Tag Archives: Bear Mountain

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….

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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.

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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).

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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.

Long Mountain and Turkey Hill Lake (18)

“It is a surprising and memorable, as well as valuable experience, to be lost in the woods any time.”

-Henry David Thoreau

“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.”

-John Lubbock

The weather for hiking this summer has been pretty good. Even though we have gotten more rain than in past summers, we have only had just a few days where the temperature has actually got into the 90’s. The Hudson Valley has also been spared the oppressive humidity that usually define the months of July and August. Until today. With the temperature hovering just around 70 and the dew point being just as high or even higher, I anticipated  sweating even more than normally do!

As usual, I got to the trail at about 6:30 am and was hiking before 6:40. Starting at the kiosk on the Long Path, the trail starts off level and then heads sharply downhill.

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The beginning of the hike on the Long Path.

After hiking for around 10 minutes, you will cross paths with the Popolopen Gorge trail on the right. At this point, stay on the blue blazed Long Path where you begin a relatively steep and winding climb to get to the top of Long Mountain.

Once you get to the top, not only do get some awesome views, but you see this memorial.

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The Raymond H. Torrey Memorial on top of Long Mountain.

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Turkey Hill Lake from Long Mountain.

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The opposite side of Bear Mountain. Note Perkins Memorial Tower on the right hand side of the picture.

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Looking towards NYC from Long Mountain on a really hazy day.

After spending some time checking out the views, I pulled out my map and saw that the descent looked like it might be steeper than the ascent. It also didn’t help that  it had rained the night and added with that some steep drop offs to the left of the trail, the way down was more than a little treacherous. I actually slipped a couple of times and thought that the end might be near!

After getting to the bottom, the Long Path continues straight ahead. You should take the woods road that cuts sharply to the left and follow that until you meet up again with the Popolopen Gorge Trail. Remain on the PG Trail until you get to Turkey Hill Lake.

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Turkey Hill Lake. Long Mountain is in the background.

 

As I made my way around the lake, I came across this shelter. It was actually very well built and looked as though it would keep you relatively dry during a rainstorm.

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Obviously someone had some time on their hands to construct this shelter.

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The tail end of Turkey Hill Lake.

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A small flower alongside the trail.

Summer 2017 Mileage;

8/4/17-5.1-92.12

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

A Variation on the Doodletown Bridle Path (2nd Attempt)

***I received several messages yesterday saying that the pictures associated with this post could not be viewed. I am reposting the hike from yesterday and hopefully they will come out. If they don’t, please leave me a reply. Thanks to everyone who let me know yesterday!

“In winter, I plot and plan. In spring, I move.”

-Henry Rollins

We are enjoying another beautiful day here in the Hudson Valley. It appears as though winter has left us and spring will take hold until summer crashes down upon us (in a couple of days!) So, a great day means a great hike. Today, my daughter and I went into Bear Mt. and did a variation on one of the hikes in Circuit Hikes In Harriman. I got to spend some quality time with my daughter and got some fantastic pictures. Spring continues to be an awesome time to hike and get recharged for summer.

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A Variation on the Doodletown Bridle Path

“In winter, I plot and plan. In spring, I move.”

-Henry Rollins

We are enjoying another beautiful day here in the Hudson Valley. It appears as though winter has left us and spring will take hold until summer crashes down upon us (in a couple of days!) So, a great day means a great hike. Today, my daughter and I went into Bear Mt. and did a variation on one of the hikes in Circuit Hikes In Harriman. I got to spend some quality time with my daughter and got some fantastic pictures. Spring continues to be an awesome time to hike and get recharged for summer.
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Anthony’s Nose in the Spring

“Take only memories, leave only footsteps.”

-Chief Seattle

With spring upon us it can only be assumed that I would make a trip to Anthony’s Nose. For mid April (4/10/17), the weather was perfect and the trail was as beautiful as you would imagine it would be. What also made this hike special was my fifteen (almost sixteen) year old daughter asked if she could come hiking with me. I almost fell over with surprise. Because of hockey, “I’m tired,” and “I have too much school work,” she really hasn’t been out with me much the last couple of years so this was really nice.

One quick side note-As we sat at the top taking pictures, several people made their way from the trail to the view-point. As one group sat and ate a snack, three young ladies arrived and started taking pictures of each over looking the Bear Mt. Bridge. Normally I wouldn’t even give this a second thought, but when they started giving each other directions such as, “lift you leg,” “turn to your left” and “fix your hair,” I literally began to laugh out loud. Even my daughter, who is obviously much closer in age to them as I am, found this amusing as well.

Please don’t get me wrong, I take pictures while I am hiking all of the time. You have seen many of them here on this blog. But posing for pictures like you are on a model shoot to me is over the line. And…after ten minutes of posing for pictures, one of the young ladies turned, posed and then said to her friends, “Is this hikey enough?” Oh boy…

I have no idea why this bothers me so much.

Anyway, here are pictures of yet another hike to Anthony’s Nose.

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A brook at the beginning of the hike.

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A small pond filled with fresh rain and melted snow.

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A freight train heading north on the Hudson River.

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Perkins Memorial Tower at the top of Bear Mt., approximately 300 feet higher than Anthony’s Nose.

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Old glory standing stiffly, crimson white and indigo.

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A wide shot of Bear Mt. as seen from the Nose.