Tag Archives: Camp Smith 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….


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.


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).


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.

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.


A hazy morning on the Nose.


Looking Northeast from the Nose.

Summer 2017 Mileage:



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


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.


The sun coming up during the climb to the Nose.


Looking north from the alternate viewpoint.


The Camp Smith trail headed down off of the Nose. 

Summer 2017 Mileage:

7/5/17: 3.8-19.82

The Calm Before the Storm

The A.T. calls me

Boots on the trail, walking

Lost in thought, my peace

The weather forecast here in the Hudson Valley of NY is not good for the next several days. They are saying we could get several inches of rain from late  tomorrow through Sunday. Knowing that I won’t be able to get out for a hike this weekend, I decided to take yet another trip to the Nose. As you know from previous posts, a hike to the Nose is never disappointing! Here is what it looks like in May.


Bear Mt. from the Nose in May.


Northwest from the Nose.


Looking south towards the Timp.


The Nose in Black and White

“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.”

-John Muir

“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.”

“Details of the many walks I made along the crest have blurred, now, into a pleasing tapestry of grass and space and sunlight.”
–  Colin Fletcher

Today (8/2/16) I went to Anthony’s Nose again. Since I have written about my travels to the Nose several times, I am finding it more and more difficult to find ways to describe and chronicle just how great this hike is. As you may or may not know, my hikes to the Nose are what I use to get my mind straight. It doesn’t matter that I have traveled from South Mountain Pass to the Nose countless times, the anticipation and eventual hike are always physically demanding but at the same time mentally soothing.

In order to give you all a little bit of a different perspective of the hike to the Nose, all of the pictures that I took today are in black and white. I will admit that I do have a preference for B & W photos, so I look forward to seeing what you think.


South Mt. pass at the start and end of the hike.


The AT headed up to the Nose


The view off of the AT into the woods.


More climbing as you make your way up.



Just to the right on the road is Camp Smith, a National Guard training facility. It is clearly marked as being “Off Limits.” You will be arrested if you are caught trespassing!!!!!


On your return from the Nose this will be your final climb of the hike.



One of the things that I really have not mentioned in any of my posts is that there is a viewpoint almost at the Nose where you have this incredible view looking north on the Hudson River.


Although you can’t see it, West Point is located on the left side of the picture.


Sugar Loaf Mountain (another excellent hike)


A wider view taken from the same spot as the first picture.

Five minutes away from this viewpoint is Anthony’s Nose. Here are some pictures taken of Bear Mt., Iona Island, The Torne and the Bear Mt. Bridge.


The Bear Mt. Bridge is obviously to the right with Bear Mt. to the left of the bridge and the playing fields are all of the way on the left of the picture. 


The Torne


A hat without a head.



Looking south towards NYC


A final view of Bear Mt.

So another excellent hike to the Nose ends. I hope that you enjoy the pictures, as different as they may be.

Happy hiking!!!!!!




Am I a spoiled hiker? (Probably)

A couple of weeks ago I broke one of my most sacred rules of hiking-Never, ever, ever, ever hike to Anthony’s Nose during peak hours on a Sunday. Having not done so in a very, very long time, I forgot just how congested this wonderful hike can be. Usually on  beautiful day like today I would seek out another place to hike where I know I wouldn’t see many people and be subjected to the congestion and mayhem that comes with everyone having the same idea as me.

Not thinking, however, I made the drive to the AT as it crosses South Mt.Pass and headed to the Nose. Everything was fine as I meandered through the woods, noting how the last time I was here we were still in the throes of winter and now, the trees were green and the ground was still wet from rain that had fallen the previous evening. And although the wind was blowing, the temperature was in the low 50’s and it was lightly raining, it felt good to be out in a  familiar place.


Little did I know that my solitude would be short lived…

That good feeling lasted, of course, until I reached the point in the trail where the AT intersects with the Camp Smith trail. You see, whenever anyone writes about Anthony’s Nose and its virtues of being one of the most popular hikes in the Hudson Valley, the directions that they give everyone to get there are from Route 9D near the Bear Mt. Bridge.


Now keep in mind that until I reached the AT/Camp Smith intersection, I had not seen one person, not a single soul. I was being lulled into that mental happy place that I love to go to when I hike, especially here at the Nose, my Holy Grail of hikes. My most favorite hike of all time. Have I mentioned how much I love hiking to Anthony’s Nose? So imagine my shock and surprise when I crested the small hill just before the trail heads up to the Nose to see no less than 15 people coming off of the AT!!

As I worked my way past the group, I thought, “ok, a small group is here, it won’t be so bad. I can’t always expect to be here alone. Just get far enough ahead of them and they won’t make it to the top before you spend some time resting before you head down.” I really need to stop thinking. It only got worse. Working my way up the trail, I greeted three large groups that were headed in the opposite direction as well as two others headed to the view point.

When I arrived at the Nose itself, I can honestly say that I had never seen so many people at the top before. Now before I go any further, I have to  make a few things clear. First, I fully believe that  anyone that wants to hike should be able to do so whenever they want and wherever they want. With that said, however, as with everything else in life you have responsibilities, even when hiking.

Noting that, I am also a firm believer in proper trail etiquette. That goes for everything from leaving trash to listening to music to the volume of your voice (or your groups). As noted in the previous paragraph, the number of people, young and old was staggering. I literally had to weave my way through several groups of hikers to get to my favorite spot overlooking the Bear Mt. bridge.




Who wouldn’t want this all to themselves?

I can tell you with certainty that today, the folks that I was out on the trail with were lacking any form of trail etiquette. Here is a short list of what I encountered:

  1.  People dropping trash on the trail and at the viewpoint. Young and old, male and female, I saw people dropping wrappers and leaving water bottles where they sat.
  2. A conversation between two woman (I was probably thirty yards away and I thought it was thirty feet) where one said to the other, “Doesn’t hiking to Anthony’s Nose make it easier to relate to Bill Bryson’s “A Walk in the Woods?” Really??
  3. A group of at least fifteen people who had just made it to the Nose for the first time. Although I applaud the fact that they made it  to the top, they way they were carrying on about it, you would have thought they had conquered Everest. Sorry folks, not even close.
  4. One gentleman, probably around 60 years old and listening to some form of techno pop (without the aid of ear buds or headphones) noisily making his way down the trail, oblivious to everyone else hiking.

Not feeling the love, I decided to head back down to South Mt. Pass and call it a day.  So,  my first question is this-Am I spoiled and entitles hiker? To a certain degree I suppose that I am. I will admit that I prefer to have the viewpoint to myself or just a few other people, and for the most part over the years, I have. My next question is this-Do I expect to much from my fellow hikers? To this I offer a loud and resounding-I don’t think so. I fully expect everyone on this trail, and every other one, to exhibit the same courtesy that my friends and do.

My last thought will be this: Common courtesy should be a common virtue. Our hiking trails, especially in an area this close to NYC, should be considered sacred ground. I always go back to  this variation on a theme- Treat people and things as you would want to be treated or you may lose them.