Trail Conditions Forum

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.

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Estelle's picture

Parking is permitted on Westbrook Road - as long as the gate is not blocked in any way.  Since most hikers are during the weekend, parking there has not been an issue.  This has been discussed with the Wanaque Reservoir people, who are the property owners.    In addition to the gate/fence, there are plenty of available pull-in places all along the road shoulder, East of the gate.    There is very minimal parking on Townsend Rd, for no more than two cars, and since there is a residence right across from the trail entrance, it is preferable that people continue to park on Westbrook Rd.  This is not indicated as hiker parking on our maps for that reason.  Please refer to Bob's posting below regarding Westbrook Rd. 
slabelson's picture

I meant for my question to be posted as a 'reply' to Bob's posting, but it didn't work out that way.
Purple Octopus's picture

I'm looking to hike the Nawahunta Fire Road /  Long Path /  Menomine triangle tomorrow.  Can someone tell me what the snow / ice conditions are there as of today?  One of us has Yaktrax & the other has Microspikes and / or Yaktrax.  I'm hoping there's some nice packed snow helping to even out all the rocks.
PVPatrick's picture

Expect slush as temps have not gone below freezing for 2 nights.
Purple Octopus's picture

OMG it was a gauntlet of slush.  My "beginner" hike I have done 10 times, even in good snowpack, became a hike I almost regretted.  My newbie friend (in fantastic shape, walks upwards of 10 miles a day but only on concrete, but never hiked before) said he would never go hiking again and could barely walk the next day due to all those stabilizer muscles activating, especially calves & lumbar.  As for me, well, I wished I had my snowshoes instead of my Yaks, and felt a "little" twingeing in the gluteus medius the next day, but nothing too horrible.  Thank goodness for hiking poles. In the end, I didn't regret it, and somehow we managed to do it in 4.5 hours which included 1/2 hour at Stockbridge.  Don't know how we accomplished that because I kept stopping every 10 minutes due to cardio & lactic acid fatigue.  The temperatures were glorious at 50 degrees and sunny for 50% of the time. I won't even be able to TALK to my friend about hiking again unless all the leaves are in a blaze of glorious color on the trees.  That's a quote.
jonboy's picture

There is about 3 or 4 inches on the ground with about 2 inches of hard crust on top of that.  The crust would not bear the weight of a hiker.  We used Stabilizers instead of Microspikes, and thus had no problem with balling up on our feet. There was a coating of ice on most branches but that melted off during the warm up on Sunday afternoon.
Bob's picture

As many of you know, construction work has started on a new causeway across the Wanaque Reservoir. Traffic from Ringwood Ave./Rt. 511, may be reduced to a single lane, but passage will remain open in both directions unless it's shut down by the inspectors. We will attempt to keep you apprised of this as the work goes forward.  Parking will still be allowed along West Brook Road, but DO NOT park in front of the GATE by the enclosed staging area, or you may be towed. All other conditions remain as is.
slabelson's picture

Do you know if parking is allowed on Townsend Rd. (the street just beyond the West Brood Rd gate where parking used to be allowed) near where the Highlands Trail heads uphill into the woods?
tree188's picture

12/3/2013  Hiked this section today.  Pleasant, easy walk through the south Albany area.  Views of the Catskills on the way to & from the area are impressive, although the clouds did not reveal the true impressiveness of the views today.  Currently there is snow on the ground, ranging from non-existant to approximately 2".  View towards the west & south of the Gifford Hollow area were one came from along Wiltsie Rd. were very good.  The beaver pond was impressive, the beavers are industrious. Their lodge was fairly large and the area was surrounded with lots of gnawed stumps.  Hunters were fewer today but still out, we met a few on the trail.  We also visited three older cemetaries along the trail, most date back to the 1800's.  The Albany area Doppler radar dome was interesting to see and reminded us of a metal soccer ball.  We ate lunch prior to the dome by the now closed camp pond.  Nice view of the camp and pond was observed.  A quiet hike today.    The only confusing area is by the final crossing of a field to arrive at Rt. 443 & Stage Rd.  It's easy to miss the turn and walk right up to the roadway due to other blazes being in clear view there.  However, as the section description notes, one needs to follow the edge of the field in a clockwise fashion to more easily meet the road and continue on the trail.
tree188's picture

