So this winter, so far, has been rather tame. I’m sure I just jinxed it to snow 17 feet next week.
Since no snow has substantially accumulated (yet), you may decide to brave the nippy weather and head out on the trail. I know I have!
Recently, we visited Harriman State Park for a short jaunt through one of its MOST popular sections, the Pine Meadow Trail. (Check out the video for a more detailed look).
Located right by the Reeves Meadow Visitor Center, you’re likely to find rows of cars parked along Seven Lakes Drive, even in these colder months. However, this time of year is probably one of the quieter times to visit, so I would still recommend this area if you’re interested in a pleasant walkabout!
When we hiked this trail, a recent dusting of snow and icy brooks made the forest more enchanting than usual. I was pleased.
While we did not have time to venture far, (I was mainly testing out some new equipment), this section of Harriman is a fantastic place to explore. Using your NYNJTC Trail Map, you can easily hike to Pine Meadow Lake, glimpse at ruins and epically named sites like the “Cascade of Slid”, “Ga-Nus-Quah Rock” and …”Egg”. The latter being passed Pine Meadow Lake, but how could you not find out what it is?!
That being said, if you do consider a longer trip, take the elements into consideration and pack accordingly. Always have layers of clothing, snacks, a map, compass, and proper footwear, to say the least. When conditions are more brutal and walking is more treacherous due to ice and snow, you should consider MicroSpikes/YakTrax to stabilize your footing.
For more information on what to bring for winter hiking, check out the Appalachian Mountain Club’s “Essential Gear for Northeastern Hikes”.
Additionally, a good resource to check before heading out on the trail is the NYNJTC forum on trail conditions. Feel free to share your own trail tips upon returning, the hiking community would surely appreciate the insight.
So next time you are considering a trek in Harriman, come well prepared so the only thing you’ll be concerned with is the ephemeral beauty this park holds in winter. Seriously.