Monday, June 29, 2020

Yaupon Nature Trail and Oak Trail

Myrtle Beach State Park
Myrtle Beach,
Horry Co.,
South Carolina

Hiking Trails:
Yaupon Nature Trail
Sculptured Oak Trail

Total Time: 0:45 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.8 Miles

Pros: Nice nature trail near the ocean
Cons: Parking fee, heat and mosquitos in summer

Google Maps of Parking:

I was visiting South Carolina, and was in the Myrtle Beach area. While on my trip I stopped by Myrtle Beach State Park which has a few hiking trails right near the coast. I parked near the southern end of the park, and took the Yaupon Trail through the dense forest, to the little pond, which I then took the Sculptured Oak Trail. I took this trail to the park road and looked around the nature center area (though the nature center was closed.)

I then went back past the campground and took the Sculptured Oak Trail along the boardwalk over the swamp and back to the parking area. I walked for a short distance on the road back to my car.

Map of the Route

Yaupon Nature Trailhead Marker

Wide Portion of the Yaupon Nature Trail

Wooden Bridge Across a Stream

Me on the Trail

Wild Dwarf Palmettos 

Plaque Explaining the Dwarf Palmettos

Boardwalk Over the Pond

Green, Moss-Coated Pond

Plaque in Front of a Wax Myrtle.
This is what Myrtle Beach is Named For!

Trail Bridge

Yaupon and Sculptured Oak Trail Intersection

Boardwalk Across a Swamp

View from the Swamp along the Sculptured Oak Trail

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Nordkop Mountain Evening Hike

Harriman State Park,
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 0:35 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.1 Miles

Pros: Short and sweet climb with good view
Cons: Parking and walk in urban area, lots of garbage at the beginning

Google Maps of Parking:,-74.1575092,16z

I took the opportunity after work, on my way home, to do a quick hike along the way. I pass Nordkop Mountain every day on the way to work, and with the good weather I went up this mountain for a quick hike. I parked on Route 202 next to the Sheldon Apartment building in downtown Suffern, and walked up Route 202 to Route 59, crossed under the large overpass for the Thruway/Route 287 Junction, and then took the Suffern-Bear Mountain trail up the mountain to the first view. I then turned around and went along the same route back.

Map of the Route, Through Suffern and up the Mountain

Beginning of the Trail on Route 59

Plaque at the Beginning of the Hike

View of Suffern and Mahwah from the View

Thruway / I 287 Interchange and Hooge Kop Mountain from the View 

Another Perspective from the View

Me at the First Nordkop Mountain View

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Cave Shelter Stockbridge Mnt Harriman

Harriman State Park,
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Menomine Trail: Yellow blaze
Long Path: Green blaze

Total Time: 2:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.2 Miles

Pros: Good climb, quiet area, and interesting rock formations
Cons: Poor view on the top, parking fee on weekends
Hike Type: Lollipop

Google Maps of Parking:

Hiking Partner:
Rayzi Friedman

This was a very hot Sunday, so I made sure to pick a shady area that is well-forested with good cover. We parked in the Sterlingmine Lake parking area, at the southern parking area at the end of the picnic area. We took the Menomine trail through the Lewis Cemetery, crossed Seven Lakes Drive, and walked along the northern edge of Lake Nawahunta.

We took the Menomine Trail up Stockbridge Mountain, and then took the unmarked trail that continues up the mountain to the Cave Shelter. The Cave Shelter is a rock formation with interesting rock formations, cave-like crevices, and rock overhangs. At the Cave Shelter we explored some passages and routes, and then went south on the Long Path to the Stockbridge Shelter. This area is high up, but there aren't really good views in the area. We then started our descent, took the Menomine Trail back to where we left it earlier, and then returned on the same route home.

Map of the Route

New Informational Plaque at the Lewis Cemetery

Lewis Cemetery at the Menomine Trail

Lake Nawahunta

Large Dragonfly Caught in a Spider Web

Another View of Lake Nawahunta

Lake Nawahunta, Zoomed Out

Approaching the Cave Shelter Rock Formation

Cave at the Cave Shelter

Me at the Cave Entrance

Looking Out from Inside the Cave

Interesting Rock Formations at the Cave Shelters

Deep Cave at the Cave Shelter

View from the top of Stockbridge Mountain

Rock on Top of Stockbridge Mountain Approaching the Shelter

Stockbridge Mountain Shelter

Rock at Stockbridge Shelter, Facing South

View Facing South from Stockbridge Shelter

End of the Menomine Trail in a Fern Forest

Large Blooming Mountain Laurel at Lake Nawahunta on the Return Route

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Claudius Smith Den and Elbow Brush

Harriman State Park,
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Ramapo Dunderberg Trail: Red blaze
Tuxedo-Mt. Ivy Trail: Red blaze
Blue Disc Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 2:45 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.4 Miles

Pros: Great views and rock scrambles
Cons: Trailhead parking is far from the start of the hike

Google Maps of Parking:

Hiking Partner:
Rayzi Friedman

Claudius Smith Den is one of my favorite spots in Harriman. It features a great view with impressive rock formations including a narrow crevice. Another interesting formation in this hike is Elbow Brush, containing several rock crevices as well.

The weather had been exceptionally good, with a very cool start and low humidity for June. It was a cloudless day with great visibility at the view. When going to the Claudius Smith Den, I normally park at the parking area off East Village Road right before the Thruway Underpass. However, this parking area is closed, so we were forced to park further up on the road at the Ramapo River bridge meant for fisherman. We therefore had to walk quite a bit to get the trailhead, by walking down East Village Road, under the Thruway, and then on River Road to the trailhead.

We took the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail up to the first view, overlooking Tuxedo, and then continued on the trail to the Tuxedo-Mt. Ivy Trail towards Claudius Smith Den. We went into the cave and then climbed to the top of the den. We then took the Blue Disc Trail south the Elbow Brush, walking through it until the end, and then went back along the old trail above the ridge. We then turned around and took the same route back, taking a slight detour on the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail before the Tuxedo overlook.

Map of the Route

Parking at the Fishing Area at the Ramapo River Bridge

Ramapo River Seen from the East Village Road  Bridge 

Regular Parking Lot Closed

Approaching the First View

View of Tuxedo, Facing South

View Facing East

Me at the View

Another View of Tuxedo

Approaching the Claudius Smith Den

Covered Rock Area Beneath Claudius Smith Den

Walking Underneath Claudius Smith Den

Me Underneath the Overhang at Claudius Smith Den

Me in the Crevice in Claudius Smith Den

Me in the Above Crevice

Pink Mountain Laurels in Bloom

Mountain Laurels atop Claudius Smith Den

Small Fire Burning on the Rocks atop Claudius Smith Den

View at Claudius Smith Den, Facing South

Me Atop Claudius Smith Den

View From Claudius Smith Den, Facing West

Me at Claudius Smith Den

Nice Scenery atop Claudius Smith Den

View from Claudius Smith Den, Facing West

Look who I Bumped Into!
Sruly Rosenberg near the Elbow Brush!

Me Approaching the Elbow Brush

Elbow Brush Crevice

Me in the Elbow Brush Crevice

Walking through the Elbow Brush Crevice on the Blue Disc Trail