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Two outside the Blue Line and two just in...

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  • Two outside the Blue Line and two just in...

    I've been out hiking four times over the past few weekends. Without stopping hiking entirely I've been trying rest the foot that's been hampering me over the past few months. So I found some hikes close to home that have kept the miles down and days relatively easy. Short drives, short hikes, short days. And short trip reports so I'll combine all four into one post. In descending order of personal interest to me rather than chronologically here's a quick summary....

    8/13/17 Vroman's Nose
    When I first joined the High Peaks Forums I wanted to have Black Bear as a screen name. A variation of that was already taken so rather than having multiple Black Bears on the forum I got a little creative and came up with what I deemed to be a suitable alternative. I researched what the Algonquian word for black bear was and settled on that instead. That's how I came up with Makwa. So fast forward to about two weeks ago when I found out some interesting family history. Through some genealogy research of my paternal grandmother's side of the family I discovered that I am part Abanaki Indian. A tiny sliver but Abanaki nonetheless. The Abanaki are... drum-roll please... Algonquian-speaking. What a coincidence. My great-great-grandmother was Abanaki from Canada and settled in Sharon Springs with her French-Canadian husband working as a basket makers. Her family/ descendants also settled in Sharon Springs and other areas around Schoharie County. So on Sunday 8/13 I took a ride through the area to get in touch with the past. On the way home I stopped in Middleburgh to climb Vroman's Nose. It's a short hike of maybe two or so miles for the loop with only about 500 feet of ele gain but the view is great. You climb to a ridgeline where the trail skirts the edge of some cliffs with views of the valley and farmland below. It's a nice family hike. Huge parking area, easy trail, and nice views. And for me a little taste of the area where my ancestors first settled.

    Views from atop Vroman's Nose...











    8/19/17 Moreau State Park
    Just south of the blue line at Exit 17 of the Northway is Moreau State Park. There's a labyrinth of hiking trails there that I checked out for the first time. I parked at the Sherman Island boat launch on Spier Falls Rd and ascended via the Cottage Park Trail until I reached the Western Ridge Trail. I took that trail west to several different overlooks with great views of the Hudson River and surrounding mountains. The Western Ridge Trail doubles back on itself numerous times and goes away from the ridge over and over to make traversing the ridge "easier" but adds a lot of extra time and distance. I didn't hike the entire length of the trail. I bailed at the next intersection for the Cottage Park Trail and headed southeast then northeast on it over Grant Mountain then back down the way I came at the CP/WR junction. Ended up with about a 6 mile loop with around 1350 feet of cumulative elevation gain. The climb to the ridge only represents about half of the ele gain. The rest is from the numerous ups and downs. Fun day out where I had the trails to myself. Only ran into one group heading in the opposite direction as me. Oh... and at the start of the Cottage Park trail there are several old stone foundations of some buildings that were marked on the map as a historic site. Best I can tell they were from some old cottages and the Imperial Hotel that burned down in 1930 in an area called Cottage Park.... hence the name of the trail. As for the trail system... nicely done. I'll go back another time when I'm looking for something short and finish off the Western Ridge rail and explore the Eastern Ridge Trail as well.

    One of the foundations at the start of the Cottage Park Trail...


    Views from along the Western Ridge Trail...






    Some of the trail markers along the way. I don't ever recall seeing reflective stickers quite like these before...




  • #2
    8/20/17 Hackensack Mountain
    Situated right off Route 9 in Warrensburgh and overlooking the town is this mountain and quickie hike. I parked at the pull-off at the end of Hackensack Avenue. Typical of small towns creating and maintaining trails the map/ trail description I found on-line didn't at all match what I found when I put boots on the ground. I originally had planned to take the orange trail to the purple trail back to the orange trail to the summit just to stretch the day out a little. But... I never did find any signs or markers for the purple trail. I probably could have found it by trial and error but there was a maze of jeep roads and other trails on the mountain that discouraged me from going too far off the well-marked orange trail. I walked rather slowly and made the summit in under a half hour for the mile and about 600 feet of elevation gain. I was in no hurry. The view southwest from the summit is great. It looks out over Warrensburgh and directly at the Three Sisters. Those look like they could be worth climbing at some point as well. So it's about a 180* panorama from the summit that's quite nice. On the map there was a spot labeled "Flag View" a little southeast of the summit that I wanted to explore. Sure enough, just a few minutes down the orange trail and at the end of a short, well-trodden herdpath that descends slightly to another overlook is a flagpole. Well.... a dead tree that was cut down then anchored in the ground and used as a makeshift flagpole. Atop it flew a frayed and faded American Flag. I really don't know how the flag ended up there but it's a bit of a disgrace given its sad state of tatteredness. Somebody really ought to replace the flag on a regular basis if they want to fly it. I won't even get into taking it down each night which I can't imagine has ever happened. Anybody know the history on this spot? Anyway, nice little hike of a few miles without much effort involved to get some nice cheap views.

