Sunday, May 28, 2017

Montville Serpentine Quarries at Turkey Mountain

Pyramid Mountain Preserve,
Morris County,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
Yellow Trail: Yellow blaze
Kinnelon Boonton Trail: White blaze
Green Trail: Green blaze
Blue Trail: Blue blaze
Red Dot Trail: Red blaze

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

Pros: Historic mines
Cons: Views are not impressive

I had been to this area a few weeks earlier, and there were several trails i wanted to still explore. Further, there were several overgrown serpentine mines that I noticed the first time here that I wanted to further explore. 

I parked along the side of Boonton Ave. as the main Pyramid Mountain parking lot was already full, and took the Yellow Trail to the Kinnelon Boonton Trail, which climbs up the mountain. At the top there is a view, which seems to have become overgrown. I continued to the end of the trail, where it meets the yellow trail, and explored the large serpentine quarry at this point.

The quarry seems to be quite old, and is entirely overgrown, with the dumps almost completely covered. I walked through the main cut, observing the interesting rock formation, especially the serpentine outcrop at the northern end of the quarry. I then went back to the yellow trail, exploring the second quarry while approaching towards the power lines. I then crossed the power lines on the yellow trail, took the green trail up, past the old stone house foundation, and then took the blue trail to its end at the Kinnelon Boonton Trail. I continued along the White Trail back to the Kinnelon Boonton Trail, and then took the Red Dot trail to its end along the edge of the swamp, where there is an observatory of the swamp. I then turned around and took the Red Dot Trail back to the Yellow Trail, and then back to my car.

Map of the Route.
Central Jersey Highlands

Overgrown Trail on the Kinnelon Boonton Trail

Stream Along the Yellow Trail

Inside one of the Mines

Serpentine Outcrop in the Quarry

Large Stone Structure

Lake Valhalla from the View

At the View on the Green Trail

Swamp along the Red Dot Trail

Observatory at the Swamp to see the Wildlife

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Camp Smith Trail at Manitou Mountain

Hudson Highlands State Park,
Westchester Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Camp Smith Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 1:35 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.8 Miles

Pros: Excellent views and abundant scenery
Cons: None

Hiking Partner:
David Kunkel

The previous day had been very rainy, but this morning the clouds had cleared and the sun came out, with a bright blue sky. Although it was very wet from the rain, it was still manageable. It was rather chilly for this time of year, and was in the upper 50's during the hike. My friend David Kunkel came in from Buffalo for the weekend, so we took the opportunity to take this nice hike together.

I have hiked the Camp Smith Trail up Anthony's Nose many times, but I never took the additional portion along the side of Manitou Mountain further south closer to Peekskill. This two-car hike allowed us to hike this portion.

We left one car at the main Anthony's Nose trailhead along Route 6/202, where the Camp Smith Trail joins up at both sides of the small parking area, at Broccy Creek. We then drove to the historic toll house where there is parking for the Camp Smith Trail terminus. The toll house, which once acted as the toll both for the bridge and scenic route, is now restored into a small gift shop and information center.

We started the trail, and went along the side of the ridge, with many excellent views of the Hudson River and highlands throughout the hike. We completed the hike at the trailhead parking where we had left the other car.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Turkey Mountain at Pyramid Mountain Preserve

Morris County,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
100 Steps Trail: Blue blaze
Red Trail: Red blaze
Yellow Trail: Yellow blaze
Kinnelon Boonton Trail: White blaze
Green Trail: Green blaze

Total Time: 2:25 hour
Estimated Distance: 5 Miles

Pros: Many trail options
Cons: Power lines interfere with natural settings, part of trail proximity to road

I had gone to Pyramid Mountain Preserve a few weeks earlier and I wanted to explore the area on the other part of the mountain, Turkey Mountain. I parked in the main parking area at the visitors center, and crossed the road at the 100 Steps Trail. This trail climbs up along the power lines to the summit of the mountain to a view, which is marred by the wires from the power lines. From there, I took the red trail to the yellow trail, and looped around back to the waterfalls. The trail here until the waterfalls was very wet due to the recent rains and was hard to traverse. It was also parallel to a road and a bit too close to it.

The waterfall was very nice due to the rains. Although they are short, they were very pretty. I then continued along the trail and entered the extensive quarrying areas. It is labelled on the map as a limestone quarry, though this is metamorphic rock and serpentine was mined here. I then continued along the yellow trail back to the trailhead.