Tag Archives: tranquility

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.

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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.

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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”.

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

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A close up of one of the cairns.

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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:

7/12/17-6.6-40.82

 

 

 

Flowers at the Elephant Trunk

“When words escape, flowers speak.”

-Bruce W. Currie

“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.”

-Luther Burbank

These flowers were also at the Elephant Trunk Flea Market. I believed that they needed a space all of their own instead of being meixed in with everything else that was for sale.

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Lake Tiorati (7)

“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”

-Henry David Thoreau

Today I decided to keep the hike kind of short. I parked my car in the Lake Tiorati lot and made my way up the blue connector trail that joins up with the Appalachian Trail in three tenths of a mile. Turning left, I immediately saw a Doe with her Fawn. This in itself isn’t so strange, but when they didn’t run as I approached, I thought it would be nice to get a picture.

As I took off my pack and took out my camera, fawn actually approached me and stopped about fifteen feet away!

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Mama and baby checking me out!

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I was actually very surprised that neither deer ran when they saw me.

Continuing on the AT, it was much nicer terrain than when I was on the trail the other day. Today’s section of the trail was wide open and I didn’t experience the closed in feeling that I did hiking around Silvermine Lake!

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The AT runs parallel to Lake Tiorati in Bear Mt. State Park.

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My trusty pack on the AT!!!!

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Shortly after I took this picture, the AT would intersect with a blue blazed trail that leads to the Fingerboard Shelter 350 feet away.

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Four tenths of a mile after passing the shelter, you end up back on Seven Lakes Road. Turn left and walk along the road (approximately 1 1/4 miles) and you end up back where you started.

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Lake Tiorati

Summer 2017 Mileage:

7/8/17-3.5-28.82

 

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

“Dance Like There’s Nobody Watching”

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,  Love like you’ll never be hurt, Sing like there’s nobody listening, And live like it’s heaven on earth.”

-William Purkey

One of the things that I love about hiking is the solitude. Most of the time, based on my really early start times, I get a great deal of alone time. For me, that’s ok. I don’t mind hiking alone and I certainly don’t crave having a hiking partner. If someone wants to join me, then of course I’ll hike with them, but it doesn’t really matter.

Why do I mention that? And why did I choose the very famous quote from William Purkey to start this post? I’ll tell you why. When I get out on the trail, I get into a zone. My legs feel good, my mind is clear and I feel like I can go on forever. When I take a break, I’ll drink some water and listen to music (usually Phish). This morning, I was on the AT taking a quick break before I finished the hike. I pulled out my iPod, put on my headphones and dialed up a Phish show from last summer.

One thing that you need to know about Phish is that most of their songs are songs that you can’t help but dance to. Filled with funk and rhythm, the music itself calls out to you!

So, today I’m taking this break and I’m moving and grooving. I’m not going to lie-it was at the end of great hike, I was in the zone and I was really getting into the music. The one thing that I didn’t see were the four thru hikers that had come up behind me! They said that they had been watching me for almost 5 minutes. At first I was a little embarrassed, but then I thought, WTF??? Why be embarassed? The best part??? I got a round of applause when I turned around and saw them.

Another reason to love hiking!!!!!

 

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