Hiking Silvermine Ski Area at Harriman

It was late morning on Saturday and by some miracle neither of my sons had any scheduled activities. I seized the opportunity to get them some exercise, a lesson in ski history and hopefully some pre-season psyche. I pried them away from the X Box to climb the ski hill at Silvermine Lake.

Silvermine Ski Area run

Silvermine Lake is one of several small bodies of water in Harriman State Park that are popular picnic spots for people from the city during the summer months. It also used to have a small ski area located near its shore. It closed some time back in the eighties I think, possibly a victim of warm winters or a lack of chair lifts.

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Harriman’s Claudius Smith Den

With an iffy forecast for the summit of Mt Washington, my 2013-2014 season might have gone out with a whimper. Although I was disappointed, at first, I wondered if the balmy temps and fresh leaves and the smell of bbq might put Memorial Day as a win.

Harriman waterfall

Beyond making the adjustment from dynafits to hiking boots, I saw an opportunity to get outside with some friends I don’t see much during the ski season.

The group wanted to get some big miles, and for the first hike of the spring, we set our sights on an empty quadrant of Harriman State Park, opting to hike to Claudius Smith Den from 106 instead of the more accessible, and crowded, Johnsontown Road.

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Restricted MTB Access in New York

Following seven years in Albuquerque and Chicago, I returned to New York City in early 1997. After making do with the Windy City region’s tolerable, but mostly unexceptional mountain bike offerings, I was happy to be back in the northeast. Unfortunately, I was clueless about where I could find decent trails close to the city.

I went to Barnes and Noble and bought a book that had been published earlier that year: Mountain Biking New York. The author, Michael Margulis, listed 93 rides throughout the eastern third of New York State stretching from the Atlantic Ocean up through the Adirondacks. Since I was living in Brooklyn, I focused on the rides in Long Island, Westchester, and northern New Jersey, along with a few trips to the Shawangunks, Catskills, and Adirondacks.

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