Saturday, February 17, 2018

Huckleberry Ridge State Forest, NY - Shawangunk Trail

Huckleberry Ridge State Forest - New York State DEC

GPS Coordinates 41.37874, -74.62028
Parking at the end of Hawthorn Boulevard.

Kittatinny Trails Map 123 - NYNJ Trail Conference
Huckleberry Ridge State Forest Free Map - NYNJ Trail Conference
Huckleberry Ridge State Forest - New York State DEC
Powered by Wikiloc

HIKE DISTANCE:  9.9 miles

Shawnee and I hiked a different section in October, 2015.  Brodie and I went back to hike some more of the trails along with the new and original sections of the Shawangunk Ridge Trail.
From the end of Hawthorn Boulevard, the blue-blazed Shawangunk Ridge Trail goes left (our return route) .
We veered right on white where there are still a few blue blaze remnants as this was the Shawangunk Ridge Trail before it was rerouted into Huckleberry Ridge State Forest.
Oh no.  Chipmunks have awakened from hibernation.  Don't get me wrong, I love chipmunks.   But so does Brodie, to the point of obsession, because the sight of a chipmunk sends his hiking manners right out the doggie door.
That chipmunk is there.  He just *knows* it.  Even though that chipmunk is in the next county by now.
On the lookout for chipmunks.  Sigh.
Water crossings make him forget all about chipmunks.  He is such a city dog.
Check out this precision rock hop.
Due to recent warm temperatures/snow melt/full day of rain the day before, there were water crossings everywhere.
Yes, he has totally forgotten about that chipmunk.
Great winter views at the top of the ridge.
White ends at the Shawangunk Ridge Trail.  Here we would turn left but with an overlook not to far to the right, we went there first.
At the overlook.
Heading back.
A new interest - fox poop - and there was lots of it.
There were also lots of beer cans along the trail which I packed out.  Grrrrrrr.
Back where the white trail (former SRT) ended at the SRT, we now continue on the relocated portion of the SRT.
But first another creek crossing.
Seriously, it's to the point of being embarrassing.  Thank goodness we ran into nobody else the entire hike
This was actually tricky for me because even though there were lots of places to step to cross over, many surfaces were coated with a thin layer of ice.
We both made it over.  Eventually.
Staying left on the SRT would bring us back to the car for a 3-mile loop but that not enough for us so we continued on red and would return to this point later.
We weren't going to go that far but  were on a section of red that I had not hiked previously.
 A yellow side trail leads to the Raymond Drive parking area.
An overlook on red shortly before the switchback.
Port Jervis
Switchback in the opposite direction.
This would be our break log before the STEEP downhill (and also our break spot after the STEEP uphill on the way back).
Heading down to the sound of ...
At the bottom ...
... left along the railroad tracks to cross over the falls that run from Hawthorn Lake to the Neversink River.

Then left back on to the trail just after the falls.
Uphill out of the gorge.
An explanation of this picture:  I looked up just in time to see two bald eagles soaring right over our heads.  I aimed the camera, got them smack centered in the viewfinder, pressed the button and..... nothing.  The camera had shut itself off.  By the time I turned it back on, all I got was a picture of the pretty blue sky.
I was shocked - he plodded right through the water.
Yellow joins in from the left so it's red/yellow to the right, yellow to the left.  We turned left on yellow.
Through the power cut.
Yellow turns left.  We would be coming in from the right on an unmarked woods road a little later.
The next time yellow turned left (heading towards a parking area on Route 6) we stayed on the unmarked woods road straight ahead.
This went STEEPLY downhill to ...
... Lime Kiln Road where we turned right.
A large section was flooded out but we made it around.
Not one but TWO stop signs in the middle of nowhere.  Why?
A frozen pond to the right.
There are lots of private property signs in the area and I was wondering if we should even be here but yes ...
... we were allowed and did not leave the road.
At this building (in the middle of nowhere) we turned right a short distance...
... and met back up with yellow where we turned left and started retracing.
Back through the power cut.
Red leaves yellow coming in from the left; now on red.
When red veers right at the fork, we kept straight on the unmarked woods road which led ...
... to the railroad tracks not too far along.
I figured we'd save ourselves one ascent and descent by following the flat tracks and that was a wise decision because there was lots of uphill yet to come.
And it was here that I found balloon #14 of the year.  So far at least one balloon every hike in 2018.
Back at the red trail after crossing over the falls.
Finally at our break log.  That uphill was tough towards the end of the hike.  More ascending to come but not nearly as steep as the part up from the railroad tracks.
Continuing on up.
Somebody else is getting tired, too.
Back at the SRT, a right downhill ...
... back to where we parked.
I hadn't even pulled out of the parking spot yet and he was in a post-hike coma.


  1. Beautiful hike, as always! Loved that Port Jervis shot -- I once saw that area in the fall (a long time ago) traveling down I-84 at the peak of word: WOW!! But it still looks great even in the winter. bring on lions and tigers and bears and Brodie won't give it a second thought -- but a chipmunk?? It's "look out!" time! It must be very interesting to still be learning Brodie's little quirks...makes him all the more lovable! But yes -- I have never seen him so tired as when you were climbing that hill at the end. (I almost got tired just _looking_ at him! :) )

    Gotta love those two Stop signs in the middle of nowhere!! My only question is: What if you _don't_ stop? Is there a police officer hiding behind the next turn waiting to give you a ticket?? HA HA!! Maybe that's a place where they put Stop signs for "stress testing"; that is, if they're still standing after being there a year (i.e. in the elements), then they can be deemed fit for use on a street someplace. Either way, if you ever gather your most "instant classic" pictures from hikes past, this one would be a topper for sure!

    Anyway -- looking forward to your next hike! ( may have heard -- it may hit 70 degrees on Tuesday and 73 on Wednesday. Perhaps a rare mid-week "special" hike would be in order?? Maybe I'll play hooky from work myself and sneak out for a little hike!)

    -- Jim

    1. Those stop signs did look pretty new so maybe you are right, testing of new and improved versions. Tax dollars at work, not doubt.

      Don't think the thought of taking off during the week in the 70 degree weather to go hiking hasn't crossed my mind. Unfortunately it is too insanely busy at work for me to take off. Have to work to support the hiking habit then can't take off to go hiking :(


  2. Looks like another great place to hike. I have been up by the Shawagunk Mountains. I used to go up to Sam's Point quite a bit. Beautiful area. Brodie looks so cute and he is a real trooper. So happy for you that you two hike so well together. Thanks for sharing! Joanne from NJ

    1. He hikes well until he sees a chipmunk!


  3. Awww....hope he learns to love water.

    1. He won't go out in the rain either. I suppose there are advantages. He does not like wet so there are never muddy paws to wipe.

  4. Been wanting to do sections of the Shawngunks for years, but never made it. Those STEEP sections are not as doable for us now as they once were. If we could put together something slightly more 'level'....maybe. Seems Brodie has become your "Okay, now, that's about far enough"-barometer. Also, I suspect the more he realizes it's just too much trouble navigating rocks/stones across a creek, he'll eventually take the full-leg plunge.


    1. Brodie used to lay down within the first mile. At least he waits until mile 9 now! But he jumps right up and continues on.