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April 2014

Photo by Laura Brady

4/5 (Sat) MT. TAMMANY - Worthington State Forest (New Jersey). MODERATE HIKE (8 miles). On this hike we'll be ascending a steep and rocky trail to the top of Mt. Tammany (1,549 ft.) -- an elevation gain of over 1,000 feet -- for some great views overlooking the Delaware River. Later we'll follow a much easier hiking trail some distance alongside Dunnfield Creek, a lovely stream that flows down out of the mountains.

4/6 (Sun) SHEPAUG RIVER - Steep Rock Reservation (Connecticut). EASY HIKE (5 miles). Steep Rock Reservation is a lovely "unknown" preserve in western Connecticut, and through it runs the wild and scenic Shepaug River. We'll be following an easy (but occasionally rough and rocky) hiking trail alongside the river, with one short, steep climb to a wonderful viewpoint overlooking the area.

4/12 (Sat) RAYMONDSKILL FALLS / HACKERS FALLS - Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (Pennsylvania). EASY-MODERATE HIKE (6-7 miles). This is a shorter, easier version of our moderate hike to Raymondskill Falls, which we premiered in 2009 and will be offering this year on 5/8. We'll be visiting PA's highest waterfall, spectacular 165-foot Raymondskill Falls, plus stopping at beautiful Hackers Falls and enjoying some fine cliff vistas. Along with easy stretches of hilly trail there are a couple of steep ascents and descents.

4/13 (Sun) AWOSTING FALLS / PETERS KILL CLIFFS - Minnewaska State Park (New York). MODERATE HIKE (7-8 miles). Today we'll be hiking in the northeastern part of Minnewaska State Park, visiting two lovely waterfalls and enjoying more of the splendid Shawangunk cliff vistas for which these mountains are famous. Included are stretches of rough, rocky trail with substantial ups and downs.

4/19 (Sat) SHELDON FALLS / PETERS KILL CREEK - Minnewaska State Park (New York). EASY HIKE (5 miles). Peters Kill is a spectacular mountain creek with small waterfalls and cascades -- and several larger ones -- running through a rugged Shawangunk mountain gorge. Elevation changes are minor, aside from a couple of steep inclines, but some of the trail is quite rough and rocky, and today's hiking itinerary includes some bushwhacking (off-trail travel).

4/20 (Sun) HOOK MOUNTAIN - Hook Mountain State Park (New York). MODERATE HIKE (12 miles). Today we'll be doing a loop-hike over rugged Hook Mountain, on the west side of the Hudson River about 25 miles north of NYC. Included are some splendid views overlooking the Hudson. The highest elevation here is only 728 feet, but the mountain features vertical cliffs and rock walls, and the trail, while not precipitous, includes many ups and downs. Our final few miles will be on a much easier path alongside the river.

4/26 (Sat) KITTATINNY RIDGE / STONY LAKE - Stokes State Forest (New Jersey). EASY-MODERATE HIKE (6-7 miles). Today we'll be returning to beautiful Stokes State Forest and climbing a few hundred feet to the top of the Kittatinny Ridge to enjoy some fine mountain vistas. After following the ridge for a stretch we'll then descend alongside Stony Brook, and later take an afternoon break at Stony Lake. While there's only one significant uphill and downhill, the majority of this hike is on extremely rocky trails, requiring good balance.

4/27 (Sun) BASHBISH FALLS / ALANDER MOUNTAIN (New York / Massachusetts). MODERATE-STRENUOUS HIKE (7-8 miles). The most spectacular of all the high falls in the Taconic Mountains is Bashbish, which sounds with a thundering roar in springtime. After visiting the falls we'll be hiking up nearby Alander Mountain (2,250 ft.) for some splendid views, which involves a sometimes-steep 1500-foot trail-climb (our ascent is from the opposite direction of last year's new Alander Mountain moderate hike). Recommended for experienced and fit hikers who are capable of maintaining a reasonably brisk pace.

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May 2014

Photo by Charles McMellon

5/3 (Sat) RAYMONDSKILL FALLS / POCONO CLIFFS - Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (Pennsylvania). MODERATE HIKE (9 miles). A few years ago we premiered this hike, which takes place on a new network of trails (there's a shorter easy-moderate version of this hike that we offered this year on 4/12). The highlight is PA's highest waterfall, spectacular and (after rain) massive 165-foot Raymondskill Falls, consisting of 3 cascades not far above the Delaware River. There are high cliffs en route that offer fine vistas. The trails are mostly dirt with few rocks, but many ups and downs are included, a couple of them on the steep side.

5/4 (Sun) HORNBECKS CREEK / INDIAN LADDER FALLS - Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (Pennsylvania). EASY-MODERATE HIKE (7-8 miles). New hike! Today we'll be following an unmarked trail up through a beautiful mountain gorge that features a series of waterfalls, some small and others up to 30-40 feet high, which should be full in springtime -- and we'll be hiking other paths and trails in the area. A few stretches of trail are steep, narrow, and precipitous (anyone with a major fear of heights and/or less-than-great balance should skip this one). Another hike for waterfall fans!

5/10 (Sat) WALLENPAUPACK CREEK - Promised Land State Park (PA). EASY HIKE (5-6 miles). We used to offer a hike in Promised Land State Park, in PA's Poconos, but then a trail closure blocked one of our routes. Today, for the first time in years, we'll be back with an altered itinerary, and enjoying an especially scenic highlight: hiking alongside lovely Wallenpaupack Creek, in a hemlock-rhododendron gorge, with small waterfalls and cascades (and taking two different rest breaks by the creek). While the terrain is gently hilly, the trails are intermittently rocky.

5/11 (Sun) MOUNTAINS & CLIFFS OF NORTHERN MINNEWASKA - Minnewaska State Park (New York). MODERATE HIKE (12 miles). New hike! Until 2013 there were no marked trails in the northern part of Minnewaska State Park, but a re-route of the 350-mile Long Path (New York's longest hiking trail) -- plus another new trail -- make a new hike possible. We'll be gaining 1800 feet over several miles en route to a spectacular cliff vista, where we'll have lunch. Except for some steep hills near the beginning, most of the climb is very gradual.

5/17 (Sat) CHAPMAN FALLS - Devil's Hopyard State Park (Connecticut). EASY-MODERATE HIKE (6-7 miles). Today we'll be paying a return visit to Devil's Hopyard State Park, a wild, rugged, and beautiful park in south-central Connecticut. The centerpiece is roaring Chapman Falls, where the Eight Mile River drops 60 feet, and there's also a lovely high cliff vista. The hiking trails here are very hilly and occasionally rough.

5/18 (Sun) KAATERSKILL HIGH PEAK / HUCKLEBERRY POINT - Catskill Forest Preserve (New York). MODERATE-STRENUOUS HIKE (10 miles). On this hike we'll be climbing 3,655-foot Kaaterskill High Peak (1,800 foot elevation gain) in the magnificent northeastern Catskills of upstate New York, and taking a side trip to Huckleberry Point, where the vistas are truly splendid. Some of the hiking is rough, rocky and steep (other stretches are much easier). Recommended for experienced and fit hikers who are capable of maintaining a reasonably brisk pace (when appropriate).

