Sunday, October 23, 2011

Stokes State Forest, NJ: Culver's Gap to Brink Road

Stokes State Forest - New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

GPS Coordinates to Culver's Gap Parking Lot 41.180132, -74.788000

View Larger Map
Culver's Gap Parking Lot

Northern Kittatinny Trails Map 122 - NY/NJ Trail Conference (this is the better map)
Stokes State Forest Trail Guide - NJDEP (map is not so good but the paper copy available at the park office has nice descriptions of the trails on the back)

10.2 miles

APPALACHIAN TRAIL SECTION HIKING: - AT section miles 1302.3 to 1306

At the information board in the parking lot turn left into the woods then a few steps in, left on the white-blazed Appalachian Trail.
Turn left on the Appalachian Trail heading towards Georgia.
The Appalachian Trail
A view of Culvers Lake on the way up the Appalachian Trail.
Looking down on Route 206 from the AT.
Fall Foliage to the west from the Acropolis Trail.
The gold/brown blazed Acropolis Trail is mostly a woods road that is not blazed until towards the top of the trail.

Normanook Lookout Tower (to the left of the tall tower on the right) from the Acropolis Trail.
High Point Monument from the Acropolis Trail.
Large cairn in the middle of the AT at the junction with the Acropolis Trail
The Appalachian Trail ascends to a ridge with views.
View to the west.
Brink Road Shelter
Snacks at Brink Road Shelter
Shay Road
Shay Road blazed with brown/yellow markers.
Hike short distance on Dimon Road to the Stoll Trail.
Trailhead for Stoll Trail
Brown/gray blazed Stoll Trail.
Coss Road connects the Stoll Trail and Jacobs Ladder
The blue/gray Jacobs Ladder Trail starts across Woods Road from where Coss Road ends.
One of many turkey vultures flying overhead.
Normanook Lookout Tower (red and white tower to the left) from the return trip on the AT.
High Point Monument from return trip on AT.

[  0.00]  At information sign in parking lot turn left into woods, turn left on white-blazed Appalachian Trail
[  0.35]  At Route 206 turn left, cross Route 636, turn right and cross Route 206, veer left behind guardrail at AT signs
[  0.70]  At fork where AT goes left, turn right on unmarked trail uphill to end, right on woods road that soon turns to the left (this woods road is the Acropolis Trail but it is not blazed here)
[  0.90]  Power cut
[  0.95]  Trail turns sharply right at small building, gold/brown blazes now visible
[  1.05]  Views at end of Acropolis Trail; retrace
[  1.15]  Trail turns sharply left at small building (unmaintained trail behind building should connect back with AT but it very difficult to follow and not recommended)
[  1.40]  Keep straight on woods road when side trail you came up on comes in to the left
[  1.55]  At intersection with the AT at large cairn, turn right on the white-blazed AT
[  1.80]  View after ascending to top of ridge
[  2.15]  Views on open rock slab
[  2.90]  Keep straight on white-blazed AT when blue/gray Jacobs Ladder goes right (return route)
[  4.10]  Sign trail register
[  4.45]  Turn right on wide woods road when AT crosses and goes straight
[  4.65]  Brink Road Shelter on right
[  4.75]  Cross Woods Road (cars may be parked here)
[  4.90]  At fork keep right on brown/yellow-blazed Shay Road
[  5.80]  Turn right on paved Dimon Road
[  6.05]  Turn right on brown/gray-blazed Stoll Trail
[  6.65]  When Stoll Trail ends at a woods road, turn right (this is Coss Road on map)
[  7.65]  Keep right on woods road when blue/gray-blazed trail goes left
[  7.80]  Coss Road ends at Woods Road, cross Wood Road to blue/gray-blazed Jacobs Ladder trail; immediately rock hop over creek
[  8.10]  Jacobs Ladder terminates at the white-blazed AT, turn left on the AT
[  8.80]  Views on open rock slab
[  9.20]  Views before AT turns right and descends
[  9.40]  Keep straight on AT at large cairn when Acropolis Trail crosses over
[  9.60]  Veer right on AT when unmarked trail to Acropolis Trail goes left
[  9.80]  Turn left on Route 206 and cross to the right to continue on AT just beyond Route 636
[10.20]  Turn right into parking lot

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mount Everett State Reservation, MA: Guilder Pond - Mount Everett - Jug End

Mount Everett State Reservation - Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
Click for South Egremont, Massachusetts Forecast

GPS Coordinates 42.103508, -73.452774

View Larger Map
Shortly after turning into the park at the park sign, there is a gate with parking before the gate.  The gate is generally open during the summer so people can drive up to the Guilder Pond picnic area, however, due to severe erosion from Hurricane Irene, at this date the road is gated.

