Sunday, April 29, 2018

Sherwood Path to Pine Meadow Lake

Sherwood Path to Pine Meadow Lake
Harriman State Park,
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Sherwood Path: Unblazed
Suffern-Bear Mountain (S-BM) Trail: Yellow blaze
Conklins Crossing: White blaze
Pine Meadow Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 2:55 hour
Estimated Distance: 5.5 Miles

Hiking Partners:
David Koegel
Debbie Koegel

Pros: Very quiet and scenic area, nice view and scenic lake
Cons: Difficult crossing at Mahwah River

Pine Meadow Lake is one of my favorite lakes in the area. It is away from any road or parking area, and is very scenic and tranquil. We parked at the corner of Wilder Road and Route 202, where there is a small pull-off area at the corner. We walked southbound along Route 202 for about 400 feet, and then headed into to the woods at this point where Harriman State Park connects to Route 202. We walked down to the river, crossing it along a narrow log. As the river was very swollen from recent rains, crossing was much more difficult than usual. We then went along the path on the side of the river, crossing the gas and power lines. The path turns into the Sherwood Path, and climbs in a snake-like pattern up the mountain.

Upon reaching the Stone Mountain Shelter, we turned southwest on to the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail, towards a rock formation called the "Egg." The Egg is large oval rock with a rounded top (hence its name), which also affords a very nice view. We then continued along the S-BM Trail, to the Conklin's Crossing Trail, taking this short trail in its entirety to eastern edge of Pine Meadow Lake. We bushwacked down to the lake where there are some large rocks in the lake, took some photos, and continuned to the Pine Meadow Trail. We took the Pine Meadow Trail back to the Sherwood Path, which we took back down the mountain, and then took the path along the gas line back to the Pine Meadow Trail near the horse stables. We went down the Pine Meadow Trail to its terminus, walked through the equestrian area and parking area, and along Route for a short while back to our car.

Map of the Route

Crossing the Mahwah River on a Fallen Tree

Photo Inside the Stone Mountain Shelter

View from Stone Mountain Shelter

Plaque on the Stone Mountain Shelter along the S-BM Trail

Me at the Stone Mountain Shelter Area

Me on the Rock on the Stone Mountain Shelter

View from the Egg Facing Horse Stable Mountain

Vuew from the Egg, Facing Southeast

Another View from the top of the Egg 
Rocks at the Egg Area

View from the Egg, Facing North

Me and David

Me and David Atop the Egg

Me on the Egg

Pine Meadow Lake

Pine Meadow Lake, Eastern Part

Looking Across the Length of Pine Meadow Lake

Looking Towards the South at Pine Meadow Lake

Me Crossing a Rock on Pine Meadow Lake

Me on a Rock in Pine Meadow Lake

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Apshawa Preserve Full Loop Spring Hike

Apshawa Preserve Full Loop Spring Hike
West Milford, near Butler
Passaic Co,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
Purple Trail: Purple blaze
Blue Trail: Blue blaze
Orange Trail: Orange blaze
Green Trail: Green blaze
Red Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 2:45 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.9 Miles

Pros: Scenic and quiet area
Cons: Views aren't exceptional

I had been here two weeks earlier, and has lacked the time to properly explore this area. I had also been to this preserve the year prior, but took the Blue Trail to the White to the Butler Trail. I had wanted to explore this other part of the preserve. I parked in the parking area off Northwood Drive, and went to to the end of the parking lot to the small Pond at the Purple Trail. After passing the pond, I took an old trail that is no longer blazed as a shortcut to the Blue Trail. I took this to the Orange Trail, and then to the Green Trail.

I took the green trail south to where it crossed the Apshawa Brook. There is a really pretty dam over here spilling water over like a waterfall. I continued along the trail past some unknown metal drums, and then continued on the trail as it climbed to the top, affording a view. I then continued down the path to the Read Trail at the Butler Reservoir, which I looped around, then taking the Green Trail back to the Orange Trail, and to the same shortcut to the Purple Trail, though this time I continued ahead and went out via the Blue Trail.

Map of the Route

Koplen Pond at the Beginning of the Hike

Waterfall Over the Dam at a Pond on Apshawa Brook

Pond on Apshawa Brook

Below the Waterfall over the Dam at Apshawa Brook

Abandoned Rock Structure and Tanks Along the Trail

Another View of an Abandoned Rock Hut

View from the Summit View on the Green Trail

Another View from the Summit View

Butler Reservoir Facing North

Butler Reservoir Facing East

Selfie at Butler Reservoir

Butler Reservoir Facing Southeast

Butler Reservoir Facing South, with Partially Submerged Boat

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Limekiln Mountain Loop

Harriman State Park,
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Tuxedo-Mt. Ivy (TMI) Trail: Red blaze
Limeklin Mountain Trail: Unblazed

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

Pros: Quiet region of Harriman, excellent views
Cons: Former TMI Trail is difficult

I had little time, and this is a great hike with an excellent view in under an hour. The weather was exceptionally cold for mid-April, and I needed my coat and winter hat. I parked at the TMI Trailhead, on Diltzes Road, and took the trail past the Power Lines and through the notch in the Ramapo Escarpment. I then continued along the formed route of the TMI Trail as the trail headed up the mountain to the south, alongside the brook. This former trail route has become overgrown with fallen trees and I found it to be more difficult, perhaps because of the recent storms that downed trees and branches.

Where the path bends further south, I did a bushwack up the northern part of the notch, bending over to the Limekiln Mountain Trail and meeting up with it right before the vista. The vista at Limekiln is excellent; it faces south with much of Rockland County in view. I then took the unblazed but clearly recognizable Limeklin Mountain Trail down the mountain, back to the TMI Trail and back to my car.

Map of the Route

Hikers Trailhead Parking

Path next to the Power Lines

View from the Top of Limekiln Mountain

View with the Trees Starting to Bud

View from the View Facing East

View Facing South

Same View, Zoomed Out

View of Lake Ramaquois and Rockland County Suburbia

Close up of Ramapo Lake

View Facing Northeast

Me at the View

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Apshawa Preserve and Butler Reservoir

West Milford, near Butler
Passaic Co,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
Blue Trail: Blue blaze
Purple Trail: Purple blaze

Total Time: 0:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 0.7 Miles

Pros: Nice short hike
Cons: Built up area nearby

Hiking Partner:
Joseph Friedman

I had been to this area a year ago in the spring. I had meant to do a longer hike in the area, but had something come up and had to make the hike much shorter, which in the end was a very scenic but very short hike. We parked in the main parking area, and took the Blue Trail to the Purple Trail, which meets up with it after descending into a ravine. We took the short Purple Trail south past the Koplen Pond to its terminus at High Crest Drive, at the High Crest Pond Dock. This is a suburban street bordering the preserve and is very scenic. From there we took the unmarked connecting trail on the outside of the preserve border fence to the parking area.

Map of the Route

Warning About Bears at the Gate to the Preserve to Keep the Bears Out

Koplen Pond from the Purple Trail

Another View of the Small Pond

Me at Koplen Pond

Me Posing for the Picture 
Rocky Promenade at Koplen Pond

Interesting Bridge Skirting a Log at the Outlet of the Pond

High Crest Lake

Another View of High Crest Lake

Koplen Pond Again