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Posts Tagged ‘New York New Jersey Trail Conference’

by Daniel Chazin, The Record, NorthJersey.com, link to original post

FEATURES: This loop hike follows portions of the never-completed Dunderberg Spiral Railway, climbs to the summit of Bald Mountain and passes several expansive viewpoints over the Hudson River.
LENGTH: 7 miles
DIFFICULTY: Strenuous.
TIME: About 5 1/2 hours.
MAP: New York-New Jersey Trail Conference Harriman-Bear Mountain Trails Map #119.
DOGS: Permitted on leash.

HOW TO GET THERE: Take the Palisades Interstate Parkway to its northern terminus at the Bear Mountain Circle and proceed south on Route 9W for about four miles. Park in a gravel parking area on the right, at the base of a downhill section. (A side road, Old Route 9W, leaves sharply to the left here.)

From the parking area, walk south on Route 9W for a few hundred feet. Just beyond signs for Routes 9W and 202, three blue blazes and three red-dot-on-white blazes on a tree mark the start of the Timp-Torne (blue) and Ramapo-Dunderberg (red-dot-on-white) Trails.

Follow the blazes into the woods along a level footpath. Soon, the trail bears left and climbs stone steps to reach a stone-arch tunnel on the left – a remnant of the Dunderberg Spiral Railway, constructed in 1890 but never completed.

The trail now bears right and ascends more steeply to a junction. Here, the red-dot-on-white blazes continue ahead, while the blue blazes turn left. Follow the blue blazes of the Timp-Torne Trail, which continues to climb, but on a more moderate grade.

Soon, the trail turns right and heads away from the river. After going through a rocky area on switchbacks, the trail turns left and follows a level, graded railway embankment for the next quarter of a mile. With the railbed ahead blocked off by fallen trees, the trail turns right and climbs to the next higher level, where it turns left. Just ahead, you’ll come to the portal of an unfinished tunnel.

The trail now returns to the lower railway grade, which it follows around a curved embankment. The roadbed ends at the opposite end of the unfinished tunnel, but the trail bears left, crosses a stream and a woods road, and climbs to another viewpoint, which looks south along the river. Beyond the viewpoint, the trail is relatively level, and even descends a little.

Watch for a sharp right turn, where the trail reverses direction and heads northeast, uphill at first. After another level stretch, the trail reaches a panoramic viewpoint, looking both north and south along the Hudson.

From the viewpoint, the trail again reverses direction and heads southwest on a relatively level footpath. After passing another panoramic south-facing viewpoint, the trail climbs gradually, then descends rather steeply. At the base of the descent, the trail intersects a woods road, with the junction marked by a cairn.

Leave the Timp-Torne Trail here and turn right onto the woods road, marked with white “1777” blazes. In a short distance, turn right again onto the red-dot-on-white-blazed Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail, which you will follow for the rest of the hike.

The trail climbs to a viewpoint, continues over a rise through dense mountain laurel thickets, and descends to briefly join a woods road that crosses a stream. It then bears left and climbs to the summit of Bald Mountain. Just before reaching the summit, the trail turns sharply right. Continue ahead to the summit and to a rock outcrop just beyond that offers a panoramic view over the Hudson River.

When you’re ready to continue, return to the trail, and be sure to take the left fork. The trail begins to descend, passing an opening of the Cornell Mine on the right. It continues along the ridge of Dunderberg Mountain, with several ups and downs.

In another mile, the trail briefly joins a woods road and then climbs to a high point with a view. After a slight descent, it climbs steeply to reach an even better viewpoint, then continues through thickets of dense birch saplings.

After descending from the ridge, steeply in places, the trail curves right. Here, a short white-blazed side trail leads ahead to a viewpoint over the Hudson River. The Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail soon joins another graded section of the railbed, with several gaps where the grading was never finished.

At a stone abutment, the trail turns sharply left and descends steadily along a right-of-way excavated for a cable incline. When you reach the junction with the blue-blazed Timp-Torne Trail, continue ahead (downhill), following both blue and red-dot-on-white blazes back to the parking area where the hike began.

“Hiking” is provided by Daniel Chazin of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference. The trail conference is a volunteer organization that builds and maintains more than 1,700 miles of hiking trails and publishes a library of hiking maps and books, including a two-map set for Harriman-Bear Mountain Trails ($9.95) and the “New York Walk Book” ($22.95). The Trail Conference’s office is at 156 Ramapo Valley Road (Route 202), Mahwah; (201) 512-9348; nynjtc.org; hikeoftheWeek@aol.com.

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NorthJersey.com, link to original post
by Daniel Chazin

LENGTH: About two miles.
DIFFICULTY: Moderate.
TIME: About 1 1/2 hours.
MAP: New York-New Jersey Trail Conference Shawangunk Trails Map No. 105; Minnewaska State Park Preserve map.
DOGS: Permitted on leash.

HOW TO GET THERE: Take the New York State Thruway to Exit 18 (New Paltz). After paying the toll, turn left onto Route 299 and continue west through the Village of New Paltz. When you cross the bridge over the Wallkill River at the west end of the village, continue ahead on Route 299 (do not turn right toward the Mohonk Mountain House). In another 5.6 miles (from the Wallkill River bridge), Route 299 ends at a T intersection with Route 44/55. Turn right here and follow Route 44/55 as it negotiates a very sharp hairpin turn and climbs to pass under the Trapps Bridge (a steel overpass). Continue for about two miles past the Trapps Bridge to the entrance to the Peters Kill area of Minnewaska State Park Preserve, on the right side of the road (an $8 parking fee is charged at the gatehouse).

