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.

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.


 

tree188's picture

Hiked this section yesterday (12/28/2013) taking advantage of the good weather and lack of snow on the ground.  The section was well marked and the trail in good condition with very limited snow or ice.  Weather was cold and cloudy with a stiff breeze but sun the appeared at the end of the day. Walking from Stage Rd. to John Boyd Thatcher SP was quick and easy.  Views along the way to the west were very good.  The hills just seemed to go on forever into the distance.  At the entrance to the park we met a couple that are part of the LP-North group.  Very nice to meet some of the folks who work so hard to maintain this area of the trail.  One interesting note we discussed with them was the change of the path from the 5th Ed. book description to the current on-line description.  In particular was the loss of access to the Roemer Property that had been formerly been included in this section.  The gentleman we met (a former maintainer in this area) explained that some off road cyclists had an arguement and run-in with the property owner of this area (not Trail Conference hikers) and upset the property owner to the point where access is now no longer allowed.  The property owner was not necessarily upset with the hikers and TC but just did not want to have to deal with anyone on the property anymore.  I guess it reinforces the point that we are all ambassadors for the Trail Conference and need to act accordingly when in the field. John Boyd Thatcher SP was magnificent.  The views were great even though it was a bit cloudy.  The Indian Ladder was closed this time of year and will require a future visit to experience this very unique geologic feature.  Fossils were observed through out the park.  The natural fissures described for this section were impressive, some appearing to descend into the rock and earth for over 10 feet.  Beaver lodges were observed by one of the ponds in the park and their efficiency in tree removal and dam building was notable.  The escarpment walk was really impressive and one could spend most of a day just walking the edge and enjoying the views.  The park is really a jewel for the State of New York.   This was the last section for us to reach what is currently the final end point of the trail.  It was a great hiking project and we had a lot of fun.  We are also inspired to hike the northern extension to the Adirondack Blue Line next year.  We recommend this trail for anyone looking for a great hiking experience and to see the many faces of New York and arguably a great hike in the limited section in New Jersey.  Thanks to Vincent Schaffer for his idea and all of the other people (Trail Conference, planners, maintainers, etc.) that have kept this historic trail alive and well.
Michael K7's picture

I've really enjoyed reading these- thanks for sharing your experiences with us.
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?
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

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