Section 9 (AT in a Day)
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Bear Mountain Bridge (east end) in in Fort Montgomery, NY to Delaware River Bridge (west end) in Delaware Water Gap, PA - 108.7 miles
Section Chief: Walt Daniels '60
Bear Mountain Bridge (east end) to Arden Valley Rd. near Seven Lakes Dr- 13.8 miles
Hikers: Mark Winkler '79 and P'08, Amanda Carye '07, Ed Carye P'07
Many thanks for the support of Walt Daniels '60 and Peter & Barbara Kingsley who ensured the DOC painted this entire NY section of the "AT in a Day" with Dartmouth green. And thank you to the great undergraduates of the DOC for making this event a truly world-class Dartmouth Outing. What a club!!
We started on the trail at NY Route 9D east of the Bear Mountain Bridge (mile 785.1) at about 8:05am. Amanda Carye '07, Ed Carye P'07 and Mark Winkler '79 P'08 hiked from NY Rte 9D to Arden Valley Road (mile 798.9) for 13.8 miles. Also joining this hike for the morning were Viva Hardigg '84, Julia Lane '85, and Caroline Tippin '84 who hiked from NY Rte 9D (mile 785.1) to Seven Lakes Drive (mile 790) for 4.9 miles.
[HISTORICAL NOTES: This section of the trail hiked included the very first section of Appalachian Trail that was opened (1923). The Bear Mountain Bridge was opened a year later. This section also has the lowest point of the Appalachian Trail and it is the only portion of the AT to cross tidal waters. Henry Hudson sailed this Hudson River exactly 400 years ago. Robert Fulton steamed up the river with the first steamboat exactly 200 years ago.]
After we took several group photographs near the Bear Mountain Bridge, our happy band of six climbed Bear Mountain (Mile 788.4) reaching the summit around 10:30am. We shared a variety of chocolates and the distant views of the New York Manhattan skyline to the south. Crossing Seven Lakes Drive (mile 788.4) at about 11:30am, we had lunch and then said good-bye to Viva, Julia and Caroline while Amanda, Ed and Mark continued south along the trail. We climbed West Mountain (mile 791.6) with multiple panoramic views, dodged speeding cars crossing the Palisades Parkway, and summited Black Mountain (mile 793.3) just after 2 pm with more dramatic views of the New York skyline. The final 5.6 miles of trail provided great variety of forests and trails showcasing the "Scenic" nature of this National Scenic Trail. We walked our final two miles on the trail through quiet, open and darkening woods illuminated only through the leaves by the sunset blaze reflected off of the clouds above. We finished our section at sunset reaching the Arden Valley Road (mile 798.9) at 6:20pm.
One final note: Everyone on our trip agreed that having Dartmouth Trail mini-reunions where alumni and students could come together and hike is a new tradition ripe for inception. Maybe not the whole trail, but maybe at key hike locations throughout the country, but on the same day. In other words, let's do something like this again (in spirit, not necessaily in scale)!!
TOTAL DISTANCE: 13.8 miles TOTAL TIME: 10.25 hours
Arden Valley Rd. near Seven Lakes Dr. to N.Y.17A- 12 miles
Hikers: Erik Goetze '90 and Rebecca Martin
Firstly, a special thanks for the logistical efforts of Walt Daniels '60 that helped make our sections in NY possible.
Leaving Lake Tiorati around 7:45am, Rebecca Martin & Erik Goetze '90 hiked the AT from mile 800.0 (Fingerboard Shelter) to mile 816.4 (NY Rt 17A & Continental Rd). The Lemon Squeezer (mile 802.1) was an early test. Hiking with 2 dogs in this well-marked section, we did have to carry the dogs over a couple of steep rocky stretches around Buchanan Mtn (mile 808.4) where the dogs were not able to descend on their own. The fall foliage and many lakes in this region made for a very scenic hike as the weather passed from overcast to sunny. The ticks throughout the hike kept our break stops brief since they seemed to find the dogs (and us) within minutes of stopping. We pressed on, determined to cover all 16+ miles and reach our endpoint before dark. As we ascended our final hill above Dutch Hollow, we caught the last rays of sunshine near Wildcat Shelter (mile 814.3). We finished at 7:15pm as dark fell, but were rewarded with a beautiful autumn sunset at Rt 17A.
