Thursday, February 21, 2019

Kakiat Ice Storm

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: Scenic with glazed layer of ice
Cons: None

The previous night there was a snowstorm that ended with freezing rain, leaving a glistening coating of ice on all the trees. As the clouds cleared and the sun came out in the morning, a beautiful scene unfolded. I took the opportunity for a short hike in Kakiat prior to going to work and enjoy the scenery. I parked in the parking area, crossed the bridge over the Mahwah River, and then took the Old Mill Trail loop around back to the Kakiat Trail, and then back to my car.

Map of the Route

Mahwah River by the Bridge

Icy Coating on the Old Mill Trail

Ice Coating on the Brush

More Ice Coating on the Brush

Old Mill Trail Ice Canopy

Continuing Along the Old Mill Trail

Old Mill Trail through the Pine Grove

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Silvermine Lake and Ski Icy Loop

Orange Co.
New York

Hiking Trail:
Menomine Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 1:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.7 Miles

Pros: Pretty lake and nice climb
Cons: Very icy conditions

I had just returned from a trip to Arizona, so this was quite a change in scenery from the warm weather and desert cactus. It had recently snowed, but the storm ended in ice, leaving a thick and slippery coating of ice covering everything. This made hiking conditions extremely difficult, and I had a very hard time navigating the trails. I had left without crampons as it was much less icy further south where I live, and was not expecting such slippery and difficult conditions.

I parked in the Silvermine parking area, and took the Menomine Trail on the side of the lake. The lake was fully frozen, but there were cracks and you could actually hear the lake making cracking noises underneath the ice. The weather was quite nice and warm for February, and was above freezing with a bright blue sky.

I took the Menomine Trail past the end of the lake, and then cut across the side of the mountain towards the top of the Silvermine  ski area. The Silvermine Lake area used to have a ski area with a chairlift and 2 trails down the slope. This has long since been abandoned, yet the slops are still there and can still be hiked up and down and used for sledding.

The climb up to the top of the ski slope from behind the lake where I was was less difficult because that side of the mountain was facing the sun, and did not really have snow or ice. However, once I got to the top, going down was an entirely different story. It was a solid sheet of ice and there was no easy way to navigate down, other than digging in sideways into the ice and snow as I descending. Some parts were too slippery and steeps and I was forced to descend on my rear end. I finally made it down to the bottom, which ended my hike and as I headed over to my car in the parking lot.

Map of the Route

Sparse Ice Cover on the Grassy Area of the Silvermine Ski Slope

Trailhead at the Menomine Trail by Silvermine Lake

Frozen Silvermine Lake

Fallen Tree in the Frozen Water of Silvermine Lake

Silvermine  Lake, Facing the Outlet

Icy Shore of Silvermine Lake

Fallen Trees on the Menomine Trail

Summit of Silvermine

On the Summit of Silvermine, Facing Popolopen Torne

View from the Top of the Ski Slope Area

More Expansive View from the Summit

Facing Downwards from the Ski Slope

A Couple at Silvermine Lake

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Finger Rock Trail

Pusch Ridge Wilderness,
Santa Catalina Mountains,
Pima Co., Arizona

Hiking Trails:
Finger Rock Trail

Total Time: 1:55 hours
Estimated Distance: 3.3 miles

Pros: Scenic Canyon and great views
Cons: Houses at trailhead take away from the natural feel

While out in the Tucson area in Arizona, I had decided to visit the area that I was in on the previous day and hike another trail in that area. I did another beautiful hike starting off in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson, and took the Finger Rock Trail northward through the steep canyon, flowing stream, and up the side of the ridge. Finger Rock is a prominent geological feature that looks like a finger sticking up, rising up from the steep floor of the canyon. I hike on the trail a little over a mile and a half, near the Finger Rock, and then turned around and headed back the same route.

Map of the Route

At the Beginning of the Hike, Entering Finger Rock Canyon

Laerge Saguaro before Finger Rock

Flowing Brook in Finger Rock Canyon

Rock Formations and Saguaro

Trail in the Canyon

Beautiful Cactus Grove in the Desert Canyon

Me with the Canctus

Dense Lush Greenery

Finger Rock in the Distance

Looking Back Through the Entrance of the Canyon

Looking into the Distance into Tucson

Me at the Above View

Cactus and Finger Rock

Finger Rock from Above the Canyon Wall

High Up in the Canyon

Beautiful Yellow Wildflowers.

Finger Rock 

Me in front of Finger Rock

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Pontatoc Ridge Trail

Pusch Ridge Wilderness,
Santa Catalina Mountains,
Pima Co., Arizona

Hiking Trails:
Pontatoc Canyon Trail
Pontatoc Ridge Trail

Total Time: 1:45 hours
Estimated Distance: 2.4 miles

Pros: Scenic Hike with Excellent Views
Cons: Houses at trailhead take away from the natural feel

Hiking Partners:
Yehudah Koblick

On our trip to Arizona, we found some time at the end of the day for this beautiful hike. The Santa Catalina Mountains are north of Tucson and the foothills are at the end of the urban area of Tucson. These mountains are very scenic, and full of large saguaro cactus.

We parked at the trailhead at the end on Alvernon Way, and took the Pontatoc Canyon Trail passed where it crosses the flowing desert stream. We then took the Pontatoc Ridge Trail up from the canyon to the view facing over Tucson. We then turned around and headed back along the same route.

Map of the Route

Plaque at Hiking Trailhead

Single Point Saguaro Cactus

Looking Down at the Road from the Beginning of the Hike

Large Saguaro Cactus with the Mountains in the Background

Sonoran Desert Flora

Me on the Trailhead

Posing with some Cactus

Yehudah Posing with some Cactus

Passing the Flowing Brook

Yehudah at the Brook

Hummingbird Atop a Ocotillo 

Finger Rock in the Distance

Ascending Pontatoc Ridge

Santa Catalina Mountains

Looking Down Towards Tucson with the Sun Going Down

At the Pontatoc Ridge First View

Looking Towards Finger Rock at the Pontatoc Ridge

Me on the Pontatoc Ridge

Yehudah on the Pontatoc Ridge

Me Overlooking the Ridge

Me Above the Tucson Overlook

The Curve at Pontatoc Ridge

Yehudah with a Large Cactus

Strange Looking Saguaro Cactus

Cactus and Sunset

Dusk at Pontatoc Ridge

An Arizona Sunset Scene

Me on the Trail