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  1. #1
    Registered User fw2008's Avatar
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    Default Bear Mountain to Manitou Road

    Hi all;
    Just thought I'd make a report on a short day hike in NY section 9.

    Anthony's Nose & Hemlock Springs Campsite.
    The Camp Smith side trail to Anthony's nose is 0.6m each direction. It climbs moderately in places, but is a relief after the strenuous climb from 9D.
    The view is well worth the extra climb and 1.2m (RT).

    I had read somewhere that Hemlock wasn't much of a site, and that it had questionable water supply.
    The AT Data Book 2010 indicates reliable water, but I found only a very small stream running across the trail just S of the site.
    There is a much more reliable source about 0.2m N of the site, at the South Mountain Pass (Manitou Road) gate.

    I read a little about that site in another online forum or someone's journal a couple days ago.
    This person said that the site wasn't much, and that it was very noisy with all the trains. He also said that the water source wasn't reliable.
    I do agree in that it's not much, but it is a place you can tent, and I did not see evidence of partying, despite its being so close to a road (South Mountain Pass - Manitou Rd)

    There are two railroad lines well within earshot of Hemlock Springs.
    The Metro North Hudson line where you have passenger trains running all day, and there is a grade crossing nearby, so you get the train horns.
    Then, there's the CSX River Line on the west shore of the Hudson, where you have another grade crossing, and long freight trains running pretty frequently at night.

    Still, I would prefer the trains to trucks on the highway (which I didn't hear, but maybe you would hear them at night).
    I have slept at Gifford Woods SP in Killington VT (on the AT) where you have trucks running all night on VT 100.

    It was a bit warm today, but I made out OK.
    It took me 20 minutes to climb the 600 vertical from route 9D to the Anthony's Nose side-trail.

    I would like to do a complete section(s) hike from Bear Mountain park to the NY-CT line, or maybe even further, but I am going to need to do some more of these strenuous day hikes before I'll feel comfortable carrying a full pack on long distances.

    FW

  2. #2

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    That is a nice little climb from the Hudson River up towards Anthony's Nose. That section was actually closed during the Second World War, we thought that the enemy might use the high elevation to spy down the road on West Point.

    Hiking from Bear Mountain to Connecticut is a great hike, but don't stop there keep hiking Connecticut it is a great state in which to hike.

  3. #3
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    Somewhere I read that NY was easier east of the Hudson, which is where I'm fixing to start. NY west of the Hudson was pretty tough (granted there was 7-12" of snow and ice everywhere when I hiked it...)

    Let's hear about all the nice, level, well graded trail!

  4. #4
    Registered User sasquatch2014's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10-K View Post
    Somewhere I read that NY was easier east of the Hudson, which is where I'm fixing to start. NY west of the Hudson was pretty tough (granted there was 7-12" of snow and ice everywhere when I hiked it...)

    Let's hear about all the nice, level, well graded trail!
    yes East is easier than the west side of the Hudson as far as nice, level and well graded? well we do have a few fields that you get to walk through but not so sure about the level part.

    Nice trip report.
    Often Accused, Often Guilty but Seldom Guilty of What I am Accused.

  5. #5

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    Grew up there. Used to hike "Up Anthony's Nose" all the time. Cousin lived off S. Mountain Pass and my sister kept a horse off the road too! Have a great hike!

  6. #6
    Registered User fw2008's Avatar
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    Well, if you continue nobo from Hemlock Springs, the terrain is definitely more tame.
    I would actually like to hike from BMSP to Vermont, or maybe all the way to Katahdin! But I have a lot of work to do before I reach that point. First off, I'll need some new equipment. My tent and even my backpack are way too heavy for such a long hike.

    It's ironic that I am jobless right now, which should be the best opportunity for a TH or SH, but I certainly cannot afford to buy the lighter equipment I need, and would be spending at least $1G to hike the section from NY to ME.
    I have to get a job at an outdoor store; then I could get my equipment at a discount, and probably get the time off during off-season to do the hike.

    Oh, and I should mention that I have to get myself in good enough shape. I'm not overweight or anything, but just don't have the stamina that is required for many days on the trail.
    I think I could eventually do it, but it's going to take a bit longer now than when I was 25

    As for the rest of NY? Arden Mountain (Agony Grind) is about the only place I know of that compares to the climb from 9D to the Camp Smith trail. Even then, Arden isn't nearly as long a climb.
    Rocky? Well, I've been on very few sections of the AT that weren't full of rocks.

    I would like to continue this section as a day hike; starting at Manitou road, but then how do I get back to my car without halving the mileage and doubling back. One-way hikes are so much more fun!