you can check out the photos at http://picasaweb.google.com/zoofook/2009ATinaDAY# TOTAL DISTANCE: 16.4 miles TOTAL TIME: 11.5 hours
N.Y.17A to NY-NJ border near Longhouse Drive- 8 miles
Hikers: Steve Golladay '68 , Lucy Anich Golladay, Sam & Carol Doran, Dave Weber
We traveled in two vehicles about 1 hour from our homes in Dutchess County, NY to secure the NY-NJ frontier for the DOC. After shuttle setting preliminaries we started hiking from Rte 17 A at about 9:45 AM. The route afforded many wonderful views to the east overlooking Greenwood Lake, including a view from â€œGrand Viewâ€ of the highest Manhattan skyscrapers just visible over a distant ridge. We finished at Longhouse Dr at approximately 3 PM. Returning to Rte 17A we stopped to enjoy amazing â€œhome made â€œ ice cream at the Bellview Dairy which must be famous among AT thru hikers (< Â¼ mile from the trail) . All of us were happy to have contributed to the ATinaday project and I especially look forward to hearing of its success. I can think of no college with a better claim to kinship with the AT and this aspect of the college has always been extremely important to me. May the DOC continue in perpetuity.
NY-NJ border near Longhouse Drive road to N.J.94- 9 miles
Hikers: Peter Corren '81
A grey blustery day by weather standards, but a radiant and momentous day for the DOC and the AT. This event concept was pure genius to anchor the DOC Centennial celebration. What is better than rehashing the sweet memories that I have for the club, with salty droplets of my sweat soaking into the well worn AT making history. I am proud and honored to be one of the many participants.
The DOC was an integral part of my years at Dartmouth being a member of Cabin & Trail and an officer of Winter Sports. I spent many hours with Cabin & Trail in Robinson Hall and on the trail. Running the Mt. Moosilauke Trail, passing the time sharpening chain saws on the front steps looking over the green, using a stretcher to carry in large propane tanks to the cabins and working as a team moving huge rocks with a come-a-long for trail work were all growing experiences and fond memories. Organizing ski races at the Dartmouth Ski way, helping run races at Cannon Mountain earning a free ski pass for the next day after staying overnight in a cabin, and drinking Hot Chocolate with Peppermint Schnapps during the ski jump competitions of Winter Carnival hoping that an errant jumper did not "take you out" while marking their landing spots all contributed to making my Dartmouth years that much more special. I won't talk about the weekly Winter Sports meetings with Green Machines in the basements of AXA or Tri-Kap which most likely was counterproductive to increasing my intelligence and keeping brain cells alive. But boy, was it awesome fun.
Well counter to my C&T training, not knowing from which direction Steve Galloday's kind shuttle ride dropped me at the trail head, the cloud cover blocking the sun, as well as the AT going East West in this part of NJ, I'll admit that is was after an hour of making great time that I passed another trail head which I did not remember being on the map leading to my questioning where I was. The blue & white blazes brought me out of my happiness stupor to check my map to determine where I was. After my disbelief and double checking with my compass, I confirmed that I just hiked 2.2 miles in the wrong direction to the State Line Trail. At least it was an attractive section of the AT that I had not done. And on top of that, the trail looks different and is just as enjoyable when retracing my steps (at a faster pace). Thank goodness I did not bump into Steve's group before turning around.
The AT trail meandered through bogs and over hills (compared to the Whites) that varied several hundred vertical for much of the hike. It being peak leaf changing time at the 1000' to 1400' elevation, the forests of Maple, Oak, Elm, Ash, Birch and Beech trees were showing off their most brilliant colors of yellow, orange and red. The occasional log bars, rock bars and puncheon walkways were all showing trail work expertise, but it wasn't until I started down the steep 1000' vertical drop of the tallest mountain in Wawayanda State Park nearing Rt. 94 that I was truly "wowed" by the magnificence of the trail work. The effort, time and skill put into this section of the trail was immense . Hundreds of yards of rock steps angled back just right with flat surfaces went from switchback to switchback making its way around the sheer rock walls. Wish I had taken photos of this section. Attached a few nice photos of other spots that caught my eye. At the end of my hike, I walked through a golden field of tall grasses and Milkweed with the wind carrying the fluffy seeds from the open pods. Thought it was a good end of the hike seeing a furry Monarch butterfly caterpillar crossing my path.
