Parker Cabin Hollow

Parker Cabin Hollow, Harriman State Park (1/2/2012)

Today was a national holiday (being that New Year's Day fell on a Sunday), so of course we took advantage of the free day to go hiking! The last hike of 2011 was in Harriman, and back to Harriman we went today, for the first hike of 2012. Attempting to hike as many trails in this amazing park as possible, I once again formulated a circuit using trails (blazed and unmaintained) that we never hiked before.

We parked on Route 106 just west of where the Parker Cabin Hollow trail begins. As an aside, I was a bit surprised to find Route 106 still open. I believe this is one of the Harriman roads that is seasonably closed, usually beginning on December 1. However, two days ago I discovered that Lake Welch Drive was still open, so perhaps the December 1 date is a guideline and the roads will be closed after the first major winter snow storm. (Had Route 106 been closed, I would have parked at the Metro North parking lot 0.4 miles west of the trailhead, which would have added 0.8 to the length.) We took the relatively new orange-blazed Parker Cabin Hollow trail south, between Poor Fawn Mountain and Hemlock Hill. Where the trail makes a sharp left and heads east, we headed west to explore that woods road. It eventually ended at a large field, peppered with lovely evergreens, beautifully lighted by the morning sun. We could have gone further (the satellite shows a couple of ponds a bit further west), but we were already being inundated with the sounds of the NY Thruway. So we turned around and headed back to the Parker Cabin Hollow trail.

We continued on that trail east paralleling a beautiful stream in the hollow between Fox Mountain and Hemlock Hill. A pond, created by a beaver-built dam just north of the trail, was one of the highlights: right in the middle was a large beaver lodge. We also saw a huge flock of turkeys, before we eventually headed north on another woods road which ended at Route 106, about a mile east of our car. On this woods road I saw a mammal larger than a house cat climbing quickly over a rock jumble. I'm not sure what it was, but I'm wondering if there are bobcats in this area. I only saw it for about 2 seconds.

Because of the congifuration of the Parker Cabin Hollow trail, it's not possible to create a circuit with this trail without using Route 106. So, alas, the last 20 minutes or so was a walk along the shoulder back to our car.

Total distance hiked today was nearly 4 miles in just under 3 hours.

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

Red-tailed hawk

Short walk to ...

... Parker Cabin Hollow trail head



Lovely pines

Heading into the sun


Winding trail

Tire marks?

Moss underwater

[Photo by Laura]

Old bucket

Open field at end ...

... of woods road

Tower Hill west across NY Thruway

Fox Mountain south

Stone wall

Heading back to PCH trail

A rubber tree? [photo by Laura]

Cascades off woods road

[Photo by Laura]

View downstream

View upstream


Tree balancing

Tiny gorge on PHC trail

Winter color

Three wild turkeys

Just two of many

Stream crossing [Photo by Laura]

Now it's ...

... Laura's turn

Climbing after stream

Mountain laurel

Abandoned nest

Pond with ...

... Hemlock Hill in rear

Beaver lodge ...

... in the pond

Snapping photos


View from woods road ...

... north of PCH trail

View north on woods road

View south

It ends on Route 106

Heading west on Route 106

Lake Stahahe

Lake Stahahe from Route 106

Accurate description!

Back to the car

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