Backpack Harriman State Park
New York › Harriman State Park, New York
Added by Ian Carey
Explore a revolutionary war era thief's den and cool off at 2 lakes and a small swimming hole. This backpacking trip also offers distant views of the NYC skyline.
While the first day is a bit longer and less exciting in terms of frequent landmarks, its a relaxing hike through rocky, wooded, forest among bountiful blueberry bushes and the occasional raspberry bush. Enjoy the isolation on this leg. The second day is packed with frequent and beautiful landmarks but it is a little more traveled.
Begin parked at the Tuxedo Train station (where free parking is allowed in the lot off East Village Road). From the lot head up East Village Road under I87 and turn left on Grove Drive. The trailhead will be on your right.
From the trailhead take the trail on the right with white blazes. Continue until the trail comes to a "T". Take the orange blazed trail on the right and continue until the orange blazes meet the beginning of a trail with blue blazes. The orange trail will branch to the left, you should take the blue blazes straight ahead. This will take you along the ridge parallel to I87 with views overlooking Tuxedo and Sloatsburg. Watch out for wild raspberries and blueberries for a refreshing snack in the summer months. The blue trail will rejoin the orange and continue down a steep slope towards a private residence and on to Johnstown road.
Turn left and hike up the road to its end. Here you will continue on a white blazed trail for around a half a mile before turning right on another white blazed trail. Follow this for a while until it crosses a creek. After crossing the creek the trail will be yellow blazed on the right and white on the left. Follow the white blazes onward. You will come to a small cascade of water with a swimming hole beneath it on the right-- perfect for a quick plunge. Continue on the same side of the creek for about half a mile and cross shortly after passing a blue blazed trail on your left. Continue approximately another half a mile before taking a trail which begins on your left, marked by white blazes with a black dot. After some elevation changes and smaller, but beautiful views of the surrounding ridges, rejoin the white blazed trail. Hike for around two miles before taking the yellow blazed trail to the left. Continue to cap off this day of hiking with a sweeping view of the rolling hills leading up to the miniature New York City skyline from the "Egg" shortly before crossing a trickling spring and ascending a rock ledge to arrive at Stone Memorial Shelter (the only legal camping area) for the night. You can stay in the shelter or camp nearby.
For day two, backtrack less than half a mile to the beginnings of a white blazed trail which begins on your right. Follow this until you catch a glimpse of Pine Meadow Lake, shortly after which you will follow the red blazed Pine Meadow Trail to the right. Take this around the lake and cross a rocky road before taking the yellow blazed trail on your right to ascend Diamond Mountain. There will actually be two yellow blazed trails to choose from. Take the left branching option for a quick ascent and awesome views of the surrounding lake and valley over your shoulder.
Soon the yellow trail will join a blue and orange blazed trail which quickly branches into two. Follow the orange blazes to the left. Soon you will come down to a creek and the orange trail will join a trail blazed with a red dot on white. This will come up to a road. From here you will need to cross the bridge over the damn on the left and continue to the trial around the lake on the other side of the road. After veering from the lake continue to follow the red dot, white blazes 3 miles back to the original trailhead. With just over a mile left you will come to a rock outcropping which is known as the Claudius-Smith Den, the area where its namesake revolutionary war thief hid out.
- Tent (optional if staying in shelter)
- First aid kit
- Sleeping bag
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Backpacking, Camping, Fishing
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This is a very challenging hike. Harriman SP is a rocky area where bad boots go to die. The first day is a 13.7 mile trip with 2000 foot elevation gain. The raccoon hill section (white blaze black dot) even has a section with a ladder on the descent. pretty rough on the feet. The stone memorial shelter has no water. But if it's rainy has a few spots to lay out a plastic sheet for catchment. Pine lake is a mile away but be mindful of bears as there is a lot of trash from campers.
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