South Taconic Trails Map (check for new edition Spring 2015) - NY/NJ  Trail Conference
Mt. Washington State Forest Trail Map - Massachusetts DCR
South Taconic Range Map - Berkshire Natural Resources Council

Guilder Pond - Mount Everett - Jug End:  9.3 miles
Guilder Pond - Mount Everett:  3.85 miles
Guilder Pond - Jug End:  7.5 miles

Mount Everett -
Mount Bushnell -

APPALACHIAN TRAIL SECTION HIKING: - AT section miles 1490 - 1493.5

Walk beyond the barrier to begin the hike up the gravel road.
Erosion damage to the road from Hurricane Irene.
Turn left on the blue-blazed Guilder Pond Trail which loops around the pond.
Guilder Pond
Guilder Pond Panorama
The Guilder Pond Trail loops around and meets up with the white-blazed Appalachian Trail.  Turn left to Jug end, right to Mount Everett.  Heading towards Mount Everett, the AT comes out into the upper parking lot at a composting toilet with a large Appalachian Trail sign to the left.

Either continue left on the AT or straight beyond a barrier on a gravel road up Mount Everett.  For this hike I chose to ascend on the gravel road and descend on the Appalachian Trail.
A view of Mount Greylock from the gravel road up Mount Everett.
Going up the gravel road, a final sharp turn to the right brings you to a stone shelter with amazing panoramic views.  This view is not on the AT so if you don't take the gravel road, you need to leave the AT to get to it.
Stone shelter at views.
Panoramic view at stone shelter.  Mount Greylock is the tallest mountain in the distance.
Continue along the gravel road which meets up with the white-blazed Appalachian Trail.  Turn left on the AT to reach the summit of Mount Everett.
More views before reaching the summit.
Old fire tower footings at the summit of Mount Everett.
View south of Mount Race from Mount Everett.
From this point retrace back to the parking area either on the AT or the gravel road then continue north on the AT to Jug End.
Fall Foliage on the Appalachian Trail
Views on the way to Jug End.
Cairn at Jug End - continue on a few more steps for views.
View from Jug End
On the way back clouds had moved in so it gave the views along the AT a different look.
Retrace steps back to the upper parking lot, turn right beyond the composting toilet and take the gravel road back to the lower parking lot.

Super Moist Pumpkin Bread
Because I was in the process of having some dental work done, I was not allowed to eat anything crunchy so I had to come up with a soft hiking snack.  I made a few modifications to the Super Moist Pumpkin Bread recipe (used half the sugar, omitted walnuts, added 1/2 tsp. cloves, used whole wheat flour) and not only was it perfect for a fall hiking day, it was delicious and vegan!

[  0.00]  From parking area before gate, walk beyond gate and follow the gravel road
[  0.65]  Turn left on blue-blazed Guilder Pond Trail
[  1.20]  Unmarked side trail to right to rock outcrop with pond view
[  1.35]  Turn right on boardwalk on white/blue-blazed combined Appalachian Trail/Guider Pond Trail
[  1.45]  Straight through parking lot past composting toilet on right, cross barrier and follow unmarked gravel road
[  1.60]  Appalachian Trail joins gravel road briefly from left then leave to the right
[  2.05]  View at stone cabin, continue straight to white-blazed Appalachian trail and turn left
[  2.20]  View to the right at blue triangle marker
[  2.30]  Summit of Mount Everett at old fire tower footings; retrace
[  2.40]  View to the left at blue triangle marker
[  2.60]  Keep straight on AT when unmarked road to stone shelter comes in from right
[  2.85]  AT turns left on gravel road briefly then leaves to the right on stone steps
[  3.00]  Come out at upper parking lot at large AT sign, keep left towards composting toilet, turning right just before on the white/blue (combined AT/Guider Pond Trail)
[  3.15]  Continue straight on white-blazed AT on boardwalk when blue-blazed Guilder Pond Trail goes left
[  3.40]  Straight on AT at Hemlocks Shelter sign; rock hop over creek; straight on AT when blue-blazed trail goes right to Glen Brook Shelter
[  4.00]  Rock hop over small creek
[  4.15]  Keep left on AT when blue-blazed Elbow Trail goes straight; rock hop over creek
[  4.70]  AT crosses rock outcrop with views on summit of Mount Bushnell
[  5.00]  More views to the right
[  5.65]  Rock cairn at Jug End; continue briefly to views, retrace
[  8.45]  At upper parking lot turn right beyond composing toilet and follow gravel road back to lower parking lot
[  9.30]  Back at lower parking lot

