Dunning TrailWhat better way to spend an Autumn day than a great hike with friends! Loosen up those stale ski muscles, talk to some old friends and make some new ones. Set the DVR to record the game and come on out with us! Maybe tip a beer or two afterwards...

The hiking schedule is only part-filled as of now. If there is a hike you would like to request - or lead, please contact Frank Collyer and let him know. If you would like to host an apres-hike party, we would greatly appreciate your hospitality - contact Collyer about that too!

In any event, just come on out with us!

PS— Always check for changes!!


  • What to bring...
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First: Go out and get a pair of decent hiking boots. You won't go any faster or be less tired, but you will be less likely to twist an ankle or get bruises on the soles of your feet, and reduce the likelihood of slipping on wet and/or mossy rocks. The next most important thing is water. Get dehydrated and you will suffer what cyclists call the "bonk"; fatigue and often nausea. Bring at least a quart of water. Nowadays it is easier than in the past, you can buy a "Camelback" pack with a buit-in water supply with a plastic tube that you clip to your shirt from which you can take a swallow of water at any time. Make sure you take drinks regularly during the hike, no sense bringing most of it back. Then - food. You will be exercising, sometimes strenuously. Bring snacks that are high in carbohydrates that your body can quickly convert to sugar to power your muscles. Complex carbs like granola, nuts, and dried fruit work better for this than candy bars. Don't bring a salami & cheese hero, at best it will lay like a stone in your stomach. You may even barf it up. Deer ticks are always a problem, even in mid-winter. Use bug spray liberally, and when you get home, remove & wash all your clothes ASAP! Take a shower & check yourself for deer ticks. This can be fun if you shower with a friend. If rain is a possiblity, bring a light poncho or rain jacket. Above 60º you will get wet from sweat inside it; under 60º and you will sweat but stay warm (important!). Bring a pair of socks so you can change if your feet get wet ("sweaty" counts as wet) and avoid blisters. Dress lightly and in layers. If you start off comfortable, you will very quickly get hot. Best to start off chilly & get warm as you go.

Ramapo's hikes are generally 4 to 6 miles; 4 - 5 hours long. Terrain varies from rolling to very steep, that is why we suggest hiking boots rather than sneakers. If you get out in front of the hike leader, we always stop at trail intersections to make sure we gather everyone up before proceeding, and/or turning. We have never left anyone for the wolves. We stop for breaks as needed and generally stop for a lunch break somewwhere in the middle. If the weather forecast is 80% chance of rain at the start, the hike is cancelled (www.weather.weatherbug.com), otherwise we go. If it is cold, you'll get warm, if it is hot, remove some clothing. If we get caught in the rain, you did bring raingear (see: What to bring).

We meet 10:45 to start hiking at 11 unless otherwise noted. Most hikes are loops, but where the finish is different from the start, we meet at the finish point and squeeze into as few cars as possible and drive to the start point. The maps we use are NY-NJ Trail Conference maps available at most sporting goods stores (like Campmor) and the book store on the P.I.P. between Exit 16 and Anthony Waye Rec Area. There is a new 2010 edition! If you have questions or special needs, call the hiking chaiman at 845 947-3050 or email him at pensmith@optonline.net.

Everyone is welcome! We recommend that you be in reasonable physical condition and play nice with others. There is no charge for the hike, but if there is an apres-hike party at someone's house, there will likely be a contribution requested and they may require that you notify them in advance so they know how many to buy food for. We welcome newcomers!

Kids are welcome, and kids past 6 or 7 can keep up IF THEY WANT TO, so motivation is really key here. Make sure you have some sweet snacks like M&M's for them, to get their blood sugar up if they start to get tired as well as enough water. Dog owners must obey Harriman Park leash laws (legally: dogs must be on a leash at all times. In fact, if you let your dog off leash, be sure he gets along with other dogs & people. You are responsible for your dog. Be prepared to quickly put him back on leash when we meet other groups along the way).

NOTE: you come at your own risk. There may or may not be trained first-aid people present. If you leave the group and go off on your own, you are responsible for yourself; be aware of this if you have no map and compass or don't know how to use them, and you are not very familiar with the area! Cell phones generally get spotty reception in mountainous places like Harriman Park.

—And, we are looking for people to host apres-hike parties! Hot dogs & hamburgers etc. are just fine and we pass the hat to reimburse the party host. Cheers!

Oct. 3 Walkway Over the Hudson. Meet 10:00 to hike at 11 at the Sheraton Hotel / Sharp Plaza — that the HUGE tower (with nothing else around it) near the intersections of RT 17, 287 and 87. Follow the roads and signs towards the hotel / Crossroads BLVD and the office complex. We meet on the lower level of the garage - row 4 (last row) in the middle. We will carpoolfrom there as we need to go up the Thruway to Exit 19, then east to Highland, NY. The hike is about 3.5 miles and quite easy, suitable for beginners! Read more here.

