Sunday, May 17, 2020

State Line Trail to Bellvale Mountain Ridge

Abram S. Hewitt State Forest,
Passaic Co., New Jersey /
Appalachian Trail National Scenic Trail Area,
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
State Line Trail: Blue blaze
Appalachian Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 3:45 hour
Estimated Distance: 7.3 Miles

Pros: Very scenic area with good climbs and good views
Cons: Parking is difficult when busy, lots of sun and limited tree cover

This was a beautiful spring day. It was cold in the morning, but quickly warmed up. I had been to the area many years ago, and decided it was a good opportunity to revisit the area especially for my quest to further facilitate my travels along the Appalachian Trail.

I found the parking area for the State Line Trail to be full, so I turned around on Lake Shore Rd, on the side of the road on the New York/New Jersey state line. I took the State Line Trail up the mountain, and at the end of the trail at the Appalachian Trail, and took the Appalachian Trail north to Prospect Rock. Prospect Rock has a sweeping view of Greenwood Lake with a large bedrock exposure. There is also a seasonal flag put up every spring that remains through the fall.

I continued on the Appalachian Trail after Prospect Rock, and then descending along the trail until the next ascent, which is a steep climb with rungs in the rock to be able to climb. There is another excellent view at this point wither another excellent vantage point of Greenwood Lake and beyond. I then continued on the Appalachian Trail north past the cairns and along the ridge, to the next view. I then turned around and took the trail back the same way.

Map of the Route

State Line Trailhead

Small Waterfall at the Beginning of the Hike

Rocky Outcrops and Pine Trees Near the Top of the Ridge

End of the State Line Trail

Appalachian Trail at the End of the State Line Trail

Marker on the Appalachian Trail

More Rock Faces and Stunted Pines Along the Bellvale Ridge

View of Greenwood Lake from Prospect Rock

View Facing North from Prospect Rock

Another View at Prospect Rock

American Flag at Prospect Rock

Bedrock Faces at Prospect Rock

Greenwood Lake Facing East

Flat in the Distance at Prospect Rock

Large Rock Face Along Bellvale Mountain

View Facing North

View Facing Northeast

Greenwood and Manhattan Skyline in the Distance

Climbing Rails Along the Appalachian Trail

View above the Climbing Rails

Greenwood Lake and Fox Island

View Facing South

Another View of Greenwood Lake

Cairn on the Appalachian Trail While Walking along the Ridge

Another Cairn Along the Ridge

Close Up of the Cairn

Rockface and Cairn

View at My Northernmost Travel on this Hike

View Facing North, with Schunnemunk Mountain the Distance

Me at the View above the Trail Rungs


Sunday, May 10, 2020

Fahnestock State Park-Round Hill Northern Portion

Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park
Putnam Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Round Hill Bypass Trail: Green blaze
Fahnestock Trail: Blue blaze
Perkins Trail: Yellow Trail
School Mountain Road Trail: White blaze
Perkins Access Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 2:25 hour
Estimated Distance: 5.6 Miles

Pros: Quiet and scenic area
Cons: No good views

The prior week I had really enjoyed my hike up Round in Clarence Fahnestock State Park. I wanted to hike some of the additional trails in the area including the northern ridge of Round Hill. While this hike was very quiet and tranquil, the scenery was not quite as dramatic with the views lacking when compared to the previous weeks hike.

The hike was very quiet, which was an advantage during the Coronavirus pandemic. I hardly saw any people on this hike, even on a beautiful spring weekend. I parked on the trailhead parking on Route 301 at the Round Hill Bypass Trailhead, and took the Round Hill Bypass Trail up the mountain to the notch in Round Hill. I then the took the Fahnestock Trail north, where at the high points behind shady trees there was still snow from the previous day's snow squall and cold temperature going through the night.

