Monday, December 31, 2012

Hiking in Harriman State Park

Harriman State Park: streams were running high after a heavy rainstorm earlier in the week
We just returned from a visit back east and one highlight was a fantastic winter-y hike in Harriman State Park in southern New York State.

We headed out in a light snow fall. I like hiking in the winter forest and the light snow added to the atmosphere. 

This is my favorite picture. This was the first hike with my new hiking poles and they were a smashing success in the aged-knee-preservation department.
There was quite a lot of damage from Hurricane Sandy, and in some spots, the trees were stacked up like matchsticks. Dan counted the rings on one averaged size tree trunk (cut to clear the trail-- thanks trailworkers!) and got up to about 150 years. Pretty incredible. There was evidence of recent trail work all over the place and the paths were nice and clear.

Hurricane Sandy damage: trees down in Harriman State Park
Imagine the force needed to take down this tree

This tree grew on top of a rock slab, so the root "ball" was about 3 inches of pretty flat roots. Amazing that the tree stayed upright for over 100 years! You can see the exposed rock to the left of the tree.

We hiked for about 3 hours (7.4 miles). Map is below; I don't remember the particular trails, unfortunately.  What an amazing hike! I particularly enjoyed the open views (no leaves on the trees!) and empty trails.

View point over Harriman State Park: a winter storm is coming in the distance.

Proof that Dan was on the hike

Harriman State Park hike (7.4 miles, 848 feet of climbing)

1 comment:

djconnel said...

Nice report! I always enjoy hiking in Harriman. It may not be the most spectacular park, or particularly large, but the combination of rocky trails, trees, streams, and wonderful views makes it surprising to me that, despite being the most accessible hiking option to an enormous population, the trails are uncrowded.