Hike Recommendations

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Daniel Chazin's picture

If you are a very experienced hiker in excellent shape and thoroughly prepared for adverse conditions, a through hike of the Devil's Path can be done even in the winter, when the trail is covered with snow and ice.  But I would not recommend this.  Many sections of the Devil's Path -- particularly the west face of Sugarloaf Mountain -- can be very treacherous in the winter, and crampons are absolutely essential.  Even with crampons, the west face of Sugarloaf is extraordinarily difficult to negotiate in the winter, and if you want to do a through hike, it makes much more sense to wait until the spring, when conditions are more favorable.  Once the snow and ice has melted (probably sometime in early April), you might want to do your hike before it becomes very hot in the summer.  But even in the best conditions, the Devil's Path is a real challenge, due to its steep ups-and-down and huge total elevation gain.  Good luck!
neil's picture

thanks - I think i'll stick with mid/late april or may - sounds about right for me ;)
jzetlin5k's picture

Any suggestions about good 5 -10k runs in Harriaman, either flat or trails, would greatly be appreciated. thanks, Jack
Bearfort's picture

Jack, you'll find several good trail and woods road runs in Harriman/Bear Mtn. The bike path at Anthony Wayne; 2 excellent loops starting from Sebago boat launch area using the ski trail & woods roads encircling Lake Wanoksink and the 3 reservoirs. There are 2 runs near Lake Stahahe and Island Pond Road & a great loop around Doodletown. All will be covered in the upcoming Circuit Hikes in Harriman book coming out from Trail Conference this fall. Hope that helps. Don Weise
PVPatrick's picture

There is really no flat in Harriman/Bear Mt. The woods roads/ski trails are arguably the most runable trails and are graded for vehicles. There are several woods roads/ski trails in and around Doodletown area near Bear Mt and in the Southern section of Harriman from Lake Sebago boat launch parking area. Check your NYNJTC maps for these trails. Remember, in winter, hikers/runners should avoid walking in ski tracks on ski trails.
Michael K7's picture

Are you driving or taking public transit? Do you want to do a loop, or out and back? Do you want to run the entire time, or are you comfortable with some hiking/scrambling mixed in? Have you been to Harriman before? Shoes with a rock plate are strongly advised.
RichardL's picture

We competed our Schunemunk hike on Saturday. We started out on Route 32 at around 8AM, it was quite chilly! We ascended quickly to High Knob and relaxed, there was a decent breeze and no place to get out of it, so the heat we generated ascending was lost quickly. Typical woods terrain until the run up the back of High Knob, which is a beautiful scramble. The backside of High Knob that runs along the cliff edges en route to the ridge is also beautiful. Highly recommended. We did pass an intersection with an unmarked path that looked like the lower woods road, it was marked with 2 cairns and a faint red blaze on a ground rock. To check it out, I walked in on the woods road for about 100 yards, and even with leaf cover, it is quite obvious. Back up the Long Path, we reached the ridge soon thereafter. We also relaxed at that excellent view about 1/4 mile north of the Long Path/Jessup trail inersection. The Eastern ridge walk is one of the best in the region, many open views. We went over to the Megaliths and hung around there for awhile. Does anyone know of any "caves" at the Megaliths and how to get to them? We heard constant gunshots, some quite close, but only a few may have come from the Western Ridge, which is quite close. There is a hunters blind on the Western Ridge private lands area that we have seen during summer hikes, we saw it thru binoculars and could not determine if there was activity there. We made a executive decision to simply retrace our steps since the ridge walk is so fine. So no woods road info, except that we saw the intersection. On our way down we cleared a small brook from fallen branches and that had created a pool right in the way of the trail. We saw maybe 4 other parties. It was a leisurely day, taking in the terrain, we got back to the car around 5PM. A fine day to be out, as usual Schunemunk did not disappoint.
geebee's picture

Hi - We want to do a two night trip at Harriman this weekend - with distances on Fri and Sunday low enough that we can get to the first shelter friday nite and back home sunday at a decent hour.  Does anyone have any recommendations?  Thanks!
LindaC's picture

I did a Schunemunk hike a few weeks ago (at the start of hunting season) and ascended via the Long Path past High Knob.  There were a few sections that I went through that were maked as private land on the trail conference map, but I did not encounter any hunters at all.  I heard shots but they seemed like in the far distance.  That part of the Long Path is steep and rocky, probably not ideal for hunting.  I don't know about the woods roads though.  I descended the same Long Path route.   I was also thinking of doing Schunemunk this weekend but ascending from Hi-Mar Lodge on the Long Path and then doing a loop with the Barton Swamp Trail.  I think that keeps me mostly on public land. 
RichardL's picture