Oct. 10 Storm King Mountain. Meet 10:45 to start hiking at 11. Take 9w north towards Cornwall. Just past west point you will start over the mountain, after you pass over the first peak it will be the second parking area on your right. The intrepid Howie MacArthur will be leading us. Approximately 3.5 miles with great views of the Hudson River and valley. Howie says "After hike refreshments will be served at Howie Mcarthur's house in Fort Montgomery, no money please! PLEASE - RSVP by 10/7/10 if you are attending the party: 845 446 4934"

Oct. 17 Maggie's Mystery Tour Maggie Langley and Ron Hudgens will lead. Maggie says "due to my inability to pre-hike anything Ron and I decided to take the easy way out. We'll lead a hike up to Terrace Pond in West Milford. People can meet at our place, 57 Scrivani Drive, Wanaque at 10 am and then we'll carpool 20 minutes up the road to West Milford. For those that might be coming from further north, or who aren't planning on coming back to the house afterwards they can contact me directly and I'll tell them where on Clinton Road to meet us. That way I'll also know who we're looking for.
Please make sure all hikers RSVP so that we've got a headcount for food.

Oct. 24 Lemon Squeezer & Island Pond. Meet 10:45 to hike at 11 at the Rt. 106 Hikers Parking area roughly 2 miles east of it's intersection with Route 17 just north of Tuxedo, NY. We will hike north on the White Bar, Arden-Suirebridge and Appalachian trails to the Lemon Squeezer. We then follow the Appalachian Trail west to a woods road that will take us south and back to our starting point, We will stop at Island Pond on the AT for lunch. Moderate, no killer climbs, less than 5 miles. Kids welcome, dogs (owners) must observe Park leash laws. We need an apres-hike party!

Oct.31 Hook Mountain.  The Bassells will once again guide us on this long-time favorite. Great views of the Hudson Valley from the ridgeline along the Long Path, and from the river's edge as we return north along the river on the bike trail to Rockland Lake. The Bassells will be hosting an apres-hike party, but you MUST CALL BY THE PRIOR THURSDAY so they can get an accurate head count! Moderate, about 6 miles. We'll be hiking in light rain - cancelling in heavy. Meet 10:45 to hike at 11:00; at the trail head on Landing Road, which is about 20 yards east of the Rockland Lake fire house? Check it out here. See the pictures!

Nov. 7 Tiorati to Skanatati Via Pine Swamp. From Rt. 17 in Sloatsburg, go north on 7 Lakes Drive, pass Kanawaukee Circle (Rt. 106). About 1/2 mile you will see lakes on either side of the road, the left side lake is lower. Just past the lake is the entrance downhill into Skanatati parking lot. We will meet there 10:30 and carpool north to the Lake Tiorati parking lot. We will hike south on the Ramapo-Dunderberg trail to Times Square (really!) then south on the Dunning trail. passing Pine Swamp Mine and return to the Skanatati parking area via the Long Path. About 5 miles, moderate to strenuous, some climbs. Kids welcome, dogs (owners) must observe Park leash laws. If no one hosts an apres-hike party, we will go to the Mason Jar in Mahwah.

Nov. 14 Silvermine — Anthony Wayne Via Black Mountain. Take the Palisades Parkway north past Exit 16 to the Anthony Wayne parking area; we will meet at 10:30 in the North parking area and car-pool to drive to the start at Silvermine recreation area, from there we hike east on the Menominee trail to the Wm Brien Memorial shelter on Goshen Mountain. Then we head north-east on the Ramapo-Dunderberg/Appalachian trail over Black Mountain. We cross the Palisades Parkway and then head back to the cars. About 5 miles, some strenuous climbs. Kids welcome, dogs (owners) must observe Park leash laws. We need an apres-hike party. Check out last year's photos!

Nov. 21 Dunderberg. Meet 10:45 to hike at 11 Dauntless hike leader Sue Longo and President Emeritus Rich Price are planning a tour of the scenic Dunderberg Mountain area. Rumors of Blackbeard's buried treasure at the base of the mountain don't interest these intrepid pathfinders—they are looking for the Dunderberg Spiral Railway! Lets give them some Ramapo help and assist them! Bring your camera for some stunning views of the Hudson. Read more...

Nov. 28 Turkey Buster. Meet 10:45 to hike at 11 Elyse Stoller will be leading the Ramapo herd up Kakiat ridge to burn off some of those pesky Thanksgiving calories. Remember—we are getting very close to ski season and those extra pounds are unsightly and inhibit a skier from getting their money's worth from an expensive lift ticket! Take Rt. 202 North from Suffern and watch for the Kakiat Prk sign on the North side of the road, just across the street from the Viola Elementary School entrance. Enter the parking lot and look for us. Let Elyse know if you are coming, she is planning a calorie-replenishment function aftre the hike! Check the map!

Dec. 5 Brooklyn Bridge & Chinatown. Season finale, a long-time Ramapo tradition – a "calorie replacement" program. We will meet at the K of C in Ramsey at 10 am to carpool into the city. Tentatively, we will then drive down by South Street Seaport and park at Peck Slip parking. There are some (not me!) who want to go later to see the tree at Rockefeller Center. We will work all of this out.

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