Sunday, January 22, 2017

Millbrook Mountain Loop,
Mohonk Preserve,

Millbrook Mountain Loop
Mohonk Preserve,
Shawangunks Mountains, 
Ulster Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
West Trapps Connector Trail: Yellow blaze
Millbrook Ridge Trail: Blue blaze
Millbrook Mountain Trail: Red blaze
Coxing Trail: Blue blaze
Trapps Carriage Road: Unblazed

Total Time: 3:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 6.2 Miles

Pros: Highly scenic area, excellent views and climbs
Cons: Parking fee

Hiking Partners:
Shimmy Rosenberg

This is a highly memorable hike. Rain had been predicted in the afternoon, but the morning featured a dense fog in the entire Hudson Valley. We had brought rain gear to combat the possibility of rain. When we started climbing the mountain on Route 44/55, at a certain point we reached above the fog level and into a beautiful sunny day! Since we were high up and at the cliff edge, we could see the cloud level from the ground-level fog directly below up! In the distance, the peaks remained in view above the cloud level.

We parked at the West Trapps Trailhead in Mohonk Preserve, off of Route 44/55. We took the very short West Trapps Connector Trail to the carriage road over the road, and then took the Millbrook Ridge Trail that starts here. This trail climbs immediately over a short period on rocky white rock to a beautiful view on the ridgeline. The trail then continues along the edge of the cliff line for a while, until it eventually starts climbing up to the final ascent to Millbrook Mountain.

Millbrook Mountain is one of the most dramatic mountains in the Shawangunks. One side of the mountain is a vertical wall several hundred feet down to a boulder-strewn talus pile of huge rocks. The views here are incredible. We took a short break at the summit of Millbrook, taking many pictures, and then headed back down via a loop on the Millbrook Mountain Trail to the Coxing Trail. We took the Coxing Trail back to the Trapps Carriage Road, which we took back to the Trapps Bridge to the trailhead.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Appalachian Trail at Anthonys Nose And Canada Hill

Hudson Highlands State Park,
AT Federal Land,
and Manitoga Nature Preserve,
Putnam Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Appalachian Trail: White blaze
Osborn Loop Trail: Blue blaze
Lost Pond Loop Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 2:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.2 Miles

Pros: Good climb and scenic area
Cons: No good views

Hiking Partners:
Shimmy Rosenberg

The previous day had a small snowstorm, leaving about two inches of snow on the ground. While not much snow, it was enough to change the scenery to a more seasonal winter-like setting.

We did a two car hike to maximize the length and coverage of the hike. We first parked one car at Manitgoa Nature Preserve, and then drove back down Route 9D to Anthony's Nose where the Appalachian Trail climbs the mountain, right past the Bear Mountain. We climbed up the northern flank of Anthony's Nose on the Appalachian Trail, continued along the ridge. There is a view marked on the map, but it seemed overgrown. We continued past the Hemlock Springs Campsite, where we met some people camping out overnight.

We then crossed South Mountain Pass road, and climbed up Canada Hill, again where the view on the map was not really there. This part of the trail going up actually lacked snow, being in the direction the sun.

We continued along the Appalachian Trail until the Osborn Trail, and took the Osborn Trail to the Lost Pond Loop Trail, at the intersection area of the Manitoga Nature Preserve. My 2000 edition of the East Hudson Trail map is quite outdated, as none of the new Manitoga Trails are listed on my map. We followed the general direction of the trail listed on the map going down the mountain, which ended up being the Lost Pond Loop Trail, which we took to the entrance of the nature center.