5/23-26 (Fri-Mon) SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK WILDERNESS CAMPING TRIP (Virginia). EASY-MODERATE. For the first time in 7 years it's a great pleasure to offer a 4-day Memorial Day Weekend trip to Shenandoah National Park, home of the loveliest scenery of the Northern Virginia Blue Ridge (for many years we had an annual trip here). This year we'll be re-visiting the central part of the park, where one finds impressive mountain canyons, beautiful blooming mountain laurel, rushing streams, and several splendid high waterfalls. We'll be walking in with backpacks just 1-2 miles on an unusually easy trail, setting up camp in an area of wild forest, and taking (optional) day hikes each day. Possible hikes range in difficulty from easy to moderate-strenuous, and other options include spending one or more days relaxing at our campsite. Nearby is Hawksbill Mountain (4,050 ft.), highest in the park, with spectacular vistas (only a few hundred feet above the elevation of our campsite, a couple miles away). Other trails lead through some virgin forest and down to a series of lovely waterfalls. Departure will be Friday morning (early morning for those traveling with us from NYC, and around mid-day for those meeting us in the park) and we'll be leaving the park by mid-day Monday (Memorial Day). If you need to cancel, cash refunds are available (minus a $125 cancellation fee) through 2/23/14; after that date, credit for future trips is possible only if your space can be filled. In the past our Shenandoah National Park trips sometimes filled months in advance, so early reservations are highly recommended (group size is limited to 10). Calls and e-mails to check on space are welcome up to the time of the trip. Transportation from NYC is available at no extra cost for those who need it (or you may meet us in Virginia). Fee for members: $450 (Member-driver with car who can take passengers from Manhattan: $225, with gas & toll costs reimbursed). Non-members: $550 (Non-member driver with car who can take passengers from Manhattan: $325, with gas & toll costs reimbursed).

5/31 (Sat) VAN CAMPENS GLEN / DELAWARE RIVER - Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (New Jersey). EASY HIKE (6 miles). On today's hiking trip we'll be following several trails to do a hilly loop through a scenic part of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Highlights: Van Campens Glen, a splendid mountain gorge with a series of waterfalls, and we'll also follow a stretch of trail alongside the Delaware River.

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June 2014

Photo by Charles McMellon

6/1 (Sun) VERKEERDER KILL FALLS / ICE CAVES MOUNTAIN - Sam's Point Preserve & Minnewaska (New York). MODERATE HIKE (10 miles). Located next to Minnewaska State Park, the relatively new Sam's Point Preserve protects an area of magnificent Shawangunk cliff scenery. There are wonderful views from elevations as high as 2,255 feet, and we'll be taking a morning rest break at spectacular 180-foot Verkeerder Kill Falls. Included are some long stretches of rough and rocky (and extremely scenic) trail.

6/7 (Sat) SUTHERLAND POND / BLACK ROCK FOREST (New York). MODERATE HIKE (9 miles). Privately owned Black Rock Forest is a lovely mountain forest located just west of the Hudson River 50+ miles north of NYC. Our hiking route will take us over several little mountaintops, with great views of the Hudson River Valley, and also to beautiful Sutherland Pond for an optional swim. Included are two steep trail-climbs during our first couple of miles.

6/8 (Sun) UPPER HOUSATONIC RIVER (Connecticut). EASY HIKE (6-7 miles). On today's hike we'll be walking alongside western Connecticut's Upper Housatonic River, following the famous Appalachian Trail for several miles as we explore one of the river's wildest and loveliest stretches. The trail is very easy here, with just a few small hills.

6/14 (Sat) ICE CAVES / VERKEERDER KILL FALLS - Sam's Point Preserve & Minnewaska State Park (New York). EASY-MODERATE HIKE (7 miles). This hike includes a visit to the top of spectacular (180-foot) Verkeerder Kill Falls, where we'll have an extended lunch break (it's a shorter version of the 10-mile moderate Verkeerder Kill Falls hike we're offering this year on 6/1). Prior to the falls we'll be following a relatively steep, rocky route down into and through the impressive Ice Caves. It's a mix of easy hiking along with some rough, rocky, and occasionally steep trail.

6/15 (Sun) PEEKAMOOSE MOUNTAIN / TABLE MOUNTAIN - Catskill Park (New York). MODERATE- STRENUOUS HIKE (10-12 miles). Today we'll be ascending via trail both Peekamoose Mountain (3,843 ft.) and nearby Table Mountain (3,847 ft.), in the magnificent wilderness of the southern Catskills. Total elevation gain is over 2,500 feet, and some of it's steep and rugged. We'll be rewarded with some spectacular views. For experienced and especially fit hikers who are capable of maintaining a reasonably brisk pace (when appropriate).

6/21 (Sat) UPPER PETERSKILL CREEK - Minnewaska State Park (New York). EASY HIKE (6-7 miles). Today we'll be hiking alongside a stretch of Peterskill Creek, one of the largest and loveliest mountain streams in NY's Minnewaska State Park, with cascades and large pools. After a bumpy and possibly muddy stretch of easy trail we'll be ascending to enjoy some spectacular cliff vistas from elevations over 2,000 feet (elevation gain 500+ feet).

6/22 (Sun) SOUTH MOUNTAIN / KAATERSKILL FALLS - Catskill Park (New York). MODERATE HIKE (10-11 miles). This hike, which we premiered a few years ago, features a relatively new route to the top of 260-foot Kaaterskill Falls, highest waterfall in New York State. Aside from the splendid waterfall there are several spectacular vistas from the Escarpment Trail. Elevation changes are over 2,000 feet, more than most moderate hikes, but most of the ups and down are gradual.

6/28 (Sat) CATSKILL ESCARPMENT - Catskill Park (New York). MODERATE HIKE (10 miles). On this hike we'll be exploring the wild northeastern Catskills, climbing via trail up to the Catskill Escarpment south of Blackhead Mountain for a great view of the mountains and valley below. The first and last 3 miles are easy, but before lunch we'll ascend (and later descend) 1,200 feet on a trail that's rugged and steep at times. On our way out we'll take a break at a lovely waterfall on East Kill Creek (with a pool suitable for a dip).

6/29 (Sun) PASSAIC RIVER - Morristown National Historical Park (New Jersey). EASY-MODERATE HIKE (5-6 miles). For this hike we'll be returning to New Jersey's scenic and densely-forested Morristown National Historical Park, hiking to the beautiful Passaic River, which is wild as it flows through the region. While much of our route is easy, it includes some big semi-steep hills, and we'll be taking breaks at different places along the river.

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July 2014

Photo by Kenneth Faron

7/3-6 (Thurs-Sun) RAQUETTE RIVER / WESTERN HIGH PEAKS WILDERNESS TRIP - Adirondack Park (New York). EASY-MODERATE. New trip! On this July 4th weekend trip, for the first time, we'll be visiting the far western part of the famous 192,000-acre High Peaks Wilderness in the spectacular 6,000,000-acre Adirondack Park, home to more wilderness than any other location in the eastern United States. Terrain here is much gentler than in the eastern part of the wilderness area (where the highest mountains are). We'll be hiking in with backpacks around 4 mostly easy but hilly miles to camp near a stretch of the splendidly scenic and wild 146-mile-long Raquette River. Our campsite will be a few minutes from some small river waterfalls and many roaring rapids, along with calmer stretches of river suitable for swimming. Day hike options on our 2nd and 3rd days will include exploring several miles of trails that run alongside or near the river, as well as following other trails that lead deeper into the wilderness. Aside from hiking and swimming, other options include spending one or more days relaxing by the river. Departure will be Thursday morning (early morning for those traveling with us from NYC, and late morning for those meeting us in the park) and we'll be leaving the park by mid-day Sunday. If you need to cancel, cash refunds are available (minus a $125 cancellation fee) through 4/3/14; after that date, credit for future trips is possible only if your space can be filled. Group size is limited to 9 people, and early reservations are highly recommended. Calls or e-mails to check on space are welcome up to the time of the trip. Transportation from NYC is available at no extra cost for those who need it (or you may meet us in the Adirondack Park). Fee for members: $450 (Member-driver with car who can take passengers from Manhattan: $225, with gas & toll costs reimbursed). Non-members: $550 (Non-member driver with car who can take passengers from Manhattan: $325, with gas & toll costs reimbursed).

