The start of the my short shakedown hike (6/27) was as humid as you would expect for the end of June in New York. Temperatures in the mid 80’s with humidity almost equally as high guaranteed an early soaking. Since my son had a job interview that morning, we had him drop us off at the Tuxedo RR station at 6:30 am. Starting early would also put us ahead of the heat and the humidity. The station marks the start of the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail.
The view after the first climb.
The plan for the day was a simple one. Hike just a little over six miles and then spend the night at the Bald Rocks Shelter. Even though it was only six miles, I hadn’t hiked with a full pack in awhile and coupled with difficult terrain and weather, it was a long day. According to our GPS, we gained just about 1500 feet of elevation! Obviously the views were great.
The Bald Rocks Shelter is an interesting one. This blurb was taken from MyHarriman.com:
Bald Rocks (Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail). Massive local granite stones make up his walls, with a nice fireplace inside and a firepit outside. The surrounding area is grassy, with trees close enough to allow hammocking, but not too tight to make you feel like you’re in the woods. Because you’re not — you’re in a lovely grassy field on top of a hill. Great views, too! The trails you’ll use to get to Bald Rocks are some of the best in the park, too, and you’ll be camping near some of Harriman’s coolest sights: Bowling Rocks, Ship Rock and the spine of Hogencamp Mountain. Nice.
Good morning folks! Up at 4 and on the trail by 5! I wanted to get a quick hike in very early this morning so I can finish getting ready for our backpacking excursion into Harriman and Bear Mt. State park tomorrow, Thursday and Friday.
“Rest but never quit. Even the sun has a sinking spell each evening. But it always rises the next morning. At sunrise, every soul is born again.”
– Muhammad Ali
When I set out today, I had originally thought that I was only going to hike for around 3-4 miles. As I made my way around Ward Pound Ridge, I felt really good so I decided that I would keep going!! The sunrise was fantastic and these trees with the small white flowers were all over the reservation. It was very early in the morning so I didn’t have any contact with other hikers or trail runners until the last half mile of my journey.
“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.”
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.
The start of today’s hike.
A stream that runs next to the trail.
Upstream just a little bit from the picture above.
Since I used the very few pictures I took of my hike today in other posts, I will recycle an old photo from the entrance of Ward Pound reservation. It’s the end of the week and I couldn’t think of anything better to do to start the weekend. A peaceful and beautiful four miles!