Tag Archives: Harriman State Park

Thinking About The Summer

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”

– Jawaharial Nehru

 “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”

-Henry Miller

After a lengthy cold spell, within the last week temperatures have actually made it up into the high forties to the mid fifties. I have to admit, feeling the (relatively) warm air made me think of spring days and being out in the woods. Looking over my maps of Harriman State Park and Bear Mt., I decided that just after the school year ends in June, I’ll backpack the Ramapo-Dunderberg trail.

Starting at the Tuxedo Rail Station, the trail runs through Harriman state park into Bear Mt. where it ends on route 9W right next to the Hudson river. At just about 22 miles, the current plan is to split it up into three days and two nights of what some web sites have said is relatively difficult hiking. Although the trail does have two lean to shelters along the way, I am bringing a tent just in case I show up at one and it has already been occupied by too many fellow hikers. With that saud, I am not thinking that this is going to be an issue because I am planning on doing this hike from a Tuesday to a Thursday so I will miss the weekend folks. More on that later.

So what am I doing now? I spent some time on the internet looking for a checklist that would help me get the stuff together that I will need for this short adventure. The decision to find a list was an easy one. I have backpacked before and gotten to my destination only to find out that I forgot to pack things. Here is the REI checklist that I am using:


As I continue to plan for this excursion, I will post updates with some gear info, planned route and other stuff.

Happy Hiking!!!

Ascend (3)

Many of my favorite photos are ones that I take when I am hiking. This photo, is just another example of another steep climb during a hike in Harriman State Park in New York. It ascends several hundred feet in just under a half of a mile. Once again, here is a nice reminder of an early morning summer hike on a snowy day here in New York.



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.


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.


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


Turkey Hill Lake from Long Mountain.


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


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.


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.


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


The tail end of Turkey Hill Lake.


A small flower alongside the trail.

Summer 2017 Mileage;


Lake Wanoksink (13)

‘Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity…”
― John Muir

Starting at the Lake Sebago boat launch, the blue blazed Seven Hills trails begins as soon as you cross Seven Lakes Drive. Like many of the hikes in this area, as soon as you enter the woods you begin a punishing climb. This one happens to go on for approximately half of a mile. The pictures below show the steepness going up and down the trail. On the left is the climb up. Since this is a loop hike, the picture on the right is the hike down.

The trail continues moving downhill until you begin another ascent where the Seven Hills Trail veers sharply off to the right  and for a brief time becomes Woodtown Road West. After about a quarter of a mile, you make a sharp left turn and begin walking on Pine Meadow Road West.


The point on the Seven Hills Trail where it becomes Woodtown Road West.

Although this sign is pretty big and prominently placed where it can’t be missed, people still drop water bottles, trash and yes, even diapers on the trail and the side of the trail.


You would think that this sign was self explanatory…

Stay on this road until you intersect with the end of the yellow blazed Buck Trail and then make a right turn onto Pine Meadow Road East. Although the Harriman-Bear Mountain Southern Trail Map 118 is pretty detailed about where you need to go, these roads are unmarked and some trails and other roads veer off to the left and right all along your route. At one point I did make a wrong turn but with good results. I stumbled upon these ruins and I took a short break to rest and take some pictures.



After doubling back to the correct trail, I eventually got to the shores of Lake Wanoksink where because of  the weather, the views weren’t that great. It’s still an interesting picture!


Lake Wanoksink

Once you head around the lake, take some time to walk across the earthen dam where if you look to your left, you see this bridge that you will soon cross over.


Happy hiking!!!!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:


Second Reservoir (10)

“One step at a time is good walking.”
–   Chinese Proverb

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

-Henry David Thoreau

For today’s hike I went back to Don Weise’s Circuit Hikes in Harriman. Last summer I tried several of his hikes and I really enjoyed the variety of what he had to offer. This hike, starting at the Lake Sebago boat launch, stayed primarily on woods roads. Despite a steady ascent right after you turn on to the road from Seven Lakes Drive, the rest of the hike spent more time rolling through the woods rather than climbing unreasonably steep hills.

Along with some walking in the general area of the lake, this hike measured 10.1 miles.

Since it is covered in detail in chapter 32 of Don Weise’s book, I won’t spend much any time going into the logistics of the hike.  Instead, take a look at the pictures that I took along the way.

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Pine Meadow Road

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An awesome sign about a mile into the hike.

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Cranberry Mountain Trail


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Second Reservoir

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Another view of the Second Reservoir

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A snake on the trail.

Summer 2017 Mileage:





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.


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.


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”.


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



A close up of one of the cairns.


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:





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!


A sign on the Menomine Trail next to Silvermine Lake.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.


A strange looking tree…


The trail covered in pine needles.


Summer 2017 Mileage: