Past Meetup

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

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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

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.