Island Pond

Island Pond, Harriman State Park (8/24/2013)

The previous night I designed a circuit hike beginning at the White Bar crossing on Route 106 which traversed a bunch of trail segments and woods roads that we hadn't previously hiked. But when we made the right on Route 17A and crossed over the NY Thruway, we were greeted with a ROAD CLOSED sign. This was a bit confusing since the road was closed just recently for quite a long time, but a web search last night indicated that it had re-opened. Well, it's closed again, and a subsequent deeper web search indicated that the Harriman folks suggest a Plan B for anyone wanting to use any Route 106 trail head. Even they themselves don't know when this road will be closed or open. So we headed for the Elk Pen further north, with fingers crossed that that road would be open to allow access to the parking area. Amazingly, Arden Valley Road was also closed, but east of the Elk Pen, so we were at least able to park there! This road always closes as winter nears, but it's still August! Again, no indication as to why. Suffice it to say, if you're going to hike in Harriman, and you're not starting on Seven Lakes Drive, you'd better call the park service to see if your road is scheduled to be open.

Today we did a loop involving Island Pond, a place we hadn't visited in seven years. We parked at the Elk Pen and took the AT west, climbing Green Pond Mountain all the way to the lovely Island Pond where we visited the boat launch before heading south along the western bank on what is called Island Pond Road on the NYNJTC Map #119. We continued south on the Arden-Surebridge for just a small stretch before continuing south on a woods road that skirts Boston Mine. Next we took the Dunning trail all the way to its western end, partly encircling the almost perfectly round Green Pond. We took the White Bar west to the newly-blazed leg of the Stahahe Brook trail which now parallels Stahahe Brook to the east; this trail used to parallel the brook on the western bank, until Hurricane Sandy knocked out the concrete bridge just north of the woods road named Arden Road. We turned right, continuing north before ending on the Arden-Surebridge which we took north back to the Elk Pen.

Total distance hiked today was about 5.5 miles (with a bit of climbing), in nearly 4 hours.

(Click on the thumbnail to bring up a bigger image in a pop-up window)

Kiosk in Elk Pen

Heading to Green Pond Mountain

AT blaze in the meadow

AT Harriman mileages

Arden-Surebridge, our return

Climbing immediately

Tiny mushrooms

Climbing Green Pond Mountain


Steps on AT

Seasonal view


Now descending

Island Pond Road

Island Pond

Boat launch for Island Pond

View south

The Little Mermaid

View east

[Photo by Laura]

View south

Clear water


Path along bank

Fire ring

Boat launch

The island of Island Pond

Island Pond Road


Blow-downs are navigable

A cute little curious ...

blue-tailed skink

A narrow Arden-Surebridge

Arden-Surebridge passes ...

... through a swamp

Impressive cairn

Woods road near Boston Mine

What the?

Dunning blazes and mushrooms


Along bank of ...

... swampy area of ...

... Green Pond


Huge rock overhang ...

... on Dunning

[Photo by Laura]

A rocky Dunning trail

Blue-tailed skink

Green Pond

View south ...

... and overhead

Climbing Dunning

View from top

Antenna on hill

Seasonal view on White Bar

Descent through ...

... Valley of Boulders

View back up

Arrow shows the way

A rocky ...

... White Bar trail

Burst of green

Lots of Sandy damage

Stahahe Brook

Hornet nest on Stahahe

Washed-out bridge

View to Sterling Forest

Path back to car

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