Sunday, March 19, 2023

Mine Hill Stillman Trail Terminus

Black Rock Forest
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Mine Hill Trail: Yellow blaze
Sackett Trail: Yellow blaze
Stillman Trail: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 1:50 hour
Estimated Distance: 2.4 Miles

Pros: Quiet area, nice view
Cons: Very windy area
Hike Type: Back and out
Level of Difficulty: Difficult in snow conditions

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

Google Maps of Parking:

After last week's epic hike in Black Rock Forest, I decided to hike along more trails in the area that I hadn't been to yet. This time it was the Mine Hill area. The previous day had warm and sunny weather and was in the 50's. However, this morning it was frigid, and as I headed north and drove to a higher elevation, I kept on seeing the temperature dropping. When I started it was 27 degrees, which is cold for late March, but the winds were terribly strong. 

Apparently because this area is along the ridge, it receives very high winds. Once we passed the ridgeline area, the winds became more manageable. Also, as we climbed above the ridge to Mine Ridge, there was a fully coverage of snow, making the hike difficult to traverse. We had to opt for a shorter version of the hike due to the cold and windy weather. 

We parked on Mine Hill Road, in the small parking area right after the bend. We took the short but steep Mine Hill Trail to the view, and then continue along to its terminus at the Sackett Trail. We trudged along in the snow and then reached the Stillman Trail, which we took to its terminus where there a nice view. We then turned around and went the same way back.

Map of the Route

Kiosk at the Trailhead Parking

Start of the Mine Hill Trail

Schunnemunk Mountain from the Mine Hill Trail

View from the Mine Hill Trail

Start of the Snow, on the Sackett Trail

Full Snow Coverage on the Stillman Trail

End of the Stillman Trail

View at the End of the Stillman Trail

View from the Sackett Trail on the Return Route

View from the Mine Hill Trail, on the Return Route

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Lake Skanatati Snow

Harriman State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

We had a late-season Nor'easter snowstorm in the region. There was very little snow accumulation, but up in the mountain about the 800 foot line the snow stuck and accumulated. There was about 8 inches of snow up in the area, and with the dissipating clouds and bright blue sky I took the opportunity to visit Lake Skanatati in Harriman State Park for a short trek on the Long Path, and was able to get some great pictures.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Mineral Springs Falls and Jupiter's Boulder

Black Rock Forest
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Scenic Trail / Highlands Trail: White / Blue blaze

Total Time: 2:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.2 Miles

Pros: Impressive view, great views, quiet area
Cons: None
Hike Type: Back and out
Level of Difficulty: Difficult in snow conditions

Google Maps of Parking:

I've been to Black Rock Forest before but I've never been to this part before. This is the Westernmost part of the Forest Preserve, and is highly scenic. I was very impressed by the waterfalls as well as the view at the top by the boulder. This is a good climb in a relatively quiet and scenic area. The weather was cold and there was full snow cover in this area which was above the 800 foot line.

I parked on Old Mineral Springs Road, at the Mineral Springs Trailhead. I took the Scenic Trail for a short distance to the waterfalls, which was very impressive. There was a strong water flow because of the recent rains and melting snow, and was surprised at the size of the falls. It is definitely one of the most impressive falls in Highlands Region, and isn't even named on the map!

After appreciating the falls from the bottom at the trail, I climbed up the trail to upper section of the waterfalls, and then continued along the trail alongside Mineral Springs Brook. After the trail veered off the main brook it climbed steeply while passing through an evergreen mountain laurel forest. After that, Jupiter's Boulder came into view. This a large glacial erratic just sitting above the bedrock, with a sweeping view. The rock has distinctive brown patterns that make it resemble the planet Jupiter.

After climbing the rock and spending a few minutes enjoying the view, I continued a bit further to the next trail intersection with the Ryerson Trail. I then turned around and took the same route back to my car.

Map of the Route

Start of the Hike

Approaching Mineral Springs Falls

Mineral Springs Falls

Mineral Springs Falls Middle Falls

Mineral Springs Falls Upper Falls

Mineral Springs Brook Trail Crossing

Ascending Mt. Rascal

Jupiter's Boulder

View at Jupiter's Boulder

Trail Intersection after Jupiter's Boulder

View Past Jupiter's Boulder

Cool Trees on the Trail