Credit to Jeremiah Zion Lo
There are days when I need a retreat, to get some peace in my life and to think. We all have trials in our lives and we need some remedy. I took the NJ Transit-Metro North to the Sloatsburg Station and started the Ramapo Torne Trail, branching off of Seven Lakes Drive.
[Trailhead GPS: 41.173916,-74.168658]
I was surprised that after a long hour in the forest, the trail led me to scramble up a short rocky section above the forest canopy. As I reached the top of the cliff, I turned around and suddenly-the view of the misty horizon and mountains beyond exploded in front of me! These awe-inspiring powerful climatic moments is what I love most about hiking!
Continuing on the orange-blazed trail, I was led to a slightly higher elevation and ended up with a prominent outcropping at Ramapo Torne, with a cliff-edge view of the substation below, in which the artificial land formations looks like the remaining signs of an alien invasion. I enjoyed my little fiesta lunch at this spot. And oh yes...don't walk out too far. This cliff is sloped and round at the edge like a giant bowling ball. It's pretty freaky. No cliff edge sitting photos for me this time!
To the left, is a view of Russian Bear, a nearby lookout hill. It was a rainy day, so I was rewarded with a magical misty view. I decided to challenge myself to hit all the stars on the trail map-which indicates awesome views.
The orange-blazed trail led me down a valley and up a hill named Russian Bear. At that lookout, it frames an incredibly beautiful view of Ramapo Torne. If you observe carefully, you can see the rocky cliff edge where I enjoyed lunch. Nothing beats the layers of hills and mountains fading in the horizon!
I later branch off the orange-blazed trail to the Raccoon Brook Hills Trail (black blaze), going down the valley again and up a viewpoint called Torne View. From here, it provides some more spectacular views of Harriman State Park! It's absolutely gorgeous, serene, and extremely refreshing! If you look carefully in the image below, you can see Almost Perpendicular, an amazing rocky cliff.
In certain areas along the trails, the blazed markers are spaced too far apart and makes you wonder which direction the trail continues. I'm grateful for the love by other hikers - kind enough to create cairns to lead the way (hikers are one of the coolest and friendliest people I have ever met in my life!)
While descending the Torne View, I come across a vast area covered in red vegetation, which is uniquely beautiful!
After my descent on the blue-blazed Seven Hills Tail, I merged onto the white-blazed Reeves Brook Trail. This was a long stroll in the forest. Eventually, I approach the red-blazed Pine Meadow Trail, and it led me shortly to the Reeves Meadow Visitor Center, concluding my hike.
A lady greeted me inside the visitor's center and showed me on the map for more recommendations to hike Harriman State Park. I bought myself some refreshments and departed. Across the street on Seven Hills Drive, there is an awesome view of Almost Perpendicular, embraced by the beautiful autumn foliage.
A few weeks earlier, I hiked up Almost Perpendicular. I highly recommend everyone to the top of this outstanding cliff! Who knew you could experience this peaceful view- not too far from NYC?! I had the best nap there, ever!!!
Back onto Seven Hills Drive, I head west towards Sloatsburg. Sadly, it's time to say good-bye after another memorable hike of a lifetime. Pictures, videos, and words will never describe the wondrous experience I needed to bring peace back into my life. As I turned around, the welcoming sign into Harriman State Park whispers to me......to come back another time to explore a new gem.
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