Sunday, November 8, 2020

Giants Stairs Loop Palisades

Palisades Interstate Park,
Bergen Co., New Jersey /
Rockland Co., New York

Hiking Trails:
Long Path: Green blaze
Shore Trail: White blaze
Forest View Trail: Black/White blaze

Total Time: 2:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.4 Miles

Pros: Great views, and excellent scramble
Cons: Urban views, lots of people
Hike Type: Loop hike

Google Maps of Parking:

This was a beautiful late fall day, with exceptionally warm weather in the 70's on a November Sunday. I parked at the road to the State Line Lookout off the Palisades Parkway, and the area was very full with lots of hikers and people looking to get out. The main parking lot was full and I parked on the side of the road. It's a good thing I got here early because when I returned the police had shut the area to additional traffic.

The Giants Stairs is a famous scramble, and is one of the best in the area. It's a challenging trail through the talus of the Palisades cliffs. It's a great hike but is also very busy on nice weekends such as this one. I parked right near the Long Path where it crosses the road, took the path to the end of the parking area, to the lookout area for some views. I then continued along the Long Path towards the Border Monument at the state line, and then to the view facing the Tappan Zee Bridge at High Gutter Point. I then descended into Skunk Hollow and down to the Hudson River waterfront at Peanut Leap Falls. The falls was mostly dry and had many visitors hanging around the area.

I went south along the Shore Trail on mostly even terrain, crossing the state line back into New Jersey, and then approached the Giants Stairs, which I scrambled across until reaching the Forest View Trail. I took the Forest View Trail steeply up the mountain, and then took the Long Path north for a short distance back to my car.

Map of the Route

Overflow Parking on the Side of the Road

View Across the River Into Westchester

View of the Hudson and Northern Yonkers

Long Path Trail Marker

Steep Cliff at the State Line Lookout

Bird Count List at the State Line Lookout

View from the State Line Lookout Facing North

View from the State Line Lookout Looking Northeast

Information Plaque at the State Line Lookout

Boundary Monument at the NY/NJ State Line

Interesting Rock Formation at High Gutter Point

View across the Hudson River to Hastings-on-Hudson

View North from High Gutter Point to the Tappan Zee Bridge

Another View from High Gutter Point, Facing North to the Tappan Zee Bridge

Me at High Gutter Point

Shore Trail Descending

A Very Busy and Mostly Dry Peanut Leap Falls

Down at the Hudson River, Facing North

Hudson River Shoreline

Warning Sign about the Giant's Stairs Scramble

Many People Going Very Slow at the Beginning of the Scramble

Tri of Helicopters over the Hudson

Shore Trail Fall Scenery

Ascending a Pile of Boulders at the Giant's Staircase

Nice Scenery along the Giant's Stairs

More Rock Hopping along the Trail

Looking up at the Palisades Cliffs

Final Stretch of the Giant's Stairs

Descending the Rocks at the end of the Giant's Stairs

Rocks Plunging into the River at the Giant's Stairs

Scenic Foliage on the Shore Trail near the Forest View Trail

Shore Trail Going through the Swampgrass
Beautiful Colors along the Shore Trail

Beginning of the Forest View Trail

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Fingerboard Mountain and Greenwood Mine Fall Hike

Harriman State Park,
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Tiorati Brook Trail: Blue blaze
Appalachian Trail: White blaze
Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail: Red blaze
Hurst Trail: Blue blaze
Long Path: Green blaze

Total Time: 2:20 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.1 Miles

Pros: Scenic, quiet area of park with historic mine
Cons: No remarkable views
Hike Type: Loop hike

Hiking Partner:
Yehudah Koblick

Google Maps of Parking:

This was a cold and cloudy lake fall hike. It had been very cold over the weekend, and in fact the rainstorm on Friday had ended as snow on top of the mountains, and there was still some residual snow on the top of the mountain. There was rain predicted for late afternoon, but the storm had arrived much quicker and arrived as soon as we got into our car at the at the completion of the hike. We were grateful for getting in just in time.

We parked at the Lake Tiorati parking area, and took the short Tiorati Brook Trail to the end at the combined Appalachian and Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail along the ridge above Fingerboard Mountain. We took this trail to Hurst Trail and veered off a short distance to the snow-covered shelter, and then went back to the Appalachian and headed down the mountain towards the Greenwood Mine. We explored the mine area, and then took the Surebridge Mine Road to the Long Path. We took the Long Path to Arden Valley Road, which has been closed all season, and walked along the deserted road back to the Tiorati parking area and then back to our cars.

Map of the Route

First Snow of the Season

View of Lake Tiorati from Fingerboard Mountain

Ascending the Fingerboard Mountain Summit

Me Climbing the Rock to the Top of Fingerboard Mountain

Scenery at the Top of Fingerboard Mountain

Fall Leaves Across the Fingerboard Mountain Ridge

Along the Ridge of Fingerboard Mountain

Bare Rockface Above Fingerboard Mountain

More Snow Along the Ridge

Appalachian and Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail on Fingerboard Mountain

Me on the Ramapo Dunderberg Trail

Yehudah Atop Fingerboard Mountain

At the View of Fingerboard Mountain

View Facing East from Fingerboard Mountain
Zoomed into the Above View

Trail Marker at the Hurst Trailhead

A Melting Snowman

Snow Atop the Fingerboard Mountain Shelter

Rope Near the Fingerboard Shelter, Presumably to Keep Packs away from Bears

Yehudah Ahead on the Appalachian/Ramapo Dunderberg Trail Split

Greenwood Mine Pit

The Main Pit at the Greenwood Mine

Mine Dumps at the Greenwood Mine

Greenwood Mine Swamp at the Long Path

Another View of the Above Swamp