Sunday, March 27, 2022

Lake Skanatati Rockhouse Mountain Loop

Harriman State Park
Orange / Rockland Counties,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Arden-Surebridge Trail: Red Blaze
Red Cross Trail: Red Blaze
Hasenclever Road: Unblazed
Rockhouse Mountain Trail: Unblazed
Beech Trail: Blue blaze
Long Path: Green blaze

Total Time: 1:25 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.9 Miles

Pros: Scenic lakes, quiet area of park
Cons: None
Hike Type: Loop
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Hiking Partners:
Yehudah Koblick
Shimmy Rosenberg

Google Maps of Parking:

It's been a while since I did a good Harriman hike. I had not been on some of these trails in quite some time, so this hike afforded that opportunity. It was quite cold, considering the weather had been generally much warmer, and we bundled up (although Yehudah was wearing just short sleeves, as he tends to do.)

We parked at the Lake Skanatati parking area, and took the Arden-Surebridge Trail up and over, and then took the Red Cross Trail down and across Seven Lakes Drive. We took a short spur to the scenic peninsula at the north end of Lake Askoti, and continued along the Red Cross Trail to the view facing Hogencamp Mountain, where we had a rare encounter with a Golden Eagle. We continued along the the trail until reaching the unblazed Hasenclever Road.

We took the Hasenclever Road to the Rockhouse Mountain trail. This is an unofficial trail that is marked with a cairn at it's start, as well as read blazes. We took the trail to the end, reaching the Beech Trail, which we took past Kanawauke Road until the Long Path, passing some rock formations along the way. We then took the Long Path back north, crossing Kanawauke Road again, and then taking it to the Lake Askoti dam and then to Lake Skanatati parking where our car was parked.

Lake Skanatati

Lake Askoti Peninsula

Me Looking at the Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle Flying

Observing the Golden Eagle

Me and Yehudah

Mountain Laurel Greenery

Rockhouse Mountain Trailhead

Exploratory Mine Pit on the Beech Trail

Rock Formations on the Beech Trail

Lake Askoti

Lake Skanatati

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Otter Hole to Wyanokie High Point Loop

Norvin Green State Forest
Passaic Co.,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
Hewitt-Butler Trail: Blue blaze
Otter Hole Trail: Green blaze
Macopin Trail: White blaze
Wyanokie Circular Trail: Red blaze
Outlaw Trail: Orange
Wyanokie Yellow Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 2:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 5.3 Miles

Pros: Scenic Brook, good climb, and good view
Cons: Lots of cars at parking area
Hike Type: Loop
Level of Difficulty: Slightly difficult

Google Maps of Parking:

I had been to this area the week before and was determined to further explore more trails in the Wyanokies. I had been to Wyanokie High Peak quite a few years ago, and remembered it having a good climb and exceptional view. 

I parked at the overflow parking at the Otter Hole Parking area (the main parking area at the trailhead was already full.) I took the Hewitt-Butler Trail and went down the Otter Hole waterfall, crossing the brook at the falls, and then taking the Otter Hole Trail gradually climbing up while heading north.

I then took the Macopin Trail up the mountain, and then took the Hewitt-Butler Trail. I veered a bit to the west for the view, and then headed east to the summit, where there is a short scramble to an almost 360 degree view with an especially impressive view of the Wanaque Reservoir. I then headed back down on the Wyanokie Circular Trail, to the Outlaw Trail, and then the Wyanokie Crest Trail, which I took back to the Otter Hole and the Hewitt-Butler Trail back to my car.

Map of the Route

Otter Hole Pond

Trailhead Signs

Crossing Otter Hole Stream

Otter Hole Waterfalls

Evergreen Rhododendron Forest

Wyanokie High Point, Western View

Trail Markers Before Final Wyanokie High Point Ascent

High Point Summit

Wanaque Reservoir from Wyanokie High Point

Wanaque Reservoir and Manhattan Skyline

Wyanokie High Point from the Distance