Hackensack River Canoe & Kayak Club

paddling for over a third of a century

The Not So Harriman Hike
by Michele Paradiso

March 12, 2005

Originally, this hike was to explore the Pine Mine Swamp area [Harriman State Park, NY] where you can still find the tailings of mines from yesteryear.

The night before, Mother Nature had decided that she did not want to hike, or perhaps she just wasn’t into mines. With a wave of her hand, she left us a four inch blanket of snow that would make the hike somewhat unappealing for several in the group. What was a new trip leader to do? A quick relay of phone calls made it clear that the group wanted to do something. We had already prepared a pot luck supper and I had a huge pot of meatballs simmering on the stove.
I remembered a wooded area that I had skied several times with a dear friend. However, would I be able lead this group safely in and out of the park since I am known to be directionally challenged? With my map in hand, our party went forward. We were 3 on skis, 2 on snow shoes and one on crampons. We set out to explore Beechy Bottom [Bear Mountain State Park, NY] where the remnants of foundations from the original homesteads could be found scattered beneath the brush.

The day couldn't be more beautiful. With the sun shining brightly and the weather just at freezing, we explored the winter flora. We went up, we went down, we transversed the AT and for some of us, glided into a rhythmic trance. Four hours later much to my relief, we arrived safely at the parking lot. We quickly departed for New City where an abundance of pot luck, fellowship and good cheer was ours to share throughout the evening. Who knew!