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Mud? Ice? High water at stream crossings?

This is the place to let the trail community know what you encountered, where and when (be as precise as possible). Suggestion: Make the trail or park name your subject.

To report serious trail problems that need Trail Conference attention, including illegal trail use issues, visit our Contact Us page. Problems reported through our Contact Us page get to the maintainers fast and reliably. Problems reported on the forum below may help fellow trail users avoid problem areas until they get fixed, but not all maintainers read this regularly.


jbeard's picture

On June 27, I hiked from the Elk Pen around Island Pond.  Almost every oak and beech tree trunk was covered with dead gypsy moth caterpillars. Another hiker told me that many trees have been defoliated. On June 29, I hiked from Tiorati Brook Road in a big loop east and north, but I did not see a single caterpillar.  I guess this outbreak is localized. Thanks to all the rain, following the Bockey Swamp trail is difficult in spots because of blueberries and ferns covering the trail. Bushes have also made the Red Cross trail pretty narrow as it runs between the Menomenee and the Beech.
johnm's picture

In reply to the posted report:  Bockey Swamp Trail is an unmaintained trail.  The report of the narrow conditions on the Red Cross Trail section is appreciated; the assigned maintainers will be notified.  As was noted, the gypsy moths have indeed been active this year resulting in many trees defoliated or left with very diminished and ragged leaves., .
mikej165's picture

My wife and I encountered a worrisome segment of downed power lines yesterday ( 6/7) at the junction of the White Bar and Victory trails in southern Harriman. The lines are touching the ground in some places, though not touching the trail itself. I've reported this to the trail maintainers (I don't know which power company to contact), but hikers through that area, particularly when conditions may be wet, may want to consider avoiding that spot entirely due to the potential for stray voltage.
Daniel Chazin's picture

I have contacted John Mack, the West Hudson South Trails Chair, who advises me that both power lines and telephone lines are carried on the poles near the junction of the White Bar and Victory Trails. At one point, both power lines and phone lines were hanging low in this area, but the electric utility has repaired their lines. The wires hanging low or lying on the ground in this area are telephone wires, which are low voltage and not dangerous (unless power lines are also down and touching them--and this is apparently not the case).  The telephone company has also been contacted, but they refuse to repair their lines as long as they remain functional.  The Park is trying to deal with the matter, and it is possible that the phone lines will be rerouted at some point in time.  So, the bottom line is that the low-hanging lines do not pose any danger to hikers in the area.'s picture

My husband and I have done this long loop many, many times without a problem.  Yesterday we were a short distance into the white blazed Todd Lake start of the trail and lost the blazes.  It turns out that the white blazes had been blacked out with paint!  We thought it was vandalism but can't be sure. Almost all of them were blacked out shortly after the start.  Another hiker had tried to scratch off some of the paint in order to expose some white so people wouldn't get lost.  We thank that hiker.  Still, the blazes were blacked out and we ended up having to walk a distance up Skyline Drive (very dangerous) in order to get back to the beginning and take the Castle Hike Short Loop instead.  What is with the blacked out white blazes on the Castle Hike Long Loop?  Anyone know?
Michael K7's picture

Anyone know the current condition of the shelter on the LP right near Upper Lake Cohasset? I believe this is, or was a shelter used by the Girl Scouts at times. It used to be marked on the map as a shelter, but is now marked as "unmaintained shelter". Clean? Usable? Thanks for any info!
Michael K7's picture

For the benefit of others who may be interested in the condition of this shelter, i will answer my own question, since i stayed there last night. The shelter is in overall excellent shape, very clean (although it could use a sweeping out- i looked for a broom, but didn't see one), with an excellent firepit in the front.  Unlike most of the lean-tos in Harriman, this shelter has metal walls and a metal roof. No fireplace inside, but  a small fire ring at the opening, and the main firepit in the front. There is also a lot more room than many of the other shelters.
lunatic's picture

Did a section of the AT yesterday above Greenwood Lake, and when I got to the small clearing near what i think is Cascade Brook around noon there was an unattended fire still burning. I put it out and waited until i was sure it was done.  Odd because it was mid day and i didn't see anyone on the trail.  Overall trail looks really good from 17A south.  Anyone know where the side trail goes from there?  Looks like it heads down the mountiain.  It's somewhat marked for at least 1/4 mile but i didn't look any further than that.  Thanks.
ron6788's picture

Last time up to Harriman, came upon two snakes.  That was 5/7 and, on 5/3, a person I was with reported seeing a big one.  All three were blacks and all were on different woods roads.  A noteworthy thing about one of the encounters.  I came pretty close before seeing it which made it really upset.  Instead of running off into the brush, like they normally would, it started shaking its tail (like a rattler would), then turned and faced me and wouldn't move.  I had to turn around. Just a heads up to watch where you're stepping.
mikej165's picture

