Monday, December 17, 2012

The Boreas and the Hudson - Hudson Gorge Primitive Area - 12/15/12

Our travels Saturday took us to the Hudson Gorge Primitive Area.  Leesa and I took Route 28N from Minerva to the North Woods Club Road, where we followed the gravel road west to where it crosses the Boreas River.  There are some fine designated camping locations in this area, some alongside the North Woods Club Road, and others accessible by a short hike.
Immediately west of the Boreas River, the old train tracks to Tahawus remain.  The tracks were purchased from National Lead by Iowa Pacific Holdings Company in 2011.  Iowa Pacific plans to reopen the tracks all the way to Tahawus to remove the waste rock from the closed mine.  This past summer crews did brush and tree removal work in this area.  All trees and brush in the vicinity of the rails were cut and piled off to the side of the tracks.
Our visit wasn't to inspect the tracks, but rather to hike to the confluence of the Boreas and the Hudson Rivers.  There is a substantial peninsula at the confluence and in reviewing the map, I thought it would be an interesting area to explore.

The present state of affairs

It was an easy 1.5 mile hike south following the tracks.  Just prior to the railroad trestle over the Hudson River we turned east to proceed out on the peninsula. 

An old distance marker
About 3/4 of the way out on the peninsula, is the lone designated campsite.  It's a nice location in the pines with a firering and some generous real estate to locate a tent.  It is also close to the water. 
The designated campsite on the peninsula between the Boreas & Hudson Rivers
Farther out on the peninsula is another apparent campsite, also with a firering, but there is no camping disc at the location. Since it is within 150' of the water, it is an illegal campsite.  

A look back at the Hudson River railroad trestle from the point of the peninsula

A closer look

Just beyond is the point itself.  As we approached the point, I saw 3 deer off to my left.  As they made a dash to leave the point and get away from me, my dog Rev, being the hound that she is, gave chase.  Fortunately I was able to call her back using her remote collar.
Out at the point... what a spot. An impressive view of the mighty Hudson and the Boreas coming together.  Well worth a visit.  Great for a picnic, or camping at the designated site, or just out watch the rafting in the summer. 
The point itself
I crossed the trestle with the dog to get the view from the other side then turned around to head back.  I'll be coming back to this area to bushwhack to the summit of Forks Mountain and Pine Mountain on the north side of the Hudson, and also to hike what I call the "ice cube tray", the mountains to the south of the Hudson.  

The trail trestle as viewed from the west side side

Forks Mountain from the south side of the Hudson

The trestle
Looking west on the Hudson
It's interesting to note that the eastern boundary of the Hudson Gorge Primitive Area appears to be the location of the railroad tracks, therefore the peninsula is just outside the primitive area boundary.
Hike Stats:
Hike Distance: 4.5 miles
Hike Time:  2 hours
Total Vertical Gain:  150'

Our route in blue (Click to enlarge)

Our approximate route as shown on National Geographic TOPO

1 comment:

  1. Hey I camp here all the time. If you continue past the trestle there is a rock outcropping into the river just a ways. As always, you're trip reports are an invaluable resource.