Sunday, March 29, 2020

McKeags Meadow Loop at Sterling Forest

Sterling Forest State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
McKeags Meadow Connector Trail: Green Stripe on Yellow blaze
McKeags Meadow Trail: Yellow Triangle blaze

Total Time: 1:45 hour
Estimated Distance: 4 Miles

Pros: Scenic lakes, remote trail with no other people
Cons: No views

As the Coronavirus situation deteriorates, I am trying to avoid trails with people. With the rainy weather and remote trail, I lucked out and didn't meet any other hikers except for one lone hiker who just as surprised to see me as me him. The rain had slowed down in the beginning, and I also had proper rain gear to keep me dry.

I parked at Laurel Meadow Ponds parking area (P13 on the map) and accidentally took the McKeags Meadow Connector Trail towards Long Meadow Road. I didn't realize the correct direction of the trail to the west from the parking area, and instead took the connector trail alongside the western side of Laurel Meadow Pond. I noticed my mistake upon reaching Long Meadow Road. I promptly turned around back along the trail, and then took the McKeags Meadow Trail, which is a full loop, starting along the northern part first. I looped around the trail, and then finally back to my car.

Map of the Route

Boat Launch at the northern Laurel Pond

View of the northern Laurel Pond, with Rain in the Pond

Sprouting Greenery Along the McKeags Meadow Loop Trail

Boardwalk Along the McKeags Meadow Connector Trail

Another View of the McKeags Pond, with a Broken Bridge Crossing

Rock Crossing the Stream Along the McKeags Meadow Connector Trail

Another View of the Northern Laurel Pond

View of the Laurel Pond from the Bridge Between
the northern and southern Laurel Ponds

Intersection of the McKeags Meadow and McKeags Meadow Connector Trail

More Sprouting Brush Along the McKeags Meadow Trail

Intersection of the McKeags Meadow Trail and the Red Back Trail

View of the southern Laurel Pond from the Boat Launch

Another view of the southern Laurel Pond from the Boat Launch

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