Sunday, May 27, 2018

Constitution Marsh Boardwalk and Indian Brook Falls

Audubon Center & Sanctuary
and Hudson Highlands State Park
Putnam Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Blue Trail: Blue blaze
Boardwalk Trail: Unblazed
Yellow Trail: Yellow blaze
Indian Brook Falls Trail: Green blaze

Total Time: 1:10 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.0 Miles

Pros: Scenic area, nice boardwalk, and pretty waterfalls
Cons: Not enough parking, walk on road, boardwalk much shorter than expected

The weather was damp and I chose this hike which is relatively short and has my car in the middle so I can bail out in the event of rain. In the end, the rain held off for the entire hike. The rainy weather also afforded me the oppurtunity to visit this place, since the parking is so limited, it takes an event such as poor weather to be able to park your car on a weekend outside the winter. There is no other place to park in this area. If the 8 designated spots are already taken, there is no where else to park and you are forced to change your itinerary.

I parked in one of the designated parking spots on Indian Brook Road and walked down Warren Landing Road to the Nature Center. I looked thourgh the Nature Center, and then left it out headed on the rocky area along the river to the boardwalk. The boardwalk goes over part of Constitution Marsh, a large brackish swampland in the Hudson River. I was quite surprised at the lenght of the boardwalk, which ended up being much shorter than I had expected.

Afer completing the boardwalk and looping aound i took the Blue Trail back to where it intersects the Yellow Trail. I took the Yellow Trail for the short distance of its doration, which took me to an unintersting split rock. I turned around and went back up the Blue Trail (which also serves as driveway to the Nature Center), which was a bit steep.

I walked past my car, then under the large bridge with Route 9D above, and then took the Indian Brook Falls Trail to its terminus at Indian Brook Falls. This is an impressive waterfall fall for the region, and the recent heavy rains certainly helped me formulate my impression. I then turned around, and took the same trail back to my car.

Map of the Route

Constitution Marsh Audubon Center & Sanctuary.
Note Sign for Parking for 8 Cars Only.

Information Board at the Parking Area

Sign at the Blue Trail Trailhead

Nature Center Building

Trail Going into the Woods after the Nature Center

View oft the Hudson River on the Rocks above the River

View Facing West Point Across the Hudson River

Descending Towards the Constitution Marsh Boardwalk

Constitution Marsh Boardwalk

Walking Along the Boardwalk

One of the Several Plaques Along the Boardwalk

Fresh Bamboo Grass Sprouting

Facing East

Boardwalk with the Breakneck Ridge and Storm King in the Distance

Water in the Marsh

Mt. Taurus (Bull Hill)

Me in the Constitution Marsh

Split Rock at the End of the Yellow Trail

High Bridge for Route 9D

Indian Brook Falls

Indian Brook Falls, 

Indian Brook Falls, at the end of the Trailhead

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Kakiat Upper Summit Late Spring Hike

Kakiat County Park and Harriman State Park
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trail:
Mountain Trail: Orange blaze
Kakiat Trail: White blaze
Old Mill Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 1:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.3 Miles

Pros: Good climb with nice view
Cons: None

I had not had a chance to go hiking over thr weekend, so I left work early on this weekday evening for a short hike up Kakiat, to the upper summit. It was still too early for the sunset, but it was already full shade and cooler on this warm day.

I parked at the main Kakiat parking area, and took the Mountain Trail up the steep ascent to the summit view. After the view, I continued along the Mountain Trail past the power line, to the Kakiat Trail. I climbed down the mountain on the Kakiat Trail, passed the gas line at the bottom, and then took the spur to the Old Mill Trail for a short distance to the end of the trail, and then back to my car.

Map of the Route

Mountain Trail Marker with Freshly Sprouted Brush

Ascending Towards the View

View Facing East

View Facing Northeast, Towards Cobus Mountain

View Facing South Towards Suffern High School, and Manhattan Skyline

View Facing Southeast

View Facing Northeast

Selfie at the Summit

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Hudson Highlands Nature Center, and Black Rock Forest

Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Pond Trail: Blue blaze
Field Trail: Red blaze
Highlands Trail: Yellow blaze
McKeon Loop Trail: White blaze
Woodland Trail: Orange blaze
Stowell Loop Trail: Teal blaze

Total Time: 2:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.9 Miles

Pros: Lots of trails in area
Cons: Views aren't great and some of trails snake too much

The Hudson Highlands Nature Center is located near Storm King State Park and Black Rock Forest. It contains many trails, a childrens nature discovery area, and signs along the lakes. It has a newly blazed trail that climbs up the mountain and affords views, and another new trail connecting to Black Rock Forest.

