Monday, October 30, 2017

Ramapo Reservation Fall Hike

Ramapo Valley County Reservation,
Bergen Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Vista Loop Trail: Yellow blaze
River Trail: Orange/Green blaze

Total Time: 0:35 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.1 Miles

Pros: Scenic area
Cons: Very busy and crowded area

The previous day has a featured a large coastal storm with several inches of rain. I had time for a quick hike near my work at Ramapo Reservation. Fall foliage was in peak color, and it lasted later than usual than in previous years. I parked in the main parking lot, took the trail across the Ramapo River, and then took the River trail. The River Trail had many problems, from fallen trees to flooding, and each time I had an obstacle, I contemplated turning around. However, I persisted, but at the last flooded area, I fell off an unstable branch in the water and fell knee deep into the water. I then took the Vista Loop Trail back, taking the path parallel to Scarlet Oak Pond, back to my car.

The pictures below were taken with my cell phone camera.

Map of the Route

Scarlet Oak Pond

Scarlet Oak Pond and Hawk Rock

Scarlet Oak Pond Eastern Shore

Scarlet Oak Reservoir and Fall Foliage

River Trail Trailhead

Felled Tree Blocking the River Trail

Large Puddle Blocking the River Trail

Very Large, Impassible Flooded River Trail

Scarlet Oak Pond, on Return Route

Friday, October 27, 2017

Claudius Smith Den Fall Hike

Harriman State Park,
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail: Red blaze: Red blaze
Tuxedo-Mt Ivy (TMI) Trail: Red blaze
Blue Disc Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 1:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.8 Miles

Pros: Scenic area with excellent views and interesting rock formation
Cons: None

The forecast for Sunday called for a very stormy day, with torrential rain and strong winds. I decided to leave work on Friday, which was a beatiful and warm autumn day, at the peak of the fall foliage season, to hike, and make up the work on Sunday.

I prepared in the morning by bringing my hiking clothes with me in the car. After leaving the office and parking at the trailhead, I changed into my outdoor gear, and headed up the mountain. I parked in Tuxedo at the Ramapo-Dunderberg trailhead, walking underneath the Thruway overpass and alongside the road to the woods. I took the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail to the first view overlooking Tuxedo, and then continued to the intersection with the TMI Trail. I took the Blue Disc Trail up the Claudius Smith rock formation, being afforded with an excellent view of Harriman in full foliage colors from the top. I turned around and took the same route back to my car.

Map of the Route.

View of Tuxedo from Smith Rock

Zoomed in to Tuxedo

Smith Rock, Looking East

View of the Thruway, Facing South

From Smith Rock, Looking North

Smith Rock, Looking North

Trees Above Smith Rock

Me at Smith Rock

At the Above View Zoomed In

Gas Pipeline on the Ramapo Dunderberg Trail

Rock Cliff of Claudius Smith Den

Rock Formation at Claudius Smith Den

Blue Disc Trail at Claudius Smith Glen

View from Claudius Smith Den, Facing Southwest

View from Claudius Smith Den,Facing South

The Same View, Zoomed In

Claudius Smith Den Rock

Rock Slab above Claudius Smith Den

Claudius Smith Den, Facing West

Claudius Smith Den, Facing East

Claudius Smith Den View, Facing South

Fall Foliage Above Claudius Smith Den

Zoomed in Above View

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Stonetown Circular Trail at Lake Riconda

Norvin Green State Forest
Passaic Co,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
HT Connector Trail: Blue blaze
Stonetown Circular Trail: Red blaze
Highlands Trail: Aqua blaze

Total Time: 1:35 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.4 Miles

Pros: Nice views
Cons: Power Lines are Very Interfering

I had gone to the area around the Wanaque Reservoir a few weeks prior, and was intrigued at the Stonetown Circular Trail area, and decided to check out the area a bit more. I parked on Lake Riconda Drive, at the dead end where there was parking on the side of the street. The lake is a small but pretty private lake owned by the residents of the surrounding area.

I took the Highlands Connector Trail up Harrison Mountain, walking past the power lines and then up to the view. The view is a very good one, though the power lines are quite visible and in the way from many vantage points. I then connected to the combined Stonetown Circular Trail and Highlands Trail, climbing down the mountain towards the Monksville Reservoir near the dam. I took the trail until Stonetown Road, and then turned around and took an unmarked woods road parallel to the trail, and then a connecting woods road partially up the mountain back up to Lake Riconda and the parking area.

Map of the Route. North Jersey Highlands.

Lake Riconda Sign

Lake Riconda Private Dock and Picnic Area

Power Lines While Ascending the Path

Looking Towards Monksville Reservoir

Looking up the Hill

Climbing Up Haarison Mountain at the Power Lines 
Looking Down Towards the Monksville Dam

View of Wyanokie High Point from Harrison Mountain View

Zoomed in to Wyanokie High Point

View Facing North from Harrison Mountain

Another view of Wyankoie High Point

Trail Markers of the Highlands Trail and Stonetown Circular Trail

Wanaque Reservoir

Zoomed Out

Monksville Reservoir near the Dam

Peaceful Waters at the Monksville Reservoir

Looking Across Monksville Reservoir at the Dam

Monksville Reservoir near the Dam