Category: Carriage Trails

Ward Pound Ridge Reservation - Cross River, Kimberly Bridge, Deer Hollow

February 6, 2022

5 Mi • 577 Ft Gain • 104 Photos • 5 Videos

There's something special about the Cross River in the warmer months, but nothing compares to seeing it weave through patches of snow and ice. I was super impressed with how well my crampons performed on the ice-covered trails. Throughout the day, I encountered icy inclines, icy declines, and ice so smooth it looked like panes of glass. Never once did I feel any sort of slippage or instability in my walking. Temperatures were in the low 20s with very little wind, so as long as I was moving along, I barely noticed the cold.
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Mohonk Preserve - Sky Top Tower, Labyrinth, Crevice, Lemon Squeeze

October 17, 2021

9.2 Mi • 1,266 Ft Gain • 164 Photos

This was an amazing day filled with some challenges I don't normally encounter on my traditional woods-based hikes. If rock scrambles and crawls through tight spaces and up ladders are your thing, the Labyrinth, Crevice, and Lemon Squeeze deliver. The reward includes amazing views reaching as far as NY, NJ, CT, MA, and PA from Sky Top Tower. The Mohonk Mountain House property and Mohonk Lake are equally beautiful. We barely touched the surface of the seemingly endless trails offered by Mohonk Preserve and I'll definitely be back again soon!
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Bull Hill Loop - Northgate, Cornish Estate, Washburn Trail, Breakneck Brook

September 26, 2021

8.7 Mi • 1,581 Ft Gain • 345 Photos • 11 Videos

I'm really happy with the way this day turned out! The weather was beautiful, in the low 70's with no humidity. The dozens of buildings in ruin were amazing to explore and to imagine life in a different era. On top of that, the waterfalls, the mountain and river views, and the varied terrain put this hike toward the top of my all-time favorite list. The 1,400 foot incline from the start to the summit of Bull Hill is sneaky because it's a low grade, but still enough to get the blood pumping. It's a very approachable hike for almost any level of hiker.
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Eugene and Agnes Meyer Preserve - Byram Lake Reservoir, Aqueduct, Upper Meadows

September 12, 2021

6.7 Mi • 820 Ft Gain • 245 Photos • 9 Videos

This was a fun preserve to explore! The western area of the preserve features several large meadows containing wild flowers being visited by bumble bees, honey bees, butterflies, and dragonflies. The eastern section leads to Byram Lake Reservoir, including two aqueducts and a man-made waterfall. Throughout the hike there are various wetlands, including a red maple swamp and several vernal pools where reptiles, amphibians, frogs, salamanders, and fairy shrimp live. The elevation changes are minimal and these were all easy trails to follow for even a novice hiker.
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Harriman State Park - Harriman Outdoor Center, Breakneck Pond, Pine Meadow Lake

July 10, 2021

8.8 Mi • 1,024 Ft Gain • 78 Photos • 3 Videos

I met up with group of six friends who rented a weekend cabin at the Stephen & Betsy Corman AMC Harriman Outdoor Center. I was impressed with how modern and clean the cabin was, with two bedrooms, six beds, and electricity for lights, a microwave, and a refrigerator. We started the day with an almost 9-mile hike from Breakneck Pond to Pine Meadow Lake and back. Then we grabbed dinner in the dining hall before heading out to kayak and canoe across Breakneck Pond. We finished the night sitting around the campfire, chatting and playing games.
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Breakneck Ridge - Hudson River, Notch Trail, Fire Tower, Wilkinson Memorial Trail

May 25, 2021

10.4 Mi • 2,894 Ft Gain • 391 Photos • 17 Videos

This was an amazing hike on a beautiful day. Since it was a Tuesday, I only ran into a handful of people the entire day, which allowed me to have a really peaceful hike and I felt like I practically had the park to myself. The views climbing up Breakneck were breathtaking. The trek up to the fire tower was fun and a challenge of its own. Being able to "hog" the fire tower gave me some really awesome shots. The second half of the hike heading back south is an oasis of quiet forest. Then being able to catch a few trains on video was the cherry on the top of an already perfect day.
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Minnewaska State Park Preserve - Sam's Point, High Point, Verkeerderkill Falls

May 22, 2021

11.1 Mi • 1,178 Ft Gain • 167 Photos • 3 Videos

This hike provides amazing views of the Minnewaska State Park Preserve and the Hudson Valley while walking through the pine barren ridges, including areas where the April 2016 wildfire burned over 2,000 acres to the park. The highlight of the trip was the Verkeerderkill Falls, a 187-ft tall waterfall viewed from the rocky outcrops that were a bit higher and off to the side of the top of the waterfall. Large sections of the trail are over uncovered carriage roads and open ridge areas, so come prepared with proper footwear and plenty of water.
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Beacon Mountain - Casino, Fire Tower, Scofield Ridge, Lambs Hill, Rainbow Falls

