Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Almost Perpendicular Daters Mountain Sunset Hike

Harriman State Park,
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Blue Disc Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 0:50 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.6 Miles

Pros: Excellent scramble with fantastic view
Cons: None

Daters Mountain "Almost Perpendicular" is one of my favorite climbs in Harriman. It features an exception view after a good rocky climb. It was a beautiful, hot, early autumn day and I went to do a quick sunset hike after work. I parked int he dead end on Johnstown Road, at the trailhead, and took the Blue Disc Trail from its terminus towards the mountain. I veered off at the rocky part near the the for the alternate path towards the summit view, and then took a short break at the top. I then went back along the trail down and took the same way back.

Map of the Route

Blue Disc Trailhead

Sunset over Daters Mountain

At the View

The Moon at Dusk

Interesting Cloud Formation in the Distance

Dusk over Harriman

Scramble at the end of the Hike

Sunset View

View from the Rock Atop Daters Mountain

Sunday, September 17, 2017

West Mountain and Fire Escape

Harriman State Park,
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail: Red blaze
Appalachian Trail: White blaze
Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail: Yellow blaze
Timp-Torne Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 2:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.3 Miles

Pros: Excellent scramble and great views
Cons: None

Hiking Partner:
Elad Hillman

This was a warm September day. It started off foggy and cloudy, with poor visibility, but then the sun came out towards the end of the hike. I have been to this area many times, to the southern portion of West Mounain. This area features very scenic scenery with good scrambles and views. However, despite being here many times, I never climbed up the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail along the southern approach to West Mountain, and have only climbed down. This is a great scramble, being very steep and dramatic, with a great view on the top.

We parked at the south end of the Anthony Wayne Parking area, and took the bike path trail to the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail, which took up the mountain. We then cut across a short distance to the Suffern-Bear MOuntain Trail where we climbed the last ascent up the steep Fire Escape Scramble. This area, listed as the "Cat's Elbow" on the current NY/NJ Conference maps, is listed as the "Fire Escape" on old maps.

From there we went up and over the ridge, going through the valley and then back up to one of the main views at West Mountain. We then went down along the Appalachian Trail, back to the Bike Trail and then back to the car.

Map of the Route.
Harriman State Park

Hebrew Graffiti on the Bike Path 
Crossing the Beechy Bottom Path, in Early Autumn

Me Ascending the Fire Escape

At the Top of the Fire Escape

Me at the View

View Facing Southwest

The Above View, Zoomed Out

Early Fall Colors

Facing West

Me at the View

Sun Beginning to Peak Out

Nice Colors

Along the Timp Torn Trail

Approaching the West Mountain View

West Mountain View at the Appalachian and Timp Torne Trails

Trail Marker at the Above View

West Mountain View

View Facing Northwest

Me at the West Mountain View

View Descending the Appalachian Trail on West Mountain

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sugarloaf Hill and Osborne Loop

Hudson Highland State Park,
Putnam Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Blue Trail: Red blaze
Sugarloaf Trail: Red blaze
Osborn Loop Trail: Blue blaze
Appalachian Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 3:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 7.6 Miles

Pros: Good view
Cons: Quiet remote area with little traffic
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

It had been a while since I did a long hike. Now with my big trip and the summer behind, I took the opportunity to do this longer loop on some new trails for me. I had been to Sugarloaf Hill before, as well as parts of the Osborn Loop, but the last time I was at Sugarloaf Hill was in 2011, and I have been intent on covering more trails in Hudson Highlands State Park in the eastern Hudson Highlands.

I parked at the trailhead at Wing and Wing Road, where the Blue and Sugarloaf Trails start. The Blue Trail probably has a name, but its not listed on the map. Its a short trail going through the grassy meadow, and then ending at the Sugarloaf Trail. I took the Blue Trail to the Sugarloaf Trail, which climbs up to the top of Sugarloaf hill as a dead end at the top. Sugarloaf is a prominent mountain jutting out from above the Hudson, and the top forms a narrow ridgeline. At the dead end of the trail there is a view facing south to the Bear Mountain Bridge, and a large cactus grove.

I turned around at the end of the Sugarload Trail, and then took the western portion of the OSborn Loop southward, all the way down to its terminus at the Appalachian Trail. I then took the Appalachian Trail northbound, back to the Osborn Loop, which I took south and then west, back to the Sugarloaf Hill Trail. I then took the Sugarloaf Hill Trail down the mountain, through the grassy field, and back to my car.

Map of the Route.
East Hudson Highlands.

Blue Trail through the Meadow

Barns Along the Trail in the Meadow

Leaving the Meadow and Going into the Woods
and the Foot of the Mountain

View of West Point

View of West Point, Zoomed Out

Narrow Ridgeline at Sugarloaf Hill

View at Sugarloaf Hill, Facing South Zoomed Out

View South from Sugarloaf, Facing Hudson River and Bear Mnt. Bridge

View from Sugarloaf Hill, Facing East

Cactus Grove at Sugarloaf

Lots of Trail Markers at Osborn Loop Intersection with Sugarloaf

Horses at the Above Intersection

Appalachian Trail

View Along the Appalachian Trail

Early Foliage along the Appalachian Trail

Sugarloaf Hill from the Meadow along the Sugarloaf Trail

Castle in the Distance Across the Meadow near the End of the Hike

Monday, September 4, 2017

Clausland Mountain Long Path Loop Hike

Clausland Mountain Long Path Loop Hike
Nike Overlook Park and Clausland Mountain County Park
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Long Path: Green blaze
Orange Trail: Orange blaze
Blue Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 1:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.0 Miles

Pros: None
Cons: No views
Level of Difficulty: Very easy

Hiking Partner:
Josef Friedman

I was off of work for Labor day, and had traveled on the newly opened Tappan Zee Bridge earlier in the day. I therefore  attempted a hike in the area where I could also get a good view with the new bridge in place. Unfortunately, this hike did not afford any views of the bridge, or any good views at all. We parked at the parking area on Nike Overlook Park, and took the Orange Trail southern portion to the Long Path. We then went south on the Long Path the Cemetery, labelled as "Fremont Monument" on the map. It was unusual for the hiking to enter the cemetery, especially when its not labelled on the map. The map also shows a viewpoint at this area, which doesn't exist.

We then turned around and went back north on the Long Path, and continued to the northern part of of the Orange Trail, which we took back to the parking area. We then continued at this point to the Blue Trail, which is a short loop that leads right back to the parking area. we looped around back to the parking area and ended the hike here. I thought perhaps this loop would also feature a view, but it did not. However, we bushwacked slightly to the right to observer a view of the Hudson River and Irvington across the river.

Map of the Route

Signs at the Trailhead

Park Entrance Sign

Long Path Entering the Cemetery

Long Path Blaze within the Cemetery

Long Path in Clauseland Mountain Park

Bushwack from Blue Trail to get View of Irvington and Hudson River