Berry-picking, Hiking, and Swimming in Harriman State Park

Get ready to hike, swim and forage for berries — while they are in season!

Vlad Averbukh will lead our group to Harriman Park, the second largest NY state park. Located only 30 miles north of the city, Harriman is known for its wildlife and impressive views. There are also lots of delicious blueberries and huckleberries. While we won't be doing any deer hunting (this time!), there'll be plenty of ants for the insectivores among us. For those who never hiked before, I will explain how to read trail markers and tell you about some great places to visit in the park. There is also a beautiful lake for swimming if people want to cool off from the hiking. Harriman is an absolutely fantastic place that I'm sure you'd want to come back to again too, since hunting season starts in late fall.

Weather looking good for Saturday, 85 and sunny. Since Penn Station is a confusing place for those who've never been there, we will meet at 8:45 on the street, corner of 31 St & 8 Ave. You should plan to arrive at Penn Station around 8:30 to allow for subway delays. If for some reason you can't find us, or if we already left to board the train, you can try to meet us on the 9:14 train and buy your ticket there, but that's more expensive. Round trip to Tuxedo costs $18.50 if you buy from ticket machine. If you're coming from Jersey, you could meet us at Secaucus Junction where we'll transfer on the 9:31 train to Tuxedo, please indicate so when you RSVP. Drivers, please indicate if you're driving so we know to expect you at Tuxedo.

RSVP list will close at 6 PM Friday. Please update your RSVP if you can't make it. I'll email my number to all who RSVPed on Friday night in case you need to call me. Please be on time as we will not be able to wait for you, you must meet us at 8:45 in Penn Station or 10:17 in Tuxedo. There's very poor phone reception in and around Harriman.

We will meet outside Penn Station, corner of 31 St and 8 Ave, at 8:45 AM. Please arrive on time as there may be a line to buy tickets. We'll take the 9:14 AM train to Secaucus, then transfer on train to Tuxedo.

Those who wish to drive can meet us at Tuxedo at 10:17 AM when our train arrives. Address is 240 Route 17, Tuxedo, NY, there's free parking by the train station on weekends.

On the way back, we'll take the 6:40 PM train, arriving at 8 PM in NYC. Those wishing to leave early can take the trail back to the station for the 4:20 PM train, arriving in NYC at 5:30 PM.

Once we arrive in Tuxedo, we'll begin on the trails. We'll later stop by the lake where we'll eat and swim. I expect us to cover about 8 miles total, exact route is TBD. I'll have a compass and a trail map with me. But while I'm a frequent hiker and berry forager, I would not call myself an expert in this field. So anyone who joins us will be responsible for their own safety.

Things to bring with you: lunch, 2 litters of water, hiking shoes, swimsuit if you plan on going into the lake, camera, bug spray, sunscreen. We'll have a map of Harriman, first aid kit, bear spray, but if you have any and want to bring it, feel free.

Going to be awesome!

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