Sunday, May 22, 2016

Black Rock Forest,
Whitehorse Mountain and Hill of Pines

Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Highlands Trail: Aqua blaze
Stillman Trail: Yellow blaze
Old West Point Road (unblazed)
Swamp Trail: Blue blaze
Hill of Pines Trail: White blaze
Carpenter Road (unblazed)
Scenic Trail: White blaze
White Oak Road (unblazed)
Reservoir Trail: Blue blaze
Duggan Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 2:45 Hours
Estimated Distance: 4.8 Miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended for a quiet area

Points of Interest: Remote area, nice lakes and scenery, good view
Cons: No view on Whitehorse Mountain and First Part of Hill on Pines

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

We had been to Black Rock Forest two weeks prior, and noticed the large network of trails here left more for us to explore. So we returned to see more of the trails and experience more of the area.

We parked at parking area at Reservoir Road, and took Stillman/Highlands Trail combination up the climb to Whitehorse Mountain. This is a disappointing climb, as it's a good way up, but has no view. We descended the trail, went along the north side of the reservoir, and then took the Highlands Trail at its split to Old West Point Road, which we took briefly until the Swamp Trail.

We took the Swamp Trail very briefly to the Hill of Pines Trail, which is a good climb, and I was surprised to see no pines on the top. There is a short spur at the top to a view, but the view was overgrown and not even picture-worthy. We continued along the end of the Hill of Pines Trail, to Carpenter Road and then turned around north on the Scenic Trail. There is a brief but good climb up to the other side of the Hill of Pines Ridge, and this area affords an excellent view facing south and west. And there are two lonely short pine trees here at the view- hardly a "hill of pines!" We took a little break here, then continued north to the Swamp Trail westward.

We took the Swamp shortly to its end at White Oak Road, and walked along White Oak Road until meeting the Stillman Trail, which we took down to the Reservoir Trail. We climbed down the mountain in the valley along the Reservoir Trail, and then took the Duggan Trail up back to the parking area.

Map of the Route. West Hudson Trails

The Light at the End of the Tunnel
Going through the Narrow Tunnel near the Parking Area

A Robin's Nest with 2 Eggs. We saw the Mother Scurry Off and then Noticed this Nest

Upper Reservoir

Dwarf Pine at the Top at Hill of Pines

View from Hill of Pines

View from Hill of Pines

View from Hill of Pines

Me at Hill of Pines

Shimmy at Hill of Pines

Lone Pine Tree at Hill of Pines

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