The weather was damp, but it was not actively raining until the end of the hike. I nearly did all the trails in the area, except for a small part of the Teal Trail that I was unable to complete due to the rain combined with time constraints.

I parked in the parking area off Muser Road, which is right near Route 9W. I took the Pond Trail to the lookout over Goose Pond, and then along the other part of the pond trail. I then took the combined Stowell Loop and Field trail to Muskrat Pond, then continued on the Highlands Trail as it climbed uphill, to the McKesson Loop Trail. I took the McKesson Loop to its terminus where I first went on the trail, and passed several views along rh way. The views are somewhat obscured by large trees. I continued along the Highlands Trail back down, to the Woodland Trail in its entirety back to the Highlands Trail, and then took the Stowell Loop Trail back, along the stone wall and back to the Muskrat Pond. I then took the other let of the Field Trail back down towards Goose Pond, and then back to the visitors center parking area.

Map of the Route

Map of the Trails Show to be my a Nature Center Employee

Goose Pond

Overlook from the Pond Trail

Muskrat Pond

Information Plaque at the Property Line of Black Rock Forest

Overlook Facing Northwest

Above View, Zoomed Out

View Facing North

View Facing West Looking at Schunnemunk Mountain

View Facing North

Red Eft Salamander - There were Hundreds of These

View Facing Northeast, Towards the Hudson River

View of Hudson River

View of the Mountain I Climbed from the Views Above, near the Trailhead

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Appalachian Trail at Pochuck Boardwalk

Sussex Co.,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
Appalachian Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 1:45 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.7 Miles

Pros: Unique scenery in interesting environment
Cons: Can be busy with many people

This an interesting hike quite different from the others I typically do. Instead of hiking through forests and vistas, this one is through a swamp on a wooden boardwalk. Its fairly easy and has lots of birds, and views of the mountains in the distance.

I first noticed this section while hiking the Pinwheel Vista/Stairway to Heaven on the Appalachian Trail at Wawayanda State Park several years earlier. I noticed the wooden planks of the trail below from the summit and thought they would be interesting. Later on I did some reasearch and learned this is indeed a popular trail area, where the Appalachain Trail is forced to cross a wetlands valley between Wawayanda and Pochuck Mountains.

I parked on the side of the road on County Route 517, after Meadowlands Drive, where the boardwalk starts on its western side. I crossed the wooden suspension bridge at Pochuck Creek, and continued until the trail went into woods on slightly higher elevation. I continued past Canal Road, and on off off the smaller wooden plank boardwalks. I continued past the railroad, across the field, and then hit Route 94. I went a bit in to the Pinewheel Vista trailhead, and then turned around and went back the same way I came.

Map of the Route

Information Kiosk at the Boardwalk Trailhead

Looking East Towards the Swamp

The Beginning of the Boardwalk

Wooded Area at the Beginning of the Hike

AT Near the Beginning

Boardwalk Winding Through the Swamp

Cattails and Foxtails in the Swamp

Me on the Pochuck Boardwalk

Red Windged Blackbird in the Swamp

Boardwalk Section after the Bend

New Construction in Progress on the Boardwalk

The Wooden Suspension Bridge Crossing Pochuk Bridge

Atop the Wooden Suspension Bridge

Wooden Suspension Bridge from the Other Side of the Brook

Single Lane Boardwalk after the main Boardwalk Area

Continuation of the Wooden Planks

Railroad Crossing along the Appalachian Trail

Looking down the Railroad Track from the Trail Crossing

Wooden Planks Near the Cow Meadows

Wawayanda Mountain in the Background

Wooden Planks Boardwalk

Me on the Wooden Planks

Kiosk on the Appalachian Trail prior to the Wawayanda Mountain Climb