Snowing Sloatsburg! Hiking Diamond Mountain, Harriman State Park
Submitted by Jeremiah Zion Lo
"The Land of Many Streams"
It is going to snow today! I'm excited to try a new trail! I got off the train at Sloatsburg and hiked along Seven Lakes Drive to the Reeves Meadow Visitor Center.
From there, I started at the red blazed Pine Meadow Trail, merged onto the yellow blazed Stony Brook Trail and eventually the white blazed Kakiat Trail, passing by many magical streams of beauty.
To the left, you follow the Blue Blazed Trail. This is where it begins to get steeper. I'm PUMPED! Immediately ahead, it leads to the quick simple ascent up Diamond Mountain. To my surprise, it starts out with a short rock scramble along a cliff edge. YAYYY!!! ROCK SCRAMBLE TIME!!! TIME TO CLIMB!!!
At the top is a rewarding view of the valley beyond, stretching to the horizon. I sat on a large boulder to take a lunch break. Then it began to snow. It was certainly a peaceful moment to sit like a child, with my legs dangling from the boulder edge, munching on lunch, and watching puffs of snow descending slowly from heaven.
At the top of Diamond Mountain, the snow began to be heavy and there were hardly views of the surrounding scenery. All I got was a slight glimpse of Lake Sebago to the north.
Certain trail blazes were placed far apart at the top of Diamond Mountain, and the kind hearted hikers made cairns to lead the way.
Descending Diamond Mountain, I merged onto the red blazed Tuxedo-Mt Ivy trail on the left and passed by many more magical streams and babbling brooks. Yes, you are required to cross a brook in this freezing weather. Good thing it is a few hops on some stepping-stones, plus a downed tree for your safety's sake in balancing your way through!
My plan was to hike a loop back to the Reeves Meadow Visitor Center. After several minutes of switching onto the yellow blazed Stony Brook trail, I came to a brook with dense shrubbery all around, with no sign of yellow blazes. Plus, the area began to be soft like a wetland and not cool for finding the rest of the trail. Better safe than sorry, I back tracked out to the red blazed trail and exited the woods onto Seven Lakes Drive, across the road from frozen Lake Sebago.
Something important I learned from the Boy Scouts program was the motto "Be Prepared". I carry a compass to check if I was heading in the right trail direction, at times.
On Seven Lakes Drive, I began hiking back towards the town of Sloatsburg. Magical icicles were found along the road cliffs, aren't they beautiful?!
As I reached the entry sign of the state park, I turned around with a smile-feeling refreshed from another new Unboring Exploring adventure. The transformed view as compared from morning reminded me that this gem had completely turned into a winter wonderland.......