Sunday, May 26, 2019

Cat Rocks and Eastern Pinnacles Bellvale Mountain

Appalachian National Scenic Trail Area
Orange Co.
New York

Hiking Trails:
Appalachian Trail (AT): White blaze
Appalachian Trail Spur: Blue blaze

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

Pros: Interesting rock formations and excellent views
Cons: None

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

This was a two car hike. We parked the first car on Route 17A, on top of Mount Peter, at the AT trailhead. We then drove to Lakes Road, at the AT trailhead at Fitzgerald Falls. We took the AT west, climbing up the mountain. The scenery was much less dramatic then anticipated, until we finally reach the Cat Rocks. This is a large rock formation protruding out of the surrounding terrain, with jagged edges, deep cracks, and a steep cliffs on both sides.

After the Cat Rocks, the trail went back into the wood until the next rock exposure, a formation know as "Eastern Pinnacles." The trail goes steeply up the rock formation leading to an amazing view. The trail then goes down rock formation, back into the woods, and is unremarkable. Where the AT hits the road near the parking area, we took a slight detour on the spur trail to the Hawk Watch platform, and then back on that trail and back to the parking area.

Map of the Route

Ascending Cat Rocks. Note the Blue-Blazed Spur Trail Marker

Me at Cat Rocks

Cat Rocks Panorama

Cliff Face and Rock Talus on Cat Rocks

Shimmy at Cat Rocks

Descending the Cat Rocks

Eastern Pinnacles

Me at Eastern Pinnacles, Facing North

Me at Eastern Pinnacles, Facing South

Eastern Pinnacles View

Rock Face on Eastern Pinnacles

Eastern Pinnacles Amazing View

Continuing our Ascent up Eastern Pinnacles

Shimmy Atop Eastern Pinnacles

MeAtop Eastern Pinnacles

Hawk Watch Platform on Mt. Peter

View from the Hawk Watch Platform on Mt. Peter

Another View of the Hawk Watch Platform on Mt. Peter

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Appalachian Trail at Buchanan Mountain, Sterling Forest

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

Hiking Trails:
Appalachian Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 2:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.3 Miles

Pros: Good views, scenic and quiet area, good scrambles
Cons: No other trails in the area, no loop possibility

This was the first Sunday in a while without rain, and it was sunny and warm. I am trying to complete all sections of the Appalachian Trail in my region, and this was helping me complete this segment in the Sterling Forest area.

I parked on East Mombasha Road, near Little Dam Lake, and took the Appalachian Trail up the mountain, where there is somewhat of a view on the top, and then the trail descends very steeply on a rocky scramble before climbing again to the next view. This hike is a constant up and down and contains several scrambles. The next view is a much better view. After the view, I continued down the mountain, parallel to a steep rocky cliff wall. I continued along the trail to Lakes Road, and crossed the road, where the trail goes over a boardwalk. I then turned around and went back the same way that I came.

Map of the Route

National Park Service Boundary and AT Marker at the Beginning of the Hike

View after the First Climb

Steep Descent after the First Vista

AT Steep Rocky Scramble Descent

Approaching the Main View on Buchanan Mountain

Buchanan Mountain View, Facing South

View of Tuxedo Ridge Ski Area to the South

Me at the Buchanan Mountain View

View Facing Southeast

Leaving the View at Buchanan Mountain

"Pink Ladies Slipper" on the Top of the Mountain
(Thanks Mordy Neuman for the identification.)

Boardwalk at the End of the Hike where I Turned Around

Trail Scrambling Through the Rocky Area

At the Top View Near the End of the Hike after the Scramble Up

Nice Purple Flowers on the Trail

Me at the Trailhead

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Nordkop Mountain Sunset Hike

Harriman State Park,
Rockland Co.
New York

Hiking Trails:
Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 0:45 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.2 Miles

Pros: Good short hike with a good climb and good views
Cons: Lots of trash, noise from highway

After many days of rain, this was a beautiful day, and I took the opportunity to do a quick hike on my way home from work. I parked in downtown Suffern on Lafayette Ave, right near Route 202, and took Route 59 north underneath the wide overpass to the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail trailhead. I climbed up the steep route to the first view, and then continued to the second view. I then turned around and went down, though kept the route on the rocky area directly south of the trail, back down to the road and back to the car.

Map of the Route

New Sign at the Trailhead on Route 59 in Suffern

Trailhead Marker for the S-BM Trail on Route 59

Ascending Nordkop Mountain, with the Moon in View

From the First Viewpoint, Looking at Route 287 and the Sheraton Crossroads

Selfie at the First Viewpoint

View from the Upper View, Facing South

Looking South Towards Suffern

From the Upper Viewpoint Facing South

View of Downtown Suffern

Good Sam Hospital, Facing East, and the Moon

Sunset over the Horizon, Facing Northwest

Selfie at the Sunset View

On the Large Rock Face on Descent at the Thruway Overpass