Sunday, March 18, 2018

Long Path, Landing Road to Route 9W, Hudson Palisades

Date Distance Time Elevation Gain Average Moving Time Year to Date Miles
03/11/2018 6.5 miles 4 hours 8 minutes 1,715 feet

Map: NYNJTC Hudson Palisades Trails, Map 111

Parking: End of Landing Road where it is blocked off. There were many signs about dogs as we drove in. Areas where no dogs allowed. Signs saying dogs are allowed only May through September. My map says dogs aren't allowed on the bike paths.

Directions: The trail crosses Landing Road right next to the parking area. Hike north on the Long Path to Route 9W. Hike back the same way.

I was eager to get out and try hiking somewhere new today. We had to stay local, so I chose this part of the Long Path. We've never hiked here before, surprisingly. We decided to wear boots. Oh how my feet long for trail runners! Soon, very soon. This hike has lots of hills, so it provided a good workout. The snow conditions varied - from bare ground to postholing in 10" of snow. It wasn't worth bringing snowshoes, because everyone else had already postholed, and the deeper snow sections didn't last long. The snow was slushy, but we both weren't feeling like microspikes. Hiking was slow, less than 2 mph. I want to move faster! It was definitely good training though. We hiked down to 9W, where the trail meets a side trail to the bike path that can be used to form a loop back. From what I read, dogs aren't allowed on any bike paths here. I did look down and saw dogs on the bike path though. We decided to hike back the way we came and not take the bike path. We'd get a better workout that way after all. This hike is on a ridge, with good views of the Hudson River.

On the way back, I looked up and saw a bald eagle sitting in a tree right in front of us. Neither of us have seen one in the wild, so we were just star struck. It was large and stunning. It watched us. I tried to quiet Trek's jingling tags, but the eagle decided to fly off. Glen wasn't able to get a photo of it in the tree, but did get a blurry photo of it flying away.

Glen's Strava app and my Garmin watch had very different mileage for our hike. I did some research and found this very helpful guide which has mileages: We didn't quite make our 7 mile goal today, and Glen was feeling too tired (heavy boots suck), so we ended back at the parking lot instead of trying to add in extra hiking.


Old cemetary

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Old Croton Aqueduct Trail, Quaker Ridge Road (southern intersection) to Nelson Park, Westchester County

Date Distance Time Elevation Gain Average Moving Time Year to Date Miles
3/10/2018 6.7 miles 2 hours 30 minutes 581 feet

Map: Old Croton Aqueduct State Historic Park, Map & Guide
Parking: Gerlach Park. The park isn't labeled on the map, but it shows up in dark green to the right of where Old Albany Post Road becomes Quaker Bridge Road. The map shows 3 black dashed lines in the park, which represent the steps going from the park to the trail.
Directions: Take a right out of the park's parking lot and walk down the road (Old Albany Post Rd/Quaker Bridge Rd). Turn right onto the OCA trail. As an alternative, you can take steps uphill in the back of the Gerlach Park parking lot, which will take you directly to the OCA trail. Walk past two weirs. Next to a school there is a ventilator where you turn left and walk diagonally through a park playground (Nelson Park). There is parking on Edward Road on the side of Nelson Park. Turn around, and return to car (there is a shortcut where you can take a set of stairs at the back of the Gerlach parking lot up to the OCA trail). A map is definitely needed. The trail signs (either signs that say OCA or blue blazes) are sometimes easy to miss, especially in the road walking sections.

We've had a lot of snow, and we were looking for an easy trail in case we'd need to snowshoe. We headed over to the Old Croton Aqueduct trail, where we ended up last time. I thought we'd have to park further north and repeat a portion that we have already done. The map doesn't show parking areas, so sometimes you might have to drive around and look for some. We got lucky today - finding one that was really close to where we ended on Old Quaker Ridge Road last time.

We saw that there was not much snow, so we left our snowshoes in our car, and just brought our microspikes. We ended up not needing microspikes either. This section is very urban. I really didn't enjoy it - too many houses, graffiti, and trash everywhere. We met a couple who thought Trek was a service dog. Ha! I guess because of his pack? They were looking to adopt a rescue, so I referred them to a shelter that a friend of mine works at. We must have looked pretty out of place with our backpacks walking in downtown Ossining. Someone asked us if we were backpacking. I told him we were training to backpack, which is true in a way. Our hiking goal this week is 7 miles each day. I should be thinking about working on very gradually increasing my pack weight as well.

Parking area

OCA intersection at Quaker Ridge Road

Road walk section

The highlight of the trip - carved stumps in someone's front yard

Vince Camuto Community Center - another parking area

Ventilator right before Nelson Park

Parking area at our turnaround point, at the end of the park.