Thank you for the info. We're considering dropping down the Dark Hollow trail off the Jessup to the second Woods road and return to the area above High Knob. We'll have our orange on and will be making noise!
RichardL's picture

We are considering a hike this Saturday 11/12/11 to ascend Schunemunk via High Knob then do some loops before returning. I know there are private lands with trails on the Western Ridge. Basically what is the situation in this entire area (private and public lands) with regard to hunting? Any recommendations and info is greatly appreciated.
LindaC's picture

I hope you made it.  It was beautiful yesterday on Schunemunk.  Did you take the route you proposed?  I've not used any of the wood roads although they are clearly marked on the map.  Last time I did it I found the Long Path up Little Knob and High Knob very steep especially for descending but once you're up, that walk along the side of the mountain is breathtaking.   We did a loop from Hi-Mar Lodge on the Long Path up to Barton Swamp.  There was clear evidence of hunting activity (blinds and ATV tracks) in that section of private land after the Long Path passes the Western Ridge and then again on the private section of Barton Swamp.  I would probably avoid that area in hunting season from now on.  But overall it was a beautiful hike - not quite long enough :-)   Very good idea to wear orange.  We saw one other couple and the man had an orange hat on too.  
RichardL's picture

Today 11/10/11, I spoke to the NYS DEC and they informed me that there is no hunting in Schunemunk State Park now, and there will be none for the remainder of the hunting season. Good news for hikers. Be aware that this only pertains to State Park land - there are trails that run on private lands where hunting is in effect. Refer to the NYNJTC map which clearly indictates this.
Larry Wheelock's picture

Schunemunk Mountain is made up of a patchwork of lands owned or managed by private owners, land trusts and NY State Dept of Parks. Much of the private land has open hunting season in accordance with the southern region DEC regulations. This means that much of the State Parks managed land is surrounged by active hunters durring the season, although, currently there is no hunting on the State property. (Consideration is currently being given to opening deer hunting next year.) Advise, if you plan to hike in the Schunemunk Mountain S. P. wear blaze orange by all means. For a full list of regulations go to: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28182.html . You can see a clear breakdown of the hunting seasons for each of the states regions at http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_pdf/huntingseasons1112.pdf    The NY State areas of the Mountain are under the management of the Sterling Forest State Park. If you'd like to contact them you can try (845) 351-5907. They may have some additional information.  At this time only bow hunting is allowed in hunting areas. Regular gun season begins Nov 19th and runs through Dec 11. 
RichardL's picture

Wow - that map sure shows much potential for hunting. We were planning to go up via High Knob, and descending via the myraid of woods roads on the East side. Considering that bow hunters can spoil your day too - I'm not sure about that hike any longer. Any thoughts? Larry - thanks for the info and everything else you do!
johncjm's picture

Wondering if anybody could suggest a legal spot to camp that's relatively close to Minnewaska -- and that hopefully isn't just a parking lot next to the road! Thanks
srtmaintainer's picture

Hi- The Smiley Carriegway runs right through the Witch's Hole State Forest. A very reliable pipe spring can be found along Smiley within this state forest. Best spot for camping can be found on the uphill northern end of the state forest near a stream. Andy Garrison
afink86's picture

Can someone send me a link with a map for the best camping near a source of water (i.e. a river, or lake, etc.) as close as possible to Sams Point Preserve but still on legal camping land. How long would this hike be in miles to get from the site to the preserve?   Adam
howliecoyote's picture

witches hole state forest [ dec state land ] there is a pipe spring there along hike from the sams point area perhaps 8 miles , look at the trail conference map for detail. not many flat spots at witches hole.
rsuntag's picture

Looking for a 2 day / 1 night hike in the Harriman area and wondering if what I'm planning sounds reasonable or if anyone else has better suggestions.   We'll leave cars at either end - Lake Tiorati and Bear Mountain.  Any suggestions on parking lots for Bear Mountain area - OK for an overnight?  Looks like there's a lot near Perkins Tower and another near Hessian Lake and 9W....or maybe Fort Montgemery?   Stage car at Bear Mt. and start at Lake Tiorati.  Head north on the AT / take the wood road over to the Long Path to Menomine (Y), back down to the AT (at Letterock) East over Black Mountain and to the West Mountain Shelter.  I'm estimating this at about 7 (maybe 8) miles.  Does that sound about right?   Day 2 - From the map, lots of trail options headed towards Bear Mountain.  Any suggestions on trails with good views or things to see along the way?   Thanks in advance for any help / ideas!