Sunday, April 26, 2020

Sterling Forest Townsend Long Meadow Extension Loop

Sterling Forest State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Townsend Trail: Orange with Green Stripe
Long Meadow Extension Trail: Green with White Stripe

Total Time: 1:55 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.7 Miles

Pros: Very quiet area, good views
Cons: Return Trail lacks excitement

As Coronavirus continues I am hiking in isolation by myself, in remote areas. This is not a popular hiking area, and it was also raining in the morning and in the afternoon, so people were not out hiking. I had a unique window of opportunity to hike between the morning and afternoon rains, but it was gray and damp.

Nevertheless, this is a very good hike and highly recommended. It's got two great views and is very quiet and peaceful. I parked at the parking area off Clinton Road directly off Route 17A, and took the Townsend Trail up the mountain to the view. I then continued along the trail to the next view, and then descended the mountain on the trail, passing a small but very scenic pond along the way. I took the trail to the end, at the parking area on Orange Turnpike, and walked on the road for a short distance past the Southfields furnace, and to the Long Meadow Extension Trail. This trail is a double-width path, and is mostly unremarkable. It also functions as a bike path, and can be walked on relatively quickly. It was very wet and muddy from all the rain. I took this trail to the end and and then back to my car.

Map of the Route

Confluence of the Townsend and Long Meadow Extension Trails

Approaching the View on a Large Rock Face

Rock Cairn Approaching the View

View from the Townsend Trail, Facing East

View of Route 17A from the View

Indian Kill Reservoir from the Summit View

At the View Facing North

Large Bedrock Face Approaching the Next View 

View Facing East

The Same View, Zoomed In

View Facing South

Small Pond Descending the Mountain on the Townsend Trail

Water Cascading Down the Dam of the Small Pond

Southfields Furnace at the End of the Townsend Trail

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Appalachian Trail to Chimney Top - Fahnestock Park

Appalachian National Scenic Area,
Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park
Putnam Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Appalachian Trail: White blaze
Catfish Loop Trail: Yellow blaze
Moneyhole Mountain Trail: Yellow blaze
Chimney Top Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 2:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.5 Miles

Pros: Mostly quiet area with an excellent view
Cons: None

Continuing on my further exploration in Clarence Fahnestock State Park, as well as my farther northern reaches of the Appalachian Trail, I was once again looking for quiet areas during the Coronavirus outbreak. I had been in the area two weeks earlier in an area further east, but had the same vantage point view at Chimney Top.

When I was at Chimney Top two weeks prior, it was very quiet, but was also cloudy with lousy weather. However, this day featured bright sunny skies with temperature with the upper 50's. So this made the area busier at the top than previously. It was still ok and safe, and I was able to keep my distance, but needed to put my face covering near the view because there were several other people there.

I parked on South Highland Road, at the AT trail, where there is roadside parking at the trail. I took the Appalachian Trail to the Catfish Loop Trail, which I took for a short distance to the Moneyhole Mountain Trail. I then took the Moneyhole Mountain Trail for another short distance to the Chimney Top Trail, up to the top of the mountain where the trail ends at the Chimney. I then went down the unmarked trail to the east and cut through the Appalachian Trail, which I took back to my car.

Map of the Route

Small Waterfall along the Appalachian Trail

Junction of the Appalachian Trail and Catfish Loop Trail

Junction of the Catfish Loop Trail and Moneyhole Mountain Trail

View Facing South from Chimney Top

Blooming Tree at the Summit View

View Facing Northwest from Chimney Top

View of the Notch Between Storm King and Bull Hill/Breakneck

View at Chimney Top Facing North

Me at the Summit View with My Face Mask Bandana

The Furnace at Chimney Top

Me at the Chimney at Chimney Top

View a Bit to the North of the Main Chimney Top View

View Facing North

Another View Facing North with Deep Green Pines

Appalachian Trail at South Highland Road Road at of the Hike

Monday, April 13, 2020

Pine Swamp Mountain Sunset

Harriman State Park,
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Arden-Surebridge Trail: Red blaze
Long Path: Green path

Total Time: 0:45 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.0 Miles

Pros: Good climb and beautiful sunset
Cons: None

Hiking Partner:
Joseph Friedman
Elisha Friedman

It had been raining hard all day. At the end of the day, about 2 hours before sunset, the rain cleared and the sun came out with warm weather. We decided to do a short sunset hike nearby. We parked at the Lake Skanatati parking area, and took the Arden-Surebridge Trail up for a short part until bushwhacking on the old trail that previously went to to the view of the Pine Swamp Mountain. We took this path up to the top of the view for the sunset, and were privaleged to see a very aesthetic rainbow. We then bushwhacked down the mountain along a route I have travelled many times, to the Long Path. We took the Long Path back to the parking area alongside the lake, and took a short detour after the parking area to the inlet stream, which was flowing strongly with a nice waterfall under the bridge.

Map of the Route

Lake Skanatati from the Parking Area

Signage at the Trailhead

View from Pine Swamp Mountain at Sunset

Lake Skanatati and and Kanawauke from the View

Me at the PIne Swamp Mountain View

Rainbow as Viewed from the Lake Skanatati View

Sunset Over Lake Skanatati

Rainbow Arch Descening the Mountain, Obscured by Trees

Sunset over Lake Skanatati

Lake Skanatati from the North Shore

Waterfall at the Inlet of Lake Skanatati

Me in Lake Skanatati

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Black Rock Mountain Early Spring Hike

Harriman State Park,
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 1:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.6 Miles

Pros: Good climb and excellent views
Cons: None

Hiking Partner:
Joseph Friedman

The weather had been good, with a bright sunny sky and temperatures in the upper 50's. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, I picked this trail for a more quiet location, arriving early to this trail which has a great view and was still relatively quiet being that the road had just opened after being closed all winter.

We parked on the roadside trailhead parking on Kanawauke Road, and took the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail north, climbed to the view at Black Rock Mountain, and then headed north a bit more to Black Rock and enjoyed the view there. We then turned back around and at the intersection of the Dunning Trail, and bushwacked down the rock faces along the ridge, parallel to the Ramapo Dunderberg Trail. We reached the road at the parking area at the end of the bushwhack.

Map of the Route

Beginning of the Hike with Covid Message About Shelter Closure

Vire Along a Large, Sharp-Edged Rock

View Facing South to Tom Jones Mountain

View at the Black Rock Summit

Me atop Black Rock Mountain

Another View of Black Rock Mountain

Nurian Trail Marker at the Top of the Mountain

View of Lake Stahahe in the Distance

View from Black Rock Facing North

Another View at Black Rock

Me Atop Black Rock

Small Bench Under the Black Rock Mountain Summit View

View Descening Black Rock Mountain along the Bushwhack

View Approaching Tom Jones Mountain from the Bushwhack

Black Rat Snake Coming Out of its Winter Den