ISLAND POND
Harriman Park, Orange County, NY


ISLAND POND
Harriman Park, Orange County, NY


Directions:

TZ Bridge; exit at exit 15A for Rt. 17 north; drive 10.3 miles north and turn right onto Arden Valley Road; drive 0.4 of a mile and turn right into the parking lot for Island Pond.


Trail:

Take the trail heading east through the field; turn right at the T-intersection; this will take you to both the AT (white-blazed) and the Arden-Surebridge trail (A-SB). The AT trail goes left first. Continue on straight along a hemlock ridge and turn left for the A-SB Trail. The trail heads toward and up the Green Pond Mountain Ridge. The forest is very open here with lots of Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge) as ground cover. Later rather steep ascent but not impossible.

At the top of the mountain there are a lot of downed trees. Some marsh plants in a little wet area. Trail stays level except for a few short declines here and there. At the first T-intersection, turn right with the trail; at the second T-intersection go left (following the unmarked path to Island Pond). At the first fork stay left. There is a combination tussock sedge marsh/leatherleaf bog area that is interesting botanically speaking. At the second fork go right. This takes you to the remains of the cabin for the Park Ranger by the Island Pond. Beautiful place for a lunch.

Saw the biggest and nicest looking of any black bear I have seen in the zoos or in the wild. The type of bear that could be used for a cover of a nature magazine. He just kept on walking away showing no interest in the dog and me.

Beautiful pond and will probably return in the not too distant future.

Came back on September 11, 2001, the day the United States was attacked by terrorists at the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon. It was a little tough getting back from the trip because of the emergency vehicles going toward the City. Came back via the Bear Mountain Bridge and saw a lot of policemen guarding the bridge as they waved us through without having to pay the toll.

Walked the Appalachian Trail (AT) east up Green Pond Mountain and up Island Pond Mountain and then down to Island Pond. It took a little less than an hour to get to Island Pond. From here it is only about a twenty minute walk to the Lemon Squeezer. Here the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail meets the AT. The Lemon Squeezer is the side of a rise in the mountain with its side fallen apart somewhat leaving somewhat of a jumble. You go through a short false cave and through the back and then more uphill through a really narrow cleft. It was not easy fitting through with my back pants pockets carrying water bottles. The dog Snuffy did not like coming back through the cleft and I had to coax him to the side to grab him and place him down on the ground in the cleft.


Geology:

Island Pond is a large glacially-made pothole. It drains both north and south. There is a dam at the northern end of the pond. The lake drains north into Echo Lake; the other outlet heads south into Stahahe Brook. The pond goes to 126 feet. There are swamps at the south end.

There is an actual island in Island Pond, about 500 feet from shore.

Echo Mountain has two summits (of 1,300 feet) connected across a half-mile by a saddle of about 1,100 feet. There was confusion about the names of the two summits. The Trail Conference finally decided that the northern summit (overlooking Echo Lake) would be called Echo Mountain. The southern summit was named Island Pond Mountain. The ridge west of Island Pond became Green Pond Mountain.


History:

(Source: Myles, William J. 1991. Harriman Trails: A Guide and History. New York: The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference.)

Peter Parrott had an estate containing Island Pond and the surrounding hills.

1885 -- Edward H. Harriman acquires the Parrott estate; at the top of Island Pond Mtn., where the AT and A-SB trails meet, Harriman had a summer house.

1905 -- On the west side of the pond, Harriman builds Island Pond Road. It came up from the Harriman farm then went around the south end of the lake and continued on southward to Highway 416.

1905 -- about this time Edward Harriman starts to build a stone dam along the northern outlet of the pond. He also built a road from the dam to his Island Pond Road. He later abandoned the dam.

1910 -- Mrs. Mary Averell Harriman gives 10,00 acres to the Palisades Interstate Park Commission (but Island Pond retained by the Harriman family). On the east side of the pond was a road that came from Echo Lake and was named Crooked Road. It went on uphill over Surebridge Mountain (its route now used by the Dunning Trail).

1922 -- first section of the AT blazed from Route 17 over Green Pond Mountain; from here across the north end of Island Pond; to Crooked Road; through the Lemon Squeezer. Joined the A-SB trail up to the old firetower.

1923 -- entire AT trail in Harriman/Bear officially opened (October 7, 1923).

1927 -- Roland Harriman gives Island Pond to the Park (and gets a narrow strip of land near Echo Lake that his mother had given to the park in 1910).

1927? -- the Park builds a stone cabin for their Park Ranger. Major Welch entertained visitors here. (Burned by vandals on January 1, 1962.)

1930 -- the Park widened the road on the west side of the pond and covered it with gravel for 3 miles from the Harriman farm south to the state highway near Lake Stahahe.

1930 -- the new Arden Valley Road (which came closer to Island Pond) built past the Elk Pen so that Roland would no longer be surprised by hikers peering through his windows. It avoided entering the Harriman estate.

1934 -- the CCC developed plans to build two dams, at the north and south ends. A new level road to the lake was made from the new Arden Valley Road. The Park began to build the northern dam, the spillway of which can still be seen. This idea abandoned.

1947 -- the name Echo Mountain changed to Island Pond Mountain.

1957 -- the AT gets a new shelter, the William Brien Memorial Shelter on the ledge where the AT approached the north end of Island Pond. The project was funded by the bequest of William Brien, first president of the New York Ramblers. (He died in 1954.)

1962 -- vandals burn the stone cabin at the south end of Island Pond.

1963 -- a fishermen's access road built from Arden Valley Road to Island Pond. But then the area at the lake's north end became littered and unsightly. Also becoming unsightly was the easily accessible William Brien Memorial Shelter (dismantled in 1973).