Not a trail condition report, but instead a thank you - a big thank you - to the trail maintainer(s) and volunteers who built the bridge spanning the Cascade of Slid. My wife and I happened upon it yesterday while hiking down Stony Brook and up Halfway Mountain. I'd never heard of it before, and it's such an innocuous thing on the map - just a dot and a strange name, Cascade of Slid - but it was barely out of our way, so my wife and I said, What the heck, let's see what it is. We were rewarded for the slight detour with what is the the most captivating scene we've yet encountered in Harriman.   While standing there mid-span on what appeared to be freshly-hammered-in planks, enjoying the cascade of water flowing beneath my feet, it occured to me that a bunch of people had schlepped lot of wood and tools over hill and dale for at least a mile to that spot so that I and others could enjoy the spectacle.   Bravo, builders!  
CanadianRoots's picture

Just wanted to make everyone aware, there was a brush fire actively burning on the North Side of Pine Meadow Lake in Harriman State Park on Sunday 4/12/15. The Park office was notifed and advised at the time of our call that they were aware of the situation. The Park did not appear to be actively fighting the fire, but more than likely letting it burn the underbrush on that side of the lake. There are 2 illegal campsites that I know of in that are just east of the old CCC pumphouse. It appeared to have burned quite a bit of area but also seemed to be extinguishing itself at the time, as it seemd to be burning itself into a corner at lakeside.
slauffer's picture

I am thinking of hiking the Long Path near Basha Kill this Saturday, April 4. Anywhere within sections 11 and 12 , but I am wondering about conditions with spring snow melt. If it only requires occasional road walking, that is not so bad. I am also wondering about ice and snow conditions in the higher elevations. Can anyone tell me what to expect? Thanks.
garate's picture

I walked those two sections on 22 and 28 March. Still had enough snow in almost all the way, but it was frozen and you could walk well (in some areas is suitable microspikes). However, section 12 snow was pretty soft, and occasionally you sink. Also areas with a little water. After these days of high temperature and rainfall, it is possible that the snow that remains is still softer. I am following the Long Path north. This weekend I hope to walk sections 14 and 15. I have a car. If you also have a car and at some point we agree, we could organize for connecting the start and end of a section . Sorry for my bad English. You may have guessed that I am translating with google.
mikej165's picture

Yesterday afternoon my wife and I hiked out and back from the parking lot at the Bear Mountain Inn.  We took the 1777E trail south, turned west on Doodletown road, followed it to the S-BM junction and then returned. The trails were virtually snow-free. There was mud in spots, as you would expect, but certainly nothing that wasn't easily avoided. Fairly close to the trail head, we spotted a group of 8 deer grazing. Along Doodletown Road we also saw what appeared to be bear paw marks in the mud.
Michael K7's picture

In the latest Trail Walker there is a picture of two guys building a bridge, and the caption says it is above the Cascade of Slid. Is this bridge completed? Can you hike the Kakiat trail to this bridge and cross the water? I did not see any announcement about this on the TC website, which seems odd.
banjolady's picture

the new bridge is above the cascades, making it possible to cross the stream on the orange HTS trail. the bridge which takes the kakiat trail across the stream is still out as of last week. not sure of any rebuilding plans but it is not possible to plan a hike crossing that stream right now. hurricane irene caused destruction of a number of bridges in the area. most have been rebuilt but not that one on the kakiat.
johnm's picture

As Banjolady reported, the Kakiat bridge remains missing, and crossing without it is essentially impossible (and highly discouraged).  The Trail Conference has not been able to obtain permission from the park to replace this bridge.  The desire is to determine a different location that would reduce the probability of a bridge being again flooded out. To  date, though there has been some searching, no such location has been determined.  At this point there is no time frame for replacement, or assurance that it will be replaced.  Thus, for all intents except for a short in and out hike, the Kakiat Trail from 7-Lakes Drive southeast to the former bridge site is currently useless. 
Daniel Chazin's picture

The new bridge across Pine Meadow Brook was recently constructed by volunteers and is open for use by the hiking public.
banjolady's picture

we did an arden loop from elk pen today fri 3/20. started around 10am going up the AT. it was hard packed snow going up. traction aids necessary, snowshoes not necessary at that time. we went on the ASB/LP  up to the lichen and then the RD, back on the dunning and island pond rd, then out on the ASB.  plenty of bare rock on the ridges of lichen and RD. pretty easy going on the dunning. it started snowing around noontime. on island pond road the snow was pretty deep still but not terrible.  we got on the asb which was snowy but manageable until we got to the steep part where the trail gets very narrow going along the edge of the cliff. by that point the snow had covered up the very icy conditions on that section of trail. full crampons and an ice axe would have been helpful.  the rest of the way down the ASB was very slippery, ice under snow and the snow was so sticky that it balled up and rendered microspikes rather ineffective. I strongly suggest that hikers avoid the ASB between island pond Rd and the elk pen until spring REALLY arrives—it is very dangerous right now. conditions are expected to moderate in the next few days so it could all change soon but be careful out there!!  
joegig's picture

I just found out that I'll have some free time the weekend before easter (April2nd to 5th).  I wanted to attempt to cover some ground on the AT.  Has anyone been up there that can say if they think the trail will be passable without snowshoes in 2 weeks?  If not, I might have to look for another place to go further south.   Thanks

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