Know the New Hiking How-tos
December 22, 2018
A hike less traveled
Just did this hike this afternoon. Very wet on the trails and windy. Wind chill had to be in the 20s. A very well thought out circuit hike. The only place where it is hard to navigate is near the Brien shelter on the Menomime Trail, turning right onto AT/Ramapo-Dunderberg. I've done this hike before, and I have had to backtrack because I missed the turn. The ramapo-dunderberg trail is not very well marked in some spots on this hike (the painting on some of the trees are so faded that one has to squint to make them out). AT is well-marked. The section of the Long Path is sparsely blazed--it could use more frequent blazes. Overall, a good hike with lots of gentle climbs and sections of old unmarked roads make this interesting. An interesting lollipop loop could be done by adding on Baileytown Road all the way to Twin Lakes and back. that would add another 2 or so miles.
March 10, 2018
Late Feb. hike
Amazing how the lakes have thawed out so quickly. Only 3 weeks ago folks were walking out on the lakes and fishing , now only some smaller ponds have any ice . ..and it's only February!.. The weather was actually perfect for hiking and really enjoyed getting outdoors for a late winter hike. The trails and terrain were varied and the climbs and distance were just enough to make this hike a valid workout. Even with the trees being bare, the views were nothing exceptional but the hike is still interesting and the varied terrain makes it nice. One warning. I passed right by the start of the yellow blazed Menomine trail along the Long Path trail and climbed a steep bluff to the Stockbridge shelter before realizing my error and backtracking to the trail head. The markings are off to the right not far below Hippo Rock...or to the left if you're backtracking ...
June 16, 2014
Daniel, We took this hike this past weekend as well as another and can say that any messups were our own and if you don't see a marker within a few minutes, you should know enough that you did something wrong. What, however, is confusing about this hike is the junction at the Brien shelter. Maybe this has changed over time as hikers have redefined the main trails. I would currently describe the yellow Menomine Trail as passing directly in front of the shelter. I would ALSO describe the AT trail as passing directly in front of the shelter making the two trails overlap for that short distance. So, if you pass the shelter on the left and continue 50 feet down the yellow trail, you've technically passed the AT junction you wanted to turn right on. There was a red on white maker for the RD trail that you will see but many campers use that area as well and you might end up walking through their camp. Even if you do that, you can get confused because there are some other white looking markers that you can confuse for the AT markers that take you to a small spring. We followed those and then saw no more markers wondering where we got lost.. We were later told by another hiker who agreed that those markers may look white but are technically real light blue and actually do just take you to that spring and that's the end of them. So, the right turn you want really is slightly BEFORE the shelter. Hopefully, this will help other hikers.
February 03, 2013
directions are correct
Daniel is absolutley correct as usual. It is a little confusing at the shelter, we too missed the south turn on the AT for about 100 yards - but, having a map, went back and found the south turn. Trail is easy, 3.5 hours. Thanx as always, Daniel.
November 16, 2012
This Hike Description is Clear and Accurate
I've followed these directions on this hike a few weeks ago. I did not have any problems, I did not get lost, and I had a great day - these directions are just fine. I've followed Mr. Chazin's directions here and on about 10 or more other hikes and have never gotten lost. But even though I trust Mr. Chazin's descriptions, I will never undertake a hike without a trail map and a pocket compass. If it's my first time doing a particular hike described by Mr. Chazin (or other), I make sure to spend 5-10 minutes before the hike reading through the entire hike description, with the map in hand, following the described route on the map. Lack of simple, basic preparation; momentary absent-mindedness; or general carelessness are to blame for having gotten lost - these directions are not to blame. Thank you Mr. Chazin for your generous contributions.
October 12, 2012
Hike directions are accurate
I was puzzled by your allegation that my directions for this hike are "completely inaccurate." Having written descriptions for over 250 hikes that currently appear on the Trail Conference website, I take pride in the accuracy of my descriptions, and I carefully check out each hike before writing the description. I would never mistake the Palisades Interstate Parkway for the Seven Lakes Drive, and I know that the "unmarked but clear" trail that I refer to is obvious and can easily be followed. I also could not understand how, if you were lost in the woods, you could somehow stumble upon the Park Visitor Center, where you were able to purchase a map. Having now had the opportunity to examine the map and compare it against my description, I think I understand what happened. When you reach the William Brien Memorial Shelter, the hike description states: "Proceed for about 50 feet ahead on the Menomine Trail to a junction with the white-blazed Appalachian Trail (A.T.) and the red-dot-on-white-blazed Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail (R-D). Turn right onto the joint A.T./R-D." It seems clear to me that, instead of turning right on the A.T./R-D., you turned left. If you turn left on the A.T./R-D., you would eventually reach the Palisades Interstate Parkway, with the Park Visitor Center about half a mile to the north. That would explain how you got to the Visitor Center. And it would also explain your erroneous comment that the directions "would tell us to turn onto trails that were miles away." Next time, please follow the directions more carefully. Again, to repeat, the directions given for this hike are accurate, but – like all hike descriptions – they need to be followed carefully. Finally, I should add that one should always take along a map -- even if you are following my directions. I always take a map along, even if I am very familiar with the trails. While I try to write my trail descriptions so that they can be followed by a hiker without a map, I strongly encourage all hikers to take a map along on every hike.
October 11, 2012
My friend and I used these directions and they are completely inaccurate. They say you cross Seven Lakes Drive when its really the Palisades parkway. Also, the "unmarked but clear" trail is unfindable. After having to buy a map at the Palisades Parkway Visitors Center, we found our way back. After we compared the accurate map to the directions, we realized the directions did not make any sense whatsoever. They would tell us to turn onto trails that were miles away and did not even intersect with the trail we were on. The first half is amazing-up until the point where it instructs you to "cross Seven lakes Dr" (which is really the Parkway). You can either buy a map to figure out where to go from this point on or turn around and hike back the way you came, but do not follow these directions!