Thursday, April 8, 2021

Campgaw Mountain Spring Hike

Campgaw Mountain Reservation
Bergen Co.,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
Old Cedar Trail: Red blaze
Rocky Ridge Trail: Blue blaze
Dogwood Lane Trail: Pink blaze

Total Time: 0:55
Estimated Distance: 2.0 miles

Pros: Many trails, good view
Cons: Trails can be confusing
Hike Type: Loop hike
Level of Difficulty: Easy

Map of Route:

The weather during this week was beautiful, with bright sunny skies and highs in the low 70's. Before going to work I headed out to nearby Campgaw Mountain, where I had been earlier in the year during a snowstorm. The contrast was remarkably different now, with my short sleeves and the sound and feel of spring accentuated by the deep blue sky. I still had experienced some more snow, certainly the very last till next season, which remained at the summit of Campgaw Mountain packed on from a very snowy winter season. It was quite an experience standing on a snow pile in short sleeves in the spring.

I parked at the roadside parking near the Old Cedar Trail, and took the Old Cedar Trail north, crossing Fyke Brook, and then entering and exiting the edge of the large parking lot. I continued up the mountain on the Old Cedar Trail, and then went south along the ridge to the mountain summit. I took the Connector Trail and took a short break for pictures at the summit at the top of the ski lift, which had a great view and the big mound of snow. I then took the Rocky Ridge Trail down the mountain, parallel to the ski and snowtubing slope, down to Fyke Pond at the inlet. I then took the Dogwood Lane Trail back to my car.

Map of the Route

Trail Crossing Sign of the Old Cedar at the Road in Campgaw

Old Cedar Trail at the Beginning of the Hike

Bridge on the Old Cedar Trail Crossing Fyke Brook

Fyke Brook from the Bridge

Yellow Daffodils in Bloom

Trail Intersection near the Top of Campgaw Mountain

Campgaw Mountain from the Ski Slope Summit, with Remaining Patches of Snow

Ski Life at Campgaw Mountain. Facing Northeast.

Another View of the Ski Lift and Snow Patches

Another View Facing Down the Ski Slope

Large Mound of Snow at the Campgaw Ski Summit

Ski Lift Chairs on Campgaw

View from the Snow Mound

Me on the Campagw Summit Snow Mound

Another View at the Snow Mound at the Ski Summit

Small Pond at the Inlet of Fyke Pond

Very Old Sign at Campgaw Describing the Area

Fyke Pond from the Dogwood Lane Trail

Friday, April 2, 2021

Kakiat Early Spring Lower Summit Loop

Kakiat County Park,
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Mountain Trail: Orange blaze
Kakiat Trail: White blaze
Old Mill Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 0:55
Estimated Distance: 1.6 miles

Pros: Nice view
Cons: None
Hike Type: Loop hike
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Google Maps of Parking:

This was an exceptionally cold and windy day of spring. Although it was already April, it felt more like January. I parked at the Kakiat parking lot, and crossed the Mahwah River bridge and took the Mountain Trail up to the first viewpoint. I then bushwacked along the lower ridge of Kakiat to the Kakiat Trail near its crossing of the Gas Line. I then went down the Kakiat Trail, which I then took a short distance to the Old Mill Trail, which I took back to my car.

Map of the Route

Beginning of the Mountain Trail

First Signs of Spring

Newly Emerging Spring Greenery along the Mountain Trail

Budding Red Maple Flowers

Lower Summit of Kakiat

Lower Kakiat Summit Facing South

View from Kakiat Lower View Facing Southeast

View of Manhattan Skyline in the Distance 

View from Kakiat Lower Summit Facing South

Zoomed in to the Manhattan Skyline from Kakiat

Another View of the Manhattan Skyline from Kakiat

View of the Sheraton Crossroads and Campgaw Mountain to the South

Suffern High School Zoomed in from Kakiat

Me at the Kakiat Lower Summit

View from Kakiat Facing North

View from Kakiat Facing Northeast

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Popolopen Torne First Day of Spring Hike

Popolopen Torne First Day of Spring Hike
Bear Mountain State Park,
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Timp-Torne Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 0:55
Estimated Distance: 1.0 mile

Pros: Great climb and excellent views
Cons: Busy area and parking can be a challenge
Hike Type: Loop
Level of Difficulty: Difficult but short

Map of Route:

I had been to Popolopen Gorge a few weeks prior in the winter snow. Now with all the snow melted and a very warm and pleasant first day of spring, I decided to come back to this favorite hike of mine. I was short on time, and this hike is great for a short and sweet hike, with the total hike time being less than an hour. I also had lost a glove on my previous hike in the area and figured I'd come back to see if perhaps it was still there. Although it started out a bit chilly in the morning, there was no need for any jacket or coat by the time I started hiking, and I was able to hike comfortably in short sleeves.

I parked in the roadside parking lot on Mine Road, and took the Timp Torne Trail up at it's eastern side. I then cut across the unmarked connector path to the western flank of the trail, which is a better route up. I climbed up the rocky area to the summit, took some good pictures, and then continued along the north flank and started the descent. I continued along the loop which I took back to my car.

Map of the Route

Getchke at the Hiking Parking Area on the Timp-Torne Trail

Interesting Signage at the Beginning of the Trail

The Start of the Scramble up Popolopen

Large Rock Slab on the Scramble Up

Newly Installed Rope on the Trail Up

Dwarf Pines on the Route Up

Bear Mountain from the Popolopen Ascent

View Facing East Towards the Bear Mountain Bridge, Hudson River, and Anthony's Nose

Me at the Above View

Overlooking Fort Montgomery and the Hudson River

Zoomed into the Palisades Parkway, Hudson River, and Peekskill

Palisades Parkway, Bear Mountain Bridge, and Route 6/202 from Popolopen

Summit Rock at Popolopen

View Facing Northeast at Popolopen

Large Rock Slab at the Popolopen Summit

View from Popolopen Summit Facing Southeast

View from Popolopen Facing West

View from Popolopen Facing South

Palisades Parkway Below Popolopen Torne

View From Popolopen Summit Facing North

Ever-Growing Summit Cairn

People at the Popolopen Cairn and Summit

View from Popolopen Facing Northwest

Looking South Towards the Popolopen Summit

Me at the Popolopen Summit, Facing West

Me at the Popolopen Summit Facing Near the Hudson