At the intersection with the Perking Trail, I took that trail north for a short distance, and then took an unmarked spur trail shown on the map that took me to the School Mountain Road Trail. I took the School Mountain Road Trail southwest until seeing an old abandoned house. There was a 3-trail intersection here, and I took the Perkins Trail back up the hill, passing a short cascade along the way. I then continued on this trail after adjoining the Fahnestock Trail once again, and at the split of the Fahnestock and Perkins Trail I took the Fahnestock Trail a several hundred feet towards the lake. After meeting the lake I turned around and went back to the Perkins Trail, and then took the Perkins Access Trail back to the Round Hill Bypass Trail and then back to my car.

Map of the Route

View from the Top of the Mountain

Snow Behind a Tree

More Snow Behind a Tree

Fahnestock Trail Along the Ridge

Greenery Sprouting on the Top of the Mountain

More Snow on the Top of the Mountain

Abandoned Home at the Perkins Trail and the School Mountain Road Trail

Close Up of the the Abandoned House in Bad Shape

3 Trail Intersection of the Trails

Marker at the Perkins Trail Terminus

Lake on the Fahnestock Trail

Island in the Lake

View from the Lake Towards Glynwood

View Across the Lake

Me at the Lake

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Fahnestock State Park-Round Hill

Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park
Putnam Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
School Mountain Road Trail: White blaze
Fahnestock Trail: Blue blaze
Round Hill Bypass Trail: Green blaze

Total Time: 2:20 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.8 Miles

Pros: Very scenic area with great views
Cons: None

Continuing my exploration of Fahnestock State Park, I decided to visit Round Hill, which looked impressive from the map. The area was generally quiet, especially for a very nice Sunday with warm weather (the temperature climbed up to 80 degrees by mid-day.)

I parked at the Hubbard Lodge parking area, near the Intersection of Route 9 and Route 301. I took the School Mountain Road Trail, crossing the new bridges, to the Fahnestock Trail at it's beginning, crossing the temporary bridge. I took the trail as it went around the south part of the  mountain and then snaked up to the first view at Round Top.

I continued along the ridge and then climbed to the top of the mountain, which is a rocky area with sweeping views to the east, overlooking Bull Hill and Storm King Mountain. I encountered a baby Common Quail at this point who must have lost it's mother as it was following me along the trail for some time.

I then continued along the trail, descending into a notch and then meeting the Round Hill Bypass Trail. On my maps, the Round Hill Bypass Trail has it's terminus at this point. However, I noticed that it extended further north, and figured that that it would meet with the School Mountain Road Trail and the bottom in the valley, as it was headed in that direction. My thought was correct, and it did meet the School Mountain Road Trail, passing along a very nice waterfall near the extended trail end. I then took the School Mountain Road Trail south, all the way to the trailhead and back to my car.

Map of the Route

Beginning of the Hike at the Trailhead

Round Hill as Seen from the Beginning of the Hike

School Mountain Road Trail with Newly Sprouted Greenery

Another View of Round Hill in the Distance from Beyond the Marsh

Newly Constructed Bridges over the Stream Crossing

Marshy Area and Brook from the New Bridge

Plaque Along the New Bridge, Built be West Point Cadets in 2018

Temporary Bridge Across the Brook

First View Along Round Top

View from Round Top, Facing Storm King Mountain

View of Bull Hill from Round Top

Tent with a Group of Hiking Campers on the Fahnestock Trail

Close-up of a Juvenile Common Quail

The Common Quail that Followed me along part of the Route

Me at the Main View at Round Hill

View Facing North from Round Hill from the View

Sweeping View Facing West from the Top of Round Hill

Zoomed Out at the Above Route

View Facing North from Round Hill

View at Round Hill Facing East, Above the Main Ridge

Waterfall at the Round Hill Bypass Trail

Me at the Above Waterfall

Another Cascade Right Above the Previous One

Intersection of Several Trails at the Terminus of the Round Hill Bypass Trail

New Bridge Across the Brook at the Terminus of the Round Hill Bypass Trail

Workers Actively Building a New Bridge at the School Mountain Road Trail