Sunday, November 8, 2015

Palisades Interstate Park, NJ - Englewood Cliffs to Fort Lee

Palisades Interstate Park - Palisades Interstate Park Commission

GPS Coordinates 40.87039, -73.95225
Allison Park parking lot, which turned out to be an excellent choice.  Lightly used parking lot (versus crowds everywhere else) and restrooms!

Hudson Palisades Trails Maps 108 - New York New Jersey Trail Conference

HIKE DISTANCE:  7.7 miles

From the parking lot, the first glimpse of wildlife on this urban hike.
And views right off the bat.
To the north.
To the south, the George Washington Bridge over the Hudson River and New York City.
Heading north, find the aqua blazes of the Long Path which runs alongside the Palisades Interstate Parkway.
But you can forgive all of that traffic noise because it is so beautiful and scenic and you still get real hiking trails.
Side trails lead to views of the Hudson.
From the Long Path, you can thumb a ride and get gas.
A view of Ross Dock from up above.  We'll be down there in a little while.
I did the hike just north of this one exactly one year ago this day (11/8/14) by myself because it was during that month Shawnee was out of commission with vestibular disease.  At the time I could not even imagine that one year later she would be back with me doing the next section. 
Ross Dock directly below.
Some trees were still green and just starting to change when peak foliage had already come and gone everywhere else.  The Palisades are always late to peak.
Getting closer to the George Washington bridge.
More wildlife!  I was very careful not to spook him because I didn't want him running into the Palisades Parkway.
Right above the GWB.
This unmarked trail loops away from the Long Path but meets back up.
Back on the Long Path, left through a fenced tunnel.
But unfortunately we had to turn back because Shawnee can't walk on grating like that.  Not worth risking an injury to her paw pads.
A look back at the tunnel.
We retraced to the Carpenter's Trail which consists of very STEEP flights of uneven stone steps.  I had to guide Shawnee all the way down step by step with the handle on her harness so she wouldn't lose her balance and tumble down.
I didn't count but by the time we reached the bottom, I would say a few hundred steps at least.
Finally things start to even out some.
Still switchbacking down.
If you think you are finished with steps and it's a road walk at this point, wrong!  Head straight down...
... into the tunnel.
With yet more steps down.  But these are deeper and more even.
At the bottom you can keep left towards Ross Dock or...
... turn right for an out-and-back to the GWB.
Stopping for a break at a picnic spot.
Heading under the GWB.
The white-blazed Shore Trail becomes a dirt footpath after the parking lot.
Lagging behind because there was sooooo much to sniff.
Some more steps up...
... to a residential street.  How cool would it be to live here?
Seems like that was pretty much the end so we turned around and headed back.
Traffic on the GWB.
Falling leaves.
One lone little flower.
Passing by the Carpenter's Trail that we had come down on.
Ross Dock
I had taken pictures of Ross Dock from up there.  It doesn't look that high up from here but those steps say otherwise.
St. Peter's College where we will be passing by once back at the top.
Continuing on the Shore Trail.
That Geico gecko is everywhere.
Looking back at the GWB.
Coming up on the Englewood Boat Basin and turning left on ...
... the Dyckman Hill Trail which ...
... follows along the road on a sidewalk.
Englewood Boat Basin
The yellow-blazed Dyckman Hill Trail leaves the road to the left.
Ascending along the road.
And yes, yet more steps.
Another tunnel!
Back out on the road.
Taking a break in a little nook off of the road.
Just before the Palisades Interstate Parkway, a left on the Long Path.
At times the long path goes right along the parkway.
St. Peter's College on the left.
A neat walkway above the college road.
After a short road walk with almost no traffic (access road to Allison Park), a left into Allison Park.
At least I did not have to bring the SEVEN plastic water bottles I picked up with me since the park has recycling containers.


  1. You got some great shots here Daniella. I'm always happy to see Shawnee doing so well. I've been on this hike years ago with a hiking group. I remember those steep steps going down. I had to jump over a brook at one point and I strained my ankle. It is a beautiful hike though. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks! All that foliage helps and the views are great.

  2. Ugh about the recyclables....that makes me think of a Walt Disney story. From what I heard, Walt determined how many steps a person would walk while eating a hot dog. He counted 30 steps - and put trash cans that distance apart. Not that I want trash cans/recycling bins in the forest.

    1. I will never understand if people can carry things in full, why they can't carry them out empty. Makes me nuts!

  3. Great site! Since you and your furkid have been on so many adventurous hikes, wondering if you could recommend an easy one for mine. He just recovered recently from double knee surgery and so I am hoping to find a place where it is not as rocky (more paved or dirt). Preferably 3 - 5 mile walk, incline is ok as long as it doesn't require any climbing. I want to start him out easy and work his way up to building some good muscles in the knee and thigh area.

    1. Aside from this one you just posted. Our friend that we are hiking with lives there and so we would like to get out of that area. :)

    2. How about starting out with some rail trails like the Paulinskill Valley Rail Trail? Usually mountain bike trails are also good for that like at Allamuchy Mountain State Park or Kittatinny Valley State Park. They tend to be smoother and Shawnee loves the detours and ramps they build over blow downs :)

  4. Gone Hikin'..this is terrific....I wonder how you get such gorgeous photos. Of course it is the artist in you BUT are you just using your smartphone ..or a REAL camera ???

    1. Thank you, you are too kind! But an artist I am not. It's all the camera and it's a real one, a Canon PowerShot SX60HS.