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Major Welch Series #1: Hessian Lake
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The Major Welch trail is named for Major William A. Welch, the first General Manager of the Palisades Interstate Park. He helped found the Palisades Interstate Trail Conference (which later became the NY-NJ Trail Conference) and served as the chair of the Appalachian Trail Conference.
The trail begins behind the Bear Mountain Inn on the western side of Hessian Lake (red circle on white blaze). It follows the western shore of the lake along a paved path for almost .5 miles then turns uphill on a rocky trail. It climbs steeply to the summit of Bear Mountain, and then descends to Perkins Drive where it meets the Appalachian Trail. The best way to complete this series is to start at the Inn and follow the Major Welch trail to the Appalachian Trail then follow the AT back up and over the summit to return to the Inn. If you have two cars and Perkins Drive is open, you can leave one car at the Perkins Tower and shorten your hike.
Hessian Lake was originally called Lake Sinnipink. After the battle of Fort Clinton in 1777 bodies of Hessian soldiers were thrown into the lake and it became known as Bloody Pond. In later years it became known as Highland Lake and finally Hessian Lake. The Knickerbocker Ice Company cut ice here and shipped it to New York City. The lake was slightly enlarged in 1914 by the addition of three small dams.
The cache is a short distance off the paved trail. It’s a 4x6 inch Lock and Lock container with the usual swag and a FTF coin. Due to NYS Parks regulation, the cache is only a few feet from the trail. Please rehide the container as well as it was hidden. The coordinates were obtained by averaging over 200 readings using a Garmin 76Cx.
Park at the Ber Mountain Inn (fee charged on weekends and summertime). N 41 18.747 W 073 59.341
NYS Parks permit #BM07-04
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Last Updated: on 11/15/2017 3:33:40 PM (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) (11:33 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum