Sunday, October 28, 2018

Fingerboard Mountain-Lake Tiorati Loop

Harriman State Park,
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Arden-Surebridge Trail: Red blaze
Red Cross/Arden Surebridge Trail former Route: Red blaze
Ramapo Dunderberg Trail: Red blaze:
Hurst Trail: Blue blaze
Thendara Bottle Cap Trail: Bottle cap blazes
Red Cross Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 3:20 hour
Estimated Distance: 5.7 Miles

Pros: Very scenic area of park, mostly quiet
Cons: None

This hike was in late October, at the peak of the fall foliage. It has just rained a lot the day before the hike, and it was still very wet and overcast on this hike. I parked at the parking area at Lake Skanatati, on Seven Lakes Drive. I took the former route of the Arden-Surebridge Trail up Pine Swamp Mountain, to the nice view, and then took the former Red Cross Trail route to the Arden-Surebridge Trail. I continued along the Arden-Surebridge Trail towards the Pine Swamp Mine, passed along some of the mine workings, and then continued along the trail past the intersection of the Dunning Trail.

At the intersection of the Arden-Surebridge and Dunning Trail there is a nice seasonal waterfall, which was in full force because of all the recent rains. I continued to Times Square, a rock at the intersection of several trail. It was ironically quite busy with many people at Times Square. At Time Square I took the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail north up Fingerboard Mountain, passed the Bottle Cap Trail, and towards the Hurst Trail. I took the Hurst Trail for a short distance to the Fingerboard Mountain Shelter, and then accidentally took the Service Road down to Seven Lakes Drive instead of the Hurst Trail which is parallel to it, which was my original plan. I walked along Seven Lakes Drive Southward to road to Camp Thendara. I took the road down the valley and up the hill.

I was looking for the trail connecting Camp Thendara to the Red Cross Trail, and I found it. It has a plaque labelled the "Bottle Cap Trail" at the entrance of the trail. I found this interesting as there is a much more well-known "Bottle Cap" trail very close by. This Bottle Cap Trail is much shorter and hardly known. I took the Bottle Cap Trail to its terminus at the Red Cross Trail, and then took the Red Cross Trail south to the view overlooking Hogencamp Mountain. I continued down the mountain to Lake Askoti, and right after the rock jutting into the lake I had a bad fall on slippery rock. I had really injured myself and caused a bad sprain, and it took several minutes for me to be able to get up and hobble the short distance to the road. I took the road back down towards the car at the trailhead.

Map of the Route

Lake Skanatati

Lake Skanatati at the Beginning of the Hike

Steps at the Beginning of the Arden-Surebridge Trail

View from Pine Swamp Mountain, Facing
Towards Lake Skanatati and Kanawauke

Same View, Different Angle

Same View, Facing Further West

Old Blaze on the Former Red Cross Trail Route

Waterfall at the Pine Swamp Mine

Portrait Orientation of the Falls

And one more View of the Falls

Wet Route along the Arden-Surebrigde Trail

A Very Busy Times Square!

Me at Times Square

Wetness At the Times Square Area

Wet Leaves along the Rock Face

Large Rock on the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail

On the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail

Difficult Formation Along the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail

Route along the Bare Rocks on the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail

More Rocks on the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail

Lowbush Blueberries in Red Foliage Colors

Beautiful Colors along Fingerboard Mountain

More Blueberries on Fingerboard Mountain

The Group of Hikers I met at Times Square

Fingerboard Mountain Foliage

Bright Red Maple along Fingerboard Mountain

Trail Signs at the Intersection of the Appalachian & Hurst Trails

Fingerboard Mountain Shelter

Lake Tiorati and Fall Foliage

More Views of Lake Tiorati

Another View of Lake Tiorati, Facing North

Lake Tiorati, Facing South

The "Other" Bottle Cap Trail

View on the Arden-Surebridge Trail, Descending Towards Lake Askoti

View Towards Hogencamp Mountain, with the Sun Peeking Out

Descending Towards Lake Askoti

Beautiful Fall Colors

More Blueberry Foliage

Lake Askoti

Another View of Lake Askoti

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Surebridge Mountain Loop

Harriman State Park,
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Crooked Road: Unblazed
Arden-Surebridge Trail: Red blaze
White Bar Trail: White blaze
Dunning Trail: Yellow blaze
Surebridge Mountain Trail: Unblazed
Lichen Trail: Blue blaze
Long Path: Green blaze
Appalachian Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 2:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.2 Miles

Pros: Great views, scrambles, and interesting rock formations
Cons: None

I had hiked nearby this area the previous week, and had wanted to go back to the higher terrain of Harriman between Kanawauke Road and Arden Valley Road that is highly exposed with large, barren rock faces. This area is exceptionally scenic, especially during the fall with the bright foliage.

I parked on Arden Valley Road at Crooked Road, and took the Crooked Road path past the Appalachian Trail and to the Arden-Surebridge Trail. I then took the Arden-Surebridge Trail for a short distance, and then cut across to the White Bar Trail, which I took south until the Dunning Trail.

I took the Dunning Trail west, as it climbed up Surebridge Mountain. I then cut across on a bushwack on a somewhat used route to the rocky exposed area where there is an outstanding view facing west. Most of the area of Surebridge Mountain from this point is formed of large, exposed bedrock and short shrubs, with continuos views to the west. I noticed an informal path at this point going North near the escarpment of Surebridge Mountain. The path has red strings tied to strings and cairns (rock piles) along the route. I took this newly discovered trail north until right before it ends, where I bushwacked over to the Lichen Trail.

I took the Lichen Trail to north to the big rock exposure on that trail, and the view overlooking Island Pond. I continued along this short trail to it terminus at the combined Arden-Surebridge Trail and the Long Path, going west towards Island Pond. I continued along the Arden-Surebridge Trail where it split with the Long Path, and then went passed the Lemon Squeezer, where I met up with the Appalachian Trail. I took the Appalachian Trail for a short distance back to Crooked Road, which I took back to my car.

Map of the Route

Crossing a Saturated Brook on the Arden-Surebridge Trail

Surebridge Mountain Summit

Rocky Area along the Surebridge Mountain Summit

View from Surebridge Mountain Facing Southwest

View from Surebridge Mountain Facing Northwest

Same View, Zoomed in to Island Pond

View Facing West

Large Pine Tree on Surebridge Mountain

Cairns along the Unofficial Surebridge Trail

Large Rock on Surebridge Mountain

More Rocks on Surebridge Trail

Fall Foliage Colors along the Rocks

Me at the Ramapo-Dunderberg and Lichen Trail Intersection

Me at the Same Location Above

Lichen Trail

Island Pond from the Lichen Trail

Zoomed into Island Pond

Large Rock Approaching the View on the Lichen Trail

Lichen Trail Rock

Lemon Squeezer Entrance that I Passed