Nike Town Park

Nike Town Park (5/25/2009)

This outing was a series of minor disappointments, but still enjoyable, the weather being perfect.

We parked on Nike Lane, at the trail heads for both the blue and orange trails. Using the most recent NYNJTC Hudson Palisades Trails Map 109 (2005), we first hiked the half-mile blue loop expecting to enjoy the scenic viewpoint which is marked on this map (but which isn't on the NYNJTC map). The NYNJTC map was right: there was no scenic viewpoint. We then continued on the orange path, taking time to first explore the ruins of the Nike facility in the north section of the park. We then proceeded south along the Long Path to the northern section of the Rockland Cemetery, expecting to see a scenic viewpoint at the Fremont Monument, clearly indicated on the NYNJTC map. But the map was wrong: there was no scenic viewpoint! Tracking back on the LP, we planned on climbing Mt. Nebo along a trail indicated on the NYNJTC map as an "unmaintained trail". But despite several attempts, we could not find this trail from the LP! Flummoxed, we continued back north on the LP and turned right on the southern half of the orange trail returning to the car.

We noticed that there were two other ways to get to the unmaintained trail leading to the viewpoint atop Mt. Nebo. One was to proceed to the southern part of Nike Town Park, the other was off the blue trail (which we hiked earlier). We walked south along Nike Road to get to the southern section of the park, but we were confronted with a gate and signs indicating that only Authorized Personnel were allowed past the gate. Oy vey! We did walk through the gate but decided not to go too far for fear that we would get locked in (we noticed the gate open, closed, then open at various points during the morning, and the area inside the gate was completely surrounded by a high fence with barbed wire). Nearly ready to give up, we tried one last time to find the unmaintained trail, by looking for it from the blue loop. But once again we couldn't find the trail despite several attempts. So we didn't see the Nike ruins in the southern part of the park, nor did we get to climb Mt. Nebo.

We had lunch on a rock off the blue trail and then returned to the car. Total distance traveled was nearly 5 miles.

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

On the blue trail

Boundary walls on the blue trail

Gate to southern part closed

Scared bunny on orange trail

Old barrel


Ruins from orange trail


Concrete base

Large concrete lot

Reading the graffiti

Delapidated tank

Two tanks

View into shack through collapsed roof

Climbing a tank [photo by Laura]

View from the top

[photo by Laura]

Laura on ladder


Curious concrete octagon

Lamb's Ear

Shack by tanks

View south


More buttercups

Ruins in the woods

Rusty fence


Beautiful plant

On the Long Path

Lightning bug

Stream bed

Maple saplings

Narrow section of the LP

Entering Rockland Cemetery

Fremont Monument


Cleopatra's Needle

Fremont Monument detail

Angels atop gravestones


Toys left on gravestone

Toys on grave of three-year old

Wind chime

New grave

Back on LP

Gate to the southern part of "park"

Our lunch spot on blue trail

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