Monday, October 10, 2011

Catskill Park, NY: Windham High Peak, Burnt Knob, Acra Point

Catskill Forest Preserve - New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Click for Maplecrest, New York Forecast

GPS Coordinates 42.288765, -74.114545

View Larger Map
Parking lot almost at the end of Big Hollow Road.

Northeastern Catskill Trails Map #141 - NY/NJ Trail Conference

Windham High Peak - Burnt Knob - Acra Point Lollipop:  10.5 miles
Shorter versions with NY/NJ Trail Conference links:
Windham High Peak via Burnt Knob Out and Back:  7.3 miles
Acra Point Loop:  5.2 miles

Windham High Peak -
Burnt Knob -
Acra Point -

When driving in, make note of a trailhead on the left shortly before the parking lot.  This is where the hike starts.
Immediately cross a brand new bridge (replacing one destroyed by Hurricane Irene) and sign the trail register at the other side of the bridge.
Foot bridge crosses over Batavia Kill.
Red-blazed Black Dome Range Trail
Blue-blazed Escarpment Trail
While ascending the blue-blazed Escarpment Trail, turn around to see Acra Point.
Fall foliage on the Escarpment Trail.
The Blackhead Range from Burnt Knob side trail overlook.
Windham High Peak from Burnt Knob Overlook
The Hudson Valley from Burnt Knob Overlook
Panorama of Burnt Knob Overlook
View of the Black Dome Valley from the other side of Burnt Knob heading towards Windham High Peak.
3500 ft elevation sign just before the summit of Windham High Peak.
Hudson Valley view from Windham High Peak
Fall Foliage in the Hudson Valley from Windham High Peak
Historical graffiti on Windham High Peak.
Continue on briefly to the other side of the WIndham High Peak summit for a view of the Blackhead Range before heading back.
Heading back towards Acra Point.
Returning to the trail junction, turn right to return to car, straight for Acra Point loop.
Burnt Knob (left) and Windham High Peak (right behind tree) from Escarpment Trail ascending Acra Point
Hudson Valley view from Acra Point
Continuing on from Acra Point, the trail goes through a very attractive fairytale-like spruce forest.
At the next trail junction, turn right on the yellow-blazed Batavia Kill Trail.
Batavia Kill Shelter
The trail follows along the Batavia Kill.
A footbridge that barely survived Hurricane Irene.
Another brand new bridge on the red-blazed Black Dome Range Trail just before the parking lot.

[  0.00]  Walk back the way you drove in briefly, then turn right on the red-blazed trail; cross footbridge and sign trail register
[  1.00]  Left on blue-blazed Escarpment Trail towards Burnt Knob
               *** turn right on blue trail for 5.2 mile Acra Point Loop ***
[  1.40]  Side trail on left to overlook of Blackhead Range
[  1.85]  Side trail on right to overlook of Hudson Valley
[  2.20]  Side trail on left to overlook; a little farther along another overlook on left
[  3.40]  3500 feet elevation sign
[  3.45]  Windham High Peak view to the right of Hudson Valley
[  3.55]  Windham High Peak view to the left of Blackhead Range; retrace
[  6.30]  At intersection keep straight on blue when red goes right
               *** turn right on red back to parking lot for 7.3 mile hike ***
[  6.65]  Side trail to right to view of Burnt Knob and Windham High Peak
[  7.00]  Acra High Point view to left at rock outcrop as trail turns sharply right
[  8.95]  Turn right on yellow when blue goes straight
[  9.15]  Batavia Kill shelter on right
[  9.85]  Cross Batavia Kill, yellow trail ends, turn right on red trail towards Big Hollow Road
[  9.95]  Cross damaged bridge (stable enough for crossing)
[10.35]  Cross new bridge; sign out at trail register
[10.50]  Back at parking lot