Tag Archives: Blogging and hiking

Pine Meadow Lake (9)

On Wednesday 7/12/17, I went on a hike that was a bit of a beast. It involved some pretty intense ascents that required climbing on all fours. Needless to say, once you made it to the top, you had to go back down. This was even more treacherous. There were points on the descent where I had to throw my hiking sticks down 20-30 feet and “butt scoot” down in order to get through certain sections.

Anyway, back to the beginning. This hike started out at the Reeves Meadow Visitor Center in southern Harriman State Park.

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Reeves Meadow Visitor Center

Starting to the right of the kiosk, the trail starts off pretty level but will soon begin a slow but steady climb. You will pass the white blazed Reeves Brook Trail on your right but you should stay on the red trail. Shortly after this the Pine Meadow trail (red blaze), stays to the right while the Stony Brook Trail (yellow blaze)  quietly drifts off to the left and hugs the  brook. Although you won’t take this trail now, you will be returning on it to finish the hike.

After a steady climb on the red trail, it will intersect with the Hillburn-Torne-Sebago Trail (orange blaze). Take this until you cross a bridge and make a right onto the Kakiat Trail (white blaze).

This next part of the hike is on pretty rocky terrain so you will need to take care as you move among the rocks. We had just had rain recently so they were still pretty slippery, and as a cautionary measure, I went through this area very slowly. The Kakiat Trail eventually meets up with the Pine Meadow Trail again until it intersects with the Pine Meadow trail. Turn left and begin following the yellow trail. It winds its way uphill until you get to a very rocky area. This is where the fun begins!

At this point the trail turns to the right and takes a dramatic turn uphill. Climbing on the rocks, I remember thinking, “Man, am I glad it isn’t raining.” This climb, as dangerous as it was, would have been much more treacherous if it had even been drizzling. After about twenty minutes of moving steadily uphill, the trail levels off and intersects with the Orange and Blue trails. Follow this dually blazed trail for half of a mile until the blue trail heads to the right and the orange trail makes a turn to the left and proceeds downhill, very steeply.

As I  mentioned earlier, this part of the trail was pretty dangerous. It doesn’t look like this side of the mountain gets much sun because the rocks were still very wet, which made for very difficult for hiking.

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Kiosk at the start of the hike.

One of the only concerns I had as I looked over the map prior to the hike was that in several places where bridges were supposed to be, they were all designated as being “bridge out.” Bust as I hiked, I found that each of the bridges had been fixed or replaced. Here are just about all of the bridges that I passed on today’s hike.

As I neared Pine Meadow Lake, I came across the following structure. I will admit that when I first saw this, I thought “Blair Witch Project”.

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Hmmm…I was a more than a little surprised when I walked up on this in the middle of the woods.

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A close up of one of the cairns.

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Pine Meadow Lake

Based on the last part of this hike, I would not recommend it for the faint of heart or if you have small children. The ascent on the yellow trail above Pine Meadow Lake can be very difficult, but the trip down the orange trail is dangerous. One wrong step or a slip could certainly mean a broken bone or worse.

Quick note-The Bear Mt. hike should have been labeled as hike #8. This hike therefore is #9.

Summer 2017 Mileage:

7/12/17-6.6-40.82

 

 

 

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

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

And She Was Next…

I’ve been hiking with my daughter for over ten years. At first, we would take short walks around Pelton Pond in Fahnestock State Park. At a distance of 1.5 miles, she would run ahead and explore every inch of the trail and the woods around her. As she grew up, the distance and difficulty of the hikes increased and she would hike ahead not to explore, but because I was to slow!

One of the things that I was able to do over the years was give her the knowledge on how to be a “good” hiker. From simple acts such as reading trail markers and maps to first aid and what to do if you are lost, she knows it all.

My daughter is now 16 and yesterday asked to go on a hike with a friend. She has never gone on a hike before without any type adult supervision and I will admit I was nervous. Why was I nervous? I really have no idea. I know how prepared she is, but that didn’t help alleviate my anxiety. So for the next couple of hours I peppered her with questions and scenarios about things that could never possibly happen. You would have that she was headed up K2.

When I dropped the both of them at the trailhead, I came to another unpleasant realization. My little girl is growing up. Between this and her getting her learners permit, I’m sure what to do. She doesn’t need me to point her in the right direction anymore. She doesn’t need me to harp on her about having enough water or a first aid kit. She knows this and is well prepared for any adventure.

As sad as I am about this, I am also proud of the young woman that she has become. Full of confidence, she now has the ability to do what she wants to do. I know it may seem trivial that I am using hiking as an example, but I think I was more surprised at my apprehension when she asked to go hiking with her friend. Just to clarify-I know some adults that I wouldn’t trust out in the woods alone!

So I guess that this will be the same as with my son. I have to resign myself to the fact that she doesn’t need me as much as she used to. I have to let her get out and about without being right on top of her. This, too, has been a tough pill to swallow.

Iron Mines Short Loop (4)

“Hiking is the answer. Who cares what the question is.

-Anonymous

“I walk, I look, I see, I stop, I photograph.”

-Leon Levinstein

After resting my ankle for three days, I decided it was time to get back out into the woods. The swelling was gone and it felt pretty good so I figured at the very least I would lace the boots up and if it hurt too much I could just turn around and end today’s hike early.

As you pull into the parking lot, this is your view.

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Lake Skannatati

As is the norm with most of my summer hikes, I got the parking area pretty early today. Since it is the day before Independence Day, I thought that even at this hour more people would have been out. But at 6:10 am, the only other person I saw was this guy fishing!

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To the right of the lake you immediately see a kiosk and two trails. This will be the start as well as the end of the hike. The blue blazed Long Path is on your left and the red triangle A-SB (Arden Surebridge) will be on your right.

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The beginning and end of the hike.

Starting on the Long Path, you will wind your way around the lake, mainly staying on even ground. As you move deeper into the woods, you begin a series of small ups and downs on the trail until you intersect with the yellow blazed Dunning Trail. If you are looking for an even shorter hike than this one, you could make the right onto this trail and it will eventually intersect with the A-SB trail. Instead, take a left and after a few minutes the Long Path will turn off to the right while Dunning Trail stays on the left.

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The Long Path intersects with the Dunning Trail

Staying on the LP, you begin a steady climb until you reach the A-SB trail.

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The blue blazed Long Path

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Red Triangle A-SB Trail

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Heading down the A-SB Trail back towards the lake.

Once you turn onto the A-SB trail, it’s mainly all downhill until you get to the lake.

Overall I enjoyed this hike. The difficulty rating of moderate that I have seen in its description seems appropriate. The only negative thing that I can see with it, and this has been an issue with the Long Path in the past is the way that they blaze the trail. While I was on the LP today I spent way to much today not being able to find blazes and I had to reroute myself several times.  They could definitely put some of the blazes closer together and at critical junctures make it easier to follow them.

Summer 2017 Mileage:

7/3/17-4.3-16.02