Hiking Trail Conditions Forum

Mud? Ice? High water at stream crossings?

This is the place to let the hiking 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, go here. Problems reported here get to the maintainers fast and reliably. Problems reported on the forum below help your fellow hikers avoid problem areas until they get fixed, but not all maintainers read this regularly so also use the problem report form.

To report illegal trail use go here.


 

ron6788's picture

I'm so glad the cool weather is knocking down the gnat population- finally!  They've really been bothering me this year.  Maybe, I'm just getting softer.  I actually quit about 5 hikes this year due to this.
Michael K7's picture

Have you tried hiking with a head net? Lack of bugs is one of the many reasons i prefer hiking in cool/cold weather.
joerichkus's picture

On today's hike I went to the cliffs above Claudius SMith Den for the view and found that someone had pitched a tent and made a fire ring right on the cliff top.  They left a pan with aluminum foil over it on the fire ring.  I was not sure if this encampment was abandoned or if the "camper" was merely not there at the moment.  I thought I should inform the park police as to this illegal encampment but am posting it here.
ron6788's picture

No need to tell the police or even the rangers.  This is fairly common in the park.
RobForan's picture

Hiked Bear Mountain to Sloatsburg yesterday (Sept 18), 1777 E Trail, Timp Pass Road, Red Cross Trail, Welch Drive, then roadwalk to Sloatsburg.  The only water source besides the fountains at Lake Welch was Doodletown Brook, it had some standing water in it that didn't look so bad.  Every other stream I saw was dry or had extremely murky standing water.   I don't know when they shut off the water at Lake Welch, I hope they leave it on for a while.  
ron6788's picture

I would guess fountains will be shut off Oct 31st, same time ancillary roads are closed, if I'm not mistaken.
tree188's picture

8/28/2016 & 9/17/2016 Hiked this section of the SRT recently.  The new SRT re-route through the center of Huckleberry Ridge State Forest is wonderful.  While partially routed on existing trails through the forest, this newer route or section takes a hiker through denser forested areas.  Trail is well marked and a pleasure to walk.  Shinhollow Rd./RR intersection has a climb under the bridge that is steep and slippery, mostly loose dirt.  Parking is available here but only for two cars at best, at the dead end.  The bridge over the railway can be crossed but is becoming decrepit and you are taking chances if you cross it.  Leaves are starting to turn color slightly, due to drought conditions. If you haven't been to Port Jervis, NY, the NY Metro North Station is worth taking a brief look at.  It looks like they are in the very initial stages of building a railroad museum.  One very neat feature is a fully operational turntable from the 1850's and a few Erie cars & engine (very good condition).  The engine brings back memories from my childhood when Erie engines were still running passenger service in Bergen County, prior to NJ Transit taking over.
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....