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Campers' Group Bulletin - Spring 2016   

The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also. - Harriet Ann Jacobs

Sunday, April 10, Brunch & Planning Meeting, The Park Restaurant, Manhattan NY
This spacious, hip restaurant has nice selections, friendly staff, and a large garden dining area. Meet us at 12 pm, and we will enjoy a meal together before we discuss and decide on future trips. Afterward, perhaps we will stroll over to the nearby High Line Park, or another location. If you have joined us on one or more of our outings, we would greatly appreciate you helping us on a weekend or day event as a leader or co-leader. If it is your first time, don’t worry, we will partner you with a more experienced member. We are a volunteer-run club that needs more of their members to participate as trip leaders. For immediate inclusion RSVP on meetup.com.
Kirsten 914-548-5576
Saturday, April 16, Day Trip, Branch Brook Park, Newark NJ
Let’s have fun at Branch Brook Park! This park was designed by Fredrick Olmsted - the same person who created Central Park in NYC. If you’re interested in seeing this park with fellow Campers‘ Group friends, please join us. We are planning a group picnic during the cherry blossom season. Some of us will want to walk, some might want to bike. Items you may want to bring for yourself and/or share: picnic blanket, lunch/drinks, your walking shoes, and/or bikes, camera, frisbee, badminton, etc. Please RSVP on meetup.com.
Susan 917-941-7110
Sunday, April 17, Intermediate day hike, Popolopen Gorge/Popolopen Torne, Ft. Montgomery NY
This is one of our favorite hikes in the entire park. We will climb to the summit of Popolopen Torne overlooking West Point Military Academy to the West, and the Bear Mountain Bridge, Anthony’s Nose and Hudson River to the East. Although a good portion of the hike is moderately level, the climb up the Timp-Torne Trail quickly steepens as we gain over 700 feet of elevation in just one mile. We will take an extended break at the summit for lunch and enjoy the view. We will then descend over 600 feet in just 1/2 mile following a steep rock scramble that will require both hands and feet to navigate. After reaching the bottom of the descent, we’ll follow the Popolopen Gorge Trail to 9W. We’ll then head under the Bear Mountain Bridge and cross Popolopen Creek on a pedestrian suspension bridge leading up to Ft. Montgomery and our cars. Please wear hiking boots and bring at least 1.5 liters of water, snacks/lunch. Rain will cancel this hike. Wet conditions on the trail may also force us to bypass the rock scramble. Please RSVP on meetup.com.
Details:
Pace: Relaxed (We will not be rushing to finish)
Time: Approx 4 hours
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 5.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,622 ft
Dogs: Sorry, No Dogs
Features: Views, Historic features
Getting There:
Fort Montgomery State Historic Site
690 Route 9W, Ft.Montgomery, NY
GPS Coordinates: 41.328356,-73.987436
Driving Directions:
Take the Palisades Interstate Parkway to its terminus at the Bear Mountain Circle. Proceed north on US 9W, cross the bridge over Popolopen Creek (which is currently under construction), the Fort Montgomery State Historic Site will be on the right immediately after the bridge. Do not park at Ft Montgomery, proceed north about 1/4 mile on Route 9W to the overflow parking area on the right side of the road.

Emmanuel 973-255-8326
Sunday, April 24, Intermediate day hike, Norvin Green Forest, Ringwood NJ
Located in the New Jersey Highlands region just west of the Wanaque Reservoir, Norvin Green State Forest offers a variety of rugged hikes. Our hike will be 7.7 miles roundtrip, moderately strenuous, with a few decent elevation changes. This route takes in Chikahoki Falls, Otter Hole, and an awesome viewpoint at Wyanokie High Point with 360° views of the area, including NYC on a clear day. A free trail map is available here. Wearing synthetic or light wool layers are recommended over cotton. Please wear hiking boots or a hiking shoe - no sneakers as the trail will be very rocky! Bring lunch or energy snacks with at least 2 liters of water. There will be planned breaks, however, we intend on keeping the group together at a steady (but not rushed) pace. It should be understood that this is not a beginner hike. Please RSVP on meetup.com.

Directions: Rt 287 to exit 55, take 511 N (Wanaque), continue through Wanaque for several miles. Make a left onto West Brook Rd. Continue across Reservoir. At the T-intersection, make a left. The 2nd left is Snake Den Road. There is a sign for the Weis Center and the Highlands Natural Pool on the left side of the road. Continue uphill and bear left on Snake Den, continue past some houses until arriving at a large dirt lot on the right.

