Monday, March 24, 2008


There's a new site in town that I wanted to give a big "Hello" to... Please visit and support our fellow wanderers.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

William Brien Memorial Shelter

Located in Orange County, New York, the William Brien Memorial Shelter can be found at the junction of the Appalachian/Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail and the Menomine Trail atop Letterrock Mountain.

Originally known as Letterrock Shelter, it was built in 1933. William Brien, known naturalist and first president of the New York Ramblers (1923), died on October 12, 1954.

In his will, William Brien left money to build a new shelter in the park. The shelter was built in 1957 at Island Pond, but because of vandalism, it was demolished in 1973. The Letterrock Shelter was then renamed in his memory.

Ringwood State Park, NJ

"We can never have enough of nature. We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustable vigor, vast and titanic features." John Muir

Ringwood State Park, accessible from exit 57 off route 287, lies in Passiac and Bergen Counties near the town of Ringwood.

In 1740, the Ringwood Company owned a flourishing iron industry. The company harnessed enough power from the Ringwood River to operate a blast furnace and forges. The estate passed to Abram S. Hewitt, a well known iron master, in the mid 19th century. In 1936, Erskine Hewitt deeded the Ringwood Manor House and land to the State of New Jersey.

In 1966, the State of New Jersey bought 1,119 acres of the Skylands estate. The Skylands Manor House and Gardens were built in the 1920's by Clarence MacKenzie Lewis, a New York stockbroker and civil engineer, who made Skylands his summer home. An additional 1,190 acres were added to the Skylands section of the park in 1995.

For more information, visit

From the Ringwood Manor House, continue south on Sloatsburg Road, then make the first left onto Morris Avenue. Follow Morris Avenue to its end at Skylands Manor, pass between two stone eagle statues and turn left into Parking Lot A.

Starting at Lot A, turn left onto the paved road and follow the white-blazed Crossover Trail. Follow the Crossover Trail until you cross over a stream. After crossing the stream, turn left at two concrete pillars onto the green/white-blazed Halifax Trail. Begin a steep ascent on switchbacks towards Mt. Defiance. An unmarked path on the left leads to an overlook at the summit.

After enjoying the view, continue on the Halifax Trail until meeting the red/white-blazed Ringwood-Ramapo Trail. Make a right onto the RR Trail and follow the trail crossing the white-blazed Crossover Trail. Pass view on a rock face, then begin a descent. Turn left onto the Blue-blazed Trail and begin a steady climb. Bear left onto the yellow-blazed Hoeferlin Trail and the climb gets steeper. Where the yellow-blazed Hoeferlin Trail meets the white-blazed Crossover Trail, we are rewarded with a spectacular view, including the New York City skyline. This is a great spot to take a break and enjoy the view.

Hoeferlin joins the Crossover Trail for a while, then Crossover Trail turns left. Turn with the Crossover Trail. Once you descend the mountain, the trail follows an old carriage road, you will pass over a waterfall, as the trail turns left, a short walk through the woods will lead you right to the base of the falls. Continue to follow the white-blazed Crossover Trail as it passes an Eagle Scout camp on the left and the green/white blazed Halifax Trail on the right, back to the parking lot. This is a moderate to difficult 8.5 mile hike, but the views and the waterfalls make it worthwhile.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Longer Days Ahead

Just in time for nicer weather....longer days! Don't forget to turn your clocks ahead Sunday morning (or Saturday night before bed)! In hiker terms, that's one more hour of daylight.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Kelty Teton 2

The advantage of having no furniture is that you can set up your new tent, right out of the box, anywhere you'd like!
Not much of a post, I know, but I really just wanted to show my new shelter off.
I can't wait to hit the trail!