Saturday, July 25, 2015

Hudson Highlands Gateway Park, NY

Hudson Highlands Gateway Park - Town of Cortland Parks Division
Hudson Highlands Gateway Park - Scenic Hudson

GPS Coordinates 41.31251, -73.92714
Parking at the end of Doris Lee Drive.

East Hudson Trails Map 101 - New York New Jersey Trail Conference

Hudson Highlands Gateway Park, NY at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE:  4.4 miles

A short path from the parking area leads to ...
... the trail head.
We started on to the left on red because that section runs along a busy road and I wanted to get the traffic noise out of the way first.
Pond Overlook
Once on blue, the trail starts to ascend away from Route 9 and traffic noise beings to subside.
On the white loop.  Shawnee loves when trail maintainers cut her a notch in the blow downss!
Perfect fit.
This tree lifted a large rock up with it as it grew.  One of those freaks of nature that you could probably never replicate intentionally.
There would probably be nice views of the Hudson Highlands in the winter.
Back on blue for a very short distance to ...
... the yellow trail that leads to a view.
A new blow down without a notch which meant Shawnee went to the far left where it was easier to get over.  She will always follow the path of least resistance.
Coming up on the view.
The Hudson River
Resting at the overlook.  It got hot fast so we ended up finishing this hike and not doing the second hike we had planned.
Heading back on yellow.
Have I mentioned lately how much I hate mylar balloons?  I find them on every hike and pack them out when I can reach them.
Continuing on blue.
A short side trail to the right also blazed blue to a second overlook.
It's almost the same view of the Hudson River but a little closer.
Old stone boundary walls abound in this park.
On the other side of red ...
... back to the parking area.

[ 0.00]  Left on red at the kiosk
[ 0.50]  Left on blue
[ 1.00]  Left on white
[ 2.05]  Left on yellow
[ 2.65]  View; retrace
[ 3.20]  Left on blue
[ 3.55]  Right on blue side trail to view
[ 3.65]  View; retrace
[ 3.70]  Right on blue
[ 4.25]  Left on blue/red
[ 4.40]  Back at parking

Friday, July 17, 2015

Sterling Forest State Park, NY - Sterling Valley Loop

Sterling Forest State Park - NY State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

GPS Coordinates 41.23489, -74.23785
Parking P7 at the end of Ironwood Road.

Sterling Forest Trails Map 100 - NY/NJ Trail Conference
Sterling Forest State Park Trail Map - NY State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Sterling Forest State Park, NY - Sterling Valley Loop at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE:  6.4 miles

Pick up the yellow-blazed Sterling Valley Loop Trail beyond the barrier at the power cut at the end of Ironwood Road.  To do the loop in the opposite direction you would need to road walk on Ironwood Road just past the apartment complex then turn right at a gate.
This hike is all woods roads and covers about every type of woods road you can think of, starting out with gravel.
Some grassy woods road.
An uphill section of rocky, eroded woods road.
A green frog, cousin to the bullfrog.
The trail parallels Route 17A just before...
... going through parking P8 which has a porta potty.
Leaving parking P8 on the opposite side to continue on the yellow trail which is joined by ...
... the teal Highlands Trail for a short distance.
The Highlands Trail leaves to the right.
Continuing on yellow.
A fork where a more defined woods road veers right but keep left to stay on the trail.
Wet. muddy woods road.
Descending to Sterling Lake.
Turning left at the lake on yellow/blue.
Sterling Lake
The woods road follows around the lake.
Tiny red frog.  There were mostly tiny brown frogs everywhere on the woods roads.
Finally coming up on ...
... the beach ...
... with easy access to the water.
That was worth hiking to according to Shawnee.  It was hot and she needed to cool off.
Swamp on the other side.
Blue leaves to the right.
Continuing on yellow.
Stopping for one of our many breaks.
There was a footpath opposite the turn for the orange Pine Meadow Trail right were we were taking a break so I left my backpack in the middle of the woods road to go investigate.  It didn't really lead to a good view of the swamp.
I noticed Shawnee was not following and she looked somewhat concerned.
She must have thought I forgot my backpack and was happy to take me back to it.
A little farther along, a spot on a bluff overlooking the swamp.
The trail turns right towards the gate at the apartment complex parking lot on Ironwood Road.
The sign on Ironwood Road where you would turn off doing the loop in the opposite direction.
It's a short road walk past the apartment complex back to the parking area.
Almost there for a drink of cold water from the cooler and some air conditioning.