home page   The New York City Day Hiking Blog
Various thoughts about hiking in the Greater New York City area as well as rants and raves on other related topics.
  New Information Kiosk Installed in Lake Skannatati Parking Area
By Michael Brochstein on November 25, 2014 2:00 PM

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I happened to witness the installation of a new information kiosk in the Lake Skannatati (Harriman State Park) parking area today.  An information kiosk has a great potential to make the park and its trails safer and more user friendly. I don't know what will be posted here but I know that other kiosks in Harriman lack even a basic area map.  I would suggest, if nothing else, the posting of the relevant New York - New Jersey Trail Conference maps along with a "You are here" notation.

  Nice But Currently Useless Information Board at Elk Pen!
By Michael Brochstein on October 17, 2010 6:20 PM

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Photo taken/posted on October 17, 2010

There is a very nice information board at the Elk Pen parking area off of Arden Valley Road in Harriman State Park. More that half of the space in the information board seems to be unused. What is there doesn't look like it would be of any use for most hikers (and hikers seem to be the primary users of this parking area). I'll bet the New York - New Jersey Trail Conference would be glad to donate a copy of their Harriman map set so that an appropriate map (maybe with a "You Are Here" sticker) could be posted here. Just my two cents,...

New Information Board at Breakneck Ridge!
By Michael Brochstein on August 1, 2010 6:20 PM

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Photo taken/posted on September 12, 2010.

A wooden box labeled "Trail Maps" and a small wooden board with a trail map posted on it now adorn the beginning of the Breakneck Ridge trail (just by Route 9D).  The box is well stocked with a brochure labeled "Hiking Trails in the East Hudson Highlands". Unfortunately the map is labeled "For location purposes only.  Not recommended for navigational use." My guess is that this warning is the result of two concerns, one is the obvious fact that the map in the brochure does not at all compare well with the the New York - New Jersey Trail Conference trail maps (which are excellent!) and a concern for legal liability (the later is just my guess).  Bottom line, if you are intending to hike any of the trails described on this website, get a copy of the NY-NJ Trail Conference trail maps, there are no substitutes! While I would like to see better maps at the trailhead, what is now there is much better than what was there before (nothing!).

  What is the most popular day hike in New York State
and why is there no information board there?

By Michael Brochstein on April 20, 2009 8:55 AM

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What is the most popular day hike in New York State? As far as I can tell (and from what I've read) it is Breakneck Ridge. Every day (particularly on nice weekends) one can see scores of people attempting to climb it.  Among these hikers are always those who are not regular hikers. Many, if not most, of them are hiking without a map.  They either only have a vague idea or no specific idea about how to get back down to Route 9D (or to Cold Spring if they are intending to catch the train from there back to NYC).

At the beginning of Breakneck Ridge Trail there is a very small parking lot for a few cars (see below - there are other, larger parking areas nearby).

There would be a lot of benefits from installing a free standing information board here. If installed by the New York - New Jersey Trail Conference then it would be a great venue for reaching out to new hikers (maybe the Appalachian Mountain Club would also be interested in co-sponsoring it!?). Initially, if nothing else, the simple posting of a copy of the NY-NJTC Map #102 (East Hudson Trails) along with a "You are here" sticker would at least orient those who can read a map. Going further, the signboard can stock brochures for the New York - New Jersey Trail Conference, one-page maps/suggested route sheets, and emergency contact information.

Sometimes the placement of information boards is puzzling. In the southern part of Storm King State Park, directly across the Hudson River, there are a couple of parking areas used for trail access.  The southern one (see below) on Route 9W is a useful but otherwise unimpressive muddy lot (can the town of Cornwall please drop a load of gravel here!).  It is, by far, much less popular than the one a half-mile north.

Notice (see below) that this dinky parking area (actually I am quite thankful it is there) has an information board (see below). It is not the most impressive one but it is adequate.

So go figure! In this little used parking area there is an information board and at Breakneck Ridge, at the most popular trailhead in the state, there is none!  This is a missed opportunity for New York - New Jersey Trail Conference (and the Appalachian Mountain Club) as there is probably no place they can as easily capture the attention of hikers who could benefit from information about the area.