Tag Archives: hiking quotes

Leatherman’s Loop (22)

“Alright, alright, alright.”

-Wooderson

“You know how your dog reacts when he knows he is going for a ride? That’s the feeling I have when I am going for a hike. I just don’t pee on the floor in excitement.”

-MPD

Today I wanted to head to the Leatherman’s Loop in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. The story of the Leatherman is a fascinating one and I strongly encourage you to check out the link below.

leathermansloop.org/2009/02/the-legend-of-the-leatherman/

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This excellent hike starts and ends at the same point where Monday’s hike began. The Red and the Green trail run together until you meet the Leatherman Loop (LL) off to the right. Take the LL trail as it moves uphill for a very short time. The trail levels out and then turns to the left. I decided to go clockwise and I headed downhill. Once again, the trail levels off and then makes a right turn.

To get to Leatherman’s Cave, you will see a sign on a tree that points you in the right direction. The short climb to the cave is a short one but very steep.

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Leatherman’s Cave

Once you have rested for a bit and taken photos, head back the way you came and right before you get back to the woods road, turn left to continue on the LL. Be prepared, this section of the hike up to the Overlook is very challenging. Once you get to the top, you get a real nice view of the Cross River Reservoir as well as the dam in the distance.

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A cool bench where you can just chill after a strenuous climb. 

If you look to the center right of the picture below, you can see the outline of the Cross River Dam.

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The Cross River Reservoir

A close up of the Cross River Dam.

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The Cross River Dam

After completing the LL, I decided to knock out the rest of the Green Trail. Most of it continued to be aligned with the Red Trail until it makes a sharp left turn to head back to the start of the hike.

Without a doubt, another excellent hike in Ward Pound Ridge!!! I’ll be back in a couple of days.

Happy Hiking!!!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

8/16/17-5.4-112.72

100 Mile Review

“Life is better in hiking boots.”

-Anonymous

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Now that I have hiked just over 100 miles in my Vasque St. Elias GTX Boots and awesome Meriwool Merino Wool socks, it’s time to write a review. Let’s start off with the socks. Since I have three pairs of the socks, I can pretty much rotate them every time I go hiking. I am sure that this has saved on the wear and tear on each of the pairs. As I mentioned when I first got them, they are much better than any cotton sock. To this day they remain comfortable and well worth the extra money that they cost. Still no hot spots (I used to get them all the time with cotton socks!) or blisters!

I did have to do some research as to what would be the best way to wash them. What I do is I fill my kitchen sink with warm water and add some soft liquid soap.  After 15-20 minutes I rinse them in pretty cold water and squeeze out any excess water. The one things that many sites I looked at were very specific in saying that Merino Wool socks should not be wrung out as the wool could be compromised. Lay them on a flat surface to then let them dry.

Overall these socks have been a blessing. They have performed above my expectations and I fully expect that they will continue to do so.

Wearig an 12 W, the Vasque St. Elias GTX has also performed even better than I thought they would. With an exact fit, they provide the amount of ankle support that I need to be able to hike a short distance, or a hilly 10 miler that leave my legs rubbery! The best thing about these boots is you would think that a boot that offers so much support would be pretty heavy.  At 3 lbs. 1 ounce, the St. Elias has enough support to keep your feet and ankles protected, but light enough that you really don’t feel them.

Happy Hiking!

 

Ward Pound Ridge Reservation (19)

“I wanted to unfurl my toes for a little while. I wanted silence, isolation and an invitation to exhale life’s complications. I heard nature’s melody and I harmonised with every single note. I needed the trees, their colours, and the sounds of wildlife breathing. I inhaled the essence of the forest and smiled as life coursed through my veins” 
―Amelia Dashwood

“There is always an adventure waiting in the woods.” 
―Katelyn S. Bolds

“Nature is one of the most underutilized treasures in life. It has the power to unburden hearts and reconnect to that inner place of peace.” 

-Janice Anderson

Today I decided to try hiking a little more locally than I usually do. Instead of traveling to Dutchess or Orange county, I went in the opposite direction to Westchester County. Located just off of route 121 in Pound Ridge, NY, Ward Pound Ridge Reservation offers many hiking trails, camping and picnic areas in what is truly a pristine area of the county.

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The standard warnings located on the opposite end of the Kimberly Bridge parking area.

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The Blue trail heading up towards the remnants of a fire tower. 

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This is the spot where a fire tower used to stand. 

I am not going to lie, whenever I do a loop hike I look at the map and try to determine the easiest way to traverse it. Even though this hike started with a pretty steep climb, when I finished I was glad that I hadn’t gone the other way! If you look at the picture below, I took it after hiking down this section. If I had been coming from the opposite direction I would have had to scramble to get up this section of the trail.

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As with other parks in the Hudson Valley, these woods are filled with enough varied terrain and landscape to keep things interesting!

 

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An inchworm making its way to safety!

The first half of this hike was a decent mix of soft earth, grass and rocks. The second half was all on a woods road. After climbing pretty steeply and then navigating some pretty tricky descents, the hiking was easy all of the way back to the parking area.

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The woods road leading to the parking area.

When I finished, I did take the opportunity to sit on the bench to rest and enjoy the view.

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If you are looking for a place to hike and maybe have a BBQ or picnic, then this is the place for you. I don’t know how crowded this park is on the weekends, but when I was here today, it was very quiet.

Happy hiking!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

8/9/17-4.1-96.22

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

Pre Phish-Appalachian Trail->Osborne Loop->Carriage Connector->Appalachian Trail (17)

“Hiking is the best workout! You can hike for three hours and not even realize you’re working out. And, hiking alone lets me have some time to myself.”

-Jamie Luner

“Hiking and happiness go hand in hand or foot in boot.”

-Diane Spicer

Last night I went to my fourth Phish show in just over a week. If you are not aware, tonight will be night number nine of a thirteen night run for the band at Madison Square Garden. These shows provide me with the same type of Zen that hiking does. As with hiking, the music allows my mind to wander and to block out the stress of the day.

Yesterday’s hike started out at the intersection of route 9 and route 403 where the Appalachian Mart is located. Starting out on the AT, the trail begins a slow and gentle climb for a just over a quarter of a mile. Turning sharply left, the climb now becomes a bit more demanding. Heading up through the woods with the sweat now streaking my shirt, I stopped for a quick water break and to take a picture of the climb.

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The AT at the start of the hike.

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The AT as it begins its ascent.

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The AT during a moderate climb.

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The AT as it meanders through the woods of the Hudson Highlands.

Once you get to the end of the climb, the AT joins the Blue Blazed Osborne Loop trail where they will remain together until the AT heads off to the left to continue towards Bear Mt. and the loop moves off to the right.

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The Osborn Loop

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A small marker where trails from Manitoga intersect with the Osborn Loop.

A little over half way through the hike you will see the sign above. Trails from Manitoga join up with the Osborn loop or you can hike to your right and meet up with the AT in .7 of a mile. You can learn more about Manitoga here-www.visitmanitoga.org

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More of the Osborn Loop.

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Overall this was a pretty decent hike and a great way to prepare for seeing what will be another awesome Phish show!

Happy Hiking!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

8/1/17-7.2-87.02

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

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