From a kiosk at the western end of the lower parking area, follow a wide path, covered with wood chips, which heads north, soon becoming a gravel road. At the top of a rise, a triple-white blaze on a tree to the right marks the start of the Bullwheel Trail. Turn right onto this trail, which climbs gradually on an old carriage road. After passing a trail sign on the left, the road becomes rocky and eroded, and it gradually narrows to a footpath.

At the crest of the rise, the trail passes a concrete slab, with steel bolts protruding. A tower that was anchored to the slab via the bolts once supported a pulley for a ski lift – part of the Ski Minne downhill ski area, which operated from 1964 to 1978. The pulley is commonly referred to as a “bullwheel” – hence the name for the trail.

The trail levels off and descends a little, with the cliffs of Dickie Barre on the left, and it soon ends at a junction with the blue-blazed High Peters Kill Trail. Turn left onto this trail, which climbs briefly to cut through a notch in Dickie Barre (notice the tilted blocks of conglomerate rock on the left), then begins a long, gradual descent through blueberry bushes to the Peters Kill.

About halfway down, the trail emerges on exposed rock ledges, with pitch pines growing from the bedrock, and bears right. Before continuing ahead, you should bear left and cross the ledges to reach a dramatic viewpoint from the edge of the cliffs, with the Catskills visible in the distance to the right. Then return to the trail, which descends more steeply for a short distance. The grade soon moderates, and the trail runs close to the edge of the escarpment, with sheer drops on the left.

At the base of the descent, just before reaching the Peters Kill, turn left onto a yellow-blazed trail (at a sign “to Peters Kill parking lot”). The trail parallels the picturesque stream amid hemlocks, rhododendron and mountain laurel. After passing an interesting cascade, the Yellow Trail bears left, away from the stream, and it soon ends at a sign for the Red Trail.

Turn left onto the Red Trail, but in only 20 feet turn right and follow the red blazes parallel to the stream. This trail section is even more scenic than the previous one, as you pass numerous cascades and flumes in the stream.

After reaching a small waterfall and a pool on the right, the Red Trail bears left, leaving the stream, and climbs back toward Route 44/55. This section of the trail has recently been rerouted, and the blazing may not be complete, although the trail route is clear and obvious. At the top of the climb, the trail turns left and follows an old road through fields back to the parking area where the hike began.

“Hiking” is provided by Daniel Chazin of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference. The trail conference is a volunteer organization that builds and maintains over 1,700 miles of hiking trails and publishes a library of hiking maps and books, including a three-map set for Shawangunk Trails ($10.95), “Scenes and Walks in the Northern Shawangunks,” by Jack Fagan ($13.95), and the “New York Walk Book” ($22.95). The Trail Conference’s office is at 156 Ramapo Valley Road (Route 202), Mahwah; (201) 512-9348; nynjtc.org; HikeoftheWeek@aol.com.

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by Daniel Chazin of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference

Storm King State Park: This 2.5-mile loop hike offers panoramic views over the Hudson River. It begins at a parking area on Route 9W, 8.1 miles north of the Bear Mountain Bridge. Follow the orange-blazed Butter Hill Trail, which begins just north of the parking area and climbs steeply. Soon, views over the Hudson River appear to the right. The trail passes stone pillars, descends slightly, then continues to climb. At the top of a steep climb, open rock ledges afford a wide panorama.

After a short level stretch, the Butter Hill Trail ends at a junction with the yellow-blazed Stillman Trail. Turn right and follow the Stillman Trail up to the summit of Butter Hill, which offers a 360-degree view. Continue along the Stillman Trail, which climbs some more, then levels off, with more spectacular views over the Hudson River.

When you reach a junction with the white-blazed By-Pass Trail, bear right and follow the By-Pass Trail, which descends along the side of the mountain. When the By-Pass Trail ends, continue ahead on the blue-blazed Howell Trail, but in 500 feet, when the blue-blazed trail turns off to the left, continue ahead on the road to the parking area on Route 9W, where the hike began.

For a more detailed description of the hike, log on to nynjtc.org/hike/butter-hillstillmanbypass-trail-loop-route-9w

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Continuing on the Long Path Trail

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Trail Corridor Monitors monitor the boundaries of the Appalachian Trail lands, maintaining boundary markings and reporting conditions to the land managers.
Commitment:  Long Term
Necessary Skills & Qualifications:

*   Member of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference
*   Physically able to bushwhack through woods
*   Map reading (surveyor and segment)
*   Orienteering skills
*   Ability to read a compass or use a GPS device

Responsibilities & Duties:

*   Walk corridor boundaries 2 to 4 times per year
*   Verify monuments along the corridor boundary
*   Verify boundary markers signs along the corridor boundary
*   Report evidence of trespassing and misuse; such as dumping, logging, ATVs, etc.
*   Be alert to improvements/ideas that could prevent trespass
*   Assist Corridor Manager in handling problems discovered
*   Meet trail neighbors and easement holders annually
*   Re-freshen painted blazes on boundary lines in consultation with corridor manager
*   Submit yearly reports on condition of corridor to corridor manager

Time Commitment:  Cover trail 4 times per year.
Training:  Training in both field and skills work will be provided by the Corridor Manager, or through attendance at a New York-New Jersey Trail Conference monitoring workshop .
Program Area:  Trail Work
Location Type:  On Trail
Oversight: Other
Age Requirements: none
http://www.ny-njtrailconference.org/volunteer

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