We just had a loose route in mind, and were going to decide which trails we felt like taking as we went along (which you should not do without a good map and a very good idea of how far you can hike!!).
Overview: This route takes in several view points – along Mountain, SMB and Raccoon Brook Hill trails. Pine Meadow Lake was a lovely break spot as usual and we also decided to take a woods road over to see Lake Wanoksink which was pretty. While this route is not overly long (8.6m), there are decent uphills and rugged sections, especially Raccoon Brook which has lots of large rocks, a little scrambling and a ladder to make this hike challenging.
Parking: N41 08.729 W74 06.754 [Kakiat County Park]. Bathroom in the lot was open.
Route: Mountain (Orange) – SBM (Suffern-Bear-Mountain Yellow) – Conklins Crossing (WHITE) – Pine Meadow (Red Square on White) – Conklin Road & unmaintained trail to Lake Wanoksink – Woods road – Pine Meadow (Red Square on White) – Pine Meadow Road – Poached Egg (Yellow Circle on White) – Raccoon Brook Hills (Black Dot on White) – KAKIAT (White)
Trail Map: Harriman-Bear Mountain Trails
The Details: From the Kakiat County Park lot, walk over a bridge and pass Old Mill and Kakiat Trails on the right. Mountain Trail (Orange) starts a little ahead and heads steeply up a rocky woods road, with 2 viewpoints where the NYC skyline is visible in the distance.
After a pipeline cut, turn left onto Kakiat (WHITE). At the intersection with SBM (Yellow), turn right. Some views along SMB. Turn left onto Conklins Crossing (WHITE). Pick up Pine Meadow (Red Square on White) as it goes around the lake. There are great places to hang out and have a snack.
There is a woods road (Conklin Road) on the right just after the ruins of a building and it was one of those “hey let’s check this out” days so off we went. After climbing over a couple blowdowns and going a short ways on a woods road, we veered to the left on an unmaintained trail to Lake Wanoksink. The trail hugged the water until hitting a T-intersection at a bunch of pine trees. We turned left and made our way back, turning right back onto Pine Meadow (Red Square on White) again.
Just keep heading towards the lake and bridge, there are several trails in this area and it’s not real clear. More nice views of Pine Meadow Lake and popular lunch spots on this side of the lake. We followed the woods road around the lake until coming to the start of Poached Egg (Yellow Circle on White.. get it? it looks like a egg…)
Poached Egg goes a short ways and ends at Raccoon Brook Hills (Black Dot on White). Turn left onto this (it comes in from the right). Raccoon Brook Hills heads uphill for a limited view of Pine Meadow Lake. There are some steep sections when it starts going downhill, some rocks to scramble over, as well as a ladder (which while not too tough for humans, Fido may be less than thrilled).
Turn left onto Kakiat (WHITE). As you approach the powerline cut in a rocky area, watch for a left turn to cross a stream. It’s easy to miss – even though there was a rock with a stick on it, we walked right on by. Continue on Kakiat, crossing over SBM, then the pipeline cut. Back within the County park, Kakiat turns right when it comes out to a stone fence, take this out to the main path from earlier and make a left back to the lot.