Sunday, July 30, 2017

Popolopen Gorge Loop and Ft. Montgomery Site

Bear Mountain State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
1777-1779 Trail: Red blaze
Timp-Torne Trail: Blue blaze
Popolopen Gorge Trai: Red blaze
Brooks Lake Trai: Red blaze

Total Time: 2:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.7 Miles

Pros: Scenic bridges, pretty gorge
Cons: Sound from highway nearby
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Hiking Partners:
Shimmy Rosenberg
Josef Friedman

The Popolopen Gorge is a steep gorge formed by the Popolopen Creek, flanked by the steep cliffs of Bear Mountain on one side, and Popolopen Torne on on the other. This loop trail involves two trails, one on each side of the gorge, for a fairly moderate hike.

We parked at the Fort Montgomery historical site, and took the combined Timp-Torne, 1777, and 1779 Trails under the Popolopen Gorge Bridge and then went off back to the road and crossed the Popolopen Gorge Bridge on the sidewalk of busy Route 9W.

Right after the bridge is the start of the Popolopen Gorge Trail, which we took alongside the southern flank of the Popolopen Creek. This trail meets up again with the combined Timp-Torne, 1777, and 1779 right before a newly constructed, sturdy bridge across the Popolopen Creek. We then the combined Timp-Torne, 1777, and 1779 Trail towards Brooks Lake, and we veered off slightly onto the Brooks Lake Trail to take a picture of Brooks Lake. We continued back on the combined trails, which we took back under the Popolopen Trail and back to car. When we came back, we spent a few minutes looking through the visitors center which talks all about Ft. Montgomery.

Map of the Route

Beginning of the Hike at Ft. Montgomery

Trail Going Underneath Route 9W Popolopen Bridge

Bear Mountain Bridge

Sign on Route 9W

Popolopen Creek from the Bridge

Flowers at the Beginning of the Hike 
Bridge Across the Popolopen Bridge 

Crossing the Creek on the Trail

Bridge Across the Popolopen Bridge

Trail Markers near Brooks Lake

Boardwalk over the Brooks Lake Inlet

Brooks Lake

Another View of Brooks Lake

Me at Brooks Lake

Shimmy Relaxing on a Bent Tree

Old Ruin near Brooks Lake

Whitetail Deer Awfully Close to us on the Trail

Going Back Under the Popolopen Bridge

Steps nearing the end of the Hike

Inside the Ft. Montgomery Visitors Center

Ft. Montgomery Visitors Center

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Neversink River Unique Area

Near Rock Hill
Sullivan Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Blue Trail: Blue blaze
Yellow Trail: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 1:25 minutes
Estimated Distance: 2.5 Miles

Pros: Remote area, flowering rhododendrons
Cons: No views and far walk to waterfalls

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Hiking Partners:
Josef Friedman

This area is in a remote region in Sullivan County, along the Neversink River. I was in the area of Monticello and had some extra time to take a hike in the region. I did not realize how far it is to falls, so we just ended up going down to the side of the river at the end of the hike. We took the Blue Trail to the Yellow Trail down to the side of the river. I was disappointed how far down the falls were and how uneventful the hike was otherwise.

Map of the Route

Neversink River Facing South

Above View Zoomed In

Neversink River, Zoomed North

Rhododendron Forest

Late-Season Rhododendron Forest

Panther Mountain Fire Zone

Harriman State Park,
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Pine Meadow Trail: Red blaze
Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 1:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.7 Miles

Pros: Good climb with excellent view
Cons: None

This is a short but sweet hike, with a good climb to an excellent view. I needed to travel upstate, so had do a quick hike early in the morning, so this was a good choice for that. I wanted to check out the area affected by the forest fire of last fall and see how the area had regrown. I parked at the Ramapo Equestrian Center, and took the Pine Meadow Trail up the mountain from its terminus. Upon leaving the valley at the brook, I arrived at the burnt zone. The area was now covered by greenery, mostly fern, but it was still obvious that there was a recent fire. I went to the main view, took some pictures, and turned around along the same route, although took a shortcut down by stream to cut across back to the power lines.

Map of the Route

Spotted Salamander on the Trail

View Ascending the Mountain

Forest Fire Regrowth

More Forest Fire Regrowth

View Torwards the Notch

Ferns Covering an Area that was Burnt

View from Panther Mountain Facng East

View Facing Southeast

Further Southeast

Manhattan Skyline in the Distance

Another View of Manhattan Syline

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Vroman's Nose

Schoharie Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Green Trail: Green blaze
Long Path: Green blaze
Yellow Trail: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 0:55 minutes
Estimated Distance: 1.6 Miles

Pros: Relatively short hike to an excellent view
Cons: Some areas slightly muddy

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Hiking Partners:
Josef Friedman

This area is a bit far from my typical area. I had heard about this hike and wanted to do it for several years, but due to its distance from my typical hiking area, I never made it that far up. However, this particular day, I had a meeting upstate and was nearby the area, and this was my opportunity to do this hike.

This hike features a loop trail that is relatively short, that leads to an amazing view atop a very interesting geological formation. The top of the mountain features a straight cliff face jutting down to Route 30 and the Schoharie Valley farms below.

We parked in the parking area off Mill Valley Road, and veered right at the split at the Green Trail. This trail gradually climbs until near the cliff summit, where it climbs sharply after joining up with the Long Path. The trail then goes along the side of the ridge climbing, until the "Dance Floor" is reached, which is a flat slabbed rock with glacial scratches on it that faces the edge of the cliff. We continued along the ridge of the nose near the edge of the cliff on the trail, and the trail then veers back inward for its descent meeting up at the original loop point. We continued from here back to our car.

Map of the Route

Information Kiosk at the Beginning of the Hike

View While Ascending after Meeting the Long Path

Me at the Summit

Summit View

Looking over the Schoharie Valley from the Summit

Farms in the Schoharie Valley

Trail Near the Top

Me Overlooking the Farm Areas

The "Dance Floor"

Farms Directly Below the Mountain

Trail Along the Ridge

Looking North

Another Perspective Looking North