7/12 (Sat) DUNNFIELD CREEK - Worthington State Forest (New Jersey). EASY HIKE (5-6 miles). Dunnfield Creek is a lovely mountain stream which runs down from the Kittatinny Mountains into the Delaware River. After one major hill we'll be hiking alongside the creek on an easy but sometimes rocky trail, and relaxing (with opportunities to jump in) along the way.

7/13 (Sun) SHAWANGUNK CLIFFS - Minnewaska State Park (New York). MODERATE HIKE (10-11 miles). NY's Shawangunk Mountains are commonly considered to be the most impressive mountains this side of the Catskills. Today we'll be taking a hiking route over the open rock ledges and cliffs in the southwestern part of Minnewaska State Park -- with superb views along the way -- and in the afternoon stopping for a swim break at Lake Awosting.

7/19 (Sat) ISLAND POND / HARRIMAN BUSHWHACK - Harriman State Park (New York). EASY-MODERATE HIKE (6 miles). Today's hike will take us through a wild and attractive section of Harriman Park, less than 50 miles north of NYC. Included will be a couple of miles of bushwhacking (off-trail travel, which at times involves getting over and around fallen trees and branches). We'll take a long lunch break at Island Pond, one of the park's most scenic lakes, and in the afternoon we'll also negotiate the rock crevices of the Lemon Squeezer. Some parts are easy, but the terrain is hilly with some short, steep climbs.

7/20 (Sun) INDIAN HEAD MOUNTAIN / ECHO LAKE - Catskill Park (New York). MODERATE-STRENUOUS HIKE (13 miles). Today's hike, in the spectacular mountains of NY's eastern Catskills, begins with a steep, rocky, 1500-foot trail-climb to the top of Indian Head Mountain (3,573 ft) for some terrific views and a lunch break. After descending we'll continue hiking over much easier trail to scenic Echo Lake, where we'll take a swim break. Total elevation gain and loss of the day will be over 2,500 feet. Recommended for experienced and fit hikers who are capable of maintaining a reasonably brisk pace.

7/26 (Sat) LAKE AWOSTING / RAINBOW FALLS - Minnewaska State Park (New York). MODERATE HIKE (9-10 miles). On this hike we'll be returning to Lake Awosting, a lovely and well-preserved mountain lake at an elevation of 1,867 ft. in a beautiful area of the Shawangunk Mountains. Before hiking to the lake for a swim break we'll visit Rainbow Falls, following a hilly and occasionally rugged route over rocky cliffs for some great views.

7/27 (Sun) EAST KILL CREEK - Catskill Forest Preserve (New York). EASY HIKE (6 miles). Today we'll be re-visiting the splendid northeastern Catskills, hiking to a lovely mountain meadow and beautiful East Kill Creek, where we'll have lunch at a waterfall (which includes a pool suitable for taking a dip). Terrain is very gentle, with few hills, but at times the trail is rocky and may be muddy if it has rained recently.

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August 2014

Photo by Charles McMellon

8/1-4 (Fri-Mon) BROOKTROUT LAKE / WEST CANADA LAKE WILDERNESS CAMPING TRIP - Adirondack Park (New York). EASY-MODERATE. New trip! On this 4-day/3 night trip at the start of August we'll be visiting one of the most remote and inaccessible wilderness areas in NY's magnificent and enormous (6-million-acre) Adirondack Park. No, it's not in Canada, even though it's called the “West Canada Lake Wilderness,” but in the central Adirondacks. We've previously been here only on week-long trips. The last part of our journey to get here will involve many miles of dirt road (usually in decent shape) -- and we'll be rewarded by some incredibly beautiful scenery including an amazing assortment of beautiful wild lakes in relatively close proximity. We'll be hiking in with backpacks about 5 relatively easy but hilly miles to camp at lovely Brooktrout Lake. Our (optional) easy-to-moderate day hikes on the 2nd and 3rd days will allow us to visit and explore as many as several nearby lakes, including West Lake, South Lake, Mud Lake, Wolf Lake, Deep Lake, and Falls Pond -- and there are others! Daytime options include swimming and relaxing at our campsite. Departure will be Friday morning (early morning for those traveling with us from NYC, and late morning for those meeting us in the park) and we'll be leaving the park by mid-day Monday. If you need to cancel, cash refunds are available (minus a $125 cancellation fee) through 5/1/14; after that date, credit for future trips is possible only if your space can be filled. Early reservations are highly recommended. Calls or e-mails to check on space are welcome up to the time of the trip. Transportation from NYC is available at no extra cost for those who need it (or you may meet us in the Adirondack Park). Fee for members: $450 (Member-driver with car who can take passengers from Manhattan: $225, with gas & toll costs reimbursed). Non-members: $550 (Non-member driver with car who can take passengers from Manhattan: $325, with gas & toll costs reimbursed).

8/9 (Sat) STONY BROOK - Harriman State Park (New York). EASY HIKE (6 miles). Stony Brook is a large and lovely mountain stream that merges with Pine Meadow Brook in the southwestern part of New York's Harriman State Park. We'll be hiking alongside the brook for a couple of miles on a relatively new trail, enjoying the sound of the water during an extended lunch break, and also stopping at nearby Lake Sebago. While most of the hike is easy, some stretches of trail are a bit rough, rocky and hilly.

8/10 (Sun) NORTH MOUNTAIN / NORTH LAKE - Catskill Park (New York). MODERATE HIKE (8-10 miles). This hike will take us along the southern part of the Escarpment Trail, commonly considered to be the most scenic trail in New York's Catskills, with many outstanding views. Hiking highlights will include a panorama from North Point and a swim stop at North Lake. A couple of relatively steep but short trail-climbs are included.

8/16 (Sat) KAATERSKILL FALLS / NORTH LAKE - Catskill Park (New York). EASY-MODERATE HIKE (7-8 miles). The Catskills are home to some of the most impressive and unspoiled mountain scenery in southern New York State. Our hiking itinerary will include a visit to the top of 260-foot Kaaterskill Falls (highest waterfall in the state), a series of wonderful views from high cliffs, and a stop for a swim at North Lake. There are a couple of short, steep, and very rocky stretches of trail.

8/17 (Sun) DIAMOND NOTCH FALLS / WEST KILL MOUNTAIN - Catskill Park (New York). MODERATE-STRENUOUS HIKE (10 miles). On today's hiking trip, in the northeast Catskills, we'll be ascending a trail to lovely Diamond Notch Falls, which includes several cascades and pools, and then on up to a spectacular vista near the top of West Kill Mountain (3,880 ft.). Our total ascent will be close to 2,500 feet. For experienced and especially fit hikers who are capable of maintaining a brisk pace.

8/23 (Sat) ACRA POINT / BATAVIA KILL CREEK - Catskill Park (New York). MODERATE HIKE (7-8 miles). On this hike we'll be visiting New York's wild northeastern Catskills, following a route that includes a stretch of the scenic Escarpment Trail. There's an initial ascent of 1000+ feet, and we'll take breaks at Acra Point (3,100 ft.) and Burnt Knob (3,180 ft.), where there are great vistas. In the afternoon we'll be able to cool off in beautiful Batavia Kill Creek.

8/24 (Sun) ISLAND POND - Harriman State Park (New York). EASY HIKE (5-6 miles). For many years we've had an easy-moderate hike to Island Pond, which is a lovely mountain lake in the northwestern part of New York's Harriman State Park (we offered that hike on 7/19 this year). Today's hike follows an entirely different and easier itinerary. On route we'll pass through some beautiful hemlock forest, take a morning break at a scenic spot at the southern end of the lake, and have lunch at the north shore. It's hilly hiking, but most of today's inclines are gradual.

8/29-9/1 (Fri-Mon) NORTHERN SIAMESE PONDS WILDERNESS TRIP - Adirondack Park (NY). EASY-MODERATE. Be with us on Labor Day Weekend (4 days) as we return to the lovely Siamese Ponds Wilderness of the Adirondacks, where one finds 67 lakes and ponds, many small mountains, and other magnificent wild scenery. This will be our first visit in 3 years to the northern part of this wilderness area, which features an array of scenic lakes and ponds and a branch of the Sacandaga River. We'll be hiking in 3-4 easy miles with backpacks, camping near a beautiful mountain stream, and taking easy to moderate day hikes. Possible hiking destinations include several lovely lakes and ponds, some of them accessible by easy trails, and also (for more ambitious hikers) the option of a steep climb to the top of rugged Chimney Mountain (2,721 ft.). Swimming will be available as well, and those who wish may spend one or more days relaxing at our campsite. Departure will be Friday morning (early morning for those traveling with us from NYC, and late morning for those meeting us in the park) and we'll be leaving the park by mid-day Monday. If you need to cancel, cash refunds are available (minus a $125 cancellation fee) through 6/1/14; after that date, credit for future trips is possible only if your space can be filled. Group size is limited to a maximum of 9 people and early reservations are highly recommended. Calls or e-mails to check on space are welcome up to the time of the trip. Transportation from NYC is available at no extra cost for those who need it (or you may meet us in the Adirondack Park). Fee for members: $450 (Member-driver with car who can take passengers from Manhattan: $225, with gas & toll costs reimbursed). Non-members: $550 (Non-member driver with car who can take passengers from Manhattan: $325, with gas & toll costs reimbursed).

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September 2014

Photo by Charles McMellon

9/6 (Sat) STEENEYKILL LAKE - High Point State Park (New Jersey). EASY HIKE (6 miles). High Point State Park includes New Jersey's highest elevations (the highest being 1,803 feet). Most of today's hike is within the Dryden Kuser Natural Area, which features a lush cedar swamp with rhododendron and conifers, plus fine mountain vistas. We'll also stop at scenic Steeneykill Lake. Much of the hiking is easy, but some of the terrain is rocky and there are a couple of steep hills.

9/7 (Sun) LITTLE POND / CABOT MOUNTAIN - Catskill Park (New York). MODERATE HIKE (9 miles). Today we'll be hiking in the beautiful but less-frequently-visited mountains of the Western Catskills. Our route will take us to the top of Cabot Mountain (2,970 ft.) for some fine views, and we'll spend time at lake-sized Little Pond, and also visit a lovely mountain meadow. This is one of our most challenging moderate hikes, with a couple of very steep trail-climbs included.

9/13 (Sat) MILLBROOK MOUNTAIN / SHAWANGUNK CLIFFS - Minnewaska State Park (New York). EASY-MODERATE HIKE (7-8 miles). The spectacular cliffs of the Shawangunk Mountains are justly famous, and Millbrook Mountain is said to have one of the highest sheer drops east of the Mississippi. Today's itinerary includes some rough stretches of trail. Among the rewards are a number of magnificent views, including from the cliff known as “Gertrude's Nose.”

9/14 (Sun) WINDHAM HIGH PEAK / BURNT KNOB - Catskill Park (New York). MODERATE-STRENUOUS HIKE (11 miles). On this trip we'll be hiking to the top of the northernmost peak in New York's Catskills, 3524-foot Windham High Peak (1880 ft. elevation gain), and then over 3180-foot Burnt knob. The day's total elevation gain will be more than 2500 feet, with a few steep stretches, and we'll be enjoying some spectacular mountain vistas. Recommended for experienced and especially fit hikers who can maintain a reasonably brisk pace.

9/20 (Sat) HASECO LAKE - Minnewaska State Park (New York). MODERATE HIKE (11-12 miles) Today we'll be hiking to beautiful Haseco Lake (also known by the lowly name of Mud Pond), which we couldn't visit for many years because the trail beyond the lake had been closed by a private landowner (land that's now thankfully part of the park). We'll have lunch on some splendid cliffs with outstanding views. Our morning route will take us along the north shore of Lake Awosting, and on our way out we'll stop at the south shore for a break. There are no major elevation changes, but many small ups and downs, and some of the trail is quite rocky.

9/21 (Sun) WARD POUND RIDGE RESERVATION (New York). EASY HIKE (5-6 miles). 4,700-acre Ward Pound Ridge Reservation is the largest and one of the loveliest parks in New York's Westchester County. Our hiking itinerary will take us through some attractive deciduous forest, with pine and hemlock groves, and to a couple of fine viewpoints. It's very hilly but otherwise easy.

9/27 (Sat) PAWLING NATURE RESERVE (New York). EASY HIKE (5-6 miles). This is a rather large and little-known tract of wild forest in Putnam County. Several miles of trails run through the reserve, including the Appalachian Trail. There's a fine vista from a ridge, a lovely hemlock gorge with a little waterfall, and a splendid sense of isolation. It's mostly easy hiking with a couple of very steep hills.

9/28 (Sun) BRACE MOUNTAIN / ASHLEY HILL BROOK -- Mt. Washington State Forest (Massachusetts). MODERATE HIKE (11 miles). Last fall we premiered this new moderate hike in the magnificent Taconic Mountains on the MA/NY border. Back in the 1980s we climbed Brace Mountain as part of a more strenuous hike, but a trail closure made part of that hike inaccessible, so this will be our second return visit since then (we now follow a different route). We'll have lunch on top of Brace, which offers splendid vistas, and our itinerary includes some stretches alongside beautiful Ashley Hill Brook.

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October 2014

Photo by Yuksel Golpinar

10/5 (Sat) MACEDONIA BROOK STATE PARK (Connecticut). MODERATE HIKE (8 miles). Located in western Connecticut, Macedonia Brook State Park is a large and beautiful tract of wild forest with small but rugged mountains. Elevations changes are not great, but the hiking trails are rough and steep in a few places (with one especially rugged and steep descent). There are fine views from the top and shoulder of Cobble Mountain (1,380 feet).

10/6 (Sun) LAUREL POND - Wawayanda State Park (New Jersey). EASY HIKE (5-6 miles). One of NJ's lesser-known parks, 18,000-acre Wawayanda State Park is a tract of mostly wild and unspoiled forest, including areas thick with rhododendron and cedar, featuring 255-acre Wawayanda Lake. Our hike will include a stop at beautiful Laurel Pond. It's easy but hilly walking with a few rough spots.

10/10-13 (Fri-Mon) ROCK POND / NORTHERN PHARAOH LAKE WILDERNESS CAMPING TRIP - Adirondack Park (New York). EASY-MODERATE. 4 days. Join us for a fall foliage mini-vacation on Columbus Day Weekend as we return to the magnificent Pharaoh Lake Wilderness in the mountains of the southeastern Adirondacks, which has scenery as wild and lovely as any location in the Northeast. We'll be hiking in 4-5 mostly-easy but hilly miles to camp near Rock Pond, a scenic mountain lake with slabs of rock that slope into the water and offer perfect swim spots, and there's a trail that completely encircles the lake. Easy to moderate hiking options here include trips to several other lakes and an 830-foot climb of Treadway Mountain (2,240 ft.) for some impressive panoramic views. As always, other options include swimming and spending one or more days relaxing at the lake. This is fall foliage time in the Adirondacks, and the colors are often splendid here on Columbus Day Weekend. It will also be our final camping trip of the year. Departure will be Friday morning (early morning for those traveling with us from NYC, and late morning for those meeting us in the park) and we'll be leaving the park by mid-day Monday (Columbus Day, a federal holiday). If you need to cancel, cash refunds are available (minus a $125 cancellation fee) through 7/10/14; after that date, credit for future trips is possible only if your space can be filled. Group size is limited to 9 people, and early reservations are highly recommended. Calls or e-mails to check on space are welcome up to the time of the trip. Transportation from NYC is available at no extra cost for those who need it (or you may meet us in the Adirondack Park). Fee for members: $450 (Member-driver with car who can take passengers from Manhattan: $225). Non-members: $550 (Non-member driver with car who can take passengers from Manhattan: $325).

