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Not So Urban Athletics: Surprise Lake Hike and Drive-In Movie

  • Jun 8, 2013 · 11:30 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

Join us on a day hike in Abram Hewitt State Forest, one of the most scenic wild areas close to NYC. And the fun doesn't stop after the hike ends, we're going to keep the good times going and visit the Warwick drive-in theater to catch a double header.

The Plan ...

Starting at the trailhead at the shoreline of picturesque Greenwood Lake, we'll make a steep ascent up Bearfort Mountain to an overlook that provides stunning views of the lake and surrounding peaks and valleys. The vistas continue as we traverse the ridge line. Shortly thereafter we'll arrive at Surprise Lake -- a large, deep glacial pond, where we can relax and soak up the scenery and seclusion. Leaving the lake we'll make a few short descents and be rewarded as the trail passes through a tunnel of tall and thick rhododendron.

More rock scrambles will challenge us as we proceed along the trail, bringing us to another overlook from which we can view West Pond. From here we'll continue our loop, hiking along part of the legendary Appalachian Trail and the spot where it crosses the New Jersey/New York border. We'll then start the tail end of our hike and make the descent back to the starting point.

After the hike, we'll grab a bite to eat at a local hole and then enjoy a classic American pastime -- catching a double header at the Warwick drive-in theater, one of a handful of drive-ins left in the tri-state area. Watching two first run movies for only $10 bucks while enjoying a Spring evening in the country. Yeah, it doesn't get any better than this.

The Important Stuff ...

  • This is going to be an INTERMEDIATE hike of about 6 miles and will take roughly 4.5 hours to complete. You don't need to be a world-class athlete to participate, but you need to be in decent physical shape as this is one of the more challenging treks in area.  There will be a steep ascent to the mountain top as well as a few rock scrambles en route.
  • Dress in layers of non-cotton clothing, wear hiking boots or trail shoes (I wouldn't recommend sneakers but that is at your discretion), a hat, bring 2-3 liters of fluid, a packed lunch and/or snacks, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
  • Drive-in admission is $10.00 per person, cash only. Bring a blanket/low chair and radio if you want to lounge outside your car and enjoy the movies.
  • No guests allowed, sorry.
  • Please DO NOT RSVP if you do not seriously plan to attend as space is limited. No flakes allowed! If you RSVP and I notice that you have a number of no shows or have a history of last minute cancellations, you will be removed.

Driving Directions ...

From I-287, take Exit 55, and turn north on County 511, following signs to Wanaque. Drive 12.5 miles around Wanaque and Monksville reservoirs, where County 511 becomes Greenwood Lake Turnpike, and passes the lower end of Greenwood Lake. Drive straight on County 511 until it turns into Union Valley Road/State Route 513 (there will be an Exxon gas station at right side the intersection where the road name changes). Continue on straight down Union Valley Road/State Route 513 about a 1/8 mile until you see the A&P shopping plaza on the left side, pull in here.

Please post if you are driving and can pick up passengers (how many and from where), If you need a ride, please be proactive and contact a driver directly. Passengers, as a courtesy you should chip in for gas, tolls, and coffee for the driver.

This hike is cross-posted in I wanted to do that ... just not alone! Check there when trying to set up a carpool http://www.meetup.com/E-W-N-Y-C/events/104495962/

We'll meet in the A&P Supermarket shopping center parking lot, under the large A&P sign at the roadside of Route 513 -- see photo below of the exact meeting spot.  Parking at the trailhead is limited so if we have a lot of drivers show up, we'll leave a few vehicles parked at the shopping plaza and carpool to the hike starting point a couple of miles away.


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  • Maggie

    I had the most amazing day of hiking, dinner and movie watching. Thanks for being wonderful company.

    1 · June 11, 2013

  • Ivonne

    Wonderful day with amazing company!!! Enjoy every moment...

    1 · June 11, 2013

  • Kevin

    Epic event, people! I'm flipping through the dictionary and that is the strongest adjective I can find. Thank you to everyone that came out, I enjoyed you all.

    3 · June 9, 2013

  • wiola

    thank you everyone for extraordinary day , priceless and unforgettable time with fantastic people ,
    thank you Kevin for organizing it , can we do it again next Saturday ? ;)

    1 · June 9, 2013

  • Art

    Did anyone end up with my red canvas bag after the cake was served? It had some cups, plates, plastic utensils, knives, etc. Please contact me if you have it. Thanks!

    June 9, 2013

  • Kevin

    The hike today is ON! As a precaution, I would bring a rain poncho in case of a stray shower but we should be dry today. Also don't forget to bring warmer clothes for the movie tonight, it can get habit chilly in the highlands once the sun sets.

    June 8, 2013

  • mary

    Apologies in advance. I lost the email from a woman listed with another group and whose original driver got sick. The last spot is yours. Please resend, thank you!

