Trout Pond Loop

TroutMar2016_06camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Wednesday, March 30th, I decided I wanted get out and do a hike close to home since the weather was nice and the rest of the following days were looking wet or cold. I decided to go to Trout Pond since it is close and offers some nice views and since I had been to Frick Pond so many times in the last few weeks. I had some things to take care of in the morning so I didn’t get out of Livingston Manor until after 10:00 AM. I put my gear in the trunk and an overjoyed Sheila in the back seat and headed to Roscoe on State Route 17. I got on Route 206 and followed it across the Delaware County line to Morton Hill Road. After a left turn on Morton Hill Road, I drove to the intersection with Russell Brook Road. I turned around and parked on the side of the road to avoid the parking area which is private. We began our hike down Russell Brook Road at 10:30 AM. Continue reading

Weather for the week of March 27th

The week of March 27th began with a Sunday which started off sunny and then became overcast with temperatures rising into the low 50’s with a slight breeze. On Monday rain will move into the area in the early morning and there will be rain on and off for most of the day. The temperatures will rise throughout the day reaching the 50’s by late in the day. T the same time the wind velocity will pick up reaching 20 mph by evening. Tuesday will be partly sunny but windy with temperatures in the low 40’s and wind-chills as much as 10 degrees colder! Wednesday will be sunny and warmer with temperatures in the low 50’s and only a gentle breeze. By Thursday the temperatures will rise into the low 60’s with some sun in the morning giving way to showers in the afternoon. The temperatures will drop back into the mid 50’s on Friday but it will be mostly cloudy with rain especially in the afternoon. There will be a chance of rain on Saturday morning and then sun toward the afternoon with highs in the low to mid 40’s. There may still be some icy spots on some of the trails on the 3500 peaks as the nighttime temperatures dip below freezing. With the wildly varying temperatures, be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing with layers that can be used to manage the changing temperatures. Pack your favorite hiking spikes so you don’t have to turn back on your planned route. Keeping hydrated when the temperatures are so varied can sometimes be tricky since you may not feel that you are sweating as much as on a warm summer day. Hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. Once you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Remember, the weather forecast is only a prediction and always contains percentages. Be prepared and have a plan for the most likely and least likely forecast! Are you prepared to stay out overnight on a trail? Conditions in the morning can change drastically by afternoon. Conditions at the trailhead do not always reflect the conditions on the peaks! Variable trail and weather conditions are a hallmark of these mountains. BE CAREFUL AND BE PREPARED!

Balsam Lake Mountain

BalsamLakeMar2016_06camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Saturday, March 26th, I wanted to hike a 3500 foot peak and decided on Balsam Lake Mountain. Brad agreed to go with me but had not brought hiking clothing. Having more than enough hiking gear to outfit a small expedition, I quickly found some gear and we got ready to go. The temperature was supposed to rise into the mid to high 50’s so I wore no baselyers and only a light top. I did put on my Winter Wander pants and my Mammut hoody. I was wondering how the Beaverkill Road had fared but decided the only way to find out was to go there. We left Livingston Manor at 10:00 AM and drove toward Roscoe on Old Rt 17 before turning right on the Beaverkill Road. The sky was almost cloudless as we drove through Lew Beach although the temperature was only reading in the high 30s’s! We passed the Buddhist monastery which was as far as Brad had been on the road. Continue reading

Touch-Me-Not Trail Maintenance

TouchMeNotMaintenanceMar2016_23camera32  On Thursday, March 24th I planned to do some trail maintenance on The part of the TouchMeNot Trail that runs west from Big Pond to TouchMeNot Mountain. I maintain this trail from Big Pond to Beech Hill Road for the Finger Lakes Trail Conference. The Catskill trail supervisor had emailed me that some hikers felt the trail could use a few more blazes. Cindy agreed to go with me which makes trail maintenance and marking much easier. We left Livingston Manor around 10:30 AM with Sheila in the backseat ready to hike anywhere we stopped! I took my Fiskars trimming axe and my smaller Silky saw plus some felling wedges. I also brought a hammer, galvanized roofing nails and the red markers needed to blaze the trail. We arrived at Big Pond just before 11:00 AM and parked in the lot. I got my gear ready to go and we crossed the road to start up the trail. My plan was to place and replace markers on the way up noting any blowdowns that would have to be removed. On our way back we would make sure the blazes were visible in that direction. Continue reading

Neversink Unique Area: Three Falls Loop

ThreeFallsMar2016_05camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Tuesday, March 22nd I planned to hike with my friend Nery who had contacted me the day before. It was his day off from work and college and I was more than pleased to have someone as a hiking companion. I had thought about going to Storm King or Harriman but decided to go to the Neversink Unique Area as it is much closer and Nery had never been there. My plan was to hike to Denton Falls and then walk down to High Falls before doubling back to visit Mullet Brook Falls on the way back. It had been some time since I had been down to High Falls and I was looking forward to the longer route. I got Sheila and my gear in the car and left Livingston Manor at about 8:35 AM to head to Liberty to pick up Nery at his house. I arrived a little before 9:00 AM and Nery soon appeared with his new dog, Laila. She is a cute terrier and pit bull mix that Nery “rescued”. She let me pet her but then started to bark at me as Nery put her back in the house. Nery got in the car and I let Sheila get acquainted with him before we headed toward Rock Hill. I drove south and east on Route 17 to Rock Hill and took Katrina Falls Road all the way to the end. Continue reading