10/18 (Sat) BLACK ROCK - Black Rock Forest (New York) EASY-MODERATE HIKE (7 miles). Today we'll be revisiting and exploring the scenic trails in the northwestern part of Black Rock Forest, less than 60 miles north of NYC -- and also hiking to Black Rock, where there's a terrific view of the Hudson Valley and Hudson River. Terrain is very hilly and while there are no major climbs today, there will be several short, steep, and rocky ascents and descents.

10/19 (Sun) LION'S HEAD / BEAR MOUNTAIN (Connecticut). MODERATE-STRENUOUS HIKE (9 miles). Today we'll be returning to the unspoiled wilderness of the Taconic Mountains in the northwestern corner of Connecticut, and for the first time in several years, hiking the Appalachian Trail to the top of Lion's Head (1,738 ft.) and CT's Bear Mountain (2,316 ft.), highest mountain in the state. Both mountains offer terrific views. The trails are rocky and steep in places, and our ascents and descents will total over 2,000 feet. Recommended for experienced and especially fit hikers who are capable of maintaining a reasonably brisk pace.

10/26 (Sat) LAKE HOPEWELL / HUNTINGTON STATE PARK (Connecticut). EASY HIKE (5-6 miles). Huntington State Park is a lovely 1,017-acre tract of wild forest in southwest Connecticut. Along with a feeling of remoteness there are several attractive lakes, including large and beautiful Lake Hopewell. The hiking here is easier than on most of our easy hikes, with just a few hills.

10/27 (Sun) STERLING FOREST - Sterling Forest State Park (New York / New Jersey). MODERATE HIKE (9 miles). Established in 1998 and located about 40 miles northwest of NYC, this important 18,000-acre state park protects a wild and lovely mountain area that had been slated for development. After a fairly steep 700-foot trail-climb we'll follow a route along Sterling Ridge, which offers several wonderful vistas. Along with easy stretches there are short but steep climbs to rocky knobs.

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November 2014

Photo by Charles McMellon

11/1 (Sat) BLACK ROCK CLIFFS & PONDS - Black Rock Forest (New York). MODERATE HIKE (9-10 miles). Today we'll be returning to beautiful (3,800-acre) Black Rock Forest, about 60 miles north of NYC, following an itinerary that we've only offered a couple of times before. We'll be ascending Whitehorse Mountain and several other small mountains, hiking past a couple of lovely ponds, and enjoying fine vistas from rocky cliffs. There are lots of ups and downs, with a few steep stretches of trail.

11/2 (Sun) LAKE MINNEWASKA - Minnewaska State Park (New York). EASY HIKE (6-7 miles). The Minnewaska area in the Shawangunk Mountains (near New Paltz, NY) has long been known for its unusual beauty. We'll be utilizing some of the old carriage paths today to explore the lake and surrounding mountains, with superb views from multi-leveled cliffs. This year we'll be following a partly new itinerary we introduced last year (because of path closures) that includes a mile of very rocky but super-scenic trail (good balance is essential), and there's a big hill at the beginning of the hike. The rest is very easy.

11/8 (Sat) HIDDEN LAKE - Fahnestock State Park (New York). EASY HIKE (5-6 miles). This hike premiered two years ago. Today we'll be returning to rarely-visited Hidden Lake, a beautiful body of water nestled between mountain ridges in the middle of 14,000-acre Fahnestock State Park -- the largest park in New York east of the Hudson River, and the site of a number of our hikes. The trails are sometimes rocky and hilly, but most hills today are on the small and gentle side.

11/9 (Sun) HUBBARD-PERKINS CONSERVATION AREA - Fahnestock State Park (New York). MODERATE HIKE (12 miles). Consisting of several thousand acres of land that are now part of Fahnestock State Park, this wild area features dense forest, small mountains with great views, a lake, two ponds, and a relatively new 22-mile network of hiking trails. There will be many ups and downs today, a couple of them on the steep side, and also some long, easy stretches of trail.

11/15 (Sat) HOUSATONIC RAPIDS (Connecticut). EASY-MODERATE HIKE (6-7 miles). This is a shorter, easier version of the Ten Mile River / Housatonic River hike we offer each spring (in this version we hike in from the opposite direction). There's one semi-steep 750-foot trail-climb to a nice mountain vista, and the rest is bumpy but easy. The highlight is a splendidly scenic stretch of trail alongside the Housatonic River (including rapids) as well as the Ten Mile River, which flows into the Housatonic. Two of our rest breaks will be by the beautiful rivers.

11/16 (Sun) BREAKNECK RIDGE / SUGARLOAF MOUNTAIN - Hudson Highlands State Park (New York). MODERATE-STRENUOUS HIKE (7-8 miles). On today's hike we'll be climbing famous Breakneck Ridge (1,200 ft.), which rises up precipitously from the Hudson River. The views are among the most dramatic and impressive to be found anywhere along the Hudson. Some of the trail is very steep and rugged, and our elevation changes will probably be over 2,500 feet. Recommended for experienced and fit hikers who can maintain a reasonably brisk pace (when appropriate).

11/22 (Sat) TIORATI BROOK - Harriman State Park (New York). EASY HIKE (6 miles). Tiorati Brook is a large and beautiful mountain stream that runs through the north-central part of Harriman Park, just an hour northwest of NYC, and includes some little waterfalls. On today's mostly-easy hiking itinerary, with a few sizable hills, we'll explore some scenic forested trails and rest by the brook at two different locations.

11/23 (Sun) SUNFISH POND - Worthington State Forest (New Jersey). MODERATE HIKE (9 miles). Sunfish Pond is a scenic glacial lake nestled in the Kittatinny Mountains a few miles from the Delaware Water Gap. We'll be climbing gradually to the pond via a rocky stretch of the Appalachian Trail, and our return will include be via a bumpy but easier route along rhododendron-lined Dunnfield Creek. This is one of our easier moderate hikes.

11/30 (Sun) TERRACE POND - Wawayanda State Park (New Jersey). EASY-MODERATE HIKE (7 miles). Terrace Pond is a lovely and wild mountain lake, located on Bearfort Mountain at an elevation of 1,380 ft., surrounded by high cliffs plus rhododendron and blueberry thickets. We'll be hiking to the pond over mostly easy trail, but there are some semi-steep hills and several stretches are rough and rocky.

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December 2014

Photo by Photo by Rosemary Feal

12/6 (Sat) HOOK MOUNTAIN CLIFFS - Hook Mountain State Park (New York). EASY-MODERATE HIKE (6-7 miles). The past few years we've offered a 12-mile moderate hike on precipitous Hook Mountain, which overlooks the Hudson River north of Nyack. This hike, which premiered three years ago, is a shorter, easy-moderate version of that hike, which starts with a mostly-gradual (but occasionally steep) 700-foot ascent. The rest is much easier, with a few hills and a long nearly-flat stretch alongside the river. Views from the mountain cliffs are splendid.

12/7 (Sun) BEAR MOUNTAIN / WEST MOUNTAIN - Bear Mountain State Park (New York). MODERATE-STRENUOUS HIKE (9-10 miles). New York's famous 1,284-foot Bear Mountain is an impressive mountain with striking features, and it offers spectacular vistas overlooking the Hudson River. We'll start with a steep 1000-foot climb of the mountain, and after a partial descent we'll ascend nearby West Mountain. Total elevation gain and loss will be well over 2,000 feet, and some of the trail is extremely rough and rocky. For experienced and especially fit hikers who are capable of maintaining a reasonably brisk pace.