Great day! Go Green. Good to know the DOC is alive and well after 100 years. We should all be so lucky.
NJ county 565 to NJ state 94- 3.6 miles
Hikers:David Blackburn (Amherst '91, brother of Paul Blackburn '88), Megan Beardsley (Amherst '90), Madeleine Blackburn (6 years old), Maxwell Blackburn (6 years old)
It was a lovely day in northern NJ. Rains had blown through overnight and in the morning, tapering off as we got in the car in Montclair for the 1-hour drive up to Vernon, NJ and our start at Route 565 (see photo 1). The elevation gradient prompted us to start at the 'southernmost' end of our section and head for Maine - although due to the way the Trail runs up there, we were walking south even as we headed for Maine.
We found the trail by asking a nice guy who wasn't aware that the trail used to run through his backyard (this according to the Gmaps pedometer printout we had). He sent us about a mile down the road to a snug little turnoff/parking area where we saw a few other AT-in-a-Day-ish looking cars, including a Subie with VT plates and a Dartmouth College commuter parking sticker. Our support vehicle (thanks, Grandma!) dropped us off under overcast skies. We found a helpful sign that oriented us (see photo 2) and we were off. The first 1.5 miles were through lovely hickory/hemlock forest with outcroppings of gneiss. Every now and then the trail glittered with bits of coarse mica that had weathered out of the rock. We took the opportunity to do some trail maintenance by removing a widowmaker (photo 3) and we came across a random tire swing on top of an outcrop (see photo 4). The scenery was stunning, with big, gusty winds blowing through the trees and howling over the ridges. Gradual ups and downs led us eventually to a sharp descent down into Vernon Valley, NJ where we hooked up with Grandma Betsy and the support van for a lunch break at County Rte 517. During lunch we chatted with a few distance hikers - one gent in particular was headed as far as the CT state line, planning on taking another week or so to get there. We asked if he had seen any other AT in a Day people and he said he indeed had and thought the project was amazing and praiseworthy.
After lunch the sun started breaking through in earnest and we strolled along the incredible boardwalk section (photos 5, 6) that runs from 517 toward NJ 94. By my foot pedometer there was 0.5 miles of this stuff. Absolutely lovely trailwork, lovingly maintained. And lots nicer than squishing through the swampy stuff beneath. After that it was relatively flat going, through low brambles and shrubs - making for several doubtful moments when the blazes were few and the alternate routes/cowpaths were many. Thankfully, blazes could be found on most posts, bridges and stiles (photo 7), and we eventually made our way to the end at route 94, where we were met again by Grandmother Betsy (photos 8, 9). Soon before the end we received a nice call from Peter Corren who had seen our car with an 'AT in a Day' sheet in the Rte 94 parking lot and wondered if we needed a shuttle. No need it turns out, but nice to receive the call all the same.
Great work, everybody. Thanks for the outstanding organization and guidance, and hooray to all those who made this day possible!
County 565/Glennwood to N.J.284- 7 miles
Hikers: Howard Frankel '60, Maggie Rosenberg, Valerie Frankel '87, Alison Frankel '85, Lynn Schlesinger, Lily Fagin, Lucy Rosenberg, Lucy Schlesinger
We did the segment in NJ from Glenwood Road-565 north to NJ-284 (7 miles). It took a bit less than 4 hrs. Weather was fine.
US 206/Culvers Gap to Millbrook-Blairstown Rd.- 14.5 miles
Hikers: Dick Lathrop Class '52, Rick Lathrop Class '81, Perrin Lathrop NYU Class '09
We hiked along the New Jersey section of the AT along the Kittatiny Ridge from Culver's Gap southward to Blue Mountain and the Brink Road shelter. The photo is from a grassy bald looking east over the Walkill Valley. Our section was comparatively short (only a few miles) but I chose it because my 80 year old father wanted to accompany us. He had one spill but otherwise handled the trail quite well. He said the hiking poles saved him on numerous occasions. This section of trail holds many fond memories as I have lead my Rutgers University students on many hike over Blue Mountain and lunchstops at the Brink Road shelter. It was the formative experiences with the DOC that has inspired me to pass on some of that ol' DOC style and substance to students at Rutgers.
Richard G. Lathrop, Jr. PhD