    Start here...


    Views from the summit of Hackensack...




    The tattered flag...


    View from near the flag...



    Warrensburgh from above...



    8/12/17 Prospect Mountain
    I've been up Prospect many times before so this was just a day to get out and stretch the legs. Apparently I hadn't eaten enough in preparation for the hike because I had zero energy and was moving in slow motion but it was a nice day out anyway. Lots of tourists out and about... both hiking and driving to the summit but not too crowded on top. The threat of rain and thunderstorms probably kept a lot of people away. Lake George was about as quiet as I've ever seen it on a Saturday in August. Met some guys from Buffalo at the trailhead who were friendly. They were emptying a cooler full of beer twelve ounces at a time as they waited for their friends who were hiking the mountain. Met some other friendly newbies on the trail as well. Everybody I encountered was in good spirits on this day. It started to sprinkle while I was on the summit and storm clouds were rolling in so I cut the visit short after taking the obligatory selfies and headed back down the hill. Luckily once I returned to the shelter of the forest I stayed dry the rest of the descent. In all, just under four miles with 1600 feet of ele gain for this short hike.

    I believe this giant cairn (marker? memorial?) just a few feet off the trail is new since my last visit to Prospect Mt...


    The storm clouds were gathering as I crossed the road approaching the summit...


    Views from the summit area...




    That's it. Happily the foot seems to be responding to the half-a$$ed rest I've given it so I hope to be getting back to normal soon but at least these short hikes have kept me active and enjoying the outdoors. Better to be out doing something in the woods than sitting at home on the couch I suppose.

    Comment


    • #3
      The Nose is a pretty cool spot, but crowded sometimes. Lots of nice trails in Moreau, go back when you can do more. Rumor has it that the kids of W'Burg set fire to the summit of 'Sack every few years.

      Comment


      • Makwa
        Makwa commented
        Editing a comment
        Fire!? I guess that makes sense. Probably a party spot given the proximity to town and the short walk up the hill. Campfire gets out of control...

        Moreau was very nice. I will definitely explore some more in the future.

    • #4
      Two things.
      Vrooman's. I enjoy going into the Schoharie valley and usually visit the farm stands after Vrooman's. Did you get to do that? And Mine Kill falls.
      I recall the Schoharie Valley was a breadbasket at the time when there were only colonies. It may have been a target during the American Revolution. Perhaps ransacked by a group lead by Brant. I'm pretty sure it's Brant's picture on a diorama at the Worchester rest area on I88 and there's a painting of him in the Fenimore (Cooper) Art Museum as well as a Thomas Cole too ("The Last of the Mohicans" depicted in the Catskill Alps).

      Moreau - never been there. Happens when you live just a 1/2 hour away. I have heard you could see Eagles there. I assume you hand not see any as you didn't mention.

      Don

      Comment


      • Makwa
        Makwa commented
        Editing a comment
        I don't recall seeing any farm stands the way I came in. Will look for them next time I'm in the area. Thanks for the tip on the falls. Will check that out next time as well. And now you've given me homework. I of course will be looking up all the historical references in your post. Thanks.

        Saw one large bird circling at one of the overlooks. Only gave it a quick glance and assumed it just was a hawk. Now knowing eagles are around I'll keep on eye out on my next hike there. Give Moreau a go sometime. There's quite a large network of trails up there. Nothing particularly challenging but they are well maintained, well marked, and they go through pretty open forest. Real nice if you're looking for an easy day out or if you only have a half day free. Some nice views and quiet too. Had a remote feeling even though I was only a few miles off the Northway.

        Back to birds for a second... there was a notice at Vroman's Nose about peregrine falcons nesting on the cliffs. It said they could be aggressive protecting their nest and might swoop down on hikers. I looked for them but didn't see any.
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