Nelson Park

Stairs from Gerlach Park to OCA

Blue Trail Loop & Yellow Trail Loop, Ward Pound Ridge

Date Distance Time Elevation Gain Average Moving Time Year to Date Miles
3/4/2018 3.8 miles (blue) and 2.7 miles (yellow) 80 minutes (blue) and 53 minutes (yellow)

Map: Pick up a map when you pay for parking.

Parking: Enter park, pay for parking and drive to the parking lot for the blue trail. Drive to a separate parking area for the yellow trail. There is plenty of parking. Cost is $10 without a Westchester County Parks Pass. $5 with a Parks Pass. I went on a weekend, when they do charge. In the winter we haven't been charged on weekday evenings.

Directions: Blue trail loop counterclockwise. Yellow trail loop counterclockwise.

I had wanted to go to PA this weekend, but we had a bomb cyclone. It sounds so dramatic. We had 4 trees come down in our yard and some snow. Most of the snow has melted, the trees will have to wait a bit until we can get a tree company out here. We are without power, but are so grateful to have a gas generator - our house is warm. We didn't go out on Saturday - it was still pretty windy. Sunday was better, so we did a local hike. I didn't want to go too far with the generator running at home.

I am trying to increase my mileage gradually each week to help prepare for spring hiking. It's harder to get many miles in during the winter. I always think I'll hike tons in the winter, but most years don't work out that way. This week the goal was to hike 6 miles both days. Saturday was a bust, so I treaded for 6 miles at various inclines. How boring is that? I was so excited to get outdoors on Sunday. My body is sore today. I'm starting to add strength training back into my life. My hamstrings are tight. It's so odd - I never used to have tight hamstrings when I trained. My hip was sore too, so more Aleve for me tonight.

We got a late start, but were able to do two loops at Ward Pound Ridge to get our 6 miles in. I was surprised at the number of cars in the parking lot. I'd figure most people would be dealing with house issues after the storm. We did the blue trail first. Going counterclockwise puts the steeper sections in the beginning and the easier woods road section at the end. The trails were wet, slush, and a little slick in the steep spots.

We drove over to the yellow trail and did a loop there next. This trail had a lot more blowdown from the storm. We did some trail maintenance - throwing branches off the trail. Trek loves it when we do trail maintenance. He thinks we're playing a game. Thus, 50% of the branches we throw off the trail end up back on the trail. Maybe he thinks they're more aesthetically pleasing there. The yellow trail is easier than the blue trail.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Turkey Mountain, Westchester County, NY

Date Distance Time Elevation Gain Average Moving Time Year to Date Miles
2/19/2017 2.2 miles 64.5

Map: Available in Walkable Westchester book
Parking: Route 118, Yorktown Heights. Room for around 10 cars.
Directions: Blue trail up to summit, blue trail back down to parking area

We had steady rain today. We kept checking the weather forecast waiting for it to improve. We ended up heading up Turkey Mountain about an hour before sunset. We still got sprinkled on, but I was happy to be outside. Since we didn't have time to get a 5 mile hike in, I spent some time on the treadmill this morning.

Red and Yellow trail loop, Ward Pound Ridge

Date Distance Time Elevation Gain Average Moving Time Year to Date Miles
2/25/2017 5 miles 1 hour 45 minutes 62.3

Map: Pick up a map when you pay for parking.

Parking: Enter park, pay for parking and turn right. Park at the end of the road. There is plenty of parking. Cost is $10 without a Westchester County Parks Pass. $5 with a Parks Pass. I went on a weekend, when they do charge. In the winter we haven't been charged on weekday evenings.

Directions: Take the Red trail counter-clockwise. Where the Red trail intersects with the Yellow trail at marker 33, turn left on the yellow trail and follow it back to the parking lot.

Today's forecast was for rain in the afternoon, so we planned a 5 mile hike near Cold Spring in the morning. When we arrived in Cold Spring, I went to take out my backpack and discovered I had left it at home. Doh! If I at least had rain gear with me, I would have hiked and shared Glen's water. But, my rain gear was in my pack - and given that it was going to rain, we had to turn around and drive home.

That left even less time for our hike, so we headed over to Ward Pound Ridge. I'm trying to gradually increase my weekly hike mileage gradually to get myself in shape for our next hiking trip. Last weekend's Bear Mountain trip left me realizing I have some work to do! Today's goal was to do at least 5 miles. The red loop is 5.6 miles. We had nice warm weather, and Trek took dips in streams every chance he could. It did start sprinkling near the end of our hike, so Glen wanted to abort our loop and take the yellow trail back - cutting our mileage down to around 5 miles for the day. Glen used his hiking umbrella. I want to get one as well. Maybe this week I'll work on coming up getting the gear to hook up the umbrella to my pack.