Tag Archives: Appalachian Trail

My Favorite Summer Hikes

“Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.”
– Walt Whitman

“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”
– Frank Lloyd Wright

Although the summer isn’t officially over for about three weeks, I return to work as a teacher tomorrow. What does that mean? That means summer hiking is pretty much done. I am hoping that I will be able to get out when I can, but the wonderful morning hikes that I have enjoyed the last couple of months will fade as quickly as the summer has.

Without a doubt, this summer has really been a good one for hiking. Although it has been filled with many rainy days, that was far outweighed by the beautiful mornings filled with blue skies and nice cool temperatures. This post is going to quickly cover my three favorite hikes of the summer. If you have been following my posts this summer, this list shouldn’t really surprise anyone!

Number One-Anthony’s Nose:

This should not come as a surprise to anyone. Going to the Nose has been a source of refuge, peace and tranquility for many, many years. When I have good days, bad days and really bad days, the Nose has always been there. That’s all I have to say about that….

IMG_6788

Almost a perfect view!

Number Two-Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

This is a newcomer to my favorite list. In the past couple of weeks I have really come to love hiking here. Well maintained and blazed trails make hiking a really nice experience.  With the marked trails as well as the connector trails, you can shorten or lengthen a planned hike any number of ways. And if you don’t eat during your hike you can take advantage of the numerous picnic tables that are situated throughout the reservation. I am really excited about getting out there in the fall when the leaves change colors.

81417007

The gateway to my favorite hikes in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. The gateway to peace and tranquility!

Number Three-Bear Mountain

Located directly across the Hudson River from Anthony’s Nose, this hike has it all. Thigh numbing climbs, views up the Hudson, down the Hudson and all the way to NYC (if the weather permits).

IMG_6902

With the incredible amount of hikes in this area as well as thinking about the ones that I did this summer, it was difficult to pick my favorite ones. The ones that made my top three list were the ones that I have developed an affection for. Ones where I know I can go to recharge the batteries or just find some peace. They vary in length, but that isn’t the most important thing-keeping my peace of mind is.

Pre Phish-Appalachian Trail->Osborne Loop->Carriage Connector->Appalachian Trail (17)

“Hiking is the best workout! You can hike for three hours and not even realize you’re working out. And, hiking alone lets me have some time to myself.”

-Jamie Luner

“Hiking and happiness go hand in hand or foot in boot.”

-Diane Spicer

Last night I went to my fourth Phish show in just over a week. If you are not aware, tonight will be night number nine of a thirteen night run for the band at Madison Square Garden. These shows provide me with the same type of Zen that hiking does. As with hiking, the music allows my mind to wander and to block out the stress of the day.

Yesterday’s hike started out at the intersection of route 9 and route 403 where the Appalachian Mart is located. Starting out on the AT, the trail begins a slow and gentle climb for a just over a quarter of a mile. Turning sharply left, the climb now becomes a bit more demanding. Heading up through the woods with the sweat now streaking my shirt, I stopped for a quick water break and to take a picture of the climb.

001

The AT at the start of the hike.

002

The AT as it begins its ascent.

004

The AT during a moderate climb.

005

The AT as it meanders through the woods of the Hudson Highlands.

Once you get to the end of the climb, the AT joins the Blue Blazed Osborne Loop trail where they will remain together until the AT heads off to the left to continue towards Bear Mt. and the loop moves off to the right.

007

The Osborn Loop

009

A small marker where trails from Manitoga intersect with the Osborn Loop.

A little over half way through the hike you will see the sign above. Trails from Manitoga join up with the Osborn loop or you can hike to your right and meet up with the AT in .7 of a mile. You can learn more about Manitoga here-www.visitmanitoga.org

008

010

More of the Osborn Loop.

011

Overall this was a pretty decent hike and a great way to prepare for seeing what will be another awesome Phish show!

Happy Hiking!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

8/1/17-7.2-87.02

A Respite On The Nose (11)

“Thoughts come clearly while one walks.”

-Thomas Mann

“Never trust a thought that didn’t come by walking.”

-Friedrich Nietzsche

As the week has progressed, the temperature and humidity in the Hudson Valley has risen into the 90’s. Being as hot and humid as it is supposed to be, I decided not only to keep today’s hike relatively short, but also something familiar. Soooo…..another trip to the Nose seemed to be in order.

When I started the hike at 5:50 am, the temperature was already over 70 and the dew point was equally as high. Needless to say, it wasn’t long before I was sweating buckets! Even at this early hour, the hiking wasn’t easy with the oppressive air sitting right on top of you. But once you get to the top, it makes it all worthwhile.

003_edited

A hazy morning on the Nose.

004_edited

Looking Northeast from the Nose.

Summer 2017 Mileage:

7/19/17-3.7-54.62

 

Bear Mountain (Almost at Sunrise)

“Nothing is more beautiful than the loveliness of the woods before sunrise.”

-George Washington Carver

Every summer I feel the need to torture myself by doing two pretty difficult hikes at least once. The first one is Mt. Beacon and the second is Bear Mt. Today I decided to get Bear Mt. out of the way since the forecast for tomorrow is for the mid 80’s with high humidity. Starting off on the Appalachian Trail by Hessian Lake, the trail begins a grueling ascent immediately. The elevation at this point is 175 feet, but in less than two miles you climb 1,130 feet where you will be at Perkins Memorial Tower that has an elevation of 1305 feet.

