Sunday, December 31, 2017

Townsend Trail View at Sterling Forest

Sterling Forest State Park,
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Long Meadow Extension Trail: Green blaze
Townsend Trail: Orange blaze

Total Time: 1:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.9 Miles

Pros: Nice view, few people here
Cons: Trails more like roads, houses in area

Hiking Partner: Shimmy Rosenberg

This was the coldest day of the season, and perhaps even the year. The temperature was about 10 degrees when we left for the hike, and to make matters worse the winds were very strong, especially when we got to the top of the mountain. We were both well dressed with many layers, and no exposure. The sky was gray and dreary, and it has just snowed a few inches the day before, so there was a layer of fresh snow.

We parked off Route 17A by Clinton Road, and had a difficult time finding the Long Meadow Extension Trail as we expected to see blazes at the parking trailhead. In the end we walked back along the dead end road off Clinton Road and then found the trail off Clinton Road. We took the Long Meadow Extension Trail a short distance to the Townsend Trail, which climbs up slowly via a woods road. Near the top, the trail veers off the woods road and ascends towards a view of Indian Kill Reservoir, and the Sterling Forest Ski area. We took some photos at the view, then turned around and went back along the same route.

Map of the Route

Outdoor Temperature Prior to Leaving on the Hike

Me at the Hikers Trailhead Parking Sign

Me on the Townsend Trail

Approaching Near the Vista

Me Heading Over to the Vista

Selfie with Me and Shimmy

Snow Covered Summit

View of Sterling Forest

Same View, Zoomed In

Overlooking Indian Kill Reservoir

Snow Covered Rock

Shimmy at the View
Shimmy Overlooking the Scenery

Me in front of Indian Kill Reservoir

Me in Full Arctic Weather Gear

From the View Looking Behind

Monday, December 25, 2017

Lake Nawahunta Sunset and Snow

Harriman State Park,
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Menomine Trail: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 0:40 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.6 Miles

Pros: Quiet and scenic lake
Cons: None

I was off from work, but did not have a chance to get out for a hike until the end of the day. So I drive through Seven Lakes Drive at the end of the day, parked at Silvermine Lake, and took the Menomine Lake towards Lake Nawahunta. It was a cold winter day, with a fresh coating of snow from the small storm in the morning. Once at the inlet of the lake, I took an unmarked trail south along the west side of the lake, and then turned around and went back the same way.

Map of the Route

Black Mountain and Silvermine Lake

Ski Jumps and Sunset at Silvernmine Lake

Menomine Trail

Lake Nawahunta

Lake Nawahunta

Menomine Trail in a Large Pine Forest

Felled Tree with Snow in Lake Nawahunta

Lake Nawahunta

Lake Nawanunta

Lake Nawahunta

Lake Nawahunta, Sunset

At Kakiat After Early Morning Snow

Kakiat County Park
Rockland Co.,
New York

We had gotten several inches of fresh, wet snow overnight, which clung to all the trees and looked incredibly surreal. On my way to work, in the early morning sunrise, I headed over to Kakiat Park to get a glimpse of the snow in a natural setting with a bright blue sky that just appeared after the snow ended. I didn't really hike; I just walked around the area at the bottom of Kakiat snapping different photo perspectives.

Mahwah River Near the Wooden Park Bridge

Covered Picnic Area at Kakiat

The Wooden Bridge over the Mahwah River at Kakiat 
Snow-Covered Field and Forest

Start of the Old Mill Trai

Cozy Home on Route 202, Across from Kakiat

Kakiat Mountain from above the Parking Area

The Above Photo, Zoomed Out

Kakiat Mountain, from Behind the Trees

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Little Dam Lake at Sterling Forest

Appalachian National Scenic Trail Land,
Sterling Forest State Park Area
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Appalachian Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 1:50 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.8 Miles

Pros: Scenic and quiet area, very green in winter
Cons: No vista views

I am going to make an effort to cover more of the trails in Sterling Forest State Park. I have been to many of the trails, but there are many more I have never gotten to. Furthermore, I recently picked up a new Trail Conference map, which has several new trails I have never seen before on my previous 2005 map edition.

I parked on Orange Turnpike where it intersects the Appalachian Trail. There is a small pull-off on the side of the road, about 100 feet south of the trail, on the southbound lane. I climbed up the incline to the top of the hill, but there isn't really a view here. I then climbed down contining past Little Dam Lake, which this trail follows alongside for a good part of the way. This is an irregular shaped lake that is quite swampy in some areas, and has some nice rock formations alongside its western spur. I then continued along the trail to East Mombasha Road, where I turned around and went back along the same route.

My camera lens got stuck during this hike, so these pictures were taken off my cell phone camera.

Map of the Route

Appalachian Trail Descending Towards Little Dam Lake

Little Dam Lake, Facing Northeast

Little Dam Lake, Partially Frozen

Little Dam Lake Inlet

Rock Formations at the Little Dam Lake Inlet

Trail Crossing Over Rocks at the Little Dam Lake Inlet

Little Dam Lake Inlet Looking Towards Little Dam Lake

Appalachian Trail at East Mombasha Road

Winter Greenery in Hemlock Forest

Little Dam Lake on the Return Route

Appalachian Trail Crossing on the Orange Turnpike

Me at the AT Trail Crossing Sign