April 17, 2021

7.9 Mi • 2,300 Ft Gain • 219 Photos • 12 Videos

After the initial grueling hike up the mountain, the views of the Hudson River and surrounding area makes it all worth it. On top of that, exploring the ruins of the old Incline Railway, Hotel, and Casino gave an interesting perspective and history lesson. Looking out from atop the South Beacon Mountain Fire Tower provides views as far as the eye can see, including the Manhattan skyline. When I made it to Rainbow Falls, I fell in love with the calming effect of the water cascading over the rocks and only left because there were other hikers waiting to take photos and videos.
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Fahnestock State Park - Candlewood Hill, Clear Lake, Hidden Lake

April 10, 2021

9.6 Mi • 1,509 Ft Gain • 65 Photos

This was an awesome hike exploring the views from Candlewood Hill on a gorgeous, mid-60 degree spring afternoon. It was great to see flowers and foliage start blooming again and the forest getting back a little bit of its green hue. The animals were out in force today, as we saw a snake, a snapping turtle, salamanders, geese, and frogs on our journey. Walking the carriage trails was a bit underwhelming, but hiking a bit of the Appalachian Trail made up for it. Although this hike may be too long for some, it's not super intense, so it could be hiked by almost any skill level.
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Westmoreland Sanctuary - Lost Pond, Cole Kettle Pond, Terrace Garden

February 20, 2021

6.1 Mi • 863 Ft Gain • 80 Photos • 2 Videos

Of all the hikes I've been on so far, Westmoreland has the best blazed trails and marked intersections. Not only are there trail arrows at each intersection, there's a full trail map of the entire park. Even though I had both printed and electronic versions of the map, it was super convenient not to have to dig in my pockets. In the winter, there's not a lot to see, but there were plenty of rock formations, rock walls, and streams to keep me satisfied throughout the journey. I can't wait to explore in the summer once things start turning green again.
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Ward Pound Ridge Reservation - Deer Hollow, Cross River, Kimberly Bridge

January 30, 2021

4 Mi • 453 Ft Gain • 36 Photos • 1 Video

The views of the partially-frozen Cross River and the snow-covered scenery gave a new perspective of the park. After some initial frustrations at the start of the hike, I made some adjustments to my gear and attire to get comfortable and the rest of the hike was enjoyable. I'm still getting used to using trekking poles. I've got a good rhythm with them now and am ready to try them on steeper terrain. Overall, I think I've become more acclimated to winter hiking and am ready to tackle some longer, more challenging winter hikes in the coming weeks!
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Sterling Forest State Park - Greenwood Lake, Fire Tower, Jennings Creek, Bare Rock

November 7, 2020

12 Mi • 1,942 Ft Gain • 161 Photos • 4 Videos

The Bare Rock lookout offered amazing views of Greenwood Lake and I'm so glad I took this detour. Climbing the Fire Tower was the highlight of the day; I only wish I took better photos. The area around Jennings Creek and the rest of the park did not disappoint. As usual, I could spend days here taking in all the various areas of the park. I especially want to visit the old mine areas the next time around. Trails were blazed well, with signs at the major intersections giving trail names, trail lengths, and POIs.
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Ward Pound Ridge Reservation - Leatherman's Cave, Wildflower Garden, Nature Museum

October 24, 2020

9.7 Mi • 1,250 Ft Gain • 207 Photos • 1 Video

So many wonderful new finds on my second visit, including Leatherman's Cave, Wildflower Garden, Trailside Nature Museum, phenology trail, Lenape indian wigwam shelter, and more. I really want to come back and explore that Orange phenology trail again and checkout the wildflower garden in the spring or summer. I'm pleased with the intersection markings in this park. They make it so much easier to navigate with a paper make and figure out exactly where you are.
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Ward Pound Ridge Reservation - Raven Rocks, CCC Camp, Castle Rock, Spy Rock, Dancing Rock

September 26, 2020

8.9 Mi • 1,147 Ft Gain • 218 Photos • 2 Videos

The diverse scenery and designated points of interest, including the former fire tower, Raven Rocks, Indian Rock Shelter, the former CCC Camp, Castle Rock, Spy Rock, Dancing Rock, Bear Rock Petroglyph, and Matey’s Gulch, make for a very enjoyable hike for all skill levels. The ascents and descents were manageable and not grueling. The views on the Rock Trail to the south are magnificent. I found the trails to be very clearly marked, blazed at short intervals, and most of the intersections are numbered, which made it very easy to follow along on the trail map.
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Rockefeller State Park Preserve - Swan Lake, Buttermilk Hill, Rock Wall Loop, Spring Trail

August 1, 2020

7.8 Mi • 626 Ft Gain • 93 Photos

Overall, I considered this more of a walk through and near wooded areas than a hike. All of the paths I ended up on were dirt or gravel carriage paths with little canopy and it sometimes felt like walking down a quiet street. It was still great exercise and it was outdoors, but I'd much prefer being more enclosed by woods than this. Now that I have a better lay of the land, I'm going to do more research about Rockefeller State Park Preserve to see if there are more traditional hiking trails. There are over 45 miles of paths here, so there is plenty to explore on future visits!
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