Category Archives: Personal

Mini NY Trip Log

A simple log of my trip around NY/NJ early Dec 2015. Originally plans were  for a longer break going somewhere. It had to be delayed from Friday to the following Monday and had to be back by Thursday for Family vacation. So I decided to travel local on a mini trip. The idea was to simply explore locations from map without plans. I picked going North and got started. I did not go much far as i hoped, but did bunch of unglamorous stops along the way, which was fun.

Day 1:
Getting out of NJ was interesting. It is very industrial and polluted and worn down at places. Bunch of insustrial ways, local roads. One of my best views was from Oradell Reservuar and through a random walk into a United Water way. I end up going more into green areas by the water. Everywhere is golf courses and country clubs. You will be prosecuted if you enter apparently.

My early NJ stops:

Apparently there is a Hackensack Green Trail:


In Ridgefield park. There is sth called Indian Pond. One Side of it:

The other side: 

Next, moving around NJ, ended up by the Oradell reservoir via the random turn into United Water: 

 This was the best hike of the day. Very nice view and path.

From here went to Lake Tappan. It had  gorgeous view but arrived too late. View from the bridge:

After Tappan, kept North, towards Nanuet and it was time to test out tonite booking.

The Booking:

I was interested in how this turns out. I wanted to experiment w bunch of options to see if they made a difference. Here is my list:

I was expecting some magic there but the big ones all ended up fairly similar:, Hotels, Booking Now, TripAdvisor, Priceline:


Trip Advisor:

Booking Now: also has a nice landing page form for booking tonight, nearby: 

I ended up booking from Booking Now. Because it just booked it while i was expecting a confirmation w tax included. Oh well..

Now some of the others did poorly. I was curious about HotelTonight but i think its magic is not there for me:

Kayak also was not that great for last minute. But that is not their prime use case anyway.  

So overall, swinging thru 8 apps was in many ways a waste of time, no magic w HT, and i just booked the first hotel i liked w the first price i saw from Hotels. I still used TripAdvisor for reviews. We will give all another shot.

Now though, this last bit was scary, from Google Maps–it already knows😱

Overall Trip Day 1 from LiveTrekker:

and highlights from iOS Photos:

Keep on North tomorrrow.

Day 2:

It ended up not the way I hoped. I wanted to go to Hudson side, revisit some high grounds i had passed thru before and then cut off to few parks up north and then go to Harriman side. It turned out i did one whole loop.

First stop Nyack and Grandview. I wanted to go back here for a while. This is a place w a tiny road that hardly anyone passes, great houses w crazy views of Hudson and Tappan Zee from up top. I parked and walked all thru it by myself. Barely anyone around. Hard to get a great view unless you are trespassing some of the houses.

One side of road:
The other side is forest:

On my way back, I thought I lost my car; I had just left it on the roadside, so maybe towed. But eventually found it. Waiting there by itself:

Once I found the car, next was straight North to first a quick stop at Nyack College, then to Rockland Lake, which turned out to be awesome. We should come back here summer for bbq w Seleno!! Because I spent so much time here, could not make it to Harriman before sunset.

View of lake, swans, geese and ducks:

After the lake, trip around Hook Mtn into the Hudson shore. This was the best part.

Waterside landing

I watched trains on Westchester side and then walked to the end of the path along the coast. Tappan Zee is on the horizon.

Walked back out after some time and made way to Conger and then DeForest. Conger was a great sight.  

After the driving tour around DeForest, took up NW and ran into Lake Lucie. It is a private community? Then around 5:30 while it was already way dark, looked for a booking. Amusing problem: the Haverstraw et al. area is like devoid of much lodging. Options were: back to Nanuet vs. Nyack area. So there I ended up back in the same hotel. Here is the entire loop:


After some searching. Same hotel turned out to be the best cost/benefit. This time though, Priceline was the choice $10 cheaper from Hotels and Booking.

Tomorrow, it is Harriman time, I am hoping to cross North and find lodging up top around Woodbury. Here is to hoping.

