Saturday, November 30, 2013

Irish Mountain and Pound Swamp Mountain, Harriman

November 30, 2013

Distance: 6.1 miles
Time: 4 hours 6 minutes
Map: Harriman - Bear Mountain Trails (north map)
Parking: Gravel area parking area on Route 106, just east of Beaver Pond Campground and Lake Welch. 
This is the same spot you park to see the ORAK ruins.
Restrooms: none
Post hike dinner: none
This hike follows the yellow blazed Suffern-Bear Mountain trail.

From the parking area, cross the road and head left - walk along the road as it crosses over a stream. 
Look for the yellow blazes that leave the road, and head north.
Hike to Irish Mountain, the site of the Irish Potato rock.
From there, the trail heads to the right of the rock.
Upper Pound Swamp comes to view on your right, and the trail turns briefly left.
Later, the trail turns left again, leaving an unmarked trail straight ahead that leads to the swamp.
Later the trail turns sharply left.
Leave the trail at this point and hike straight ahead to do a short bushwhack to Pound Swamp Mountain.
There weren't really any views on the summit (only obstructed views).
Return to the trail, and continue north.
You will approach a stream on your left
The trail joins Lake Welch Drive (turn right) which goes over 2 lanes of the Palisades Parkway. 
Unfortunately, you still have to cross 2 more lanes of the Palisades Parkway.
Cars move very fast, and there was a lot of holiday traffic, so we just had to wait for a break.
On the other side, the trail climbs very steeply.
There is around 300 feet elevation gain in .15 miles, and it is a rock scramble.
Those with vertigo might have an issue here.
At the top of the rock scramble there is a view, though the view includes the Palisades, and lots of car noise.
Return back the way you came.

This is an out and back hike. 
My GPS said that the total elevation gain was around 2413 feet, with 2000 feet elevation loss. 
No wonder I was so tired hiking today. Either that or the lack of coffee.
The swamp looks more like a pond, and looks like it would be a great place to take the dogs swimming in warmer weather.
I wouldn't do the part of this hike that crosses the Palisades again. 
Too much car noise, plus trying to do the rock scrambles with my dogs on leash - not fun.

Year to date miles: 375

The Irish Potato on Irish Mountain. Unfortunately has graffiti on it.

Approximate summit of Pound Swamp Mountain

Lake Welch Drive, crossing over 2 lanes of the Palisades Parkway (this is the easy part)

View climbing up towards Pingyp Mountain

The trail here is a very steep rock scramble, though you could probably find an alternate route to the right.

The top of the rock scramble. Somewhere around here is the Scutt Memorial plaque.

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