Ken 201-388-3685
Sunday, May 1, Intermediate day hike, Crater Lake and Hemlock Pond To Buttermilk Falls, Walpack NJ
At 200 feet tall, Buttermilk Falls are the highest in New Jersey. We will first head towards Hemlock Pond before following the Woods Road Trail to the Buttermilk Falls Trail. We will then descend nearly 1,000 feet to the falls, where we will stop for lunch, before heading back up to reach the Appalachian Trail. We will then circle Crater Lake before returning to our cars. 7.5 miles will take approximately 5 hours to finish. Since we will be using the steep, two mile, Buttermilk Falls Trail for this hike, it is not recommended for beginners. Waterproof hiking boots or hiking shoes are required (No sneakers). Dress in layers and bring at least 2 liters of water, snacks and/or lunch. The pace will be relaxed with plenty of breaks as required. There are no restrooms at Buttermilk Falls, please plan accordingly. Heavy rain will cancel/postpone the hike. Please RSVP on meetup.com.
Getting There:
Crater Lake Parking, Layton, NJ 07851
GPS Coordinates: 41.1094356,-74.8926113
Google Map
From NYC:
Follow Interstate 80 W, Take exit 19 for County Rd 517 toward Hackettstown/Allamuchy/Andover, Turn right onto County Rd 517 and in 200 feet Turn left onto Old Hackettstown Rd 0.2 mi, Turn left onto County Rd 612/Johnsonburg Rd, Continue to follow County Rd 612 (Now called Allumuchy rd) 4.9 mi, Turn right onto Johnsonburg Bypass Rd 0.4 mi, Continue straight onto Ramsey Rd 1.4 mi, Turn left onto NJ-94 S 1.9 mi, Turn right onto Spring Valley Rd 3.1 mi, Turn right onto Millbrook Rd 4.5 mi, Continue onto Blair Millbrook Rd 0.3 mi, Continue onto Millbrook Flatbrook Rd 0.5 mi, Turn right onto Old Mine Rd 1.5 mi, Turn right onto Flatbrookville Stillwater Rd 2.8 mi, Turn left 0.8 mi, Continue onto Skyline Dr, Destination will be on the left

Emmanuel 973-255-8326
May 14-15, Backpacking Trip, Backpacking the Appalachian Trail: Elk Pen Lot to Bellvale Creamery on Rt 17A, Warwick NY
This is our first in a series of overnight backpacking trips along the Appalachian Trail. This segment will be 12 miles from Elk Pen Lot in Harriman State Park to Bellvale Creamery on NY-17A - for some of the best home-made ice cream in the country!
Saturday: We’ll meet at the Appalachian Trail Parking Lot on NY Route 17A, then shuttle everyone to Elk Pen Lot on Arden Valley Rd. Those arriving by NJ Transit Train in Tuxedo at 10:17am will also be picked up.
From Elk Pen Lot, we’ll head southbound along the AT. We’ll first tackle the ascent at Agony Grind, enjoy the views of Lake Mombasha from Arden and Buchanan Mountains before reaching Mombasha Highpoint. Approx 8.5 miles from the start of our hike, we’ll make camp near Fitzgerald Falls. Depending on the group, we can also decide to press on to the Wild Cat Shelter, which is about 10 miles from the start.
Sunday: After Breakfast, we will have a short 2.5-4 mile hike past Cat Rocks and the Eastern Pinnacles rock scrambles before reaching Route 17A. We’ll then head over to the creamery for some well deserved ice cream before shuttling everyone back to their cars/train.
Total Weekend Mileage: Approx 12 miles
Difficulty: Strenuous
Total Elevation Gain: 3,169 feet
Pace: Relaxed with plenty of breaks as required.
Note: Intermediate/experienced backpackers only. We are not allowing guests for this trip. All adults must be a Campers‘ Group member to RSVP (free to join).
You will need to bring enough food for the trip (1 breakfast, 2 lunches, 1 dinner and snacks). Along with the usual backpacking gear (i.e. backpack, tent/hammock, sleeping bag, sleeping bag, water filter, backpacking stove, bear bag/canister, map, first aid, etc.)

