Sunday, September 25, 2022

Lake Welch and Fire Tower

Harriman State Park
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail: Yellow Blaze

Total Time: 1:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.2 Miles

Pros: Scenic Lake, quiet area
Cons: Fire tower closed
Hike Type: Loop
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Google Maps of Parking:

I hadn't been to the Fire Tower in a while, and wanted a short and quick hike as it was the day before Rosh Hashanah and I was short on time preparing for the Holiday. I had heard that the Jackie Jones Fire Tower had been closed, so I wanted to check it out. The Fire Tower was recently refurbished (See after having been briefly closed. 

I was disturbed to hear this news, and was even more disturbed to see this indeed was the case. There was a big locked fence around the entire structure, and it seemed like it was closed for good. This has been a great hike with a great view for so many years, and I don't understand by what right the tower had been closed. If something needed to be fixed, it should have been fixed, not closed. Us hikers have enjoyed this hike and the tower for many years, since our youth, and this should not suddenly be closed without access.

I parked at the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trailhead, and walked along Kanawauke Road towards Lake Welch. After the dam I went to the shore of Lake Welch and took some pictures. I then took the path along the phone line up Jackie Jones Mountain, which took me to the Fire Tower. As I was not able to access the Fire Tower, I headed down the mountain on the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail, passing the ORAK ruin and heading back to my car.

Map of the Route

Lake Welch Dam

Lake Welch from near the Dam

Trail from Lake Welch to the Fire Tower

Large Glacial Rock at the Top of the Ridge Near the Fire Tower

Fire Tower

Locked Gate Around the Fire Tower.
This is Sacrilegious! 

Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail on Jackie Jones Mountain

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Wanaque Ridge Loop

Back Beach Park /
Wanaque Reserve /
Ramapo Mountain State Forest
Passaic Co.,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
Indian Rock Trail: Red blaze
Pete's Path: Red/Yellow blaze
Wanaque Ridge Trail: Orange blaze

Total Time: 1:40 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.3 Miles

Pros: Nice views and quiet area
Cons: Noise from highway, Lack of shade on ridge
Hike Type: Eight Loop
Level of Difficulty: Slightly Difficult

Google Maps of Parking:

Wyanokie Ridge is a narrow ridge with views on both sides, on the eastern flank of the Wanaque Reservoir. The Wanaque Ridge Trail goes along this trail, and connects to the many trails in the Ramapo Mountain State Forest. The hike starts at Back Beach Park, a nice local park in Wanaque, NJ, and crosses the Wanaque River over a narrow step stone bridge.

There are multiple unmarked trails across the river and some go up the ridge with a shortcut to Pete's Path. I took Pete's Path up the Wanaque Ridge along the ridge, then down the hill Profile Rock, a rock with a creepy face, and then took the parallel unmarked trail below the ridge back to Pete's Path. I then took another connector trail back to the Wanaque River which i then took back to my car.

Map of the Route

Indian Rock Trail Trailhead

Wyanokie Ridge Behind the Ball Field

Old Marker about the Bridge

Bridge Crossing the Wanaque River

Wanaque River

Old Trail Signs

Wanaque Ridge Trail

View Along the Wanaque Ridge Trail

Wanaque Reservoir and the Main Dam

Looking to Castle Hill in Ramapo Mountain Forest

Split Rock

Latern Fly. These Invasive Pests should be Killed

Windbeam Mountain in the Distance

Profile Rock. Note the Creepy Face.