Harriman State Park – Beech Loop

Park Site

Trail Map – I used the the NY NJ Trail Conference maps (though I see there is a new edition out.)

Miles: 8.77

Trails:  Arden – Surbridge (red square on white), Red Cross (red cross on white), Beech (blue), Long Path (aqua)

My Map:

[TL;DR – At the trailhead it was in the 50s, by 10:00 it was in the 70s.  On my map, I did this hike in a clockwise pattern.  After my second road crossing, around 10:00, the mosquitoes and gnats were unbearable.  While there are some pictures after this point, I was almost trail running.  Consider, I did 8.7 miles in a little over 3 hours.  I didn’t stop to eat at all – save for one spot, crossing Route 106, where there were no bugs.]

I have done a bunch of local hikes since my last posting.  And I completed another Catskills Fire tower challenge hike – two more to go.  The last one was to Hunter Mountain; though, we took the chairlifts up and down.  Yes, there was significant hiking after the chairlifts.  But if I ran AllTrails or Gaia while on the chairlifts, it would have looked funny to ascend/descend 2000 feet in 20 minutes.   I should be climbing Hunter from the Devil’s Path in a few weeks and I should be writing that up.  But, as I’ve done some local hikes, and a repeat hike in Harriman, I thought I would try something new.  This loop was great.  Minus the bugs.

It was 55 at the trailhead, and I started with the legs of my pants on.  After two climbs, though, I had to take the legs off; the day was getting warmer, and I had climbed a bunch.

Before the second climb, and while crossing a small stream, I got a great shot looking into Lake Askoti.

At the top of the second climb is a great view to the west (and where I unzipped the legs of my pants.)

At this point, the trail is still really nice to walk.

One feature I was intent on finding is the Hasenclever Mine.  I was prepared to veer from my route to find it, but I needn’t have worried.  Hasenclever Road (a woods road) comes from the right while you are on the Red Cross trail.  Right after that road is the mine.  The mine is filled with water, like many of the mines in Harriman.

Chicken of the Woods

After a little more walking, you will come to Tiorati Brook Road.  Cross the road.  There is a small meadow on the other side.  You have to cross the meadow (almost straight across) and look for the blaze on a post, hidden by the brush.

After the meadow, there were signs for “dangerous trail conditions” and a “washed out bridge.”  I found neither.  And I believe the signs are left over from the storm that really wrecked both Harriman and Bear Mountain parks earlier in the summer.  (At the time of this writing, most of Bear Mountain is still not open yet.)

I took this picture while balanced on rocks, in the middle of a small stream.  I’m sort of lucky I have the picture, I was charged by two unleashed dogs.  Fortunately, I did not fall in.

Cardinal Flower

I took the Red Cross trail until the Beech trail veered right.  Following Beech, I found where the bridge may have been washed out (?)  It certainly was fine on this day.  Here’s a shot of the cascades of Tiorati Brook.

After this the mosquitoes and gnats got really bad.  There had been a few bugs before the brook, so while on the bridge I added a lot of insect repellent.  It really didn’t do much good.  My pace was noticeably quicker from this point on.

Heading down the Beech trail I passed Arthur’s Falls.  I suspect in the Spring this is really roaring.  On this day, it was a slow trickle.  (If there were not a horde of bugs, this might have been a great place to soak for a few minutes.)

From here on, there are not many pictures.  I was able to stand long enough to snap a picture of the cemetery that  the Beech trail bypasses, but I couldn’t stand long enough to explore and read the stones.  I’m just glad I didn’t miss it.

This is a nice loop, and may make for a good snowshoe in the winter.

Ticks: 0

Lanternflies: 0 (suprisingly)


Hiked:  9/3/2023

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