Sunday, February 21, 2021

Popolopen Gorge Snow Hike

Bear Mountain State Park,
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Timp-Torne Trail: Blue blaze
1779-1779 Trail: Red blaze
Popolopen Gorge Trail: Red blaze
Twin Forts Trail: Blue blaze
Appalachian Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 2:15
Estimated Distance: 3.4 miles

Pros: Scenic gorge, peaceful area
Cons: Lack of natural forest on last leg of the hike
Hike Type: 2 car point A to point B
Level of Difficulty: Moderate, though very difficult in current conditions

Map of Route:

Hiking Partner:
Shimon Rosenberg

Snow, snow, snow! This winter has been featuring a new snowstorm every few days. With fresh snow on the ground from Thursday and Friday's snowstorms, the snow level was quite deep. With a bright blue sky and fresh white snow, the scenery was incredibly idyllic and tranquil.

We parked the first car at the river parking area at Bear Mountain, near the Zoo. We then drove to the Popolopen Torne parking area where we left our second car. e parked at the Popolopen Torne trailhead parking, and took the Timp Torne Trail down to the gorge valley. 

The path in the snow was already somewhat walked on from previous weekend hikers, but it was still quite difficult considering the depth of the snow. We walked parallel to the brook, joining the 1779-1779 Trails and crossing the brook on the new and sturdy bridge.

The brook was flowing very strongly and was particularly scenic with large snow mounds atop the rocks. After crossing the bridge, we took the Popolopen Gorge Trail along the south side of the brook, along its ups and downs, passing the dam and the waterfalls, and then to the end of the trail at Route 9W. We crossed the high bridge across the brook on the side of Route 9W, and entered the Fort Montgomery parking lot and walked along the visitor center.

The building and parking area were closed, either due to Winter or Covid, though not sure which. We took the Twin Forts Trail across the long pedestrian suspension bridge, and the at the junction of the Bear Mountain Bridge we took the connector path up to the bridge on Route 6/202 after seeing a sign posted that the connection to the Bear Mountain Zoo was closed.

We crossed the busy road and entered the zoo along the Appalachian Trail. We walked along the Zoo Path concurrent with the trail, and at the main entrance of the zoo continued straight on the path down to the parking area.

Wooden Getchkes at the Beginning of the Hike

Heading Down the Timp Torne Trail

Shimon at the Beginning of the Hike

Me at the Beginning of the Hike

Approaching the Bridge Across Popolopen Brook

Me at the Popolopen Brook Crossing

Popoplopen Brook from the Bridge

The Other Side of the Popolopen Brook

Shimon on the Popolopen Brook Bridge

Me at the Popolopen Gorge Trail with Popolopen Torne in the Background

Home Above the Popolopen Gorge

Bend in the Popolopen Gorge

Waterfalls in the Popolopen Gorge

Popolopen Gorge from Route 9W with Popolopen Torne in the Background

Me on the Popolopen Bridge on Route 9W

Shimon at Ft. Montgomery State Historic Site

Bear Mountain Bridge from the Fort Montgomery Site

Ft. Montgomery Trail Bridge on the Twin Forts Trail

Bear Mountain Bridge from the Fort Montgomery Pedestrian Bridge

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