Hike Recommendations

Where should you hike today? Where is a good swimming hole? Are the Mountain Laurel out in Harriman yet?

Try searching our Hike Finder but if you don't find the perfect hike, try asking here.

 

 

Jeff Senterman's picture

In the majority of the Forest Preserve of the Catskill Park, regulations require that your dog be "under your control" when you are out.  Leashes are not required, but you should be comfortable that your dog will respond to your commands when faced with another group of hikers or other park users.  The only Forest Preserve lands that are different are the state run campgrounds (North & South Lake, Little Pond, Woodland Valley, etc).  In the campgrounds and the surrounding Day-Use areas your dog must be leashed and you must carry the dog's vaccination papers to prove that they have been vaccinated against rabies. Hope this helps!  Jeff
jon.morozowski's picture

Thanks, Jeff!  Also, should I be carrying traction (microspikes) with me if I plan on hiking Indian Head Mountain in late March?
Jeff Senterman's picture

Given our winter so far, I'd probably guess we'll have at least some ice leftover in March, so microspikes are probably a good idea.   Watch our Trails Condition & Status page for the Catskills as the dates get closer - that should give you a good idea of the weather you can expect - http://nynjtc.org/content/catskill-trails-updates
bklyncg's picture

ANY SUGESTED ROUTESS?? LOOKING TO DO A OVERNIGHT IN HARRIMAN WITH MY GIRLFRIEND... SHE ISNT TOO EXPERIENCED SO IM LOOKING FOR SOMETHING RATHER EASY... THANKS :)
qvideo's picture

How about something going to Island Pond? You can start at the Elk Pen & take the Arden-Surebridge trail to the Lemon Squeezer. Then you can either go down towards Island Pond on the AT or up to the hills above (also on the AT) Not sure of the exact distance, maybe 3 or 4 miles. You can walk out the same way, or if she is not digging it, the AT is a shorter route back to the Elk Pen.
bklyncg's picture

IS THERE A NICE AREA NEAR ISLAND POND TO CAMP? IT SEEMS KINDA MARSHY ACCORDING TO MY MAP..
bklyncg's picture

ILL CHECK MY MAPS, THANKS ALOT..
qvideo's picture

Sorry for posting this in two places, but now that I've looked around the forum a little more, I think this might be the better place to post: I'm looking for a safe & legal place to park overnight along the east side of Harriman, in order to get in a weekend backpack. I understand that you cannot park in the Kakiat county park, but that would be a prefered trailhead. Any suggestions?  And as long as I'm reposting, maybe I should ask the question about parking in Stokes too? Paul
emk1219's picture

Hi All Im looking do do part of the S-BM (suffern-bear mountain) as a full day hike. my end point should be beaver pond campground so my options are either I start in Suffern in the south and make my way north or I start in the north at bear mountain and make my way south can anyone advise?
Michael K7's picture

I am thoroughly familiar with the southern part of the trail, having hiked/ran on it many times. I did do the entire trail as a day hike once, north to south. I will tell you this: -if you start at the north end, and head south, you will have to descend the southern face of Pingyp Mountain. You DO NOT want to attempt this in wet conditions, unless you have technical climbing skills, and ropes (and preferrably someone with you to belay you). This might be the toughest descent in the park (it's certainly the toughest i've ever done), and there are people for whom this would be too dangerous even in dry conditions. The hills are generally bigger in this northern section as well.  -if you start at the south end, probably the worst part of the whole hike will be the first mile. The trailhead in Suffern is seriously overgrown, and a pain in the ass to get through, and the initial climb up to and over Nordkop Mountain is probably my least favorite trail section in the park, and IMO should be relocated. HOWEVER, having said that, once you get past the initial section, it's a great trail IMO, with nice views, varying surroundings, and the ascents/descents aren't killers. I do think that the views and general scenery is probably better in the northern section of the trail. -if you are taking public transit keep in mind that there is no train to Bear Mountain, and the earliest bus gets you there at 10 AM. That might be on the late side for some people to start a long hike. There are NJT trains that go to Suffern earlier than that, but only two on the weekend days. Have fun!
joerichkus's picture

