“So, what would you like to do on your birthday?”, I was asked.
The first thing I wanted to do is take an early morning hike in the Harriman, NY trail system and find a good spot in the woods for the coffee and bagels we would bring, so that’s how I answered.
Easier said than done!
There are several places we wanted to visit in Monroe’s Harriman park system, but after trying each of them, found that Hurricane Irene had resulted in the typical places being closed to traffic. So we decided to try one last place, Indian Hill.
Indian Hill is part of Sterling Forest State Park and is located via a small sign off Orange Turnpike. The road going up to the parking area is a one-lane dirt road, and it is fairly bumpy and rocky at the moment.
But the road was not closed and we were successful! We made it to the parking area and were able to take a “soft” hike. In other words, nothing strenuous at all; there are a lot of washed out areas and downed trees, but other than navigating those areas, we had a nice easy walk in the woods. We also found a perfect pond to have our breakfast by, and this “last choice” of ours turned out to be the perfect place for today.
An item of interest. We found that parts of the area were also being restored to their natural state to bring back the Golden-winged warblers. The bird has declined dramatically and is now on the Species of Special Concern list. In some areas, small trees will be, or have been, removed to allow old field breeding areas to return. There are signs which provide information about this project.
Following are pictures of the area:
This is the small one-lane road to the parking area, which is taken going back out of the park.
The trail started out as a large dirt and stone path:
And turned into a small overgrown trail:
And was sometimes a bit difficult to navigate:
But all resulted in our being able to sit by the pond for breakfast:
If you go, wear hiking boots and use bug spray and enjoy!