For this week’s hike we went to Patterson NY to a place called the Michael Ciaiola Conservation. It is right on the CT/NY border next to Squantz Pond in CT. It is very steep in the beginning but it is a very rewarding hike. This was a great park - lots to see - and the bugs, what bugs? They were not there. Not sure where they were but we did not get attacked at all, like we have in other places this summer.
We got out of the car and made sure we had plenty of water. The first thing we came to was a bridge. There we saw this cool looking millipede. It was long and had orange rings on it. We headed on down the trail and came to another bridge. Here we found the first cache of the day and it was also the first cache that two of our hikers had ever found. Welcome to the club!
We started to walk to the next cache and it was straight up the mountain. On the way the boys all stopped at a rock and had a rest. At the top it was back down again. Before we started back up again we stopped at a small stream and put our feet in the water for a while. We saw some frogs in the stream as well as a small orange Salamander on the edge.
Then we continued back up the trail to go to the view point - The Three Mile Lookout. It was very hazy so we could not see as far as you usually can. When we got to the top we stopped and had lunch: Sandwiches, pepperoni, cheese, peanut butter crackers, and water.
We continued to follow the orange trail up up and up. When we got to the top we were 1340 feet above sea level. At the top there was a memorial for a firefighter named George C. Cain who died in 9/11. Up there we found the cache and somehow stumbled upon the middle stage of a multi-stage cache, we will have to come back and find the rest of that one some other day.
We were now about halfway through our hike. We continued on the orange trail and we found two more caches, making it five for the day so far. As we continued on the trail we saw a map and an old hunting blind. Next, somehow we ended up on the green trail and had to bushwhack about 1000 feet to get back to the orange trail.
We found one more cache and then we were back at the stream that we had gone wading in before. We now headed on down the red trail following the stream on our left. There was not a whole lot of water in the stream so we predicted the waterfalls would not be raging.
When we got to where the falls where we found an old bunker with a rusty old stove in it. We went over and looked at the falls they were enormous but there was no water. We looked for the cache but could not find it. At the base of one of the falls there was a small pool of water. So we all decided to go swimming in the pool of water. The water was freezing. We found the remains of what was once a crawfish.
After we got out and dried off we continued on down the trail to where we began our hike. We were in the park for almost 6 hours, found 7 Geocaches, walked over 8 miles and climbed the equivalent of over 150 flights of stairs. Next we fell into the car and when we got home we jumped out and into the pool. Next Baseball and Soccer practice. What Fun!!!
Patterson NY: http://www.pattersonny.org/CountyPreserves.php
OB Long Island: http://www.oblongland.org/hiking_recreation/hiking.php#ciaiola
Michael Ciaiola Conservation Trail Map: http://www.oblongland.org/pdf/michael_ciaiola.pdf
Putnam NY Local: http://www.localputnam.com/michael-ciaiola-conservation-area/