Since they rerouted the AT over the last few years and have made significant improvements, although steep, the trail is a pleasure to hike on.

IMG_6937

It climbs…

IMG_6936

And climbs…

IMG_6934

And climbs some more…

IMG_6931

It seems like it never ends!

The AT does eventually turn off onto Perkins Memorial Drive. Instead of heading back into the woods, I stayed on the road so I could take some pictures. Part of the reason I was up here in the first place was to catch the sun coming up behind Anthony’s Nose. Unfortunately I missed it by about fifteen minutes!

IMG_6900

Iona Island is at the bottom of the picture. The city of Peekskill, NY is in the distance.

IMG_6902

The Bear Mt. Bridge and Anthony’s Nose just after sunrise.

IMG_6903

Looking north on the Hudson River

IMG_6897

Perkins Memorial Drive

Once you get to the top where the tower is located, you will get some amazing views. This one in particular because usually this time of year the haze blocks the NYC skyline.

IMG_6928 (2)

The NYC Skyline

IMG_6921

Due to the fact that improvements on the AT have moved closer to Perkins Memorial Tower, they have had to reroute part of the trail until it is completed.

IMG_6943

Hessian Lake at the base of Bear Mountain

Summer 2017 Mileage:

7/10/17-5.4-34.22

Lake Tiorati (7)

“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”

-Henry David Thoreau

Today I decided to keep the hike kind of short. I parked my car in the Lake Tiorati lot and made my way up the blue connector trail that joins up with the Appalachian Trail in three tenths of a mile. Turning left, I immediately saw a Doe with her Fawn. This in itself isn’t so strange, but when they didn’t run as I approached, I thought it would be nice to get a picture.

As I took off my pack and took out my camera, fawn actually approached me and stopped about fifteen feet away!

IMG_6835

Mama and baby checking me out!

IMG_6832

I was actually very surprised that neither deer ran when they saw me.

Continuing on the AT, it was much nicer terrain than when I was on the trail the other day. Today’s section of the trail was wide open and I didn’t experience the closed in feeling that I did hiking around Silvermine Lake!

IMG_6838

The AT runs parallel to Lake Tiorati in Bear Mt. State Park.

IMG_6840

IMG_6841

My trusty pack on the AT!!!!

IMG_6846

Shortly after I took this picture, the AT would intersect with a blue blazed trail that leads to the Fingerboard Shelter 350 feet away.

IMG_6855

Four tenths of a mile after passing the shelter, you end up back on Seven Lakes Road. Turn left and walk along the road (approximately 1 1/4 miles) and you end up back where you started.

IMG_6859

Lake Tiorati

Summer 2017 Mileage:

7/8/17-3.5-28.82

 

Silvermine (6)

“Let me live where I will, on this side is the city, on that the wilderness, and ever I am leaving the city more and more, and withdrawing into the wilderness.” 

-Henry David Thoreau

“Once in awhile, climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash you spirit clean.”

-John Muir

“Life is better in hiking boots.”

-Every hiker

Located about 2 miles on Seven Lakes Drive, Silvermine Lake is currently a fishing, picnicking and hiking area in Harriman State Park. Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, it used to be a pretty popular area for families to go for the day to just hang out and have a good time. As a child I have fond memories of going to this lake and running through the woods, skipping rocks on the water and eating many hot dogs!

IMG_6796

A sign on the Menomine Trail next to Silvermine Lake.

IMG_6798

After leaving your car, head towards the lake and you will see a yellow blaze on a rock. This is the Menomine Trail, the one that you will follow until you reach the William Brien Shelter where you will then begin hiking on the dually blazed Appalachian/Ramapo Dunderberg Trail.

IMG_6802

Silvermine Lake at the beginning of the hike.

As you enter the woods and wind around the lake, the trail has its fair share of ups and downs on some very rocky terrain.

IMG_6804

The trail before a steady steep climb.

As the trail veers off to the left, you begin a steady and then very steep climb until you reach the shelter.

IMG_6806

The start of what turned out to be a killer climb!

IMG_6807

The second section of the climb. I thought once I reached the top where it curves left, the climb would be over. 

IMG_6808

I was wrong. It only got worse…This is the last section of the climb.

Once you get to the top, the William Brien Memorial Shelter is on your left.

IMG_6809

The William Brien Memorial Shelter

As I mentioned earlier, once you get to the shelter you would leave the Menomine Trail and continue hiking on the Appalachian/Ramapo Dunderberg Trail. Turning left, you immediately begin another steep climb, this time pretty short.

IMG_6810

Appalachian/Ramapo Dunderberg Trail

You will follow the AT until you reach a woods road. Turning left, you begin a steady descent until you reach the lake.

After returning to Silvermine Lake, I had some extra time so I decided to follow the Menomine Trail in the opposite direction.

IMG_6813

A strange looking tree…

IMG_6812

The trail covered in pine needles.

HAPPY HIKING!!!!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

7/6/17-5.5-25.32