Tag Archives: ward pound ridge reservation

It’s Finally August!!! (23)

“What business have I in the woods, if I am thinking of something out of the woods?” 

Henry David Thoreau

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Compare this picture to the one taken a few days ago. You can feel the humidity sitting on you just looking at it!

Since I didn’t get out yesterday, I knew that I had to do a hike today. Since the forecast today is for a high of 84 degrees with a real feel of 93, it was important to get out early since I tend to sweat profusely on days when it is in the mid 20’s! Starting out at 5:50 am, the temperature was already 72 degrees with the humidity hovering at 94 percent. Needless to say, it didn’t take long for the water to start running off of me.

I don’t think that I need to state the obvious but I will anyway. It’s days like these that remind me of the importance of making sure that you stay hydrated when you are out in the woods. Before I even left my house I made sure that I drank 48 ounces water. I then brought another 96 ounces for the hike.  Since I knew that I was going to be hiking between 6 and 6 1/2 miles, I knew that making periodic water stops would be crucial.

With heat index already in the 80’s  (remember, the sun hasn’t even risen yet!) making sure that you drink enough water and not running out of water can be a delicate balancing act. This is why when I plan a hike I try my best to factor everything (weather, terrain, difficulty) into how much water I will need to bring.

Today I ended up doing the Red Trail again at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation as well as a little extra. Since I have already done this hike, I won’t bother to write it up again except to say, IT WAS HUMID!!!!!

Happy Hiking!!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

8/19/17-6.4-119.12

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

Ward Pound Ridge Reservation-Red Trail (21)

“Walking is magic. Can’t recommend it highly enough. I read that Plato and Aristotle did much of their brilliant thinking together while ambulating. The movement, the meditation, the health of the blood pumping, and the rhythm of footsteps… this is a primal way to connect with one’s deeper self.”
-Paula Cole

“Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far.”

-Thomas Jefferson

Today (8/14/17) marked the third day out of the last four where I have hiked at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. As with the first two hikes, I have never hiked the Red Trail prior to today so I was hoping that it would be as good as the others. Needless to say, even though this one was the longest, I enjoyed it the most. The trail varies from soft earth to rocky and had a minimal amount of ascents. With that said, none of the climbs were that bad.

As I pulled into the parking lot I was met by this wonderful metal sculpture. Just awesome!

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Starting on the right just off of the Michigan Road parking lot, you will pass a gate with a kiosk filled with the usual warnings. After looking at the map and reading the section on the Red Trail in Walkable Westchester, they even recommend tackling this hike in a counterclockwise direction.

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The Michigan Road parking lot

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The Red Trail begins and ends just after the kiosk.

Immediately after the kiosk, the Red Trail starts off level and on soft earth.

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As you wind your way through the park, the surface of the trail changes throughout the duration of the hike. Earth, rocks, gravel, this trail has it all.

The one very cool thing about this Ward Pound Ridge is that they have cabins and shelters scattered throughout the park. This one happened to be just off the Red Trail.

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Here are some interesting rock formations along the trail.

Happy Hiking!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

8/14/17-6.0-107.32

Ward Pound Ridge Reservation-Brown Trail (20)

“The closer you get to real matter, rock air fire and wood, boy, the more spiritual the world is.” 
―Jack Kerouac

“I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all” 
―Jack Kerouac

 

***With this hike I finally went over 100 miles for the summer. Woo Hoo!!!! Hopefully no more rain!

Just the other day I ventured onto the Blue Trail on the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. I chose to tackle the trail in a counterclockwise manner and I am glad that I did. Although the trail was pretty steep at the beginning and had several demanding climbs and even more demanding descents, the last section of the trail was relatively flat.  To get a better idea of the rest of the trails in the park, I purchased Walkable Westchester by Jane and Walt Daniels. This book gives detailed descriptions of trails in the parks in Westchester County, NY.

Parking in the Kimberly Bridge parking area again, you actually stay on the parking lot side of the road to access the Brown Trail. Starting off on the DH trail, you follow that until it intersects with the Brown Trail.

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The Cross River just off of the Kimberly Bridge parking area.

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The DH Trail as it re-enters the woods. Shortly you will veer right onto the Brown Trail.

As you begin hiking on the Brown Trail, it ascends quickly and steeply for a short time. As with the blue trail, unless you are looking for a hike with what seems like never ending climbing, you should do this in a counterclockwise direction.

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The Brown Trail moving to the right.

After climbing, leveling off and then descending, the trail turns sharply to the left and with the exception of a very short climb, stays level or moves downhill for the rest of the hike.

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The hiking was easy on this portion of the trail. 

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The Brown and the DH Trail stay together for a short time. 

One of the more interesting things about this hike is the varied terrain that you come across. Woods roads, forest, Cross River and now an almost tunnel like experience as you hike through this portion of the trail.

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A bridge connecting the Brown Trail with the FH Trail. 

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The Cross River again, this time deeper in the woods.

After completing the Brown Trail Loop, I crossed the street and hiked some more on the DH Trail until it came to Reservation Road. At this point I turned left and headed back to the parking area.

Happy Hiking!!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

8/13/17-5.1-101.32  

 

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