12/13 (Sat) DUNDERBERG VALLEY - Bear Mountain State Park (New York). EASY HIKE (6 miles). Today we'll be following several trails and old woods roads to circle around the scenic valley between Dunderberg Mountain and Bear Mountain, near the Hudson River. Included will be a stop at a beautiful mountain stream with a sizable waterfall, and we'll be walking through part of the historic abandoned village of Doodletown. Our route includes some major (but mostly gradual) hills.

12/14 (Sun) PINE MEADOW LAKE - Harriman State Park (New York). MODERATE HIKE (9 miles). Our last hike of 2014! Many would agree that Pine Meadow Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Harriman State Park, and it's one of the few that's relatively isolated. Today's itinerary will take us over several small mountains with fine views, and we'll have lunch on a rock outcropping before descending to the lake -- after which we'll follow a lovely stretch of Pine Meadow Brook. Some occasionally steep and rocky trail-climbs are included.

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January 2015

A NOTE ABOUT CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING & SNOWSHOEING TRIPS: On most weekends in recent winters we haven't had enough snow for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in local mountain areas (the winter of 2011 was a major exception!), so we schedule day hikes for every Saturday and Sunday in January and February -- but cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trips will be added to our schedule whenever enough snow materializes for these activities. If you're on our e-mail list you'll receive announcements of any schedule changes, including the likely addition of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trips.

Please note: winter trip locations are always tentative and subject to change up to the last minute in the event of weather-related changes in trail conditions. For more about our cross country ski trips and what's involved, click on the Trip Information page and go to 'Information About Winter Trips'.

Photo by Photo by Kenneth Faron

1/3 (Sat) STONY BROOK - Harriman State Park (New York). EASY HIKE (6 miles). Our first hike of 2015! Stony Brook is a large and lovely mountain stream that merges with Pine Meadow Brook in the southwestern part of New York's Harriman State Park. We'll be hiking alongside the brook for a couple of miles on a relatively new trail, enjoying the sound of the water during a lunch break, and also stopping at nearby Lake Sebago. While most of the hike is easy, some stretches of trail are a bit rough, rocky and hilly.

1/4 (Sun) BLAUVELT MOUNTAIN / LAKE SKENONTO - Harriman State Park (New York). MODERATE HIKE (8-10 miles). Today we'll be ascending several small mountains in the southwestern part of Harriman State Park, including Blauvelt Mountain and Parker Cabin Mountain, and also visiting beautiful Lake Skenonto. Some of the trails are extremely rocky, hilly, and occasionally steep, with many longer stretches that are on the easy side.

1/10 (Sat) LADENTOWN MOUNTAIN - Harriman State Park (New York). MODERATE HIKE (8-9 miles) Our hiking itinerary today will take us through the southern part of Harriman State Park (which is about 40 miles northwest of New York City), featuring fine vistas from small mountaintops, beautiful mountain streams, and several lakes and reservoirs, including scenic Third Reservoir, where we'll have lunch. Most elevation changes are minor but there will be a few short, steep climbs over rocky trail.

1/11 (Sun) ISLAND POND - Harriman State Park (New York). EASY HIKE (5-6 miles). On this hike we'll be following an easy route to lovely lake-size Island Pond in the northwestern part of New York's Harriman Park -- passing through some beautiful hemlock forest en route, and taking breaks at two different scenic spots along the lakeshore (one at each end of the pond). It's hilly hiking, but most of today's inclines are gradual, with brief rocky stretches of trail.

1/17 (Sat) STOCKBRIDGE MOUNTAIN / LAKE NAWAHUNTA -- Harriman State Park (New York). EASY-MODERATE HIKE (6-7 miles). This hike in the northern part of NY's Harriman Park is a shorter and somewhat easier version of the 9-mile moderate Stockbridge Mountain hike we've offered for many years. Today we'll be following a loop that features vistas from Stockbridge Mountain, a stretch of the Appalachian Trail, and two beautiful (probably frozen) lakes: Lake Nawahunta and Silvermine Lake. Parts of the hike are easy, but some stretches of trail are rocky with lots of hills.

1/18 (Sun) ANTHONY'S NOSE / SUGARLOAF HILL - Hudson Highlands State Park (New York). MODERATE-STRENUOUS HIKE (12-13 miles). This is a longer and more challenging version of the moderate hike we've offered for many years to the top of Anthony's Nose, which is only 900 feet high but offers terrific views overlooking the Hudson River, across from Bear Mountain. In addition to a scenic section of the Appalachian Trail, today's route will include a loop through the Osborne Preserve and steep Sugarloaf Hill (not to be confused with Sugarloaf Mountain), with elevation changes totaling well over 2,000 feet. For experienced and fit hikers who are capable of maintaining a relatively fast pace.

1/24 (Sat) CROSS RIVER - Ward Pound Ridge Reservation (New York). EASY HIKE (5 miles). For many years we've offered a hike in beautiful 4,700-acre Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, Westchester's largest park, and a few years ago introduced a second itinerary in the northern part of the reservation, which we'll be visiting today. Located here is the lovely Cross River -- the size of a large mountain stream -- which we'll hike alongside for a considerable distance, and we'll explore the forest north of the river as well. It's easy with occasional hills.

1/25 (Sun) FINGERBOARD MOUNTAIN / ISLAND POND - Harriman State Park (New York). MODERATE HIKE (9-10 miles). Today we'll be returning to the northwestern part of Harriman Park, traversing Fingerboard Mountain and several other small mountains, plus stopping for a lunch break at Island Pond. Elevation changes on this hike are relatively minor, but there are lots of short and occasionally steep ups and downs over rocky trail, and we'll be climbing up through the rock crevasse known as the Lemon Squeezer.

1/31 (Sat) PINE MEADOW BROOK - Harriman State Park (New York). EASY HIKE (5-6 miles). Today we'll be hiking a hilly and sometimes very rocky trail alongside scenic Pine Meadow Brook, which includes an area with giant boulders and cascading water. Before returning we'll also pay a visit to beautiful Pine Meadow Lake.

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February 2015

A NOTE ABOUT CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING & SNOWSHOEING TRIPS: On most weekends in recent winters we haven't had enough snow for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in local mountain areas (the winter of 2011 was a major exception!), so we schedule day hikes for every Saturday and Sunday in January and February -- but cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trips will be added to our schedule whenever enough snow materializes for these activities. If you're on our e-mail list you'll receive announcements of any schedule changes, including the likely addition of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trips.

Please note: winter trip locations are always tentative and subject to change up to the last minute in the event of weather-related changes in trail conditions. For more about our cross country ski trips and what's involved, click on the Trip Information page and go to 'Information About Winter Trips'.

Photo by Photo by Ulrike Kaltenbock

2/1 (Sun) LETTERROCK MOUNTAIN / LAKE ASCOTI - Harriman State Park (New York). MODERATE HIKE (10-12 miles). Today we're offering another hike in the north-central part of NY's Harriman State Park, featuring several small mountains, little waterfalls on Tiorati Brook, and beautiful Lake Ascoti. Included will be a couple of miles of semi-bushwhacking, following some unmarked paths on Letterrock Mountain.

2/7 (Sat) STOCKBRIDGE MOUNTAIN / SILVERMINE LAKE - Harriman State Park (New York). MODERATE HIKE (9 miles). On this hike we'll be taking a scenic loop hike in the northern part of NY's Harriman Park, which will include several miles of the Appalachian Trail. Highlights include some beautiful views from Stockbridge Mountain as well as a scenic stretch of hiking trail alongside sizable Silvermine Lake. There are plenty of ups and downs, some of them steep, and much of our route is rough and rocky.

