Tag Archives: Appalachian Trail

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.

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A hazy morning on the Nose.

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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.

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It climbs…

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And climbs…

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And climbs some more…

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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!

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

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

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Looking north on the Hudson River

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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.

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The NYC Skyline

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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.

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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!

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Mama and baby checking me out!

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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!

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

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My trusty pack on the AT!!!!

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

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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.

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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!

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A sign on the Menomine Trail next to Silvermine Lake.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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A strange looking tree…

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The trail covered in pine needles.

HAPPY HIKING!!!!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

7/6/17-5.5-25.32

Anthony’s Nose (5)

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.”

-John Muir

“Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken.”
-Frank Herbert

“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

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The start and finish to the hike.

I was originally going to do a hike by Lake Tiorati in Harriman State Park today but my ankle was feeling sore so I decided once again to hike to Anthony’s Nose. I was afraid that at a length of 7 miles, the Harriman Hike would have put too much stress on an already tender ankle. So I decided to do my favorite standby, Anthony’s Nose.

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The sun coming up during the climb to the Nose.

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Looking north from the alternate viewpoint.

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The Camp Smith trail headed down off of the Nose. 

Summer 2017 Mileage:

7/5/17: 3.8-19.82

“Dance Like There’s Nobody Watching”

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,  Love like you’ll never be hurt, Sing like there’s nobody listening, And live like it’s heaven on earth.”

-William Purkey

One of the things that I love about hiking is the solitude. Most of the time, based on my really early start times, I get a great deal of alone time. For me, that’s ok. I don’t mind hiking alone and I certainly don’t crave having a hiking partner. If someone wants to join me, then of course I’ll hike with them, but it doesn’t really matter.

Why do I mention that? And why did I choose the very famous quote from William Purkey to start this post? I’ll tell you why. When I get out on the trail, I get into a zone. My legs feel good, my mind is clear and I feel like I can go on forever. When I take a break, I’ll drink some water and listen to music (usually Phish). This morning, I was on the AT taking a quick break before I finished the hike. I pulled out my iPod, put on my headphones and dialed up a Phish show from last summer.

One thing that you need to know about Phish is that most of their songs are songs that you can’t help but dance to. Filled with funk and rhythm, the music itself calls out to you!

So, today I’m taking this break and I’m moving and grooving. I’m not going to lie-it was at the end of great hike, I was in the zone and I was really getting into the music. The one thing that I didn’t see were the four thru hikers that had come up behind me! They said that they had been watching me for almost 5 minutes. At first I was a little embarrassed, but then I thought, WTF??? Why be embarassed? The best part??? I got a round of applause when I turned around and saw them.

Another reason to love hiking!!!!!

 

Nuclear Lake (3)

“Fill your life with experiences, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.”

-Anonymous

Before I even begin to describe this hike, I think I spent too much time telling you how good my new boots were. The reason I say this is because about half way through the hike (approximately 2 miles), I went to step up with my left foot and with my right foot on an uneven tree root, it slid to the left, twisting my right ankle and sending me to the ground. Of course I really can’t blame the boots, but why blame my own clumsiness??

Since I was in the middle of the woods, I had no choice but to keep going. Up, down and over rocks, tree roots and leaves I went, the pain increasing with every step. I really  wanted to stop, but I knew that wasn’t possible. So I forged ahead for the remaining two miles and finished the hike.

Wow…I certainly am not a baby when it comes to pain, but this really hurt. I’m confident it isn’t broken, but it certainly is sprained. So as I sit on my couch with my foot up on a pillow with a bag of vegetables as an ice pack, I’ll describe what still was a really nice hike! Unfortunately I’ll be of the trails for a few days to let my ankle rest.

Parking just off of route 55 in a small parking lot, the initial blue trail lasts from the parking area until it joins the AT. A kiosk just off of the parking lot has a map for the nuclear lake hike as well as the obligatory warning about ticks.

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The start of the Nuclear Lake hike.

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Map of today’s hike.

Within a minute or two of leaving the kiosk, you will see the AT. Stay to the left on the AT and begin your journey through the woods. After about 5 minutes you will see the blue blazed Beekman Uplands Loop on the left. Do not take this trail! That is a hike for another day.

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The AT runs through some very nice woods.

The two bridges below make for pleasant distraction as you meander through the woods.

Almost immediately after crossing the bridge on the right, you will see this sign on a tree off to the right of the AT.

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The start of the yellow blazed Nuclear Lake Loop Trail.

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A section of the trail.

Photos of Nuclear Lake.

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The Nuclear Lake Loop

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As you circle the lake you cross several interesting rock walls.

Keep following the Yellow Blazes until you reach the point where the loop ends and meets up with the AT again. Take the left and continue on the AT until you get back to the blue trail that leads back to the parking lot.

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The end of the Nuclear Lake Loop Trail.

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A stretch of the AT.

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The AT goes back into the woods.

Summer 2017 Mileage:

4.2-11.72