Friday, April 15, 2011

Arden Point, Sugarloaf Hill, Osborn Loop, Garrison NY

Post Contents:
  • Map: East Hudson Trails, Hudson Highlands State Park, Trail Map 101
  • Trail Summary as Overview of Options
  •  What will you see? Photo previews
  • Recommended Books at Amazon: Books Blog, Category II.

Note: We just took this hike with AMC for the 4th time, and each time we have followed the trails in a different sequence and with a few different turnoffs. This time, we walked from Arden Point and did not take the Osborn Loop for a total of 7 miles.
Choices and general directions are below. You will need the map and details available at below site:


Trail Summary:
Note: This is a summary, not exact directions. Be sure to have a map and consult for important details.

 1. Arden Point/Marcia's Mile:Blue Trail south from Metro North Garrison RR Station parking lot.
2. Arden Point/Marcia's Mile: Red Trail (paralleling the rr tracks) as far as desired for 4 look-out points, including a gazebo, benches, and Arden Point itself, which we stopped at on our way back.
3. Glenclyffe Loop: Red blazes (or Marcia's Mile, at sign/white blazes with fox logo, is shorter transverse) east to Route 9D.
4. Castle Rock Unique Area: Red Trail: Cross 9D. Enter through the stone posts at Wing and Wing Road. (Parking to the left if you choose to start hike here). Bare right at fork to  trail head on left and follow the Red Trail up the meadow to gazebo and right turn on red to Sugarloaf Hill.
5. Sugarloaf Hill: Red Trail makes a sharp right to ascend about 800 ft. for knife-edge outcrop w/views of Hudson and Bear Mountain Bridge.
6. Osborn Loop: Blue Trail,  where Blue intersects with red (a gazebo comes into view), don't turn right to follow red up to Sugarloaf. Instead, continue straight onto the Blue Trail and Osborn Loop, which joins the AT (Appalachian Trail white blazes) following the white blazes for a while, then back to blue, an addition of 6 miles. First time we took shorter Yellow Curry Trail at Curry Pond back to Blue.
7. Manitoga Nature Preserve and Russel Wright Design Center is accessible from the western side of Osborn loop. Yellow and White trails exit west to 9D (parking here, too) almost a mile south of Castle Rock.

Photo Preview:
(We mixed in some of this weeks photos with previous ones still relevant.)
The 10:50 Metro North train from NYC pulled into Garrison just before 12.

With Hal, our knowledgeable AMC leader at the helm, our group headed off on foot from the station onto the BlueTrail to the Red Trail, marked Arden Point, Marcia's Mile, Hudson Highlands State Park.

 It seemed quiet at first amidst the long shadows and bare trees of the April, yet still winterview landscape.

These brick remains speak of something that once was... actually a lock factory.

We started the first ascent toward Arden Point.

The gazebo offered a great view of West Point across the Hudson.

The building on the right is the hotel for visitors to West Point Military Academy.
Beneath the river in front of us is the 250-foot deep canyon mentioned in T. C. Boyle's World's End.

Marcia's Mile starts here if you choose this point of the Glenclyffe Loop. Instead, we walked further south on the Red Trail for the next intersection.

At the southern tip of the Glenclyffe Loop, we followed the turns and passed this 1898 building, a main site of the Third Order of Saint Francis.

At Route 9D, we crossed the  major north-south road and came to the entrance to Castle Rock Unique Area. It's through the stone posts marked "Castle Rock" and "Wing and Wing", a sailing expression for both wings back, the last sails added to gain top speed in a race!

  Through the posts, then right at the fork past the barn.

And on the left is the trail head to the Red Trail up to Sugar Loaf Hill.

The view from the road to Castle Rock. It is said that John Muir stayed often at this mansion built in 1881 by William H. Osborn, Illinois Central Railroad president– and wrote a book during his stay. In recent times, it stood lonely and forlorn for many years, but now is in private hands again. There is a rumor that Frank L. Baum, standing across the river at West Point, may have been influenced by his view of the castle in writing the Wizard of Oz, but his stay preceded the building of Castle Rock by 10 years!

 At the top of the meadow, the red trail turns right. 1 blaze = trail goes straight ahead. 2 blazes = a turn in direction of higher-placed blaze. 3 blazes = either trail begins or ends, depending on whether the triangle they form points up or down, respectively.

Just when we thought we were almost at our lunch stop, the the trail took a sharp turn to the right and got very steep.

A reward for the climb was a stunning look back to a second view of West Point from the heights of Sugar Loaf Hill.

The first lunch stop, atop Sugar Loaf Hill, a knife-edge ridge about 800 feet above sea level.

What? Lunch is over already? We hated to leave this scenic outcrop.

Prickly pear cactus. According the hike leader, this is the only place on all of these trails where this hardy desert plant grows.

How much wood could a woodpecker peck if a woodpecker could peck wood? Their holes follow the lines the insect run inside the trunk.

The giant boulder at right probably rolled to its present position thousands of years ago, after hitchhiking on a glacier from Canada.

On our way, we came across a canine in distress.

That's the Appalachian Trail, paralleling our ridge, standing at 1000 feet in the distance. This interesting looking tree in the foreground has been trained into this snake-like shape by the whim of a choking vine. Amazing, ain't it?

The way down is always easier--for most of us.

We followed the path back toward the crossing at Route 9D.

This sign post mapped our path from 9D to our second lunch point, and a lower view of the Hudson.
This area is rich in Revolutionary War history: We crossed the escape route taken in 1780 by American General Benedict Arnold. Arnold planned to betray the American Revolutionary Army in 1780 by surrendering his command of the fort at West Point to the British. The treasonous plan was discovered and Arnold, pursued by George Washington, escaped. He later joined the British Army and led battles against the Americans. He retired in London, England.

Garrison Institute is a Think Tank that explores caregiving, teaching and ecological issues.

Pee-yew! Does anyone smell skunk? We could have sworn the strong odor was produced by a live animal, but it was actually this Skunk Cabbage in full bloom.

The woods are full of surprises. Who would expect to see a bamboo grove smack in the middle of New York State?

A tree bedecked in early spring jewelry. We headed back west along Marcia's Mile.

We crossed a steel bridge over the railroad tracks to get to the Hudson shore.

At  the point at Arden's Point, our group enjoys a second short lunch, affording new, lower views of the Hudson.

Lunch on the rocks.

We were surprised to see this oil tanker on the way back from Albany. One group member told us the tankers go up to Albany full, and return to New York City empty.

Finally back at the Blue Trail leading to Metro North Parking lot.

Another sign of spring. a lonely patch of yellow bloom.

In this pond, the green gel is actually a medium for frogs' eggs! Some will be tadpoles by next weekend!

Old Garrison Railroad Station/Hello Dolly. The end of the hike. The Gazebo station house in the background was featured in the film "Hello Dolly," starring Barbra Streisand. The film was actually set in Yonkers, but the old Garrison station was used as a stand-in.

From the active Garrison station, we saw this once-open beer bar. Our leader told us that a woman who had worked at the World Trade Center moved from New York City to Garrison and referenced this spot in a book called Tavern at the End of the World.