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Tag Archives: Appalachian Trail
This was the third time I completed this particular hike, one of my favorites in the New York area. The first time was a solo hike, On June 12, 2011, and the second time was with friends, on October 14, 2012. This was the first time that Batya had been on this hike.
After weeks of temperatures in the 80s and 90s, I took off from work to benefit from a day with temperatures in the low 70s. I drove to the parking lot of Fort Montgomery State Historic Site, where I began my hike. I did not investigate the historic site, and do not believe there is much to see there, other than earthen redoubts. A companion fort, Fort Clinton, was built a short distance to the south, across Popolopen Gorge, but was later demolished during construction of U.S. Route 9W and the Bear Mountain Bridge.
Six of us met on Route 17A near the Mt. Peter Ski Area, then shuttled in an SUV 3.7 miles east on Route 17A, to a parking area inside Sterling Forest. There, around 11:00 a.m., we began hiking northeast on the Highlands Trail.
My friends and I hiked a 7.5-mile section of the Appalachian Trail (AT). We met at the intersection of Old West Point Road East and Graymoor Village, where Old West Point Road East transitions from a paved road to a dirt road.
This was the Jewish Outdoor Club’s Sixth Annual Fun Day. The club sold 240 tickets, and while I didn’t get a count of participants, presumably a high percentage attended. The event was held at Stokes State Forest, in northwestern New Jersey, and included hikes, a barbecue, and workshops.
This day I hiked on the Camp Smith Trail, with temperatures in the 50s, which was much warmer than my prior visit in January 2012.
While this has been the second mild winter in a row, we did have snowfall on Friday night, and Fahnestock reopened its winter park.
With a few variations, this was a repeat of my June 12, 2011 solo hike. I therefore did not take many photographs and will not offer much of a description, as I described the hike in my earlier post.
The weather finally cooperated, so I drove to Harriman, where I parked in the Elk Pen off Highway 17 and began climbing the Appalachian Trail (AT) northbound (actually east-southeast) into the park. There’s a pretty steep 400′ climb up Green Pond Mountain at the start of the hike, from about 600′ to 1000′ elevation, which made me stop to catch my breath for a moment. But I was fine the rest of the day, with the elevation for the most part pretty steady from 1100′ to 1300′. I carried my fleece jacket with me, but it spent most of the time in my backpack, as the weather was warm enough, especially when coupled with my exertion.
It was a very cold day, but I hadn’t been hiking in several weeks and the sky was bright and clear, so I decided not to be deterred by the cold weather. Before I left home, it was around 10 degrees at Bear Mountain. I don’t know what the temperature was when I was hiking in the area, though I’ll guess it was fluctuating between the teens and 20s.