Sunday, November 25, 2018

Ramapo Torne Powerlines to Ramapo Torne

Harriman State Park,
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
White Trail: White blaze
Orange Trail: Orange blaze
Hillburn Torne Sebago Trail: Orange blaze
7 Hills Trail: Blue blaze
Reeves Brook Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 2:40 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.9 Miles

Pros: Good climbing with excellent views
Cons: Powerlines mar the tranquility

Hiking Partners:
Shimmy Rosenberg
Yehudah Koblick

In 2013, an area in Harriman State Park near Torne Valley Road had opened up to rock climbing. This was due to positive efforts by the Torne Valley Climbers' Coalition to get the state to allow climbing in this rugged area of Harriman with steep cliffs and rock walls. This area, known as the "Powerlinez" is now a popular area  for small-scale rock climbing that is very close by.

I had never been hear before, and only heard about the area, and decided to check it out. It was very quiet when were there, with no one in sight in the area. None of the rock climbing trails and routes are in the Trail Conference maps. I made due leading the way on the trail blazes, as well as using GPS.

We did this as a two car hike. We parked one car at Tone Valley Road, and the other at the Reeves Meadow area off 7 Lakes Drive. We started at the Torne Valley area, taking the White Trail white has its terminus here. We continued along trail to where it goes under the power lines, and we observed the many rock walls for climbing. We took the White Trail to the Orange Trail, which abruptly ends supposedly at the end of the area where climbing is allow. At this point we bushwacked from this area to the Hillburn Torne Sebago (HTS) Trail. After meeting up with he HTS Trail, we climbed to the top of Ramapo Torne, where there is an exceptional view. We continued along the HTS Trail, to its intersection with the 7 Hills Trail, which we took down the mountain. We continued along the 7 Hills Trail to the unmarked connector trail to the Reeves Brook Trail, which we took to the trailhead where the second car was parked.

Map of the Route

Beginning of the Rock Climbing Trail 
Signs and Warnings at the Entrance

Yehudah and Shimmy Going up the Powerlinez Trail

Large Rock Wall at the Powerlinez

Ascending the Powerlinez Area

Large Rock Wall

View from the Top of the Powerlinez Area

Rock Tunnel Formation Right before the HTS Trail

Ascending Ramapo Torne on the HTS Trail

Beautiful View Facing West

Yehudah Ascending the Mountain

View Facing Northwest

Shimmy Ascending the Last Leg of the Mountain

Large Rock atop Ramapo Torne

View from Ramapo Torne Facing South, with the Landfill Below

View of the Thruway Facing South from Ramapo Torne

View from Summit Facing West 
Me at the Summit Rock

Me on the Summit Rock, Facing Souh

Manhattan Skyline in the Distance

Upper West Side and George Washington Bridge

Me at the View

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Horse Pond Mountain at Monksville Reservoir

Long Pond Ironworks State Park
Passaic Co,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
Hewitt Butler Trail: Blue blaze
Horse Pond Mountain Trail: White blaze
Highlands Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 2:40 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.5 Miles

Pros: Very scenic and quiet area
Cons: Power lines mar view

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg
Morty Rosenberg

I have been to the Monksville Reservoir area many times, but I never did this very scenic trail before. The route is along the ridge on the western and southern side of the reservoir. We did a two car hike, parking one car at the Hewitt Butler Trail trailhead on Greenwood Lake Turnpike, and another car at Lake Riconda.

It had just snowed on the previous Thursday an unseasonably early November snowstorm, with several inches of snow. The snow was still around in the area on this hike, making conditions for the hike more difficult. It was also very cold for this time of year, requiring us to bundle up more than usual for November.

We started from the first car on Greenwood Lake Turnpike and took the combined Hewitt Butler Trail and Highlands Trail along to the side of the reservoir, and then climbed up the ridge to the Horse Pond Mountain Trail. We passed several scenic ridges here, and then climbed back the last steep climb up Harrison Mountain, at the power lines, and then headed back down to our car at Lake Riconda.

Map of the Route.
(I had to color in the Monksville Reservoir
which is was not on my mapping software)

Plaque at the Parking Area

Shimmy and Morty at the Beginning of the Hike

Long Pond Ironworks Sign at the Trailhead

First Approach of the Monksville Reservoir from the
Hewitt Butler / Highlands Trail

Another View of the Monksville Reservoir

Above the Horse Pond Mountain after the Initial Climb

The First Viewpoint at Horse Pond Mountain

Me at the Above View

Self Timer with Me, Shimmy, and Morty

Monksville Reservoir from the First View

Mordy on the Hiking Trail with his Distinctive Yellow Jacket

Nice View of the Eastern Portion of the Monksville Reservoir

Nice View of the Most of the Monksville Reservoir from the Main View

View of the Northern Portion of the Monksville Reservoir

Me at the Main View at Horse Pond Mountain

Descending from the Top Vioew

View from Harrison Mountain from the Power Lines

View from Harrison Mountain

Another View from Harrison Mountain

From Harrison Mountain, Facing North

Power Lines on Harrison Mountain

Me at Harrison Mountain 
Shimmy and Morty Descending Harrison Mountain

Lake Riconda, Where we Parked our Second Car

Friday, November 16, 2018

Kakiat First Season November Snow

Kakiat County Park,
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Old Mill Trail: Blue blaze
Kakiat Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 22 minutes
Estimated Distance: 0.9 miles

Pros: Very scenic in fresh snow
Cons: None

We had an unusual November snowstorm. The forecast had called for a coating to an inch of snow and ice, but it snowed 10 inches in a rare November Nor'Easter that crippled the roads and messed up everybody's evening commute. The morning after the storm it had warmed up, and the sun came out. I took the opportunity to go on a quick hike at Kakiat County Park to enjoy the season's first snow, prior to heading off to work. I parked in the Kakiat parking lot, and took the short Old Mill Trail in its entirety, to the Kakiat Trail, when I took to the end back to my car.

Map of the Route

Entering Kakiat Park

The Mahwah River 
Mahwah River from the Bridge

Kakiat Field. Note the Freshly Fallen Leaves above the Snow.

Old Mill Trail Still with Greenery

Mahwah River from the Old Mill Trail

Fallen Pines on the Old Mill Trail

The Kakiat Brook

Kakiat Trail