Sunday, March 17, 2019

Appalachian Trail at Fitzgerald Falls and Sterling Mountain

Appalachian National Scenic Trail Area and Sterling Forest State Park
Orange Co.
New York

Hiking Trails:
Appalachian Trail: White blaze
Allis Trail: Blue blaze
Doris Duke Trail: Yellow blaze
Appalachian Bypass Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 2:10 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.8 Miles

Pros: Nice waterfall, good climb, good views
Cons: None

Fitzgerald Falls is one of the more impressive waterfalls in the Highlands area. It is better after the rainy season when there is more flow on the cascade. It had been a particularly wet winter, so there was an impressive water flow over the waterfalls.

I parked at Lakes Road pullout at the side of the road at the Appalachian Trail. I took the Appalachian Trail east for about 5 minutes until Fitzgerald Falls. The trail crosses the stream at the outlet of the falls on rocks, and being below freezing, the rocks were icy from the frozen mist and flowing water over the rocks. This caused me to slip in the water, getting all wet and ripping my pants.

I dried out pretty quickly and took the Appalachian Trail up the hill to the Allis Trail. At the Allis Trail there is a nice view facing west, and where the Allis Trail reaches the Doris Duke Trail there is another good view facing east. Took the Allis Trail to the second view, and then bushwacked the short distance back to the Appalachian Trail. I took the Appalachian Trail back the other way and back to my car.

Map of the Route

Fitzgerald Falls with a Strong Flow

Fitzgerald Falls, Zoomed Out

Landscape View of Fitzgerald Falls

Small Cascade Above Fitzgerald Falls

View from Above Fitzgerald Falls

The Last Remaining Pockets of Snow on the North-Facing Slopes

Junction of the Appalachian Trail and Allis Trail

View on the Allis Trail
Another View of the View at the Allis Trail

Same View, Zoomed In

Selfie at the Above View

Junction of the Allis/Doris Duke, and Combined Highlands Trail

Cairn and Marker at the Junction of the Allis/Doris Duke,
and Combined Highlands Trail

 View at the Junction of the Allis/Doris Duke,
and Combined Highlands Trail

Another Angle of the Above View

Frozen Pond on the Appalachian Trail

Bridge Crossing the Trout Brook at the End of the Hike

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