TRIP REPORT: Bald Rocks Loop via Lake Skannatati – Harriman State Park, NY 11-11-17
Hiking stats at a glance:
Total Mileage = ~9.3 miles
Elevation Gain = ~2,031 feet
Trailhead = Lake Skannatati
Total Time = 2.5 hours
I have come to really enjoy coming to Harriman State Park for short work out runs/hikes and this particular day was no different. I decided to do a similar route to the last hike but on this particular day I skipped the Lemon Squeeze and added another short section down to Black Rock. My exact GPS track can be seen above.
Unlike the last time I came to the park the cold weather cleared out most of the people and the usually packed parking lot was nearly empty.
From the trailhead I made a left and started down the blue blazed Long Path. At this point most of the leaves were on the ground and the normally worn trail was a little harder to see but luckily there are tons of blazes on the rocks and trees so finding your way is not too difficult.
When I reached the junction with the yellow blazed Dunning trail I made a left and continued on towards Bald Rocks. The trail overall is fairly rocky but some sections periodically allow for running without have to worry to much about twisting an ankle.
Once I passed Bald Rocks I kept an eye open for the junction with the Red Dot blazed trail. Once I reached the junction I made a left and continued down this trail towards Black Rock. I had not previously hiked this section of trail so it was nice to have a little change of pace.
After taking in the views from Black Rock for a few minutes I followed the white blazes marked on the rock leading towards the white blazed Nurian trail. This junction cuts a steep decent off the side of Black Rock and back down into the woods.
At the next T junction I made a right and continued towards the white blazed White Bar trail. Once I reached the next junction a short distance ahead I made another right and continued on the White Bar trail. From here I continued straight ahead back towards the Lemon Squeeze and the blue/red dot blazed trail. Once I reached the junction of the blue/red dot trail I made another right and headed back towards Times Square. If you wanted to do the Lemon Squeeze at this point you would just need to hang a left instead and it is only a short side trip away.
Before too long I made it back to Times Square and from here I went straight ahead towards the Blue blazed Long Path.
From here I continued on the Long Path until I reached the junction with the yellow Dunning Trail and made a left which lead me north again towards the red blazed trail which would take me back to the parking lot. I could have taken the red trail directly from Times Square but this particular route added a little bit of distance so I decided to take it instead. I also think this stretch of the Dunning Trail is nice and pretty suitable for running. Once I reached the junction with the red dot trail I hung a right and followed it back all the way to the parking lot.
All in all it was a great day in Harriman State Park and I will certainly continue to come back to explore new areas of the park. My next goal will likely be to cover some of the less traveled trails to the south and west which I have up til now not tried. I may also continue to use some of these more familiar trails for running and conditioning. Stay tuned for more trip reports from this really great area!