Day 3:

I am tired after a 5hr hike in Harriman State Park and a drive North to Windsor thru Seven Lakes and Bear Mountain. Honestly, I did some prep and planning this time to make sure i find my way back out. It was well worth it. I arrived Harriman at 10:20 and finished the hike around 15:30. I actually followed the “Raccoon Brook Hills Trail/Pine Meadow Lake/Diamond Mountain Loop” in here, which was awesome directions:

It was not simple walking as i hoped, but I feel good after two summits. The combos and switching of trails was hard to keep up. The trail pdf map was absolutely helpful.  This is what i followed:

 I traversed red -> white -> black  -> yellow -> gray -> red -> yellow -> orange -> white -> yellow -> red. W/o the detailed directions, very tough to keep track. I lost track a couple of times and tracked back. Looking for the next blaze. Also, the directions on Safari disappeared when i started to lose coverage:

This would suck and hopefully pocket was to the rescue, where i saved the same:

Trail Started at Reeves Brook info center here: 

Took the red on white by the brook: 

switched to white (Katiaka)

Switched to black on white (racoon) and climbed some tough rocks: 

Reached the top: 

Had some time for food and view here. Also checked all email and msgs. It has been great, the wntire hike i only saw a handful folks and it was just me pretty much the entire time. By myself on the summit as well. Then back down. Happy to finally see the lake. It was a short switch to yellow on white and then grey dirt road to beautiful Pine Meadow Lake. I was at this point thinking they should have called the trails based on their colors so i shouldnt memorize two things. Then it dawned on me “poached egg” and “racoon”:).

The lake was great for some lunch and pics. One more couple on another side of lake, and that was it.

After the lake break, i assume the hard part was over. Not really. The red and then yellow up the Diamond Mtn. This was over the rocks pretty much and lost track of signs couple of times. One more revelation at this time, looking for blazes: I understood literally what “trailblazer” means. Eventually made it to top.

Then it was a climb down w orange and that was fun.

Then jumping along big boulders along white. I know why it is called “stony” brook. Then it was an easy hike from yellow and back to red and back to parking.

Some good advise back at the info place.  

5 hours gone and it was already past 3:30. I drove to Lake Welsh and then Lake Sakunega.

Continued North on Seven Lakes. Some great views on the way.  

Eventually past Doodletown on 9W, i started to have coverage again. Stopped in a Holiday Inn Express to book stay elsewhere:).

This is my entire trip, courtesy of LiveTrekker.

One more key credit of the day goes to my APC mobile battery. I drained the entire thing today, and i would be screwed big time w/0 phone.

Booking: It is getting less interesting. All three of Booking, Hotels, Priceline were close. Hotels won this time by a couple bucks.

Big G is scary again:

I walked to a pub for food and here is a view from my accoms tonite:

Tomorrow is return day:( but there is Beacon, Andrew’s Nose and Bear Mtn Bridge in menu.

Day 4:

My last day turned out to be great. I had an early morning stop at what is called Kowawase Unique Area. Small park w a great view:

I spent a short while here w views of Hudson and Storm King(?) toward South and the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge at North.

After this I started North, crossed Newburgh-Beacon Bridge and stopped in Beacon. They had couple of great riverside spots near the station for a quick walk.

 After that I also made a stop at Dia, which was closed.

Then it was onto South on the Beacon side of Hudson, driving thru 9D.

First stop on the way was Breakneck Ridge. I did a 10 min hike here but no more.

Then it was all the way down to Anthony’s Nose, which certainly was the highlight of the day.

I parked next to 9D, right before the Apalachian Trail sign. The perks of a coldish weekday, no crowds, or literally noone. 
I climbed part of the Apalachian Trail (yes!) to Camp Smith trail and reached the summit. The Apalachian part is steep w rock-stairs. So I broke some sweat. Two somewhat obvious revelations: I am out of shape; and I should not be climbing w my glasses, they keep falling off. This was a great reference for this Path:

The view up top was great.

I had some lunch overlooking Hudson, Bear Mtn and Bear Mtn Bridge

And phone signals were working. For better ir worse, I was reminded of real world right in the middle of things.

After these I took the same way back down, which was relatively quick. On the last part of the AT, I took a shortcut down, which got me onto 9D right here:

After a short walk roadside, my car was waiting for me in the horizon

Next stop was crossing the Bear Mtn Bridge and Bear Mtn Park. I spent some time there looking back at Anthony’s Nose, then started up another part of the Apalachian trail, which is basically climbing a 1000 steps onto Bear Mtn. I stopped halfway at an opening, had some snacks, looked at the view and eventually decided to return back to the lakeside before dark. The view from the trail, as high as i got:

After this, i had a few mins to walk around lake Hessian and a get a great view of Anthony’s Nose.

I stopped by the park next to the inn, had a some drink against Bear Mtn, and that was it. Next was All the way back to home, which ironically was quicker than my commute.

All in all this was a fantastic mini trip w a lot of time away from most things, but nature. Absolutely to be continued some day.