Sunday, July 31, 2016

Trapps Hamlet Hike in Shawangunks

Mohonk Preserve and Minnewaska State Park
Ulster Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Trapp's Hamlet Path: Blue blaze
Shongum Path: Red blaze
Enderly's Path: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 1:30 Minutes
Estimated Distance: 2.9 Miles
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Level of Recommendation: Recommended for a historical hike

Points of Interest: Historical markers and cabins, mall waterfall at Coxing Kill

Cons: Lack of views and otherwise interesting terrain

Although the summer had so far been very bad, this weekend was moist and very rainy. On Saturday it had rained about 1.5 inches, and more tropical moisture was forecast for Tuesday with downpours expected. I had tracked the radar and the morning still had the heavy rain off in a distance. I decided I would do a hike which did not veer off too far from the road, and I had really wanted to do a hike in the Gunks. This area seemed liked the best choice, and I dressed in my appropriate rain gear.

The Trapps Hamlet was a historical community near the gap in the Gunks cliffs where Routes 44/55 cross through. This hamlet was abandoned and no structures are remaining from the original, except for just one remaining cabin which I visited on this hike.

I parked at the Trapps Parking area in Mohonk Preserve. On a Sunday in the summer, this parking area fills up very fast. This week, it was totally empty. I parked at the Trapps Hamlet Path trailhead, and took it down to The Van Leuven Cabin, the last remaining structure in the Trapps Hamlet. The cabin and trail towards it are not at all remarkable. I then took the Trapp's Hamlet Path back, to the Shongum Path, which I then took to the Enderly's Path. Most of the above area travereses the Mohohk Preserve, but one small portion is within the boundaries of Minnewaska State Park.

I then took the Enderly's Path north, which has new boardwalks going across much of the place. This was especially helpful considering the rainy weather. I took it to the Enderly Homestead, where there is a nice Picnic area and small waterfall along the Coxing Brook. It had started raining at this point, so I decided to go back. I went back on the Enderly's Path, and the rain started picking up more steadily. I took it all the way up the hill until the Trapps connector path, at which point the rain was coming down very heavily. I then walked across the parking lot to my car, very wet even with my rain garb.

The pictures below were all taken from my cell phone camera.

Map of the Route.
Shawangunk Mountains Map

Trapps Hamlet Path Trailhead

The Start of the Trapps Hamlet Path

Dreary Rain Scene in the Forest

Trapps Hamlet Path and Enderly's Path Connection

Plaque at Van Leuven Cabin

Van Leuven Cabin

Side View of Van Leuven Cabin

Old Millstone Along the Enderly's Path

New Boardwalk at the Shongum Path

Small Waterfall on the Coxing Kill at Enderly Homestead

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Bear Mountain Downhill Run

Bear Mountain Downhill Run
Bear Mountain State Park
Rockland & Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Phone Line Trail: unblazed
Appalachian Trail: White blaze
Appalachian Trail Spur: Blue blaze

Total Time: 23 Minutes
Estimated Distance: 1.6 Miles
Level of Difficulty: Difficult
Level of Recommendation: Recommended

Points of Interest: Views and Interesting Trail

I had gone with my family to Bear Mountain to attend the weekly summer car show, where classic and vintage car collectors come to show their cars. Prior to the show, my wife drove up Perkins Memorial Drive to the tower and dropped me off on the top. My idea was to run down the mountain and meet everyone at the bottom. I started down the Appalachian Trail, and noticed a new trail along the phone line. This trail is unblazed and goes along parallel to the new Appalachian Trail portion they are still building. 

This trail comes out at the dead end of the Perkins Drive lower portion. I then took the Appalachian Trail all the way down until near Hessian Lake, and then took the short blue-blazed spur trail closer to the Bear Mountain Inn.

Please note: photos below were taken from my cell phone camera.

