New York’s Harriman State Park is one of our go-tos for a spur-of-the-moment hike. Today we decided to brave the cold and get some exercise. Parking in the Bear Mountain Inn lot allowed us to pick up the Appalachian Trail and walk through the Trailside Zoo, then walk across the Hudson River on the Bear Mountain Bridge to the peak called Anthony’s Nose.

There had been a few inches of snow in the previous week. It was mostly melted near our house, but on the trail it was still around. Many of the rocks had ice on them. We put our microspikes on our boots and crunched up the hill.

Ascending the Nose

A few degrees makes a lot of difference to trail conditions. The pond near the top (filled with noisy frogs in summer) had an icy coating.

So, the main noise was our spikes.

Walking in spikes is counterintuitive. Normally, we look for footing on dry rock. In spikes, we look for snow and ice to step on. Rocks would wear out the spikes.

View from Anthony’s Nose, looking south
Looking west, across Bear Mountain Bridge

We hiked back down and removed our spikes before coming to the road. As we cross the Bridge again, three other bridges are visible over Popolopen Gorge: Route 9W (auto traffic), a railroad bridge, and a suspension bridge for pedestrians that runs between Fort Montgomery and the Trailside Zoo.

The three bridges over Popolopen

This hike is about 2.5 miles one way, and the same back in the other direction. Interestingly, it visits four counties: Rockland, Orange, Westchester, Putnam.

A cold day, but fun. Coffee afterwards was very welcome.