LETTERROCK MOUNTAIN

HARRIMAN STATE PARK , Orange County, NY


Directions:

US 87

Palisades Parkway north (exit 12n)

Lake Welch exit 16

the road forks; take the right fork marked by a sign for Tiorati; follow around to Tiorati circle and park

walk east along the road paralleling the lake to the red dot trail on the left

Or:

Take the Palisades Interstate Parkway to the Queensboro Circle. Go southwest on Seven Lakes Drive to Tiorati Circle.

exit 15 Stony Brook

29.9 book store

31.0 exit 18 Route 6w

Queensboro circle

31.4 Seven Lakes Drive

32.9 Silver Mine Lake

35.0 Tiorati Circle


Geology:

Waters from Letterrock Mountain flow southeastward into Stillwater Brook that flow into Lake Tiorati Brook and then into Cedar Pond Brook and into the Hudson River.


History:

Cedar Ponds Furnace

Lake Tiorati now covers what was once Cedar Pond and Little Cedar Pond. Near the road at the southeast side of Lake Tiorati was the Cedar Ponds Furnace. It was located on the west bank of the brook flowing out of Lake Tiorati.

1765 -- Peter Hasenclever acquires 1,000 acres in old Orange County. He erects his fifth furnace in America (apparently mistakenly on the property of Lord Stirling). The new dam converts the two Cedar Ponds into the bigger lake here today. But the only really good mine in the area was the Hasenclever Mine (3/4s of a mile south of Lake Tiorati), so Hasenclever loses interest.

Others come here and build iron works along Cedar Pond Brook.

1767 -- Lord Sterling mortgages his tract to William Livingston.

1776 American Revolution -- Samuel Brewster (big Rockland County landholder and iron industry pioneer) operates the Hasenclever mine with Livingston's approval.

1789 -- land assigned to Samuel Brewster.

1793 -- Brewster sells a forge and part of his land to Christopher Ming. He immediately sells it to Halstead Coe.

1796 -- land sold to John De La Montagne.

1799 -- Jonas Brewster purchases the 1000 acres Hasenclever mine lot from William Denning, Jr. and Thomas Hay of Haverstraw.

1799 -- Samuel Brewster sells the 332 acre Cedar Pond Furnace Lot to Jonas Brewster.

1800? -- Jonas and Samuel Brewster build a furnace and work the Hasenclever mine.

1819? -- furnace abandoned.

1821 -- Samuel Brewster dies. After this, the property changed owners many times.


Trail:

Park at Tiorati Circle. Head east on the road past the beach at Lake Tiorati following the red dot on white background trail markers. Turn left off the road as the trail heads into the woods. Heads past a wet area then around a small hill area.

The trail gradually ascends, going along mountain laurel areas, to the top of Goshen Mountain. Head over the mountain. Lots of low blueberry shrubs. The trail descends into a low area, the saddle between Goshen and Letterrock Mountains. There is a bridge over the ephemeral creek here. This is also the area where the AT joins with the R-D Trail. The two trails go together for the next 3.3 miles.

Cross over the bridge.

The trail goes along the north side of Letter Rock Mountain with lots of mountain laurel. Cross over the top of Letter Rock Mountain. From here you can see the tower on top of Bear Mountain in the distance (that is you can see it at least in the winter time).

Descend to the William Brien Memorial shelter. From here the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail heads sharply up the next mountain top. There are a couple of short dips along this mountain top and then it starts to descend. In the distance you can see the tower on top of Bear Mountain and the bare orangish areas near the top of the mountain. (You could park at Silver Mine Lake and take the ski trail on the northeast and east side of the lake to reach the AT and R-D trails.)

Cross fire road. Ascend over a rocky ridge. Here there is a viewpoint. In the northwest is Silvermine Lake.

Reaching the top of Black Mountain, there are more views, these to the south. Continue along the crest of the ridge.

From the south side of Black Mountain there are more views. These to the east providing glimpses of the Hudson River. It may even be possible to see New York City.

Cross the 1779 Trail (which takes the hiker north to the Turkey Hill Pond area), an old woods road, and finally reach the Palisades Interstate Parkway. Cross over the Beechy Bottom Brook. Here the AT and the R-D trails part company. (Could park at the Anthony Wayne Recreation Area and travel south along a trail that after a while travels parallel with the Beechy Bottom Brook. The trail joins the AT and the AT takes the hiker southwest to the R-D trail.)


