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Mud? Ice? High water at stream crossings?

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NYHIKER60's picture

Wow, this is why I stayed away this year.  Question, are the lakes really the water supply for dry years?  If so, how do you crash through to get to that precious water?  Last year I had trouble too and had to nearly go swimming in Lake Askoti just to get any.Instead I had to walk two miles to Lake Tioroti just to get any.
joerichkus's picture

Last summer I did an overnight backpack of the RD Trail from east to west (to Tuxedo) and the only water soruce then was Lake Toriati, at the midpoint.  I got to it in twilight and I used a Steripen on four bottles, and it was fine.  There was absolutely no need for bleach.  Lake Toriati was the ONLY water source on that trail.  Everything else was dry.  Yes, this is the driest summer in my memory at Harriman.
RobForan's picture

I've filtered and treated (with bleach) lake water, it helps to put Tang or something in it to improve the taste.  I recall one dry summer a few years ago when water was scarce, it's about as dry as I've ever seen it up in Harriman now.  
RobForan's picture

September 25, 26, and 27th travelled  from Tuxedo to Lake Skenonto and Lake Sebago and back via Victory  and Triangle Trails.  A trickle of water in outlet of Black Ash Swamp, some water running through stream outlet of Lake Skenonto.  As we've had little rain, I reckon things have just gotten worse, water wise.  I was up a week or so earlier and there was plenty of water in Pine Meadow Brook, down by Sloatsburg.  
jbeard's picture

I hiked from the Reeves Brook Visitor Center in Harriman today. I rarely start hikes here because of the parking situation, but it was not too bad. The center was open--the first time I have ever seen it open--with a shop and restrooms. The man in the shop said that today was the first weekday it had opened. He had maps, snacks, clothing and books. He said the shop was open thanks to funds from the Palisades Interstate Park Commission. We took the 7 Hills Trail, and the climb from where it first meets the HTS to where it crosses the HTS again is badly eroded. Farther along on the 7 Hills we encountered a rattlesnake--which makes 3 in 3 hikes, all in Harriman, for me. The park is very dry.
joerichkus's picture

I'm planning on a Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail Traverse next week, from the Jones Point parking lot to Tuxedo.  I plan to ask the bus driver to drop me off at Jones Point and hoping that he does.  I'm going to do this as an overnight backpack with ultralite tent, backpacking alcohol stove (no fires) and bear canister, and catch the train back to Hoboken in Tuxedo the next day.  I have two questions: 1) Do the bus drivers of the Short Line Bus from Port Authority to Bear Mountain usually have no problem with dropping off hikers at the parking lot at Jones Point? and 2) I know from hiking trails in the southwest quadrant of Harriman in the past few weeks, that it is extremely dry lately.  What are the water refill opportunities on the RD trail between Jones Point and Lake Tiorati?  Or do I have to count on reaching the Lake Tiorati area before getting more water.  I will be bringing a Steripen for water sterilization.  Thank you.
banjolady's picture

bus drivers drop off people at jones pt all the time, just let driver know ahead of time.  its corner of river road in tomkins cove. if you stick to the RD trail there are very few streams now that you could rely on for water before tiorati. i think if you look at your AT map it will have water sources but at this point i wouldnt rely...  as you come down from black mtn you will cross the silvermine ski road. at that point if you go right and head NW ish you will get to silvermine lake on an easy road, or you could come down the menomine to silvermine lake. hopefully you have the NYNJTC trail maps or the map app for your phone and can see what i mean--here is the less than fabulous map put out by the park http://nysparks.com/parks/attachments/HarrimanTrailMap.pdf
joerichkus's picture

Thanks Banjolady!  I have the Harriman Maps and have ordered the new ones with the trail mileage on them and should be receiving them before the end of this week.  THanks for the tips!  I'm really looking forward to this hike.
banjolady's picture

make sure you tell bus driver you want to get off at river road --you will see sign for turning point church. north of anchor monument. big parking lot on left--2 parking lots--use these coords in google maps and you will see exactly where it is...  you can also show driver your harriman map and show where trail head is--parking lot is just a bit north of trailhead 41.281116, -73.962951   https://sites.google.com/site/newyorkareahikemeetingplaces/   this is also useful  
joerichkus's picture

Thanks again.  This helps me to rest easy.  I've been a bit worried about having to start from Bear Mountain, if the driver doesn't stop,  which will add several hours to the whole hike and I want to be able to catch the 4:09pm train back to Hoboken from Tuxedo, the following day rather than wait for the next one which is around 10:45 at night.  Judging from my timing and pace on the SBM traverse I did a couple of years ago, which is about the same total distance, I believe I can do that, as long as I can start it at Jones Point. 
Michael K7's picture

I've used the bus twice to get to the Jones Point area, and the first time, the driver had no idea where i wanted to get off, and ended up letting me off at the parking area by the Cornell Mine Trail. The second time, i wanted to get off at the trailhead for the 1777 Trail, and the driver ended up letting me off by the Anchor Monument, which is closer to the R-D. In other words, you can't count on the driver to know where to let you off, although maybe you'll get lucky, and have a driver who is familiar with the area. I would ask to be let off at the Anchor Monument, since that is a visible landmark, and a short distance from the R-D. I can't answer your second question about water, but if it were me, i'd rather carry extra water and deal with the weight, than to find myself dehydrated with no refill spots for miles. 
joerichkus's picture

