Park Reviews

10/30/2011 - 9:23am
Connection to Route 17 back to normal
Phil McLewin
Sloatsburg Bridge to 7 Lakes Drive in Harriman has been reopened. Connection to Route 17 back to normal
09/27/2011 - 2:48pm
Pine Meadow Trail “detour” to Pine Meadow Lake
Phil McLewin


To reach Pine Meadow Lake from the Reeves Meadow Visitor Center, begin (as usual) by following the red-square-on-white-blazed Pine Meadow Trail. However, where the Pine Meadow Trail turns right and heads uphill, away from the brook, continue straight ahead on the yellow-blazed Stony Brook Trail, which continues to parallel Stony Brook (to your left).  At the site of a washed-out bridge over Stony Brook, the white-blazed Kakiat Trail joins.  Continue ahead, now following both yellow and white blazes. After crossing a wooden bridge over Pine Meadow Brook (one that actually survived Hurricane Irene), the yellow-blazed Stony Brook trail leaves to the left.  Bear right here, now following the white-blazed Kakiat Trail, with Pine Meadow Brook on your right. Continue for several miles until, at the site of another washed-out bridge, the white blazes abruptly end on your side of the brook. Proceed ahead, now once again following the red-square-on-white-blazed Pine Meadow Trail, which leads to Pine Meadow Lake.

09/26/2011 - 1:11pm
7 Lakes Drive open via detour
Phil McLewin

Seven Lakes Drive is now accessible from Route 17 in Sloatsburg via a detour.  Traveling north about one-half mile beyond the normal turn-off is a temporary traffic light.  Angle right down a ramp to Washington Avenue.  Travelling south on Route 17, turn left at the temporary traffic light.

Washington Avenue leads to a T-intersection with Seven Lakes Drive just as it passes under the NYS Thruway.  Turn left, the park entrance is straight ahead.

11/02/2010 - 11:06am
Hunting in parts of Harriman
Phil McLewin

Hikers should be aware that hunting is allowed in 2010 in the area of Harriman west of Route 87 and into Sterling Forest State Park. Other areas of Harriman-Bear Mountain are not open to hunting.



09/01/2010 - 1:11pm
Western End of Major Welch Trail Closed.
Phil McLewin
The western end of the Major Welch Trail -- from the Perkins Memorial Tower on the summit of Bear Mountain to its former terminus on Perkins Drive -- has been permanently closed. The Major Welch Trail now terminates at the Perkins Memorial Tower. The trail remains open from its trailhead at Hessian Lake to the summit of Bear Mountain.

Crews are at work this summer building a new stretch of the Appalachian Trail on the south side of the mountain, which will incorporate the views of the closed section of the Major Welch Trail. The focus is on relocating the Appalachian Trail off of Perkins Memorial Drive and into the woods, providing a more "backcountry style" of trail. Trail workers aim to complete this project in early September and open it to the public soon after.

Source: TC news release
05/31/2010 - 11:52am
800 steps made of 1,000-pound slabs of granite
Phil McLewin

"A Jolt of Energy for a Much Trod-Upon Trail," by Peter Applebome, New York Times, May 31, 2010 [excerpt]

"David Litke, trail name Denver Dave, was descending Bear Mountain about 45 miles from Midtown Manhattan, finishing up a two-month, 700-mile hike on the Appalachian Trail, when he came upon - what?

It was a wilderness trail, yes, but a preternaturally precise and elegant one, 800 steps made of 1,000-pound slabs of granite, and more than one mile of walkway supported by stone crib walls with boulders called gargoyles guarding the edges of the path, and trees and greenery totally undisturbed. It looked equally like an immaculate walkway that had been there forever, and like something plopped down by aliens who were skilled in stonecutting and possessed a feel for the soul of the A.T.

'Wow,' Mr. Litke said to a group at the bottom of the hill. 'That is one beautiful trail. Someone could really give a lesson in trail building here.'

Actually, two of the people there did help put together the project, which has transformed the most traveled and one of the oldest sections of the most famous hiking trail in America. Eddie Walsh, a professional trail builder, managed the day-to-day work, and Edward Goodell, executive director of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, helped oversee and coordinate the project."

For full article click here: NYT

10/15/2009 - 12:37pm
From the October 2009 Trail
Phil McLewin

From the October 2009 Trail Walker newsletter:


Victory Trail

Several hikers have reported that a section of the Victory Trail, which is a utility road, was barely noticeable until recent work. Construction of a road accessible to large utility trucks was begun by the park after the utilities advised that without the road development, the lines to park facilities would not be serviced. As of the September 2009 deadline for this newsletter, clearing and construction of a widened dirt road over the trail, extending from a short distance north of Lake Skenonto, south to the terminus of the trail, was nearly complete. Culverts have been installed for drainage at some low spots.

The Trail Conference has requested that low spots be filled in and the road and adjoining surfaces be made as neat as reasonable before departing the project. During an early September field trip to the site, the Victory Trail remained blazed adequately to follow. Maintainers Seth Schwartz, Janet Waegel, and Wayne Miller planned to attend to the trail by the end of September.

We thank the several hikers who reported and questioned this major trail disruption. Trail users are often the first to be aware of trail issues and we encourage your eyewitness reports. To report a trail issue or problem go to our website, click on the Community tab and choose Report a Trail Problem; or call 201-512-9348.

Blue Disc Trail

A large number of the blue disc-on-white trail blazes were removed this past summer by persons unknown, who not only damaged and removed blaze tags, but hacked off painted blazes from the trees. Re-blazing has been accomplished for the eastern two-thirds of the trail and, as of September, is adequate to follow the entire trail length.

Nurian Trail

As of late September, the bridge over the Ramapo River, between Route 17 and the Southfields Pedestrian Bridge over the NY State Thruway, was impassable. Watch our website for news of the bridge reopening.

Also on the Nurian Trial, of the two low bridges across Stahahe Brook, the more eastern one had collapsed and Trail Conference volunteers have removed it; at this time the park is unable to provide materials to replace it. The almost adjacent western bridge has sagged but is currently crossable though slippery. Both stream crossings are quite easily achieved without use of the bridges.

Parking Note: Parking is not allowed at the defunct Red Apple Rest or on surrounding private property. Parking is available about 0.8-mile northwest of Route 17 on Hall Drive from Orange Turnpike, but would entail a road walk. Parking should also be allowable at the Southfields Post Office during hours that it is not open--but never in the adjacent privately owned lot. The difficulty of parking in this location may also affect hikers who would otherwise plan to connect with other trails, such as the Stahahe Brook, White Bar, and Dunning Trails.


Kanawauke Lake and Route 106

Route 106 remains closed between Lake Kanawauke and Little Long Pond, due to deterioration of two bridges. Repair has begun on one of them and is expected to be completed and the road opened by winter. The lakes are being drained to allow the repair work to be accomplished and for some weed control. Parking on 106 from 7-Lakes Drive is available at Lake Kanawauke, and from Route 17 the road is also passable to the closed bridge, providing access to parking for the Parker Cabin Hollow and White Bar Trails, Island Pond Road, and Victory and Ramapo-Dunderberg Trails .