PLANT LIST:

Dr. Susan Yost, Dr. William Standaert, Dr. Patrick L. Cooney


Trees:
Acer pensylvanicum (striped maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya glabra (pignut hickory) 5/14/99
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Crataegus sp. (hawthorn)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Ostrya virginiana (Eastern hop hornbeam)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus occidentalis (sycamore)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus coccinea (scarlet oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Shrubs:
Aronia sp. (chokeberry) glaucous lvs 5/14/99
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry) 5/12/99
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush)
Epigaea repens (trailing arbutus)
Gaultheria procumbens (wintergreen)
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry) 5/12/99
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) 10/18/97
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lyonia ligustrina (maleberry)
Rhododendron periclymenoides (pinxter flower) 5/14/99
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush)
Vaccinium angustifolium (lowbush blueberry) 5/14/99
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry) 5/14/99
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry) 5/14/99
Vaccinium stamineum (deerberry)
Viburnum plicatum (double-file viburnum)

Vines:
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Smilax herbacea (carrion flower)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)

Herbs:
Acalypha rhomboidea. (three-seeded mercury)
Achillea millefolium (yarrow)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 5/12/99
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Amaranthus hybridus (pigweed)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting)
Antennaria plantaginifolia (plantain-leaved pussytoes) 5/14/99
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Aralia racemosa (spikenard)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Aster cordifolius (aster) 10/09/99 10/18/97
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster) 10/94 10/09/99 10/18/97
Aster dumosus (aster)
Aster lateriflorus (aster) 10/09/99 10/18/97
Aster lowrianus (Lowrie's aster) 10/94 10/09/99
Aster pilosus var. pringlei (aster) 10/09/99 10/18/97
Aster racemosus (aster) 10/09/99
Baptisia tinctoria (yellow wild indigo)
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress) 5/12/99
Bidens connata (swamp beggar-tick)
Bidens vulgata (tall beggar-tick)
Cabomba caroliniana ? (fanwort)
Chenopodium album (pigweed)
Cichorium intybus (chicory) 10/94 10/18/97
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)
Commelina communis (Asiatic dayflower)
Corydalis sempervirens (pale corydalis) 5/14/99
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) 10/94
Decodon verticillatus (swamp loosestrife)
Desmodium paniculatum (tick trefoil)
Dianthus armeria (deptford pink)
Epipactis helleborine (helleborine orchid)
Erechtites hieraciifolia (pilewort)
Erythronium americanum (trout lily)
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod)
Galinsoga quadriradiata (galinsoga) 10/09/99 10/18/97
Glechoma hederacea (gill over the ground)
Gnaphalium obtusifolium (sweet everlasting) 10/94
Hemerocallis fulva ? (tawny day lily)
Hieracium caespitosum (yellow king devil)
Hieracium paniculatum (panicled hawkweed)
Hydrocotyle americana (water pennywort)
Hypochoeris radicata (cat's ear)
Hypoxis hirsuta (yellow stargrass) 10/09/99
Iris sp. (blue or yellow flag)
Lepidium virginicum (poor man's pepper) 10/09/99
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs) 10/94 10/09/99 10/18/97
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco) 10/94
Ludwigia palustris (marsh purslane)
Lycopus americanus (American water horehound)
Lysimachia quadrifolia (whorled loosestrife)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Mitchella repens (partridge berry)
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe)
Myriophyllum pinnatum (water-milfoil)
Nuphar sp. (water lily)
Oxalis stricta (yellow wood sorrel)
Panax trifolius (dwarf ginseng) 5/12/99
Paronychia canadensis (forked chickweed)
Peltandra virginica (arrow arum)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonatum biflorum (Solomon's seal)
Polygonum arenastrum (common knotweed)
Polygonum arifolium (arrow-leaved tearthumb)
Polygonum aviculare (doorweed)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) 10/94 10/09/99 10/18/97
Polygonum punctatum v. punctatum (dotted smartweed)
Polygonum sp. (knotweed)
Potentilla canadensis (dwarf cinquefoil) 5/12/99
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaf buttercup) 5/12/99
Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum (watercress)
Rumex acetosella (sheep sorrel)
Silene vulgaris (bladder campion) 10/09/99
Solanum nigrum (black nightshade) 10/94 10/18/97
Solidago bicolor (silverrod) 10/94 10/09/99
Solidago caesia (blue-stemmed goldenrod) 10/94 10/09/99 10/18/97
Solidago canadensis var. scabra (Canada goldenrod)
Solidago erecta (slender goldenrod) 10/94
Solidago odora (sweet goldenrod) 10/94
Solidago rugosa ssp. r. var. rugosa (goldenrod) 10/09/99
Solidago speciosa (showy goldenrod) 10/94
Solidago squarrosa? (goldenrod)
Stellaria media (common chickweed)
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) 10/09/99 5/12/99
Triadenum virginicum (marsh St. Johnswort)
Trifolium pratense (red clover)
Trifolium repens (white clover)
Tussilago farfara (colt's foot)
Uvularia sessilifolia (sessile-leaved bellwort)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Veronica sp. (speedwell)
Vicia cracca (cow vetch)
Viola blanda (sweet white violet) 5/12/99 with twisted petals
Viola macloskeyi ssp. pallens (wild white violet)
Viola palmata var. palmata (wood violet)
Viola sagittata (arrow-leaved violet)
Viola palmata (wood violet)
Viola sororia (common blue violet) 5/12/99

