Paddling Lake Skannatati

Harriman – Bear Mountain State Park is practically in my backyard. I can go on short notice without a lot of preparation for a quick nature fix or a little exercise. Sometimes that takes the form of a hike up Bear Mountain or another trail and sometimes I’ll venture out in winter to skin up the long defunct Silvermine Ski Area and make a few casual turns.

Lake Tiorati Ranger Station

My original attraction to the park was it’s lakes. They’re ideal for a quick early morning paddle in a canoe or a kayak. When I first moved to Rockland County, I spent many hours paddling an old solo canoe I used to have, either by myself or, once Junior came along, with him seated on my blue cooler in the bow. We did that for a couple years, eventually switching to a larger canoe that could fit the whole family.

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Silvermine: Frozen in Time

The first article I wrote for NYSkiBlog was about taking my kids hiking at the long closed Silvermine Ski Area in Harriman State Park. Silvermine has been one of my go-to spots for a long time, for short walks, hikes around the lake, canoeing, sledding and an occasional ski.

Silvermine pond

It’s a cool spot to get a small dose of nature quickly, easy to get to, has convenient parking and even has bathrooms. Though New York is littered with closed ski areas, most of them have been completely erased from the land. Nearby Ski Stony Point, for instance, is covered in McMansions with big manicured lawns. Silvermine looks like someone shut it down and just walked away twenty years ago.

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Harriman State Park Hike with Kids

It wasn’t really my intention to force my son’s friend to go hiking with us. My wife asked me the day before, since I had the week off, if I could pick him up and take him and my 11 year old swimming.

Silvermine ski area

I had plans to go do the loop hike around Silvermine Lake in Harriman State Park, but he was welcome to tag along if it was okay with his mom. It’s a kid-friendly hike.

After a few texts, he was in. I’d coached the kid in soccer a few years ago and know him better then most of my sons’ friends so I wasn’t worried about him not keeping up. My younger son is a notorious complainer so I hoped having his buddy along might inhibit him a little.

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