2/8 (Sun) CRANBERRY MOUNTAIN / BREAKNECK POND - Harriman State Park (New York). EASY HIKE (5-6 miles). Today we'll be back in the forested mountains of NY's Harriman State Park -- visiting and lunching at Breakneck Pond, a scenic mountain lake that we'll reach by hiking a mostly unmarked path, and we'll be meandering around on the ridges of Cranberry Mountain. Most of the trails are easy and gently hilly except for one large, semi-steep hill at the beginning.

2/14 (Sat) LAKE SKENONTO - Harriman State Park (NY). EASY-MODERATE HIKE (7 miles). Today we'll be following hiking trails through an attractive section of Harriman Park, with a stop at Lake Skenonto, one of the most beautiful lakes in the area; we'll also have fine views from some small mountains. Portions of the hike are more moderate than easy, with some short, steep stretches of trail.

2/15 (Sun) DUNDERBERG MOUNTAIN / TIMP / WEST MOUNTAIN - Bear Mountain State Park (New York). MODERATE-STRENUOUS HIKE (8-9 miles). Today we'll be hiking to the tops of three sizable mountains south of Bear Mountain, starting with a steep 1,000-foot climb of Dunderberg Mountain. Our total ascent will be well over 2,000 feet, and the trails are extremely rocky and rugged here. All three mountains offer wonderful vistas. Recommended for experienced and fit hikers who are capable of maintaining a reasonably brisk pace.

2/21 (Sat) WESTMORELAND SANCTUARY (New York). EASY HIKE (5-6 miles). Westmoreland Sanctuary is a large and attractive preserve in Westchester County with over 15 miles of hiking trails. Our route will take us through varied and scenic woodlands and forest, with some small streams and two large and lovely ponds. The terrain is very hilly but with few rocks.

2/22 (Sun) CANDLEWOOD HILL / FAHNESTOCK RIDGES - Fahnestock State Park (NY). MODERATE HIKE (10 miles). Today we'll be exploring the south-central part of scenic Fahnestock State Park, which is the largest park in New York east of the Hudson River. Highlights include 986-foot Candlewood Hill -- a small mountain -- which features some of the park's finest views. We'll also stop at two beautiful mountain streams. Some of our route will be over rocky trail with occasional steep pitches.

2/28 (Sat) CANOPUS CREEK / BUSHY RIDGE - Fahnestock State Park (New York). EASY-MODERATE HIKE (6-7 miles). Join us as we explore some scenic hiking trails in Fahnestock State Park, the largest park in New York east of the Hudson River, and the adjacent Agatha Durland Scout Reservation. We'll be ascending several sizable hills and ridges, a couple of them steep and rocky, and other stretches are easy. Our lunch spot will be at a mountain vista, and we'll be taking an afternoon rest break at beautiful Canopus Creek.

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March 2015

Photo by Photo courtesy Charles McMellon

3/1 (Sun) ROUND HILL / HUBBARD-PERKINS RIDGES (New York). MODERATE HIKE (8 miles). On this hike we'll be returning to the Hubbard-Perkins Conservation Area in Fahnestock State Park, a picturesque area of forested mountain ridges with lovely streams and lakes. There are several semi-steep ascents to rocky knobs, along with easier stretches of trail. Highlights include a fine vista from the top of Round Hill.

3/7 (Sat) BEAVER POND / WICCOPEE RIDGE - Hubbard-Perkins Conservation Area (New York). EASY HIKE (6 miles). On this hike we'll be visiting the Hubbard-Perkins Conservation Area, which protects several thousand acres of wild and lovely forested land that's now part of Fahnestock State Park. Most of our itinerary will be easy, with some hills and rough spots. Highlights include a view from Wiccopee Ridge, and we'll take a long break at beautiful Beaver Pond.

3/8 (Sun) GIANT STAIRS / PALISADES - Palisades Interstate Park (New Jersey/New York). MODERATE HIKE (8-9 miles). This hike takes us along an especially scenic portion of the Palisades on the NY-NJ border, with great views of the Hudson River from the famous and spectacular cliffs, plus a lovely waterfall. Included are two challenging miles of extremely rugged hiking trail over and around giant boulders ("Giant Stairs"), plus a 500-foot descent and ascent via trail from the river. The rest is much easier.

3/14 (Sat) ANTHONY'S NOSE / HUDSON HIGHLANDS STATE PARK (New York). MODERATE HIKE (10 miles). This hike will take us through the southern part of Hudson Highlands State Park, in New York's Putnam County. Included is a superb view of the Hudson River from 900-foot Anthony's Nose, highest mountain in the area, and we'll be hiking there via a scenic 5-mile section of the Appalachian Trail. There are some short, relatively steep and rocky climbs.

3/15 (Sun) TUMBLING WATERS GORGE / POCONO RIM - Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (Pennsylvania). EASY-MODERATE HIKE (7 miles). Today we'll be visiting PA's eastern Poconos near the Delaware River. Highlights include a lovely gorge with waterfalls and pools, and a vista of the Delaware River Valley. There are a couple of steep but relatively short trail-climbs. The rest of the hiking is very hilly but on the easy side.

3/21 (Sat) BLACK RIVER / HACKLEBARNEY STATE PARK (New Jersey). EASY HIKE (5-6 miles). Join us as we hike alongside the beautiful tea-colored Black River, which flows through a rugged gorge in northern New Jersey's Hacklebarney State Park. Some of the trail by the river is rough and rocky; the rest of the hiking is hilly but easy.

3/22 (Sun) MOMBASHA HIGH POINT / FITZGERALD FALLS (New York). MODERATE HIKE (9 miles). On this hike we'll follow some 9 miles of the Appalachian Trail through the wild and scenic mountains northeast of Greenwood Lake. There are fine views from Mombasha High Point (1,262 ft.) and Cat Rocks, and we'll stop at lovely 25-foot Fitzgerald Falls. Included are ups and downs over rocky trail.

3/28 (Sat) PRYDDEN BROOK FALLS / HOOSATONIC RIVER - Paugussett State Forest (Connecticut). EASY-MODERATE HIKE (6-7 miles). On this outing we'll be hiking along one of the wildest, most undeveloped stretches of the Housatonic River in southwestern Connecticut, crossing a couple of streams, spending some time at impressive Prydden Brook Falls, and rarely losing sight of the beautiful river. Terrain is hilly and occasionally steep.

3/29 (Sun) STORM KING MOUNTAIN, Storm King State Park (New York). MODERATE-STRENUOUS HIKE (6-8 miles). Perched more than 1,300 feet above the Hudson River, Storm King Mountain offers some of the most dramatic views of any location along the Hudson. The hiking trails here include rough, rocky, and steep stretches. Our total ascent and descent will be over 2,500 feet. Expect some terrific vistas. Recommended for experienced and fit hikers who are capable of maintaining a reasonably brisk pace (when appropriate).

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2014 Overnight Trip Schedule

Photo by Tariq Rahman

5/23-26 (Fri-Mon) SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK WILDERNESS CAMPING TRIP (Virginia). EASY-MODERATE. For the first time in 7 years it's a great pleasure to offer a 4-day Memorial Day Weekend trip to Shenandoah National Park, home of the loveliest scenery of the Northern Virginia Blue Ridge (for many years we had an annual trip here). This year we'll be re-visiting the central part of the park, where one finds impressive mountain canyons, beautiful blooming mountain laurel, rushing streams, and several splendid high waterfalls. We'll be walking in with backpacks just 1-2 miles on an unusually easy trail, setting up camp in an area of wild forest, and taking (optional) day hikes each day. Possible hikes range in difficulty from easy to moderate-strenuous, and other options include spending one or more days relaxing at our campsite. Nearby is Hawksbill Mountain (4,050 ft.), highest in the park, with spectacular vistas (only a few hundred feet above the elevation of our campsite, a couple miles away). Other trails lead through some virgin forest and down to a series of lovely waterfalls. Departure will be Friday morning (early morning for those traveling with us from NYC, and around mid-day for those meeting us in the park) and we'll be leaving the park by mid-day Monday (Memorial Day). If you need to cancel, cash refunds are available (minus a $125 cancellation fee) through 2/23/14; after that date, credit for future trips is possible only if your space can be filled. In the past our Shenandoah National Park trips sometimes filled months in advance, so early reservations are highly recommended (group size is limited to 10). Calls and e-mails to check on space are welcome up to the time of the trip. Transportation from NYC is available at no extra cost for those who need it (or you may meet us in Virginia). Fee for members: $450 (Member-driver with car who can take passengers from Manhattan: $225, with gas & toll costs reimbursed). Non-members: $550 (Non-member driver with car who can take passengers from Manhattan: $325, with gas & toll costs reimbursed).

