Friday, April 3, 2015

Ramapo Escarpment and Pine Meadow Lake from Town of Ramapo Equestrian Center, Harriman

March 29, 2015

Distance:8.1 miles
Time: 4 hours 24 minutes

Elevation gain: 1,715 feet

Map: Harriman - Bear Mountain Trails (south map)
Parking: See directions
Restrooms: None

Ramapo Escarpment and Pine Meadow Lake from Town of Ramapo Equestrian Center

When driving in:
In the driveway you will go over a bridge and come to a stop sign.
If you look straight ahead at that point, there is a barn where you will see three blazes.
Park on the left hand side after the stop sign.
Walk towards the barn, with the riding ring on your left.
Turn left at the barn (barking dog there) and go behind the riding ring.
The trail will head into the woods on your right shortly.
I did this hike as described in the directions, but instead of turning back at Pine Meadow Lake, I did a loop around the lake.

I should have brought trekking poles for this hike, as there were a few stream crossings where they would have been handy. It was hard to rock hop across them without getting my boots wet, as some of the rocks were submerged.

In the beginning there is an ugly power cut. The rest of the hike is nice though. Trails were still very icy/snowy in spots, especially on a steep climb in the beginning.

Pine Meadow lake was lovely. Still ice covered, but I want to go back sometime to take the dogs swimming there. It seems like a popular destination, as we saw several hikers around the lake. There are several scenic areas to stop around the lake. I decided that the trails were good enough to continue around the lake. At a certain point the Pine Meadow trail leaves the lake, and then there are unmarked trails around the lake. I didn't study the unmarked trails very thoroughly before setting out on them. I just knew I wanted to hug the lake on my left side. At one point, I was hiking on a woods road, and the woods was heading away from the lake, and a cairn on the left showed an unmarked trail. I turned left. Well, the trail was very faint, and after a while I lost it. Ugg. I ended up bushwhacking through dense mountain laurel. Not the easiest thing to bushwhack through. I'm guessing that the unmarked trail is a trail to the cemetery - but it is hard to follow in winter - especially since there were no footsteps in the snow to follow. I did find the cemetery though! Super old gravestones from the Conklin family that lived on the lake. After the cemetery, I thought I saw what might be an unmarked trail, but no, I ended up bushwhacking again. I knew I wouldn't get lost, because I just needed to keep close to the lake. Eventually I saw what looked like a stone wall with pipes on it (which I think I read about as a CCC project). I figured that was a good sign, so I worked my way over to it. And found the trail again. It was a narrow trail, often a tunnel through the mountain laurel, but clear enough for me to follow. I ended up hitting the white blazed Conklins Crossing trail and turned right onto it. I then finished the hike as described in the NYNJTC directions. The white blazed trail had a lot of snow on it. More so than the rest of the hike.

Some parts of the trail were mostly clear

I wish I brought my poles!

Approaching Pine Meadow Lake

Wishing it was warmer so Moxie could go for a swim

After bushwhacking, I came to the Conklin cemetary

And we are back to bushwhacking

We found an unmarked trail! Woohoo! It's a tunnel in the mountain laurel.

Burn area

NYC in the distance

Approaching the equestrian center.

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