Tag Archives: John Muir

The Promise Of Summer Hiking

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Summer at its finest in the Hudson Valley.

“Only by going alone in silence, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter.”

-John Muir

Since my hiking last summer added up to an incredible almost 118 miles, needless to say, I have bigger plans for this summer. My first plan and goal? Not to do anything stupid that will end my hiking excursions in literally a second.

With that said, I am planning hikes all over the Hudson Valley. Bear Mt., Harriman State Park, hikes East of the Hudson, West of the Hudson and Fahnestock State Park. Anything and everything is fair game once the summer gets started.

I remember two years ago when I based many of my hikes from a book by Don Weise entitled, Circuit Hikes in Harriman, 35 Loop Hikes, and Trail Runs in Harriman and Bear Mt. State Parks and 50 Hikes in the Lower Hudson Valley by Stella Green & Neil Zimmerman. I had carefully planned out each hike carefully according to what is listed in the book. Filled with awesome views, each of the hikes that I completed were worth every step. This year, I can leave the book with either the page number or the number of the hike so folks know where I am.

Obviously, I still have several hikes from both books that I have not done so with the exception of a very few, I am going to try and do all new hikes.

And of course I’ll beat that dead horse again: My primary goal will be overall safety and hydration. I am way too old to do a repeat of last summer.

So what are the first five hikes am I looking at this summer?

  1. Anthony’s Nose-Only in the very early morning and on a weekday. Any other time and it becomes an overcrowded nightmare of city folks and small children. (Not that I have anything against these folks, but I do my best to stay away from the Nose on Friday’s and weekends.)
  2.  Parker Cabin Mountain-Chapter 10 in Circuit Hikes. Although I haven’t done this hike, the book boasts five summits and 1,640 feet of vertical climbing in a relatively short five miles. This could be a tough one.
  3. Pine Swamp Mountain-Chapter 18 in Circuit Hikes. Another hike I haven’t done, this six mile easy to moderate hike promises views of the remnants of several large iron mines.
  4. Hasenclever Mine-Yet another hike from Circuit Hikes that I have not done, this one offers a shorter hike and a longer one with views of rock formations, a Civil War Cemetery, and of course, Hasenclever Mine (chapter 19).
  5. Second Reservoir-Chapter 32 in Circuit Hikes, this falls under the category of Trail Runs and Walks. At almost nine miles, the book says you will see scenic lakes and wetlands on this hike.

Of course, the objective is to do many more than the five listed above,  but these are ones that caught my eye from reading the descriptions in the book and that I would like to do first.

As always, HAPPY HIKING!!!

 

Back On The Brown

“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.”

-John Muir

I know that I have used this quote before, but it speaks so much to why I hike. I don’t think I need to explain, the quote says it all.

We have been blessed with weather this weekend that has been just about as good as it can get. I didn’t get up at my usual five am this morning to hit the trail but instead waited until just about 11:30 am. With a starting temperature of just around 80 degrees, it was much warmer than I was used to, but also noticeably cooler once you got into the woods. A strong breeze was also blowing, making it seem even cooler.

Since I just did this hike the other day, I won’t bore you with the particulars of the hike except that I was moving much faster than the other day. I don’t what the deal was, but I felt much better than I did on Friday.

So instead, I took pictures of different areas of the Brown Trail to share with you.

At certain points, this trail runs parallel to a stream, which due to recent rainfall was still running quite strongly. In a few weeks, it will slow to a trickle if the rain stops falling.

 

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HAPPY HIKING!!!

2019 Mileage

Hike #6-5/26/19-5.3-28.1

 

Blue Skies And Spring

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.”

-John Muir

With summer rapidly approaching and daylight extending way past what we were seeing just a couple of months ago, the best way to end a day to head to Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. With clear blue skies and empty trails, this hike was as close to perfect as you can get.

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The start of today’s hike.

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A stream that runs next to the trail.

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Upstream just a little bit from the picture above.

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A register located on the DH Trail.

Happy Hiking!!!

Hike #12-5.5-68.7

The Labyrinth + Connector Trails= Relative Peace (29)

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” 

“The power of imagination makes us infinite.” 

-John Muir

After a day of rain on Sunday, the weather today was next to perfect! Once again, temperatures were in the mid 50’s with clear skies and a nice breeze. When I hit the trail at 5:40 am, it was still pretty dark but I knew that with an earlier than usual start I would have a  little more flexibility with how far I could go.

I decided that after yesterday’s post I am renaming the Red Trail, “The Labyrinth.” It only seems fitting since I have hiked it numerous times and have likened its benefits to a traditional Labyrinth.

Today’s trek first took me on the The Labyrinth, back around to a connector trail to the Leatherman’s Loop and I finished by heading back on a very short loop from the yellow to the end of the red.

One of the best things about the cool weather has been the absence of any blood sucking thugs. It’s been really nice not to have to spend entire hikes swatting and slapping these beasts away from me. I can’t remember the last time that I had to actually use any bug spray on a hike.

Another nice day and another really nice hike!

Happy Hiking!!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

9/4/17-9.2-169.22

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Happy hiking!!!!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

7/25/17-7.1-65.72

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