7/3-6 (Thurs-Sun) RAQUETTE RIVER / WESTERN HIGH PEAKS WILDERNESS TRIP - Adirondack Park (New York). EASY-MODERATE. New trip! On this July 4th weekend trip, for the first time, we'll be visiting the far western part of the famous 192,000-acre High Peaks Wilderness in the spectacular 6,000,000-acre Adirondack Park, home to more wilderness than any other location in the eastern United States. Terrain here is much gentler than in the eastern part of the wilderness area (where the highest mountains are). We'll be hiking in with backpacks around 4 mostly easy but hilly miles to camp near a stretch of the splendidly scenic and wild 146-mile-long Raquette River. Our campsite will be a few minutes from some small river waterfalls and many roaring rapids, along with calmer stretches of river suitable for swimming. Day hike options on our 2nd and 3rd days will include exploring several miles of trails that run alongside or near the river, as well as following other trails that lead deeper into the wilderness. Aside from hiking and swimming, other options include spending one or more days relaxing by the river. Departure will be Thursday morning (early morning for those traveling with us from NYC, and late morning for those meeting us in the park) and we'll be leaving the park by mid-day Sunday. If you need to cancel, cash refunds are available (minus a $125 cancellation fee) through 4/3/14; after that date, credit for future trips is possible only if your space can be filled. Group size is limited to 9 people, and early reservations are highly recommended. Calls or e-mails to check on space are welcome up to the time of the trip. Transportation from NYC is available at no extra cost for those who need it (or you may meet us in the Adirondack Park). Fee for members: $450 (Member-driver with car who can take passengers from Manhattan: $225, with gas & toll costs reimbursed). Non-members: $550 (Non-member driver with car who can take passengers from Manhattan: $325, with gas & toll costs reimbursed).

8/1-4 (Fri-Mon) BROOKTROUT LAKE / WEST CANADA LAKE WILDERNESS CAMPING TRIP - Adirondack Park (New York). EASY-MODERATE. New trip! On this 4-day/3 night trip at the start of August we'll be visiting one of the most remote and inaccessible wilderness areas in NY's magnificent and enormous (6-million-acre) Adirondack Park. No, it's not in Canada, even though it's called the "West Canada Lake Wilderness," but in the central Adirondacks. We've previously been here only on week-long trips. The last part of our journey to get here will involve many miles of dirt road (usually in decent shape) -- and we'll be rewarded by some incredibly beautiful scenery including an amazing assortment of beautiful wild lakes in relatively close proximity. We'll be hiking in with backpacks about 5 relatively easy but hilly miles to camp at lovely Brooktrout Lake. Our (optional) easy-to-moderate day hikes on the 2nd and 3rd days will allow us to visit and explore as many as several nearby lakes, including West Lake, South Lake, Mud Lake, Wolf Lake, Deep Lake, and Falls Pond -- and there are others! Daytime options include swimming and relaxing at our campsite. Departure will be Friday morning (early morning for those traveling with us from NYC, and late morning for those meeting us in the park) and we'll be leaving the park by mid-day Monday. If you need to cancel, cash refunds are available (minus a $125 cancellation fee) through 5/1/14; after that date, credit for future trips is possible only if your space can be filled. Early reservations are highly recommended. Calls or e-mails to check on space are welcome up to the time of the trip. Transportation from NYC is available at no extra cost for those who need it (or you may meet us in the Adirondack Park). Fee for members: $450 (Member-driver with car who can take passengers from Manhattan: $225, with gas & toll costs reimbursed). Non-members: $550 (Non-member driver with car who can take passengers from Manhattan: $325, with gas & toll costs reimbursed).

8/29-9/1 (Fri-Mon) NORTHERN SIAMESE PONDS WILDERNESS TRIP - Adirondack Park (NY). EASY-MODERATE. Be with us on Labor Day Weekend (4 days) as we return to the lovely Siamese Ponds Wilderness of the Adirondacks, where one finds 67 lakes and ponds, many small mountains, and other magnificent wild scenery. This will be our first visit in 3 years to the northern part of this wilderness area, which features an array of scenic lakes and ponds and a branch of the Sacandaga River. We'll be hiking in 3-4 easy miles with backpacks, camping near a beautiful mountain stream, and taking easy to moderate day hikes. Possible hiking destinations include several lovely lakes and ponds, some of them accessible by easy trails, and also (for more ambitious hikers) the option of a steep climb to the top of rugged Chimney Mountain (2,721 ft.). Swimming will be available as well, and those who wish may spend one or more days relaxing at our campsite. Departure will be Friday morning (early morning for those traveling with us from NYC, and late morning for those meeting us in the park) and we'll be leaving the park by mid-day Monday. If you need to cancel, cash refunds are available (minus a $125 cancellation fee) through 6/1/14; after that date, credit for future trips is possible only if your space can be filled. Group size is limited to a maximum of 9 people and early reservations are highly recommended. Calls or e-mails to check on space are welcome up to the time of the trip. Transportation from NYC is available at no extra cost for those who need it (or you may meet us in the Adirondack Park). Fee for members: $450 (Member-driver with car who can take passengers from Manhattan: $225, with gas & toll costs reimbursed). Non-members: $550 (Non-member driver with car who can take passengers from Manhattan: $325, with gas & toll costs reimbursed).

10/10-13 (Fri-Mon) ROCK POND / NORTHERN PHARAOH LAKE WILDERNESS CAMPING TRIP - Adirondack Park (New York). EASY-MODERATE. 4 days. Join us for a fall foliage mini-vacation on Columbus Day Weekend as we return to the magnificent Pharaoh Lake Wilderness in the mountains of the southeastern Adirondacks, which has scenery as wild and lovely as any location in the Northeast. We'll be hiking in 4-5 mostly-easy but hilly miles to camp near Rock Pond, a scenic mountain lake with slabs of rock that slope into the water and offer perfect swim spots, and there's a trail that completely encircles the lake. Easy to moderate hiking options here include trips to several other lakes and an 830-foot climb of Treadway Mountain (2,240 ft.) for some impressive panoramic views. As always, other options include swimming and spending one or more days relaxing at the lake. This is fall foliage time in the Adirondacks, and the colors are often splendid here on Columbus Day Weekend. It will also be our final camping trip of the year. Departure will be Friday morning (early morning for those traveling with us from NYC, and late morning for those meeting us in the park) and we'll be leaving the park by mid-day Monday (Columbus Day, a federal holiday). If you need to cancel, cash refunds are available (minus a $125 cancellation fee) through 7/10/14; after that date, credit for future trips is possible only if your space can be filled. Group size is limited to 9 people, and early reservations are highly recommended. Calls or e-mails to check on space are welcome up to the time of the trip. Transportation from NYC is available at no extra cost for those who need it (or you may meet us in the Adirondack Park). Fee for members: $450 (Member-driver with car who can take passengers from Manhattan: $225). Non-members: $550 (Non-member driver with car who can take passengers from Manhattan: $325).

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