June 13

Start: near Championship Golf Course, Rockland Lake State Park
End: Big Hill Shelter, Harriman State Park
Mileage: 15.5

I'm writing this entry on Sunday, June 14. I was too tired last night to write.

The morning went pretty well. The weather started off sunny and it got pretty hot. I had camped near the edge of the Palisades, and I awoke to a beautiful view of the sun over the Hudson River. I was facing east, but I didn't wake up early enough to catch the sun rise over Westchester County, NY.

I made decent mileage in the morning, passing by the Tilcon quarry. It was a huge undertaking; they were carving away at the hundreds of feet of Palisades (a sign on the property said they had been doing so for 80 years. It was quite a sight to see.

I then began to climb to High Tor, the highest point on the Palisades. The top was all rocks, and there were some remnants of a former airplane beacon. It had views in all directions, and after taking some pictures I had lunch. As my luck would have it, within 10 minutes, the sky became overcast and it started to rain.

Naturally, I didn't want to be on the highest point for 30 miles if there was lightning, so I packed up and took the trail down. I was pretty hot, and it didn't rain too hard, so I didn't bother to put my rain gear on.

Around 4, I got to Mt. Ivy, where I filled up on water at a car wash. It was a pretty seedy town, with liquor stores, a deli, and a number of abandoned stores. I got moving quickly, because I still had 6 miles to go.

The next two miles were really annoying. The trail was very poorly maintained, and it passed through a swamp beside the Palisades Parkway (again!). My boots were often completely submerged in water and mud!

The trail finally moved away from it, climbing up to an abandoned woods road. Right where the trail turned onto the road, there was an overturned car. It must have flipped whil driving on the woods road some 30 years ago. Sadly, it was so totaled that it didn't look like the driver could survive the crash. Maybe that's why the woods road was closed to cars and turned into a trail...

A little while later, I passed a small, ungated cemetary alone in the woods, about 200 yards from the road. It was very odd...most of the graves were just marked by small numbered plaques stuck into the ground. They just had a three-digit number, no name. About a tenth of the graves had real gravestones, which were all in good condition. The guidebook didn't offer any explanation; I'll have to look it up when I get home.

I got to the shelter around 8. It was empty. I quickly made mac and cheese, then went to bed. Not long after, it began to pour.

It was weird. I had expected to see more people on the trail, since it was a Saturday, but I saw absolutely no one. I also expected to see people at the shelter, but no one was there. I was a bit disappointed at that.


  1. The cemetary was a cemetary for Letchworth Village. Letchworth Village was a terrible institution for mentally disabled individuals, criminals and orphans. Thankfully, it is now closed. The graves that you hiked past are graves of former residents of Letchworth Village. Sadly, they are marked only by numbers and not names.

  2. Mt. Ivy is NOT a seedy little town, by the way!

  3. Another Pomona local here, gonna stick up for the non-seediness Mt. Ivy. They finally finished all the PIP construction by the way.

    I do agree that that section of the LP along the PIP does get fairly swampy. And that car overturned car was there, basically in that same condition back when I was a kid in the 80s.

    Recently, in the last couple years, a plaque was placed in that cemetary. I think it lists all the numbers with the associated names. I think it was put up by the surviving relatives of the deceased.

    Nice Journal. I'll probably read the rest of it now. I wonder if you used a GPS and traced your tracks with gpx files? Maybe you could put them online?

  4. C'mon, Mt. Ivy is a LITTLE seedy. Maybe not seedy, but certainly somewhat depressing and run down.