1973 -- William Brien Memorial Shelter dismantled and the shelter at Letterrock Mountain given the Brien name (the trail is the R-D trail).

1980 -- to avoid the litter at the north end, the AT was rerouted around the southern end of the Island Pond. This was not, however, popular with hikers.

1993 -- AT restored to the north end of Island Pond (except the AT runs a short distance inland; now no longer going along the shore of the lake).

1994 -- idea proposed to restore the original route over Green Pond Mountain.


GARFIELD MINE

This mine is located at the south end of Island Pond. Hike the Island Pond Road north from the parking area at Route 106. Pass by the white-blazed Nurian Trail, the yellow-blazed Dunning Trail, and the white-blazed Arden-Surebridge Trail (on the right); take the fork bearing right; at the second fork in the road bear left and walk 240 feet to the end of the left fork on the right side of the road.

The mine was owned by Robert and Peter Parrott, supplying iron ore to the Clove and Greenwood furnaces at Arden, NY. (Lenik 1996:95-97)


PLANT LIST:
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney


Trees:
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar )
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Ostrya virginiana (American hop hornbeam)
Pica abies (Norway spruce)
Pinus nigra Austrian pine 2 needles long needles
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Pyrus malus (apple)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)

Shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cephalanthus occidentalis (buttonbush)
Chamaedaphne calyculata (leatherleaf)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush)
Comptonia peregrina (sweetfern)
Decodon verticillatus (swamp loosestrife) 9/01/01
Gaultheria procumbens (wintergreen)
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Kalmia angustifolia (sheeps kill)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Lonicera tatarica (Tatarian honeysuckle)?
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Quercus ilicifolia (bear oak)
Rhododendron maximum (rosebay rhododendron)
Rhododendron periclymenoides (pinxter flower)
Rhododendron viscosum (swamp azalea)
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Rubus odoratus (flowering raspberry)
Spiraea alba var. latifolia (meadowsweet)
Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)

Vines:
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Cuscuta sp. (dodder)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Smilax rotundifolia (round leaved greenbrier)

Herbs:
Achillea millefolium (yarrow)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting) 9/01/01
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp dogbane)
Aralia hispida? (bristly sarsaparilla)? but not very hispid
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Aster acuminatus (sharp-leaved aster) 9/11/01
Aster sp. (one of those damn small white asters) 9/01/01
Bidens comosa? (beggar ticks) 9/11/01
Cirsium discolor (field thistle) 9/01/01
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink) 9/01/01
Epifagus virginiana (beechdrops)
Erechtites hieraciifolia (pileweed ) 9/01/01
Erigeron sp. (daisy fleabane) 9/01/01
Fragaria virginiana (common strawberry)
Heteranthera sp. (mud plantain)
Hieracium spp. (hawkweeds)
Hydrocotyle americana (water pennywort)
Impatiens capensis (jewelweed)
Lechea racemulosa? (pinweed)
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs) 9/11/01
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco lobelia)
Ludwigia palustris (water purslane)
Lycopus virginicus (Virginia bugleweed ) 9/01/01
Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort)
Mentha spicata (spearmint) 9/01/01
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe)
Myriophyllum sp. (water milfoil)
Nuphar variegata (spatterdock) 9/01/01
Nymphaea odorata (fragrant white water lily) 9/01/01
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) 9/01/01
Peltandra virginiana (arrow arum)
Pontederia cordata (pickerelweed) 9/01/01
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum arifolium (halberd-leaved arrowhead)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) 9/11/01
Polygonum sagittatum (arrowhead tearthumb) 9/01/01
Polygonum sp. (white fls) 9/01/01
Pontederia cordata (pickerel weed) 9/01/01 9/11/01
Potentilla argentea (silvery cinquefoil) 9/01/01
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)
Sagittaria latifolia (broadleaf arrowhead) 9/01/01
Sium suave (water parsnip)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Solidago bicolor (silverrod) 9/11/01
Solidago odora (sweet goldenrod) 9/01/01
Sparganium sp. (burreed)
Taraxacum sp. (dandelion type with very narrow, pointed leaves) 9/01/01
Triadenum virginianum (marsh St. Johnswort)
Typha latifolia (broad leaved cattail)
Utricularia sp. (bladderwort)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Verbena hastata (blue vervain)
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)
Viburnum dentatum (smooth arrowwood viburnum)
Violet spp. (violets)

Rushes:
Juncus canadensis (Canada rush)
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Sedges:
Carex gynandra (sedge)
Carex intumescens (sedge)
Carex laxiflora type (sedge)
Carex lurida (sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Carex scoparia type (sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Dulichium arundinacea (three-way sedge)
Eriocaulon sp. (pipewort)
Scirpus atrovirens (dark green bulrush)
Scirpus cyperinus (woolly grass bulrush)

Grasses:
Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)
Cinna arundinacea (wood reed grass)
Dactylis glomeratus (orchard grass)
Danthonia spicata (poverty grass)
Digitaria sp. (crab grass)
Elymus sp. (grass with slight hidden inflorescence)
Elytrigia repens (quack grass)
Glyceria canadensis (Canada mannagrass) 9/01/01
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Panicum sp. (panic grass)
Phleum pratense (Timothy grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little blue stem grass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
Setaria viridis (green foxtail grass)
Tridens flavus (purple top grass)

Ferns:
Asplenium trichomanes (maidenhair spleenwort)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Polypodium sp. (Rock cap fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Thelypteris palustris (marsh fern)

Other:
Sphagnum sp. (sphagnum moss)