Emmanuel 973-255-8326
May 21-22, Backpacking trip, Backpacking the Appalachian Trail: Elk Pen Lot to Bear Mountain Bridge, Fort Montgomery NY
We’ll be backpacking the Appalachian Trail (AT) in Harriman State Park, total of 20 Miles. We will cover approx 10 miles per day (7-8 hours of hiking/day) starting from Elk Pen Lot and head North to Bear Mountain Bridge. The plan is to leave cars at the Fort Montgomery Overflow Lot on 9W and shuttle everyone to Elk Pen Lot on the other side of the park.
Saturday: We’ll hike the AT from Elk Pen passed the Lemon Squeezer to the Fingerboard shelter, where we will stop for lunch. We’ll then continue past Lake Tiorati, cross Seven Lakes Drive, and head up to the Brien Memorial Shelter for the night.
Sunday: After breakfast, we will head down Black Mountain, cross the Palisades Parkway and head up to West Mountain. We’ll have lunch at the shelter before continuing to Bear Mountain. We will visit Perkins Memorial Tower, The Bear Mountain Inn and Zoo before reaching Bear Mountain Bridge. We will then head to Fort Montgomery via a suspended foot bridge over Popolopen Creek.
Total Weekend Mileage: Approx 20 miles
Difficulty: Strenuous
Total Elevation Gain: 4,908 feet
Pace: Relaxed with plenty of breaks as required.
You will need to bring enough food for the trip (1 breakfast, 2 lunches, 1 dinner and snacks). As well as the usual backpacking gear (i.e. backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping bag, water filter, backpacking stove, etc.) Please note: I am not allowing guests for this meetup. They must be a Campers‘ Group member to RSVP (free to join). This trip is for intermediate/experienced backpackers only.
Getting There:
Fort Montgomery State Historic Site
690 Route 9W, Ft.Montgomery, NY
GPS Coordinates: 41.328356,-73.987436
Driving Directions:
Take the Palisades Interstate Parkway to its terminus at the Bear Mountain Circle. Proceed north on US 9W, cross the bridge over Popolopen Creek (which is currently under construction), the Fort Montgomery State Historic Site will be on the right immediately after the bridge. Do not park at Ft Montgomery, proceed north about 1/4 mile on Route 9W to the overflow parking area on the right side of the road. We’ll leave some cars here and shuttle to the Elk Pen Lot.
NJ Transit Train:
We will pickup anyone arriving on the 10:17am train in Tuxedo, NY and bring them to Elk Pen Lot. You can either take a bus back to NYC from Bear Mountain or we can drive you back to Tuxedo train station on Sunday.

Emmanuel 973-255-8326
May 27-30, Camping Trip, Hickory Run State Park, White Haven PA
Join us and camp on one of the family sites we have reserved in this popular park. When With several activities available and much natural beauty, Hickory Run State Park has been one of our favorite spots for many years. Enjoy hiking and waterfalls near the campground, and swimming in Sand Spring Lake. Hiking the provocatively named Shades of Death Trail is far more enjoyable than the name implies! Tranquil Mud Run is just a few miles from the campground, and beautiful Hawk Falls is also close by. For a longer hike, you can go to Boulder Field, a National Natural Landmark that was created by frost heave during the last ice age. There is also bicycling on the nearby Lehigh Gorge State Park Trail. Our sites are secluded, walk-in, but only a very short distance from parking. Because of limited physical space on these campsites, we are having everyone RSVP for a tent spot, not per person, so tent sharing is encouraged, but not required. Flush toilets and hot showers are in the campground.
SPACE IS LIMITED - RSVPS ARE PER TENT, NOT PER PERSON. SHARING IS ENCOURAGED!
To reserve a spot for one tent, send a check for $40.50 made out to Campers‘ Group, to: Campers’ Group, 48 S. High Street Mt. Vernon, NY 10550. Once the organizer or a trip leader is notified of receipt of your check, you will be added to the RSVP list. For immediate inclusion, pay $41.89 via PayPal on the meetup.com page for this trip.

