Hike Recommendations

Where should you hike today? Where is a good swimming hole? Are the Mountain Laurel out in Harriman yet?

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howliecoyote's picture

witches hole state forest [ dec state land ] there is a pipe spring there along hike from the sams point area perhaps 8 miles , look at the trail conference map for detail. not many flat spots at witches hole.
rsuntag's picture

Looking for a 2 day / 1 night hike in the Harriman area and wondering if what I'm planning sounds reasonable or if anyone else has better suggestions.   We'll leave cars at either end - Lake Tiorati and Bear Mountain.  Any suggestions on parking lots for Bear Mountain area - OK for an overnight?  Looks like there's a lot near Perkins Tower and another near Hessian Lake and 9W....or maybe Fort Montgemery?   Stage car at Bear Mt. and start at Lake Tiorati.  Head north on the AT / take the wood road over to the Long Path to Menomine (Y), back down to the AT (at Letterock) East over Black Mountain and to the West Mountain Shelter.  I'm estimating this at about 7 (maybe 8) miles.  Does that sound about right?   Day 2 - From the map, lots of trail options headed towards Bear Mountain.  Any suggestions on trails with good views or things to see along the way?   Thanks in advance for any help / ideas!
PVPatrick's picture

Parking at the Bear Mt lot near the administration bldg is safest as that is the Park Police headquarters. Overnight parking is not allowed at Perkins Tower. Hiking from West Mt shelter (be advised that the shelter has a hole in the roof) take the Timp Torne trail west following along the ridge of west mountain. The Timp Torne coalligns with the AT, follow the AT down through Doodletown and up the west side of Bear Mt, down the east side to the parking area. Or...Take Timp Torne trail east to the summit of the Timp, make left on Ramapo Dunderberg(RD), then left again onto 1777 trail to split at doodletown, follow 1777E to bear mt parking area. Both routes offer great views and plenty of climbing. Option 1 is a bit longer and steeper. Both are quite doable in one day.
Michael K7's picture

Can't help you wiht the parking since i always use public transportation, but i will say this: 1- your day 1 is at least 8 miles, and will feel like more with all the ascending/descending you will be doing 2- if you take the SBM trail north from the shelter, you may have to do some serious rock scrambling. I hiked the entire SBM trail 2 years back (but in the opposite direction), and i remember one section where i had to climb down a ways, and it was one of the toughest scrambles i've done. At one point i almost wished i had a rope for safety. I can't say for sure that this section you would be hiking is where this scramble is, but just be aware that it is a possibility. Other than that, i am not familiar with the trails in this part of Harriman. Have fun!
banjolady's picture

mike k7--if you hiked SBM southbound from bear mt , you would have had to go DOWN the pingyp. some of us call it the dreaded pingyp. it is not a tall mountain but it has the most exposure of anyplace in the park. we climbed up it the other day, it starts at the palisades near exit 16 where the SBM crosses and were talking about how we would not want to go down this way.  it is unlikely anyone would be going SB on the SBM in this area by accident. most likely someone hiking from tiorati to bear mt would be on the AT and the RD trails, the TT timp torne trail is quite beautiful and challenging- patrick's suggestions are excellent. the SBM could be used from the TT going to bear mt or down to cats elbow, a lovely viewpt where the SBM and RD trails intersect. SBM is a challenging trail for sure....
Michael K7's picture

Yes indeed, i did go southbound, and had quite the time on that descent. Like i said, i was wishing i had brought ropes with me. But i survived :)
pkalinani's picture

Hi, I am taking my 3-month old son and my sister-in-law on their first hike tomorrow. I am looking for something in the North Jersey or Harriman area so its not a long drive from us. Ideally the trail would offer lots of views, would be no longer than 5 miles round trip and would be moderately challenging. Any recomendations?
dustin.devincentis's picture

Hi - I'm an experienced hiker and am planning a weekend trip to do Devil's Path. I'm new to the site (and relatively new to the tri-state area), so perhaps I'm missing something, but I don't see much info around how to navigate, where to camp/start and begin, etc. I undesrtand that it's actually the linkage of a few separate trails, but could someone tell me which ones? Also, would the Catskills map capture the entire trail? Many thanks.
Dan Cohen's picture

I also want to do the same hike- I want to head out this Monday, and want to do atg least 3-4 days(will take other connecting trails if Dev's P will be too short). Have you done the hike already?If so - how was it? If not, maybe we could do it together? I am looking for other people to join because I prefer not to be there on my own...   Thanks!! Dan 
srtmaintainer's picture

