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Sterling Forest State Park

Interesting places in Sterling Forest State Park:
Sterling fire tower  

Sterling Forest State Park is a 17,953 acre (71.8 km˛) park located in the Ramapo Mountains in Orange County, New York established in 1998; it is the largest addition to the New York state park system in the last 50 years. Its forest habitat is important for the survival of several species, including black bear and fox, timber rattlesnakes, a variety of raptors and songbirds and many rare invertebrates and plants. Hunting, fishing (including ice fishing), hiking and snowshoeing opportunities are available.

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Top photos chosen by u all:

Sterling Lake Concentrating Mill?

Sterling Lake Concentrating Mill?
Made by kleepet
The good ore came out of the mine first. After that, the ore needed more and more processing. According to another nice kiosk, the Ramapo Ore Company constructed these buildings in 1918 to get the good stuff out of the rock. The building furthest away is where rock was crushed after it came out of the mine. It was then conveyed to the concentrating mill, where magnets separated good ore from bad. (I think the actual mill is gone, and the closer building is just where they kept the good ore.) Good ore got loaded onto a railroad, where today's road is. Waste rocks got dumped in the woods nearby. Some of it is on the facade of the hoist house in the previous photo. According to the kiosk, most of the rest of it got used as ballast in Liberty Ships during WWII. Visit Sterling Forest State Park

Scott Mine Gravity Railroad

Scott Mine Gravity Railroad
Made by jeffs4653
After ore was removed from Scott Mine, it was transported by a narrow gauge gravity railroad to the processing plant in Lakeville, about a mile from the mine. This well preserved section of the old ROW is built on a stone lined berm cutting through a small pond. Several sections of the old ROW can be seen in the woods, but none as well preserved as this section. Many of the small gray rocks you see on the ground are Magnetite Ore, haven fallen off the skip cars over the decades. An interesting side note. This is a shot I've taken several times over the years with film, and digital, and never have I been able to get a good result. The reason was the lighting. Heavy shade and bright sun. Technology marches on, and now HDR to the rescue to create a perfect exposed image. This is a 5 exposure stack and tone mapping.

My kind of dog

My kind of dog
Made by theskepticaloptimist
I read a fascinating study that found that dogs can be either optimists or pessimists. They then went on to find that the pessimistic dogs had a greater incidence and severity of separation anxiety. download.cell.com/current-biology/pdf/PIIS096098221001020... I think my cousin Rodger's dog Dotty is an optimist. They found her abandoned in the woods, debilitated and nearly starved to death. She is now a healthy, well-cared for, intelligent, and cheerful dog. Rodger said, I agree she falls into the category of optimists, but with a hint of skepticism. She certainly doesn’t smile all the time like some kind of goofball. My kind of dog!

Second Sterling Furnace Reconstruction

Second Sterling Furnace Reconstruction
Made by kleepet
Last used in 1804, the second Sterling furnace was built on the site of the first Sterling furnace, which is where the Great Chain across the Hudson was smelted to keep the British from going too far up the Hudson during the Revolutionary War. (The first furnace was built in 1751.) By 1808, the furnace was in ruins. Reconstruction was completed in 1959 by City Investing Corporation as an icon for their proposed development, according to the kiosk. This ruin is located right next to the road to the visitor center. You don't even have to hike to get here. Visit Sterling Forest State Park

Lake Mine Shaft

Lake Mine Shaft
Made by kleepet
According to the kiosk, the Lake Mine was worked from 1843 to 1923, producing 2.5 billion tons of high-grade iron ore. Like most mines around here, the water was pumped out, which meant you needed a power supply nearby to keep it dry. The kiosk goes on to say the shaft is 2/3 of a mile long and more than 1000 feet wide at some points. It's located 1100 vertical feet below the surface of Sterling Lake. It's one thing to have tons and tons of rock above you as you desend into a mine. it's another to have a lake over your head. Visit Sterling Forest State Park

Lake Mine - Lakeville NY

Lake Mine - Lakeville NY
Made by jeffs4653
You are looking at the entrance to the Lake Mine. Notice the original rails still on the ground for the skip cars. Do not be fooled by the small puddle you see in the photo. This is a huge iron mine. This mine extends downward at an angle approximately that of the rails for about 2500 feet. Along the way there are multiple levels to this mine, and at it's widest section, this mine was about 1000 feet wide and about 1/2 mile long. The reason for the name, Lake Mine, is that the entire mine is underneath Sterling Lake which is about 300 feet forward in this picture. See the satellite map, the mine is under at least half of the lake area.