Trout Pond Bushwhack

On Monday, March 21st, I was in the mood to hike after two weeks of a nasty cold! I had thought about going a little farther away but an early morning ambulance call changed my mind. When I got home, I suggested to Cindy that we go to Trout Pond and she agreed. Once Sheila found out we were going she was beside herself. Sheila really doesn’t care where we go as long as we get out. We got our gear and Sheila in the car and left Livingston Manor just before 10:00 AM heading north and west on State Route 17 toward Roscoe. I got off at the roscoe exit and followed Route 206 toward Downsville. Just after the Rockland Flats I turned left on Morton Hill Road and drove up the hill to the junction with Russell Brook Road. I turned around and parked on the side of the road near the intersection. I avoided parking in the lot there as it is on private property. We started our hike at 10:15 AM by walking down Russell Brook Road. Continue reading

Weather for the week of March 20th

The week of March 20th began with a Sunday which started off sunny and then became overcast with temperatures rising into the high 40’s with a slight breeze. On Monday the temperatures will stay in the high 30’s and there will be a breeze. The cloud cover should break by late morning and the sun will shine through. There is more sun on tap for Tuesday when the highs should again reach the mid to high 40’s. Rain creeps into the forecast on Wednesday with some passing showers in the afternoon. The temperatures will continue to tarsi reaching the low 50’s. The rain will hang around for the morning on Thursday. Thursday afternoon will be cloudy but the highs will again be in the mid 50’s. There may be some showers on Friday morning but the sun may peek through in the afternoon with highs dropping back to thehigh 40’s. The temperature should climb to almost 50 on Saturday with plenty of sun. There may still be some icy spots on some of the trails on the 3500 peaks as the nighttime temperatures dip below freezing. With the wildly varying temperatures, be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing with layers that can be used to manage the changing temperatures. Pack your favorite hiking spikes so you don’t have to turn back on your planned route. Keeping hydrated when the temperatures are so varied can sometimes be tricky since you may not feel that you are sweating as much as on a warm summer day. Hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. Once you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Remember, the weather forecast is only a prediction and always contains percentages. Be prepared and have a plan for the most likely and least likely forecast! Are you prepared to stay out overnight on a trail? Conditions in the morning can change drastically by afternoon. Conditions at the trailhead do not always reflect the conditions on the peaks! Variable trail and weather conditions are a hallmark of these mountains. BE CAREFUL AND BE PREPARED!

Weather for the week of March 13th

The week of March 6th began with a Sunday which started off sunny and then became overcast with temperatures rising to just above 60 degrees. Monday will see showers move in along with much lower temperatures. The highs will not reach 40 degrees and breeze from 10 to 15 mph will make it feel more like the mid 20′!. The rain will hang around at least for Tuesday morning but the temperatures will be milder. The highs will teach into the low 50’s and the chance of rain will be near 0 in the afternoon although the clouds will remain. By Wednesday the temperatures will rise to the high 50’s with some brief sun in the morning. The cloud and showers will return for the rest of the day. On Thursday there will be a chance of showers throughout the day sat the highs drop into the low 50’s. Friday will be the first sunny day but there is a chance of snow showers in the morning and highs will top out in the mid-40’s. Saturday should also be sunny with highs similar to Friday.  Despite the lack of snow in the valleys some of the trails on the 3500 peaks may be icy as the nighttime temperatures dip below freezing. With the wildly varying temperatures, be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing with layers that can be used to manage the changing temperatures. Pack your favorite hiking spikes so you don’t have to turn back on your planned route. Keeping hydrated when the temperatures are so varied can sometimes be tricky since you may not feel that you are sweating as much as on a warm summer day. Hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. Once you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Remember, the weather forecast is only a prediction and always contains percentages. Be prepared and have a plan for the most likely and least likely forecast! Are you prepared to stay out overnight on a trail? Conditions in the morning can change drastically by afternoon. Conditions at the trailhead do not always reflect the conditions on the peaks! Variable trail and weather conditions are a hallmark of these mountains. BE CAREFUL AND BE PREPARED!

Waywanada State Park: Mines and Big Loop

WawayandaSPNorthMar2016_13camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Saturday, March 12th, I had decided to take a little longer and more difficult hike. I had settled on going north to hike a 35 like Hunter or south to hike in northern New Jersey. I had planned several times to go to Wawayanda State Park ignorer New Jersey just south of Warwick, NY but had been turned back by weather. In the end I decided to visit the park as it had some iron mines I had not yet visited. There is also a section of the AT that runs through the park and I could not remember hiking it either. I checked my records and found that I had hiked this section with Kurt the year before. We hiked from near Surprise Lake to the Pinwheel Vista which is the most memorable point on that section of the AT. I woke early and despite my efforts to get a little more sleep I could not. I decided to get an early start so I got my gear ready much to the delight of Sheila. Continue reading

Frick Pond: Big Rock and Flynn Trails

FrickBigRockMar2016_01camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Tuesday, March 8th, Lisa and I had decided to go to the Neversink Unique Area to hike at about 9:00 AM. I had been there recently but Lisa wants to go and I was glad to have company. I was ready at 8:45 AM preparing to walk out the door when the ambulance pager sounded. I might have continued on my way but the call was an Echo response, the most serious, for a cardiac arrest from a drug overdose. I quickly texted Lisa and then headed down to the ambulance building. The rig was already pulled out and we were able to leave immediately. The short story is that the patient survived and we were back in town arjust after 10:30 AM. Lisa was still ready to hike so we changed our plans and decided to go to Frick Pond to hike a loop. Sheila, who had seemed depressed when I left the first time, was more than ready to go as I put my gear in the car. The temperature was already in the low 50’s and I knew it would being increasing. Continue reading