    FW

  7. #7
    Registered User fw2008's Avatar
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    Default GPS profile

    Here is the profile of this hike, recorded by my Garmin GPS and read by Garmin Mapsource City Select 7 map software.


  8. #8
    Registered User fw2008's Avatar
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    Checking the AT data book, looks like hike from SR17 to summit of Arden Mountain is a close second to the elev gain / mile to the climb from US 9D to Camp Smith trail.
    Arden Mtn just didn't seem as steep, but the last time I hiked there, I was about 10 years younger

    FW

  9. #9
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fw2008 View Post
    Here is the profile of this hike, recorded by my Garmin GPS and read by Garmin Mapsource City Select 7 map software.

    That first mile looks pretty good....

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    Glad to hear that I am not the only one who almost died hiking NOBO from 9D to the Camp Smith side trail. I wasn't expecting it and kept thinking that something was wrong with me because I found it so hard! Had never seen anyone else mention the difficulty. I told someone the other day that the most difficult climbs I've had (in my meager mileage to-date) where the climb out of Bly Gap in NC and that darn climb up from 9D. I plan to complete NY in May and am really looking forward to it. Lived up by Bear Mountain for several years in the early '80's and always loved that area.

  11. #11
    Registered User fw2008's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fussymary View Post
    Glad to hear that I am not the only one who almost died hiking NOBO from 9D to the Camp Smith side trail. I wasn't expecting it and kept thinking that something was wrong with me because I found it so hard! Had never seen anyone else mention the difficulty. I told someone the other day that the most difficult climbs I've had (in my meager mileage to-date) where the climb out of Bly Gap in NC and that darn climb up from 9D. I plan to complete NY in May and am really looking forward to it. Lived up by Bear Mountain for several years in the early '80's and always loved that area.
    I have hiked up Mount Washington, NH three times, once the long way (piece of cake, but a lot longer than the Tuck), once by Lion's head (Tuck was still closed, end of June!), and once by Tuck, end of July (still some snow, but trail was open).
    I cannot say that any of those hikes were as strenuous as this one from 9D to Camp Smith.
    It is definitely an issue with my body not being properly conditioned. When I did MW, I was doing lots of steep hiking before, and running marathon races as well.
    Now, I have slowed down; don't run marathons anymore, and haven't hiked anything significant since 2007 when I hiked on the Crawford trail from Crawford Notch to Mount Eisenhower.

    I'm going to start doing the steeper hikes again; hopefully to prepare for a section hike in NY, and maybe all the way to VT from Bear Mtn.

  12. #12
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    Must have something to do with the Route 9 thing. the drop in Vt into and out of Route 9 by Bennington is a good steep one as well.
    Often Accused, Often Guilty but Seldom Guilty of What I am Accused.

  13. #13
    Registered User fw2008's Avatar
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    Default IMPORTANT INFO ON HEMLOCK SPRINGS Campsite

    Please read!

    I received the following e-mail reply from ATC after e-mailing them on the water source at Hemlock Spring Campsite, which is at NY Section 9, mile 49.7 from CT-NY line, and mile 110.9 from DWG.

    This is regarding the water source at Hemlock Spring Campsite.

    >>Going S to N. The first water source is the small stream (intermittent) just before a short steep rise to a level spot that was a former lean-to site, which has a side trail (marked with a camping sign and blue blazes to the right. It is across the gravel road. From here, tucked back into the woods, is Hemlock spring which is slow but reliable. It is just a pothole with not much outflow. Just before you reach South Mountain Pass Road, by the gate, you cross Coppermine Brook. This comes out of mine tailings and should not be drunk. It has never been tested for heavy metals but I wouldn't trust it<<

    I never found "Hemlock Spring" because I wasn't looking for it. But according to this info, it is reliable, albeit slow.

    FW

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by fw2008 View Post
    Please read!

    I received the following e-mail reply from ATC after e-mailing them on the water source at Hemlock Spring Campsite, which is at NY Section 9, mile 49.7 from CT-NY line, and mile 110.9 from DWG.

    This is regarding the water source at Hemlock Spring Campsite.

    >>Going S to N. The first water source is the small stream (intermittent) just before a short steep rise to a level spot that was a former lean-to site, which has a side trail (marked with a camping sign and blue blazes to the right. It is across the gravel road. From here, tucked back into the woods, is Hemlock spring which is slow but reliable. It is just a pothole with not much outflow. Just before you reach South Mountain Pass Road, by the gate, you cross Coppermine Brook. This comes out of mine tailings and should not be drunk. It has never been tested for heavy metals but I wouldn't trust it<<

    I never found "Hemlock Spring" because I wasn't looking for it. But according to this info, it is reliable, albeit slow.