Rushes and Sedges:
Carex folliculata? Or C. intumescens
Carex lurida (sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Eleocharis sp. (spikerush)
Juncus effusus (soft-stem bulrush)
Juncus tenuis (path rush)
Luzula multiflora (wood rush) 5/12/99
Scirpus cyperinus (woolly grass bulrush)

Grasses:
Agrostis perennans (autumn bent grass)
Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem grass)
Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass)
Brachyelytrum erectum var. glabratum (lawn-awned wood grass)
Dactylis glomeratus (orchard grass)
Danthonia spicata (poverty grass)
Deschampsia flexuosa ? (hair grass)
Digitaria sanguinalis (crabgrass)
Elymus hystrix (bottle brush grass)
Glyceria melicaria (reed meadowgrass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Muhlenbergia schreberi (nimblewill muhly grass)
Muhlenbergia sobolifera (muhly grass)
Muhlenbergia tenuiflora var. tenuiflora (muhly grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Panicum dichotomiflorum (panic grass)
Panicum latifolium (panic grass)
Panicum sp. (panic grass)
Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)
Poa annua (annual bluegrass) 5/14/99
Poa compressa (flat-stemmed bluegrass)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem grass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)
Tridens flavus (purple top grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Athyrium filix-femina (northern lady fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris carthusiana (spinulose wood fern)
Dryopteris cristata (crested wood fern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal wood fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Polypodium virginianum (rock cap fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)
Thelypteris palustris (marsh fern)

Others:
Polytrichum sp. (haircap moss)
Sphagnum sp. (sphagnum moss)


October 21, 1989

leader: Dr. Susan Yost

Canopy of oaks (Quercus rubra and Q. prinus) and hickories. The club maintains four miles of the RD (Ramapo-Dunderberg) trail between Tiorati Circle and the Palisades Interstate Parkway. The RD is the oldest trail established by the walking clubs in Harriman Park, and the section that we maintain partly coincides with the Appalachian Trail.

The rocky hills were covered with red-foliaged blueberry (Vaccinium sp.) bushes, orange clumps of Andropogon grass, and the bright green of newly regenerated mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia). It was interesting to see the vegetation recovering from a fire of the previous spring, which also burned the now- rebuilt shelter on Letterrock Mountain.

The recent wet weather had brought out some fungi, including Russula emetica, R. fragilis, Auricularia auricula, Clavariadelphus pistillaris, Stereum purpureum, and Naematoloma sublateritium.

Leader: Dr. Susan Yost. Attendance was four.


Harriman Section, Palisades Interstate Park, NY 4/26/52

This trip brought in a list of about 60 species of seed plants, mosses, ferns, and lichens. Of particular interest was the abundance of dwarf ginseng at Lake Tiorati and at Lake Nawahunta, an extensive stand of Phragmites on the floor of a drained beaver pond, revisiting a stand of Isoetes engelmanni near an inlet to Tiorati, and an unusually dense stand of Andrea petrophila on a steep granite rock face near the latter lake.

Lee A. Ellison 3