Irish & Pound Swamp Mountains

Irish & Pound Swamp Mountains, Harriman State Park (5/1/2010)

This beautiful out-and-back hike begins and ends where the yellow-blazed Suffern Bear Mountain trail crosses Route 106, about 1.7 miles west of the Palisades Interstate Parkway. We headed north on the SBM trail, passing the huge glacial erratic known as the Irish Potato, a fitting name since it sits near the peak of Irish Mountain. Continuing over the peak and then partially climbing Pound Swamp Mountain, we took a woods road east to the banks of the lovely Upper Pound Swamp. In the book "Harriman Trails: A Guide and History" by William J. Myles, this road is referred to as the Pound Swamp Mountain Trail, though it is not labeled on the NYNJTC North Harriman map (12th edition). While this trail is distinct as a right turn from the SBM, it soon becomes quite difficult to follow for a bit, but eventually becomes distinct again and remains so all of the way to the ruins of the estate of Rose O. Redard. But first it skirts the lake (it's not a swamp) and crosses over a brook. This crossing was a bit tricky with Laura nearly stepping on a snake! Beaver activity has flooded the trail at the eastern edge of the lake, but a bit of bushwacking allowed us to cross the brook easy enough.

Next came the ruins, one of the more extensive we've seen in Harriman, even though the NYNJTC map marks this simply with "ruin". According to the aforementioned book, the park acquired this estate in April 1961 and demolished it in December of the same year. The walls are still very solid and various types of lilacs and other flowers are still blooming in the backyard. After exploring the ruins, we headed back the same way we came, taking a side trip along the southern bank of the lake where we saw two more snakes.

Total distance hiked today was 4.6 miles in about 3.5 hours, at least a half hour exploring the ruins.

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Near the trailhead

Tiny wild flower



The Irish Potato

Near peak of Irish Mountain


It's a huge glacial erratic

[Photo by Laura]

Forest is becoming green


Partial views to other Harriman hills

Canadian goose in Upper Pound Swamp

It's really a lake


Bank birches at lake

[Photo by Laura]

View from northern bank

View from eastern tip

Laura on the beaver dam

She nearly stepped on this!

Lake from eastern tip

Beautiful reflections

Cairn on Pound Swamp Mountain Trail

Uphill to the ruins

Graffiti on tree

Pine cones surround the ruins

Doorway of ruins

[Photo by Laura]

Lilacs at ruins


[Photo by Laura]

Wildflowers in ruins

Laura on wall

Fragrant lilacs

Swallowtail on lilac

Another view

Ruins further in back


In front

View of lake from southern bank

Another snake

Wildflowers on bank

Beaver activity

Behind the beaver dam

Avoiding snakes


Heading back uphill

Trees above our lunch spot

Packing after lunch


Back to Irish Potato

Ferns on trail

Brook at trailhead

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