Stan 201-954-2537 / Deb 203-246-4350
June 3-5, Camping/Cabin Trip, Thendara Mtn Club, Harriman State Park NY
Our friends at Thendara Mountain Club have invited us to stay the weekend at their rustic lodge in Harriman State Park. The lodge (built 1929) has heat, electricity, a full kitchen, indoor men’s and women’s washrooms with hot showers, and bathrooms about 50 ft from the lodge. There are seven bedrooms with 2-4 cots each (rooms are shared). There is also a campsite on the property, and a screened-in bunk house for outdoor sleeping. (First come, first served for camping, bunkhouse and lodge bedroom space.) The Lodge has a big main room with fireplace, comfortable seating, eating table and screened in porch. If you choose to stay, the weekend will include Saturday breakfast, a bag lunch, Saturday night happy hour, dinner, and Sunday breakfast, and a bag lunch for the trail.

Arrive Friday evening (any time after 5:00 pm) for an early departure to Schunnemunk Mountain on Saturday morning. This is a fairly strenuous, but fantastic hike! It will be a 10.5 mile loop, approximately 6-7 hours, with an elevation gain of 1700 ft. After a grueling gain of 1,300 feet right at the outset, we’ll enjoy several miles atop a double ridge, with nothing but beautiful views: north to the Catskills, west to Kittatinny Ridge, east to the Hudson... 75% of this hike is on open smooth rock with 360 views! After the first mile this is a fairly moderate hike, with only a few steep sections. There will also be some moderately easy rock scrambling.

After the hike we will return to camp for a relaxing and well deserved happy hour in front of the fire! Dinner will be provided by the Thendara host for this weekend. Diet restrictions can usually be accommodated - just be sure to tell the host when you RSVP. If sleeping in the lodge, you will need to bring a sleeping bag or sheets and pillowcase. There are wool blankets and pillows available. If the campsite is available you may instead be able to camp. (No fires by the campsite, only in the main fire ring by the lodge.) There will also be a local hike on Sunday starting at 11am from camp.

If it is your first time at Thendara, and choose to stay the entire weekend, the total cost will be approximately $52, which will cover meals and lodging for Friday and Saturday night (meals are Saturday breakfast, lunch and dinner, Sunday breakfast and lunch - no Friday dinner). We will only provide snacks Friday night (people are welcome to bring food and drink if they haven’t eaten beforehand). YOU MUST RSVP AND SIGN UP FOR MEALS BY WEDNESDAY JUNE 1st for the host to know how much and what food to bring and prepare. Also be sure to advise of any food allergies or restrictions.

Thendara a la carte fees:
* Day fee to use the facilities: $7 per day (paid when you RSVP)
* Overnight fee for a first time guest: $12 per night (no additional day fee to use the facilities)
* Saturday or Sunday breakfast, and bag lunch for the trail: $10
* Saturday happy hour: $6
* Saturday dinner: $12
(Meal fees are approximate; final amount will depend on what the host brings and prepares.)

To reserve a spot, send a check for $7 made out to Campers, Group, to: Campers, Group, 48 S. High Street Mt. Vernon, NY 10550. Once the organizer or a trip leader is notified of receipt of your check, you will be added to the RSVP list. For immediate inclusion, pay $7.50 via PayPal on the meetup.com page for this trip.

Brian 973-615-1262 / Ken 201-388-3685
June 10-12, Camping Trip, Fairview Lake YMCA Camps, Stillwater NJ
Fairview Lake YMCA Camp is a very special camping experience! Just set up at our very private and large waterfront group site, and the camp will provide organized programs for the group, or you can arrange to hike on your own. The camp sits on mile-long Fairview Lake in Northwestern New Jersey. Their 600 acres adjoin the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, providing access to the Appalachian Trail, the Delaware River, unlimited hiking possibilities and breathtaking views. A fleet of canoes, rowboats and kayaks offer a wide variety of water activities. This is a great weekend for kids!

The camp will schedule, just for our group, swimming, boating, hiking, indoor and outdoor climbing wall sessions, low and high ropes courses, archery, arts and crafts, and other activities. We have reserved a large camping area near the far side of the lake with a fire ring, tables, bathroom and showers, and even unheated cabin/shelters we can occupy if the weather doesn’t totally cooperate!

To reserve a spot, send a check for $55 made out to Campers‘ Group, to: Campers’ Group, 48 S. High Street Mt. Vernon, NY 10550. Once the organizer or a trip leader is notified of receipt of your check, you will be added to the RSVP list. For immediate inclusion, pay $56.81 via PayPal on the meetup.com page for this trip.

Ken 201-388-3685 / Michelle 845-325-4526



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