Tag Archives: wilderness

Long Mountain and Turkey Hill Lake (18)

“It is a surprising and memorable, as well as valuable experience, to be lost in the woods any time.”

-Henry David Thoreau

“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.”

-John Lubbock

The weather for hiking this summer has been pretty good. Even though we have gotten more rain than in past summers, we have only had just a few days where the temperature has actually got into the 90’s. The Hudson Valley has also been spared the oppressive humidity that usually define the months of July and August. Until today. With the temperature hovering just around 70 and the dew point being just as high or even higher, I anticipated  sweating even more than normally do!

As usual, I got to the trail at about 6:30 am and was hiking before 6:40. Starting at the kiosk on the Long Path, the trail starts off level and then heads sharply downhill.

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The beginning of the hike on the Long Path.

After hiking for around 10 minutes, you will cross paths with the Popolopen Gorge trail on the right. At this point, stay on the blue blazed Long Path where you begin a relatively steep and winding climb to get to the top of Long Mountain.

Once you get to the top, not only do get some awesome views, but you see this memorial.

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The Raymond H. Torrey Memorial on top of Long Mountain.

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Turkey Hill Lake from Long Mountain.

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The opposite side of Bear Mountain. Note Perkins Memorial Tower on the right hand side of the picture.

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Looking towards NYC from Long Mountain on a really hazy day.

After spending some time checking out the views, I pulled out my map and saw that the descent looked like it might be steeper than the ascent. It also didn’t help that  it had rained the night and added with that some steep drop offs to the left of the trail, the way down was more than a little treacherous. I actually slipped a couple of times and thought that the end might be near!

After getting to the bottom, the Long Path continues straight ahead. You should take the woods road that cuts sharply to the left and follow that until you meet up again with the Popolopen Gorge Trail. Remain on the PG Trail until you get to Turkey Hill Lake.

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Turkey Hill Lake. Long Mountain is in the background.

 

As I made my way around the lake, I came across this shelter. It was actually very well built and looked as though it would keep you relatively dry during a rainstorm.

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Obviously someone had some time on their hands to construct this shelter.

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The tail end of Turkey Hill Lake.

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A small flower alongside the trail.

Summer 2017 Mileage;

8/4/17-5.1-92.12

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

 

 

 

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