Tag Archives: wilderness photography

My Dogs Are Barking!!!! (25)

“Holy crap my feet hurt.”

-MPD

I have been wanting to do a long(er) hike for a couple of weeks. With the exception of few hikes earlier in the summer, most of my excursions into the woods have averaged between 4-6 miles. As is usually the case, I know that physically it would not be an issue to do a longer hike, it always ends up being a mental one. Today, however, I really wanted to do at least ten miles.

I decided that I would hike the Red Trail twice with a little extra on a side trip on a connector trail. The trail was so nice, I had to do it twice! Storms had moved through last night so I anticipated the rocks on the trail being a little slick. Besides that, the humidity was pretty low and the temperature was around 65 degrees. Pretty decent hiking weather!

Back 20-25 years ago, hikes longer than 10 miles were not uncommon. At my advanced age of 52, however, I don’t want to do anything stupid to where I couldn’t hike due to an overuse injury. Since I really haven’t done any long hikes in some time, I thought today was the day!

Please forgive this first picture, but I was even a little shocked when I took my boots off and this is what I saw!

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My crusty feet after 11.5 miles.

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The first moment when I realized that it was daytime!

After hiking for about 3 miles, I thought it would be a good time to stop and eat some breakfast.

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After I finished the first loop, I took some time to change my socks and air out my feet. I also used this time to get my feet and mind psyched for the next loop.

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During the second loop, I almost stepped on this little guy. Luckily he didn’t run away until after I had snapped a couple of pictures.

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Happy Hiking!!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

8/23/17-11.5-136.62

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

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

Anthony’s… (12)

“I can only meditate when I am walking.  When I stop, I cease to think; my mind works only with my legs.”
–   Jean Jacques Rousseau

“Happy is the man who has acquired the love of walking for its own sake!”
–   W.J. Holland

 Since I started blogging, my goal has always been to document every hike that I do. Sometimes I do the same hike during different seasons so I can show how the views change over time and season. And some, I just do over and over and over because they are awesome and convenient hikes. Anthony’s Nose is a good example of this.

In an effort not to bore anyone that might actually be reading my posts, I’ll keep them short and sweet from this point on.

Since the heat and the humidity have refused to loosen their grip on our area, another trip to the Nose was just what was needed to get a short hike in before the heat of the day.

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Looking at the Torne from Anthony’s Nose.

A short distance from the Nose is another view-point.

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Looking up the Hudson from the alternate view-point.

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Sugarloaf Hill

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Survey Marker

Summer 2017 Mileage:

7/21/17-4.0-58.62

A Respite On The Nose (11)

“Thoughts come clearly while one walks.”

-Thomas Mann

“Never trust a thought that didn’t come by walking.”

-Friedrich Nietzsche

As the week has progressed, the temperature and humidity in the Hudson Valley has risen into the 90’s. Being as hot and humid as it is supposed to be, I decided not only to keep today’s hike relatively short, but also something familiar. Soooo…..another trip to the Nose seemed to be in order.

When I started the hike at 5:50 am, the temperature was already over 70 and the dew point was equally as high. Needless to say, it wasn’t long before I was sweating buckets! Even at this early hour, the hiking wasn’t easy with the oppressive air sitting right on top of you. But once you get to the top, it makes it all worthwhile.

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A hazy morning on the Nose.

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Looking Northeast from the Nose.

Summer 2017 Mileage:

7/19/17-3.7-54.62

 

Second Reservoir (10)

“One step at a time is good walking.”
–   Chinese Proverb

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

-Henry David Thoreau

For today’s hike I went back to Don Weise’s Circuit Hikes in Harriman. Last summer I tried several of his hikes and I really enjoyed the variety of what he had to offer. This hike, starting at the Lake Sebago boat launch, stayed primarily on woods roads. Despite a steady ascent right after you turn on to the road from Seven Lakes Drive, the rest of the hike spent more time rolling through the woods rather than climbing unreasonably steep hills.

Along with some walking in the general area of the lake, this hike measured 10.1 miles.

Since it is covered in detail in chapter 32 of Don Weise’s book, I won’t spend much any time going into the logistics of the hike.  Instead, take a look at the pictures that I took along the way.

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Pine Meadow Road

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An awesome sign about a mile into the hike.

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Cranberry Mountain Trail

 

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Another view of the Second Reservoir

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A snake on the trail.

Summer 2017 Mileage:

7/17/17-10.1-50.92

 

 

 

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