Pine Hill

Pine Hill, Sterling Forest (3/15/2008)

The was our fifth consecutive hike in Sterling Forest, and the second in a row where our plans were flummoxed due to the trail being totally flooded! Two weeks ago we hiked a few miles in snow at least 8" deep. Today there wasn't a patch of snow to be seen anywhere. It was all washed away by the rains and high temperatures of the past two weeks. But it made for a wet hike, on a swamp trail that is probably wet even in dry season.

This entire hike is along the orange-blazed Long Swamp Loop. Starting at its trailhead on Eagle Valley Road, we climbed the hill under the power line and reached a t-intersection (where at the loop actually begins) at a giant fenced-in mine pit. We turned left here, intending to take the loop in a clockwise direction, but at the southern part, the trail was totally flooded at the swamp line. No amount of bushwhacking yielded a navigable path. So we turned around and proceeded in a counter clockwise direction. We decided to take the path to near its southwest tip, making a sharp right onto an unblazed path to the ridge of Pine Hill. The walk along this ridge had spectacular views on both sides, none of which are indicated by stars on the NYNJTC Sterling Forest map 100. We hiked along the ridge until the path began to descend, at which point we turned around and retraced our steps on the Long Swamp trail back to the car in a clockwise direction (we could have attempted completing the loop but figured we'd be unable to complete the loop at the flooded point at the southern tip).

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Starting under the power line

View east of power lines

Long Swamp trail blaze

Huge mine pit fenced in

Shot through the fence


Deep pit!

Laura's new hat

Huge mansion at southern tip

Mine tailings abound

We see the blaze but can't get to it!

Tiny nest

Beautiful mushroom

Exploratory pit off the trail

Ladder to hunter's seat

I couldn't resist [photo by Laura]

[photo by Laura]

View from the top

Bushwhacking for a way to cross

Long pit of Bering Mine, just off the trail

Totally filled with water

Laura at the northern tip

View of Bering Mine pit from on high

Mine tailings

A car?

Path was very wet

Long Swamp through trees

Photographing a stream


Taking off a layer

View west from Pine Hill

Golf course to the west

Pines on Pine Hill!

Unblazed trail on ridge

View east from ridge

Feeling the moss

View east from Pine Hill


Bridges on the golf course

Golf course clubhouses

This tree is a survivor!

Sun coming out

Descent back to trailhead

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