Sterling Lake Hoist House

Sterling Lake Hoist House
Made by kleepet
The Sterling Iron & Railway Company built this to house the steam engine that was hoisting the ore-filled carts out of the shaft below. It's faced with ore tailings--extra rock from mining that didn't have any ore in it. You can see more of it scattered in the woods like reverse deterioration--they didn't fall off the building; the building sucked them off the ground. This is a good time of year to go hunting for mines and ruins, before the foliage covers everything. Visit Sterling Forest State Park

Hours For Sterling Lake Visitor Center

Hours For Sterling Lake Visitor Center
Made by kleepet
Sunday, April 24, 2011: The visitor center at Sterling Lake is pretty awesome. It has a topographic map model that lights up to show you the various hikes in the park. You can get free guides describing individual trails, and you can buy official maps. And it's staffed by real people who can answer your questions. I looked all over the Web for these hours, so I thought I'd get them online for other folks searching for them. Visit Sterling Forest State Park

The Smelting Process

The Smelting Process
Made by kleepet
A great illustration that puts these great furnaces in context. Always notice that furnaces are positioned below some high ground, where the charging bridge came out from, because they had to be top loaded. Imagine all these contraptions and activities going on right here. Will the places we do business at today become ruins in the woods? Visit Sterling Forest State Park

Earth Gouge

Earth Gouge
Made by kleepet
Here is a mine along the mine trail. You could hear water trickling beneath where I'm standing on the trail. There was no kiosk, so maybe people wouldn't know to step off and explore a bit. The sunlight reflecting on the water as drips fell into it made firework shadows on the rocks above...but they didn't photograph well. Visit Sterling Forest State Park

Lake Mine - Lakeville NY

Lake Mine - Lakeville NY
Made by jeffs4653
It's hard to visualize these were large buildings at one time. In between the two structures was once a large wooden building. In the distance was the crusher and dryer, and the closer structure was the sorter and storage bins. Rail cars entered the structure to be filled with ore for shipment to the forges and furnaces. These structures were built around 1915, and only used for about 5 years before the mine closed down.

Sterling Lake Iron Mining Timeline

Sterling Lake Iron Mining Timeline
Made by kleepet
All these educational kiosks around the ruins at Sterling Lake are AWESOME. It's like...having the Internet on a hike. Whoever crafted them did an excellent job distilling and presenting such intriguing information. OK, I've spent 45 minutes going barely a mile. Now it's time for the actual hike. Visit Sterling Forest State Park

Sterling Lake Power Line View

Sterling Lake Power Line View
Made by kleepet
Saturday, September 11, 2010: Haven't hiked in a while, and it is a beautiful day. Doing a loop to the west of Sterling Lake. Here, the a powerline breaks the forest for a nice view. There were shy butterflies everywhere enjoying the sun. Hike the Sterling Lake & Fire Tower Loop.

Sterling Furnace Reconstruction, Lakeville (Tuxedo) NY

Sterling Furnace Reconstruction, Lakeville (Tuxedo) NY
Made by jeffs4653
On the site of the original furnace, Citi Investing Company reconstructed Sterling Furnace #2 as part of a proposed development in the late 1950s, and then covered it with a neo-classical dome to protect it and give it prominence. No development ever occurred, and while the furnace has stood well, the dome is gone and the wooden structure has fallen into disrepair.

Track For A Short Roller Coaster?

Track For A Short Roller Coaster?
Made by kleepet
A dome had been built over the reconstructed furnace to preserve it. I don't know when the dome deteriorated, but the reconstructed furnace is now over 50 years old. It's a wonder the furnace hasn't eroded from ice and foliage between the cracks. Visit Sterling Forest State Park

DAR Commemorates Sterling Furnace

DAR Commemorates Sterling Furnace
Made by kleepet
Wow, the first anchor in New York was made here! Nice chain detail going around the plaque. The kiosk says that when George Washington ordered the Great Chain, he demanded that it be made from Sterling iron and none other. Visit Sterling Forest State Park

Tree Volvariella Mushroom

Tree Volvariella Mushroom
Made by rzernitsky
Tree Volvariella Mushroom -Solitary, Not common - Grows in wounds in trees stumps and logs - especially maple, beech, oak and elm. Cap 2 - 8 inches. Edible usually found in July - September into October Found this one in Early October - growing out of a downed elm tree IMG_2509_0269_edited-1 mushroom 4 flickr rzernitsky 1.psd

Floating Column Supports

Floating Column Supports
Made by kleepet
I don't know what's going on here. How are these suspended, and why didn't they just put them on the ground? Did they initially, and it eroded away? Need to go back and get a shot with someone lying under that... Visit Sterling Forest State Park

Abandoned Gravity Railroad

Abandoned Gravity Railroad
Made by jeffs4653
Abandoned Gravity Railroad in Lakeville, Sterling Forest, NY. Gravity line took iron ore from the Scott Mine to the furnace at Lakeville, about 1.5 miles. Abandoned late 19th century. ROW is littered with iron ore chunks, which are easy to collect since they stick to a magnet. ROW built on a stone lined embankment.

What It Used To Be

What It Used To Be
Made by kleepet
By 1923, just 5 years after constructing all these buildings, the Ramapo Ore Company was out of business. The ore they were finding by that time needed too much processing to be profitable. Visit Sterling Forest State Park



Nearest places of interest:

Sterling fire tower
Greenwood Lake
Sterling Forest Lake
Tuxedo Club Golf Course
  Former International Paper Corporate Research Center
Tuxedo Ridge Ski Center
Northern Bay - Greenwood Lake
Windermere Motors

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