I did this as an overnight to test some new gear and I took the bus to Bear Mountain and got there at 1:00, which definitly made it an overnight.  This trail has a lot of good views all along, but I agree with Michael that the best ones are in the north.  I descended the Pingyp in fading twilight with full backpack (with bear canister and all), and I agree that it is a dangerous descent.  I was pushing to make camp on the southern map of the park, and did so on Pound Swamp Mountain, out of earshot of the Interstate but short of the Irish Potato.  My tent was up, and bear can placed (over 100 yds from tent) just as the dark currtain of night was down.  I couldn't believe how loud the cacaphony of night sounds was!  I soon got used to it though, and when I woke up at 2am for a trip to the bushes to relieve myself, it was pretty silent again.  This is an interesting trail though, and I also agree with Michael that the Nordkop Mountain trail is in desperate need of some work.  The least that can be done is freshen some of the paiint blazes.  They are non existent in pplaces where herd trails look like the right trail and you can get off the BMS trail easy and often, and lose a lot of time doing so.  This part of the trail I have often done as a hike from Sloatsburg trainstation to Pine Meadow Trail to Kakiat Trail to BMS and Suffern Station and home, many times over the past several years, and hace actually grown fond of this art of the trail.  But if you want to do it as a day hike, yes start early, and bring a water filter, and judge your sources well.  There are a few good ones along this way, but I would still filter them.  This time of year, you'll need plenty of water, especially over this trail which is on the more rugged side, with plenty of slopes.  Go fo it.  It's a blast!
emk1219's picture

Hi Sorry for delay in posting, I want to thank you all for helping me out with details on my posted question back in July, i took the risk and chance and decided to do the North to South of the BM-S trail on Aug 15th started at Camp Smith Trail in Westchester went up to join the Appalachian came down crossed the bridge and joined the S-BM trail all the way to the Palisades Pkw where we had a Cab pick us up back to our parked car on 106, then stayed overnight at Beaver Pond.       the Pingyp Mountain descent was scary and dangerous  DON'T attempt when wet, weather was beautiful at one point we got off trail by mistake and used the Avenza's iphone app we had purchased luckily,   Again Thanks you all!   
Michael K7's picture

Glad to hear it worked out well for you!
johnm's picture

In reply to  joerichkus, SBM or BMS? Thanks for your report.  We agree that the SBM Trail from Rt.59 in Sufern is in need of work. Our trail supervisor for the area has been advised and he will work with the assigned maintainer and/or solicit further help. Work has been done there yearly: trimming, some blazing (judging from the report, insufficient), and hauling trash.  There is a recurring problem with homeless people up there, the issue is known to the local police and the Park, but has proven difficult to keep in check.  Even two of our volunteers, not even assigned to this trail, have recently worked some days there trimming and hauling out trash.  Improvement will not likely be immediate. 
emk1219's picture

  Michael & Joer Thanks for your detailed reply, myself and my friends haven't really hiked for a few years would this be too tough  of a day hike for us? based on this do you suggest S-BM or BM-S or any would work ?   Thanks  
Michael K7's picture

If you haven't hiked in a few years, i do not recommend starting at Bear Mountain and going South. IF you start at Suffern and head North, the hardest part of the hike is the first 2 miles. HOWEVER, this is still a long hike. You're talking about 12 -15 miles, and if you and your friends are not already in good shape from other types of exercise, then i second the advice that you should start with some easier day hikes and build up to the SBM Trail. Especially with this heat we've been having, this is not the time to just jump into a tough hike like this if you are not in good shape. Use the hike finder link at the top of the Trail Conference site, and start with some moderate 5-8 mile hikes. I would advise looking for other hikes in Harriman to get used to that terrain for when you do the SBM. If you're using public transit i recommend looking for a hike around Tuxedo, since both the bus and train stop there, and it's a short walk to the trails from the station.
joerichkus's picture

Also The Pine Meado Trail is just a 15 minute walk from the Sloatsburg Train Station, linking up with many trails as well.  Tuxedo station is even closer to the RD and Kakiat Trail heads and link up to many trails as well.  Also harriman train station is across from Route 17 to the Saphire Trail which links to the AT and others.
joerichkus's picture

This is a rugged and long trail.  I would recomemend it only to anyone that is already in hiking shape.  If you haven't been hiking for a few years, I would first get back in shape by hiking other trails first.  Don't try to just jump into a hike like this.  Get out there and hike around and stretch out your endurance.  I think by doing this you will have a better idea of what you can and can't do, although it's also great to push the envelope, as I like to do up in the Adiorndack High Peaks Wilderness Area.
rshiking14's picture

I'm planning on a two day trip, from the intersate to the bridge, all on the AT. Halfway through will be a stay at William B. Shelter. Have any of you done this before? If so, how was it? Any downsides, tips, suggestions? P.S I'm a semi ultralight packer with a bag of 21-24 lbs.
PVPatrick's picture

I ran that route one day last June.  Keep in mind the biggest hills are in the 2nd half of your route, notably Bear Mt and West Mt.  Your pack should be lighter by then, so maybe thats a good thing!  Also, you only need to carry enough water at the start to get you to Tiorati parking area(a short detour off the AT) where you can refill for the rest of the journey without having to filter/purify.