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Harriman Hike-A-Thon/March 10 & 11, 2012

Apparently all other hiking venues must have been closed to other hikers this weekend because most every one of them were at Harriman!  Of course, this had to be our first time hiking there and the weekend was our only opportunity to do so.  When DH stopped in at Tents N' Trails in NYC  earlier in the week to pick up a new Harriman NY/NJ Trail Conference map, the salesperson told him he lucked into one of the last few remaining copies they had in stock.  All morning long they'd been inundated w/folks coming in to pick up Harriman maps! 

"You're gonna have a lot of company up there this weekend", she warned him.  

No kidding.  

Fortunately, with so many trails and variations on different hikes, we rarely ran across more than a few other hikers on each of the trails we took.  Some sections we had totally to ourselves.  Seems most people who opt to do the Lemon Squeezer just go out that far and head back, leaving many of the trails that leave off after that "fairly" solitary.  

My thanks and gratitude to Dawn for her recount of "Elbow Brush/Almost Perpendicular"and Daniela for her turn-by-turn guide to hiking "Island Pond/Lemon Squeezer". 

Our only variation on Dawn's trail was based on her less-than-enthusiastic opinion of the Ramapo-Dunderberg and Kakiat Trails as a finish.  If doing this hike again, she'd choose instead  The White Bar.  That's what we did.  Not that much better I suspect.  Last 1/2 mile or so ran alongside Seven Lakes Drive and the trail itself was more an abandoned, depressing, narrow, weedy & muddy maintenance road primarily, I think, for use by the fiber optics company whose lines run buried near there. 

Outside The Lemon Squeezer

Through The "Squeeze"

Definitely NOT "The Easy Way"

Hiking a new area is always made that much more enjoyable and stress-free when you can rely on previous hikers' experiences and descriptions of their hikes and routes there.  Dawn & Daniela never fail to reward on both counts.  Thanks again.

All in all two great days of hiking:  weather wise, condition wise and directions wise.  We'll definitely return to Harriman after having experienced our first maiden hikes here.  So many other trails; so many other hikes to follow and many to make on our own I'm sure.


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Comment by njHiking.com on March 13, 2012 at 2:28pm

Glad to hear you enjoyed Harriman! We hadn't gotten around to checking the area out for a long time, thinking it was too far from here in central Jersey (this was before google maps and distances/times at your fingertips). Once we went and found it was only 1.5 hrs away, we started hitting the park up all the time.

Too bad White Bar isn't a better return option for that hike. For the most part, Harriman doesn't have a bad trail in the park... I just think that some are a little lackluster when compared to the rest.

And while Harriman is usually busy, there are so many trails for hikers to disperse onto it's usually not too bad.


Comment by Daniela Wagstaff on March 13, 2012 at 5:22pm

Linda - I don't remember the entrance to the Lemon Squeezer being that huge - or are you just that tiny?  As I was going through the Lemon Squeezer I remember wondering how the thru-hikers do it with their huge backpacks.  I kept getting stuck with my much smaller backpack.  It's not so easy getting through that at an angle.  I was having to knock down huge icicles blocking my way the day I was there.

Comment by njHiking.com on March 13, 2012 at 5:42pm

Daniela - LOL I was thinking the same thing.... the entrance looks HUUUGE in Linda's shot, much bigger than I recall. Must be the camera lens!

Last time we went, as we approached we could see glimpses of a backpacker going through - and all we heard were grunts, ughs, gear scrapes, and assorted choice words as he squeezed thru then hauled himself up the scramble at the end. Pretty funny.


Comment by Linda Frank on March 14, 2012 at 12:02am

I guess I didn't eat as much pizza and ice cream as I'd intended when we went snowshoeing last week. :) Or I just shoed off enough inches to make it through the Lemon without "squeezing" too much.

I've got to post a blog update on our shoeing vacation, btw.  Keep putting it off mainly because....well...I just don't know where to begin and where to end or what pics to post.  It was THAT wonderful and we finally experienced actual, real, live snow this year!

But...wait...when we hiked Harriman we came across some snow, too.  (I knew we should have packed the collapsable shovel and our Kahtoolas!  Could have even used our snowshoes.  NOT!


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