    FW
    Sounds similar to the water at William Brian Shelter which is a small hole with a slow seep. Every time I have been there I have had to clean a bunch of leaves out of it to be able to filter the water. You will love the pump at RPH. It is plentiful reliable and nasty as hell. Tons of iron in that water looks like weak ice tea but it is drinkable
    Often Accused, Often Guilty but Seldom Guilty of What I am Accused.

  15. #15
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    Hemlock springs? where is that, is it between the nose and south mtn. pass (east of the AT)
    Theres tons of great hikes in Harriman, get the NYNJTC maps, harriman/ Bear mtn N/S
    also east and west hudson trails.
    One difficult hike that stands out is Bald mtn. (much tougher than the AT up from the bridge) Starts at sea level on 9W at Doodletown and climbs up a long notch to the summit. Most summit climbs in the area are about 45minutes to an hour, this one is 1 1/2. Up in Cold spring theres always Breakneck Ridge an ever popular destination for NYC hikers. Do a hike a day for a week and youll get your legs

  16. #16
    Registered User fw2008's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric j View Post
    Hemlock springs? where is that, is it between the nose and south mtn. pass (east of the AT)
    Theres tons of great hikes in Harriman, get the NYNJTC maps, harriman/ Bear mtn N/S
    also east and west hudson trails.
    One difficult hike that stands out is Bald mtn. (much tougher than the AT up from the bridge) Starts at sea level on 9W at Doodletown and climbs up a long notch to the summit. Most summit climbs in the area are about 45minutes to an hour, this one is 1 1/2. Up in Cold spring theres always Breakneck Ridge an ever popular destination for NYC hikers. Do a hike a day for a week and youll get your legs
    Yes; That's exactly where Hemlock Springs is.
    You know, I don't think I've ever hiked up Bald Mountain. I started a hike from the same TH on more than one occasion, but took the TT instead of the RD.
    I'm going to do that one soon.

    Thanks

    FW

  17. #17
    Registered User fw2008's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric j View Post
    Hemlock springs? where is that, is it between the nose and south mtn. pass (east of the AT)
    Theres tons of great hikes in Harriman, get the NYNJTC maps, harriman/ Bear mtn N/S
    also east and west hudson trails.
    One difficult hike that stands out is Bald mtn. (much tougher than the AT up from the bridge) Starts at sea level on 9W at Doodletown and climbs up a long notch to the summit. Most summit climbs in the area are about 45minutes to an hour, this one is 1 1/2. Up in Cold spring theres always Breakneck Ridge an ever popular destination for NYC hikers. Do a hike a day for a week and youll get your legs
    Is there a bus that runs up 9W to that trail head?
    I am looking, but not finding. Only one I found so far is to Stony Point, which I think is a bit too far south of the TH, but maybe I'm wrong.

    FW

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by fw2008 View Post
    Is there a bus that runs up 9W to that trail head?
    I am looking, but not finding. Only one I found so far is to Stony Point, which I think is a bit too far south of the TH, but maybe I'm wrong.

    FW
    I have heard that there is a bus that take people directly to Bear Mt parking lot.
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  19. #19
    Registered User fw2008's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch2014 View Post
    I have heard that there is a bus that take people directly to Bear Mt parking lot.
    Yes. I found that one, operated by Short Line / Coach USA. But I don't think it makes any stops along the way, and only runs once from NYC, and once or twice back to NYC.

    According to my NY/NJ TC map of Harriman (2001 eighth ed) there is a bus stop on 9W just below Jones Point, which is just above (north) of the 1777 trailhead.

    The only bus I can find today is the 11A operated by Short Line /Coach USA which runs from the GWB bus terminal to Stony Point, NY, via route 4, Westwood, NJ, Spring Valley, NY, West Haverstraw, NY, and Stony Point, NY.
    That bus terminates at 9W and Washburn Lane (park & ride lot), which is about 4 miles south of the Harriman trailheads.

    Too bad that there is no passenger train service on the CSX River Line. It runs right up along the Hudson between Haverstraw and points north, including Bear Mountain park.

    There was talk about restoring passenger service to that line (when it was owned by Conrail), but it never got off the ground. That service would have been for commuters only anyway, so there wouldn't have been service on weekends, or not as far north as Bear Mountain.

    My best bet for public transport to the 9W trailheads is probably the Metro North Hudson line to Manitou (Sat, Sun only), then hike across the BMB, into the park. Then, if I really want to hike Bald Mountain, I can take the 1777E south to the Cornell Mine trail south. If I insist on hiking up from 9W, I can just hike down the RD, then back up.

    FW

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