    June 7, 2013

    • Kelly S

      Hi Mary, that would me be I guess. Thank you. C U tomorrow 10:15am :)

      June 8, 2013

  • Natalie L.

    I have room in my car and am coming from Brooklyn. Anyone need a ride?

    June 3, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I still need a ride and can meet in you in downtown Brooklyn.

      June 7, 2013

    • Kelly S

      Sorry for the late reply Natalie. I just saw your message. Mary replied my email earlier that she can give me a ride. I am all set for now. Thank you so much :)

      June 8, 2013

  • Kevin

    And for all the drivers, this is the address of the drive-in theater, take note just in case: 5 Warwick Turnpike, Warwick, NY

    June 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hello, I'm looking for a last minuter ride to event. I can meet in Brooklyn or Queens. Contact [masked]

    June 7, 2013

  • Matthew

    I'll be coming from Long Island (west Nassau) so if anybody needs a ride from LI or Queens let me know.

    May 7, 2013

    • Kevin

      Thea, Matthew is not attending this meetup.

      June 7, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks for the update.

      June 7, 2013

  • mary

    I have room for 3 passengers from Port Authority (Manhattan). If interested, email me your txt/phone contact info. Thanks!...FYI the car doesn't have air conditioning.

    June 3, 2013

    • Kelly S

      Thank you Mary for offering me a ride! .^_^.

      June 7, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hey would you happen to have any more room in your vehicle?

      June 7, 2013

  • Geraldine

    Logistics & time constraints - will miss Kevin's event.

    June 7, 2013

  • Kristina

    I decided to do stg else b/c of being on the wait list...

    June 7, 2013

  • Alyssa

    Coming from Weehawken, NJ and can fit 3 in my car. I can pick up along the way or at the Hoboken PATH. Sorry for the late notice!

    June 7, 2013

  • Kevin

    Folks, my mobile number is[masked]-9034. Contact me in the morning if you have any problems. Please be on time as I can't wait for latecomers.

    Things to remember to bring: lunch/drinks for the hike, insect repellent, an optional change of shirt/clothes for after the hike, CASH for the drive in admission, a blanket/chair and maybe some entertainment if we get to the theater a bit early, and a FM radio so you aren't restricted to sitting in your car for the films.

    Last, if you're plans have changed and you can't make this meetup, please change your RSVP. Don't be a no show!

    June 7, 2013

  • Kevin

    Folks, we are scheduled to get a bit of weather this weekend. I'll be watching the forecast closely and if I need to postpone this event I will make that decision by 7:30 AM Saturday morning.

    June 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    unfortunately kevin, i have to cancel because of blisters on both feet that are not healing fast enough from a hike this past sunday. hopefully, next time or on my own cause this sounds like a great hike. :o(

    June 5, 2013

    • Kevin

      That's a bummer. Hope they heal quickly.

      June 6, 2013

  • Kevin

    I've been getting questions about the drive in and what is playing, etc. We're going to the warwick drive in and you can check out what is currently playing here www.warwickdrivein.com/playing.htm. This will likely change a little as new films are released this Friday.

    Some tips:
    1) If you don't want to be tethered to your car and would like to watch the film from outside, bring a blanket and a battery-powered FM radio to receive the soundtrack. A folding chair would be helpful also.
    2) There are 3 screens showing 2 different films each. Your admission is paying for the viewing of a double feature, you can stay for one film or both. You're not allowed to drive your car to different screens between features. So if you want to see a film playing on screen 1 then a film on screen 3, you will need to walk over with your radio.
    3) You're allowed to being your own refreshments but there is a concession stand on site. Buying food there helps keep the theater open though and is encouraged.

    June 4, 2013

  • Dee D.

    Kevin -
    What movie is showing @ the drive-in?

    June 4, 2013

  • Peter

    Guys, I will be leaving from Jersey City.. Yes.. from "Joisey"... I have room for 2 more! First come first sit! :)

    June 3, 2013

    • Peter

      1 more seat..

      June 3, 2013

  • Lia

    Driving from Brooklyn, email me if you need a ride.

    June 2, 2013

  • Lonnie

    I am driving from Brooklyn, let me know if anyone needs a ride.

    May 29, 2013

    • Mike

      Hey Lonnie I'm in Carroll Gardens. Do you still have a spot?

      May 29, 2013

    • Lonnie

      I do, send me your info please.

      May 30, 2013

  • Kevin

    OK folks, this event is drawing near. Let's get working on those carpools! If you are driving, please say so and post where you are leaving from and where you can pick up at. If you need a ride, say where you are at and be flexible about travelling to meet a driver. Also don't forget, passengers should kick in dough for tolls and gas.

    May 29, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Will be proactive, but just in case a car owner is reading, I'd love a ride. Based in Park Slope, can travel as far as public transport allows.

    April 8, 2013

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