Sunday, October 18, 2020

Elk Pen to Green Pond Mountain and Island Pond

Harriman State Park,
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Appalachian Trail: White blaze
Island Pond Road: Unblazed
Arden-Surebridge Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 2:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.0 Miles

Pros: Scenic lake
Cons: Good climb and quiet scenic lake
Hike Type: Loop

Hiking Partner:
Yehudah Koblick

Google Maps of Parking:

This hike was a week prior to the foliage peak in the area, with beautiful scenery and autumn colors. It was very cold, and was my first long-sleeved hike since the summer. However, there was still a bright sun which warmed things up towards the mid part of the hike. 

We parked on Arden Valley Road at the Elk Pen. The parking lot was already filling up but there was still roadside parking available. We took the Appalachian Trail through the meadow and then up the mountain, up and over Green Pond Mountain and then crossing Island Pond Road. We then continued to Island Pond at the rocky area on the northern part of the mountain where there is a great view of the lake.

Being one of the few natural lakes in the park, Island Pond is surrounded on most sides by swamp, except for its northern rocky area, where we took some great pictures and took a quick break. We then turned around and made a slight detour from the Appalachian Trail to Island Pond Road, and took Island Pond Road south to the Arden-Surebridge Trail. We then headed west on the Arden Surebridge Trail to the view prior to descending, and took some pictures before descending the steep western flank of Green Pond Mountain. We continued along this trail down the mountain to the meadow and Elk Pen, and then took the Appalachian Trail back to our cars.

Map of the Route

Appalachian Trail the Elk Pen Meadow

Sign about No Overnight Camping at the Shelter Due to Bear Activity

View of the Elk Pen with Mountain Foliage in the Background

Appalachian Trail and Arden-Surebridge Trail Junction

Appalachian Trail Marker

Approaching Island Pond Descending Green Pond Mountain

Island Pond from the Appalachian Trail

Approaching Island Pond from the Rocky Northern Part

Me at Island Pond

Another View of Island Pond

Island Pond Facing West

Me on the Island Pond Rock

Yehudah Koblick at Island Pond

Island Pond with the Island in the Center

Northern Edge of Island Pond

Beautiful Scenery at Island Pond

Zoomed to the Island at Island Pond

Foliage at Island Pond
Island Pond from the Western Shore

From the Western Shore of Island Pond Looking North

Island Pond with its Namesake Island from Island Pond Road

Foliage Scenery at Green Pond Mountain

Starting the Descent on Green Pond Mountain

View from the Distance at Green Pond Mountain

View through the Trees at Green Pond Mountain

Foliage Scenery at the Meadow near the End of the Arden-Surebridge Trail

More Foliage Scenery at the Meadow near the End of the Arden-Surebridge Trail

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