Hi Dustin,   The Catskill's map set shows the entire length of the Devil's Path, it's on map 141. Trail Conference maps show shelters, water and view points to name a few things. currently the western trailhead in Spruceton for this trail is closed because of Irene. You can stay updated on this matter with this link http://www.nynjtc.org/news/postirene-message-hikers-trail-maintainers The maps also have trail descriptions on the backs of them. I suggest that you buy a map set as they cover many miles of trails in the Catskill's. The coverage area is NE Sullivan, Ulster, Greene, Southern Delaware and Extreme Southern Schoharie Counties. Andy Garrison
imamister2's picture

I am planning a 3 day/2 night trip (first time in this area) through Bear Mtn/Harriman. I was thinking about starting at Peekskill (Metro North) and making my way to Public Transportation on 17 or the Port Jervis Line (which I hear may have hurricane recovery issues).   Questions: Is this a reasonable plan for an intermediate hiker? Would West Mountain Shelter and Fingerboard Shelter be good places to camp? Does anyone have any better ideas for a similar-length trip (public transportation preferred)?
flyguy's picture

There's NO train sevice on that side of the park - But you can grab a bus back to the City or to the Ramsey Train station / As for the shelters you mentioned From Peekskill - West  would be your 1st shelter Via either the AT or the S-BM Trails (Both are pretty good climbs) from there to the Finger Board Shelter is approx 10+ miles (read the log book on the guys that where there when Irene hit) from there you can take the AT to Lemon Sq and pick up the white Bar tr (or any other Tr heading south) to the T-MI which would take you into Tuxedo ..............  Happy Trails :o)    2 Dogs 
johnwu's picture

Hey there! I'm a very new hiker but I already love it! I was at Terrace Pond recently and absolutely loved the rock scrambling. Frankly, the more challenging the better, bring it on! The trails I took at Ramapo didn't have much of that although the elevation in hill-climbing was no easy feat. Any recommendations?
Melissa McCutcheon's picture

Breakneck Ridge and Bonticou Crag are a blast for rock scrambling, though both are definitely challenging. Also, Bonticou Crag is in Mohonk Preserve which charges an entrance fee per person. Also, Breakneck Ridge is OK for agile dogs but Bonticou will be too difficult. I also saw there is a group hike up Bonticou on October 9th.

BrianSnat's picture

The southern end of Norvin Green State Forest has some good ups and downs and rock scrambles.   If you want a great weekend trip, try the Tongue Mountain range by Lake George. A LOT of rock scrambles on that hike.
BrianSnat's picture

A little farther to the north a nice hike on Bearfort Mtn, the same ridge as Terrace Pond so the terrain is similar. Start behind the marina at the NY/NJ border on Lakeside Drive. And take the State Line trail to the yellow blazed trail. Take that south to the white blazed Bearford Ridge Trail. Take that south and return via the Quail Trail (orange blazes).
Michael K7's picture

The 7 Hills Trail starting near the Reeves Meadow Visitor center has some good up/down scrambles.  The Suffern-Bear Montain Trail starting at Bear Mountain has a few STEEP scrambles (i almost wished i had rope for one of them), but i don't remember how far from the trailhead those sections are, as it's been over a year since i hiked the northern part of that trail. THe Breakneck Ridge Trail is an obvious choice for scrambling, and if you take that trail all the way to South Beacon Mountain, there is a great scramble up the side of the mountain that leads to one of the most spectacular views in the area.   Have fun!
carrotcob's picture

My boyfriend and I just camped at Stockbridge shelter at Harriman. We hung our food and garbage in a tree overnight and were awoken in the morning to find a black bear climbing up the tree and eating our food. The bear seemed familiar with this camp spot and was not afraid of us. We made some loud noises but it seemed unbothered by us. We moved to higher ground to wait until the bear left and reported the incident to the rangers. The rangers said they've had a lot of occurrences in the park this year with bears. Please make sure you DO NOT have food in your tent if you plan to camp.  
horicon@post.com's picture

The emerald ash borer are found in Orange County, NY.   This is a County in NYS that is south ot Ulster County and west of the Hudson River.
cnyhiker's picture

Hello, I'm going to be heading through Rockland Co/Congers and would like to get a day hike in off one of the trails greatly detailed on this website and wonder if there are areas to pitch a tent and sleep over, and then hop back on the trail in the morning? Maybe even a lean to?   Things like great view or even a swimming hole would be a bonus. Any suggestions or insight would be welcomed!   Thanks!