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

Bear Mountain Summit

View from Bear Mountain Summit

The Hudson River and Peekskill from Bear Mountain

Iona Island, Hudson River, Dunderberg Mountain, and Peekskill

Bear Mountain Bridge While Descending the Appalachian Trail

Sunday, July 17, 2016

North Point Storm King Loop

Storm King State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Bobcat Trai: White blaze
Howell Trail: Blue blaze
Stillman Trail: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 3:45 Hours
Estimated Distance: 5.1 Miles
Level of Difficulty: Very difficult, especially due to heat
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended

Points of Interest: Great views

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

This was a brutally hot and humid day. In hindsight this strenuous hike was not the best choice for a day like this one. We did want a good workout, but this really pushed us to the limit. We parked at the Bobcat Trail trailhead parking off Route 9W near North Point. We took the short Bobcat Trail to the end at the Howell Trail, and climbed up to North Point. This area is full of good views, and lacks tree cover. Instead, there is a huge blueberry patch here in this was just the beginning of the blueberry season.

After reaching the top of North Point and the view before the descent, we turned around and went back down from where we came from, descending along the Howell Trail into the valley, crossing it over, and then ascending up Storm King. This part up climbs the mountain and is quite difficult. We went off the Howell Trail to the Stillman trail, which kind of plateaus at a certain with only minimal climbing remaining, this giving us some good relief. We continued along the Stillman Trail to the summit view, which faces north towards the Hudson River and the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge. We then met up with the Stillman Trail again, took it down towards the valley, and continued back along the same route we came, via the Bobcat Trail to the parking area.

Map of the Route.
West Hudson Trails - Eastern Map 
Me Picking Blueberries Along North Point

Man Relaxing and Reading Atop North Point

Me at North Point

Storm King, the Hudson River, and Breakneck from North Point

Butter Hill as Seen from North Point

Storm King from North Point

Butter Hill from North POint

The Same Man from Above

Ripe Blueberries at  North Point

North Point Blueberry Fields and Butter Hill

Summit at Storm King

Beacon Mountain from Storm King Summer

View of Hudson River from Storm King.
Newburgh-Beacon Bridge in the Distance

View of Newburgh from Storm King Summit

Me at Storm King Summit

Beautiful, Unobstructed View of the Hudson Facing North at Storm King

Newburgh and Newburgh-Beacon Bridge

View of Hudson River Facing South

Shimmy at the Above View

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Long Mounain and Howell Mountain with CommSAR

Harriman State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Long Path: Green blaze

Total Time: 2:30 Hours
Estimated Distance: 3.8 Miles
Level of Difficulty: Difficult
Level of Recommendation: Recommended

Points of Interest: Good Views and Scenic Lake

CommSAR, a local search and rescue organization, arranged a special training hike for members in the northern stretches of Harriman. I was asked to lead a group of about 10 people and give some training for hiking in the area. We parked at the Long Mountain parking area, and hiked up the Long Path the Long Mountain. Part of the ascent here has recently been rerouted and its not as steep and rocky as it was previously as the trail snakes around a bit longer to get to the top. 

At the top of Long Mountain there is an excellent view, facing Turkey Hill Lake below, Bear Mountain to the east, and West Point highlands to the north. We took some pictures at the top and proceeded the descent. We then went along the trail to the Howell Mountain ascent, which is quite steep. Before the descent, there is a view here where were treated to an outstanding sunset!

We then headed down the trail, and near the brook in Brooks Hollow proceeded to bushwack towards Lake Massawippa. (Part of the training included bushwacking and using the GPS to get to the location.) All groups met up at the dam, and then we proceeded to bushwack up the steep hill up Brooks Hollow to the Long Path. We took the Long Path until 293, where we met up with other CommSAR members and got a ride back.

Map of the Route.
Harriman Northern Map

Bear Mountain from Long Mountain Summit View

Summit of Long Mountain

Turkey Hill Lake from Long Mountain

Hiking Members on top of Long Members

Me at Long Mountain, Facing Bear Mountain

View from Long Mountain, Facing East

View from Long Mountain, Facing North Towards West Point

Sunset From Howell Mountain

Zoomed Out to Sunset

Sunset View Across the Horizon on Howell Mountain

The Sun Dipping Over the Horizon

Me at Howell Mountain Sunset

Sunset over Lake Massawippa

Me at Lake Massawippa 

Lake Massawippa from Dam

Beautiful Colors over Lake Massawippa

Group at the Dam Area

Dusk at Lake Massawippa

Sign along Route 293