THanks Michael.  I'll show the bus driver on my Harriman map where I want to get off if he or she doesn't already know.  THanks for pointing this out.  I know the bus stops in Suffern for a bit and I can show them there.  I took this bus when I did the SBM traverse a couple of years ago.  THanks also for the water tip.  I'll start off carrying 4 liters.  I'm doing this hike for the enjoyment of it but also trying out a new backpack before doing a backpack hike up in the western ADK High Peaks at the end of this month, and weighing it down more will be part of the test.  
banjolady's picture

today we noticed some smoke from a fire near island pond south end. i called the rangers to report. hard to tell if it was a brush fire or campfire. didnt see any flames but definitely smelled smoke.  i am sure i am preaching to the choir here but the woods are very dry now and any kind of fire could be dangerous and butn up a lot of the parkland. the green is beaitiful, lets not have blackened and burned vegetation to look at....
jbeard's picture

I walked today along the paved road into a camp at the north end of Breakneck Pond (maybe Camp Lanowa) in order to find the unblazed trail that climbs up to the Breakneck Mountain Trail. The camp was full of workers, including an AMC trail maintenance crew, and it looks as if all the sad old cabins have been demolished and replaced by brand new structures. Someone has invested a lot of money here. All the work--including new roads within the camp, and clearings around the cabins--made it difficult to find the beginning of the trail, which starts next to Cabin 218.
hiker4414's picture

is putting $1,000,000 plus into renovations. You will likely find the camp and the entire lake and the trails posted with "private area" signs soon. Bring a high limit credit card along if you want to visit. You'll have to register in advance I'm sure. Sad situation.
banjolady's picture

yes i think you may be right about that. some amc members are trying to find out exactly what will be the policies around this camp and whether our happy days of enjoying the area are now over.  what we have heard so far is that AMC leaders leading day hikes for dues paying AMC members are not allowed to swim at the camp or even stop for lunch without a reservation with the boston AMC HQ. not only that but members are being asked to contribute volunteer labor to the camp at work parties.... members have yet to get a definitive written statement from the NY chapter leaders regarding these policies. there was a tour of the camp for AMC leaders a week or so ago and one of the attendees reported that the AMC has leased the entire lakeshore and will build a trail all around the lake with "backcountry" campsites. right now they are doing all they can to get the camp ready for opening day july 1. hopefully we will still have access to other areas of the lake not in the actual camp until they get this trail done which may take a while. so even if you bring your high limit credit card it may not work if you have not made an advance reservation with AMC Boston corporate HQ!!!  not sure what any of us can do about this until we get clear statements of facts regarding the policies...
PVPatrick's picture

40 year lease. AMC pays $10k per year. Tax payers footed the bill($500,000) for a new water system.  Rentals run from $18 to $400 per night. AMC paid $1.5 million to ugrade buildings and grounds. Over 40 years even the cost of the water upgrades won't be covered by the annual fee to the park. I wonder if there was competitive bidding on this,or just a gift to the AMC?
matthewcat's picture

Is there a way to report trails that are not shown on current maps to be shown on the next updated map set?   Across the street from the Echo Lake Office is a woods road which is not shown on the North Jersey Map set.   Also, in Back Beach Park (Wanaque), there is a maze of trails, maybe a map insert could be included in the next version since there are trails running within 50 feet of each other.
Jeremy Apgar's picture

Posting here is one way to report map items like this, or on the other applicable pages on our site (for instance, the North Jersey map set product page or Pequannock Watershed park page).

In general, our maps attempt to show all routes on the ground, including unmaintained woods roads and trail.  As Estelle alludes to below, we do work closely with park managers and others to review whether any routes should not be shown.  So I have made note of this for us to consider with the next map update.

For Back Beach Park, which only includes one officially marked trail that connects to Ramapo Mountain State Forest, there isn't quite enough justification to produce a special inset map for the maze of unmarked trails and social paths.

Thank you for the suggestions, and certainly feel free to provide input about the maps in the future!

~Jeremy
TC Cartographer

Estelle's picture

The unmarked trail is not a maintained trail nor is a Trail Conference Trail.   Our maps do show dotted lines for unmarked trails or woods roads that are near our marked trails.  This trail should not be shown as it does not connect to any of our trails and in some places abuts private property.  Also, a City of Newark permit would be required to access that property.  There are miles of marked trails available for the public to hike.    I can't answer about Back Beach, but again, posting many dotted lines would serve to only confuse a hiker who will then call for help to find their way back.  We generally show marked and maintained trails.  It's important that hikers be kept on marked trails.  If you like exploring these, suggest you carry a compass and a flash light and have an appropriate permit if on Newark property. Estelle Anderson  co-chair Central North Jersey Trails