Sunday, June 27, 2010


Weekend hike: Popolopen Torne

Popolopen Torne is a rocky mountaintop on the west side of the Hudson River near the Bear Mountain Bridge ("torne" is a variation of "tor", a rocky peak or hill (American Heritage Dictionary)). The mountain’s peak is about 1000 feet above the Hudson River, and standing atop the craggy peak gives one gorgeous, 360-degree views of the Hudson River (to the east), Bear Mountain (to the south), and the surrounding forested valleys and hills (to the west and north).

The hiking trail is steep, and getting to (and from) the top requires scrambling over rocks. The descent is somewhat of a challenge — one needs to be sure-footed (and sometimes sure-butted) to avoid slipping on the steeply angled rocks.

The Timp-Torne trail combines with, and then branches off from, some of the many Revolutionary-War trails in the area, and it always amazes me to think that some of these trails were actually used by fully laden soldiers during the war, as they carried provisions and weapons, and sometimes pulled artillery with them.

I’ve pasted together a panorama from photos taken at the top; click the small version below to see it full-sized. It starts to the northeast on the left, and you can see the Hudson, the Bear Mountain Bridge, Bear Mountain, and the western valley. I’ll have to get another panorama in the winter, when the haze that’s ubiquitous in the summer is gone.

Panoramic view from Popolopen Torne