12/1/2013 Does anyone know how much snow is on the ground near Berne or Albany?  Looking to hike there Tuesday and I'm not sure how to find out this information.  Any information regarding this subject is appreciated, thanks.
Pole Dancer's picture

Was wondering how the conditions are from Bear Mountain to CT?? We will be hiking this section this weekend.
PVPatrick's picture

There is no snow on the ground. Streams are running again after the Nor'easter and some small ponds have begun to ice up.  Condions are generally fine at least from Bear Mt into Putnam County.
CanadianRoots's picture

Myself and 2 friends stayed at the Stone Memorial shelter on Saturday night in the south east part of the park. While we were cutting some firewood off a downed tree nearby, 2 guys on ATV's came past. I didn't think much of it until about 7:30pmish when 7 ATV's came storming by the shelter on the woodsroad thats directly behind. They were heading down the woods road towards where it would eventually meet up with the power lines.   Any idea who these people might have been? Maybe park workers, or Trail Conference people?
PVPatrick's picture

Those people are local people that ride through the park regularly for their selfish enjoyment which the Park, and Park police, seem to care or do little about.
joerichkus's picture

is pretty intense.  Just take a look at the trails on Beacon Mountain.  I would hate to see that in Harriman.  
johnm's picture

We appreciate the report of these ATVs in Harriman Park and have passed this report to Park authorities.  While we have no information on the identity of these ATV users, we can say definitely that they were not on any Trail Conference mission.  We do not condone ATV use where not permitted, which includes all of Harriman and Bear Mountain Parks, as well as other parks in the area.  
CanadianRoots's picture

Thanks very much for addressing this!   -Chris
tree188's picture

Hiked this section on 11/23/2013.  Weather was COLD, breezy with clouds, the temperature never got above freezing.  The section was marked OK, however when the leaves are up there are a few sections that would be hard to navigate due to a bad line of sight.  Deer were pleniful and scared. Hunting season is in full swing, we met many hunters, very friendly and safety conscious.  Make sure to wear orange if you hike this section, a wildlife management area, AKA hunting area.  We met about a dozen hunters along the trail. The weather cooperated most of the day but around 3pm when we reached the lean-to, a snow squal line came in and blanketed the whole area for about an hour.  We were done for the day so it was not a concern but the snow fall was fast and dense with low visibility.  About a half inch to inch came down at this time.   The lean-to is well made and nicely maintained.  The open pit out house would take a little getting used to and it is a little too close to the Switz Kill stream for my liking.  It could easily be over flowed in a storm and its "contents" could end up in the stream. Ponds were pretty and the beavers have been industrious.  Bird flocks of chickadees and nut hatches were present along the length of the trail, talking up quite a storm.  We were also treated to a flock of cedar waxwing munching on wild berries or cherries on trees along the trail.  Hiking this section with the leaves down was a plus.  Views over some of the valley areas were present that normally would not be observed with the leaves up.  While hiking here in warm weather would have its finer points too, hiking here in the colder weather was good. Finally, during this section and the last several sections, the sandstones have exhibited interesting fossils.  The bulk have been bivalves.  They are not easily seen but show up frequently if one looks for them along the trail.
joerichkus's picture

I just got back from hiking up to the Ramapo Torne and saw scorched earth and trees from fires practically all of the way up to the top, on the west-northwestern side, where the orange trail (Hillburn Torne Sebago Trail) climbs up to it.  This was the first time I had hiked up there in several months.  Does anyone know the story about this fire?  or is it unknown.  Did rangers put it out?
joerichkus's picture

Yesterday I was on the Lichen Trail heading south, right at the great vista spot, marked by a star on the Harriman map, and I saw several pillers of smoke all along the corrider that would be about where the White Bar trail is in that area.  They were southwest from my position. I could even smell leaves burning from all the way up on the lichen trail. I called the State Park Police and they forwarded my call to the Rangers who called me back within a minute and said that they had some Rangers heading there.  The park is very dry as we have not had enough rain for several months.  Please be careful with matches.  There is no real reason to start fires in the park, especailly at this time.