebridge Mountain Summit, Facing Northwest

View from Surebridge Summit, Facing West. Note the Storm Approaching.

Foliage and Lichen on Surebridge Mountain

Another View at Surebridge Mountain

View at Black Rock Mountain, Facing South.
Note the tops of the Skyscrapers Zoomed in the Distance.

View from Back Rock Mountain, Just Prior to the Storm Hitting

Icy Snowflakes Falling on the Ground

The Storm Hits with Icy Snow and Powerful Winds

Snow and Storm on One Side, and Tranquil and Sunny on the Other Side

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