Sunday, May 9, 2010

Black Rock Forest, NY

Black Rock Forest - Black Rock Forest Consortium

NY/NJ Trail Conference West Hudson Trails Map #113
Online Map (not recommended - NY/NJ Trail Conference map is much better)
No maps at the park - ran into two different hikers who were lost because they had no map!

New York Thruway (I-87) to exit 16; Route 17 West; Route 32 North; right on Smith Clove Road; right on Mine Hill Road to parking on right

This hike is 10.5 miles long and is longer version of the NY/NJ Trail Conference 6.5 mile Sutherland Pond/Scenic Trail/Eagle Cliff Loop which also incorporates Rattlesnake Hill, Hill of Pines and Black Rock.

Parking lot only has space for 3 cars so I suggest getting there early:

Trailhead is across the street from the parking area:

(Several trails are blazed yellow but are distinguished by the shape.)
Head uphill on the yellow diamond-blazed Mine Hill trail.

View from the yellow diamond-blazed trail:

At the intersection, turn right on the yellow circle-blazed Sackett trail.
At .6 miles turn left on the yellow square-blazed Stillman trail.
At 1 mile turn continue on the yellow square/blue blazed trail.
At 1.2 miles turn right on the blue/teal blazed trail.
At 1.3 miles turn left on the white-blazed trail.

View of Sutherland Pond from Split Rock on the white-blazed trail:

At 1.8 miles turn right on an unmarked woods road with Sutherland Pond on your left.
At 2.2 miles turn left on the blue/teal-blazed trail briefly before turning left on the yellow square-blazed Arthur trail and crossing a boardwalk.

At 2.5 miles keep left on the white-blazed Scenic trail.
At 3 miles turn right on the blue-blazed trail a short distance to the end marked on a large rock. Go around to the right of this rock for panoramic views at Eagle Rock:

New York City skyline in the distance from Eagle Rock:

Leaving Eagle Rock turn right on the red-blazed trail briefly then left on the yellow square-blazed trail.
At 3.5 miles turn right on the white-blazed Scenic trail.
At 3.7 miles turn left on the blue-blazed trail for a short distance to Spy Rock. The views aren't great but worth the short trip for historic value as this was a lookout post during the Revolutionary War.

View from Spy Rock:

Retrace your steps and continue left on the white-blazed trail, which you will be on for the next 3 miles.

View from Rattlesnake Hill:

View from Hill of Pines:

At 7 miles turn left on the yellow square/teal blazed Stillman Trail.

Arrive at Black Rock with views of the Hudson at around 8 miles:

At 8.5 miles turn right on the yellow circle-blazed Sackett Trail.
At 10 miles turn right on the yellow diamond-blazed Mine Hill Trail back to the parking area.

The only place we found litter was at Eagle Rock. This litter was particularly awful. There were two Capri Sun containers and a soda can. This leads me to believe two children were brought up to Eagle Rock to see the beautiful views, given their snacks and were taught that part of this wonderful outdoor experience is to leave your garbage behind. So sad.


  1. Your blog is wonderful. Thank you so much. If you get a chance, try Ricketts Glen state park in PA near wilkes barre.

  2. Thanks. I followed your instructions and had a wonderful time enjoying amazing views!

  3. The only thing worse than people leaving their garbage around Black Rock (which is incredibly rare - I almost never see it), is when people don't understand that their dogs are required to be kept on leash at all times. I have more than once see people who claim their dog is "friendly" go after another dog or a person happening to walk by.

  4. Hows the Fall foliage in this park? any idea?

    1. Sorry, I have no idea. I have never been there in the Fall but I would think any park is going to be gorgeous with the leaves changing.


  5. I love this blog - thank you so much

  6. great blog post! hey ... do you know what the situation is with black rock during hunting season? thanks!

    1. I know they close during hunting but you would have to contact the Black Rock Consortium for the exact dates.

  7. Awesome directions!! There must be some engineer in you - I love how you break it out with mileage! This way, I know if I've gonne to far or not for enough!

    1. Well thanks, what a nice compliment, although no, no engineer, LOL! I haven't been breaking out the mileage for a while now - just haven't have the time. But glad the older ones are there for you to use.


  8. Just stumbled across your blog and especially this hike (link form HikeTheHudsonValley). I recently had been planning a hike through this park just using the online trail map, and couldn't help but smile when I saw your blog post - that is the exact same route that I had come up with, so now I know I'm choosing the right trails! :)

    Btw, your blog looks awesome! I'm always looking for ideas for new hikes, and this here looks like a treasure trove, thanks so much for making this available!


    1. Thanks, Dirk! Glad you find the blog helpful.


  9. Hi,
    Thank you for this. Do you have a sense of the elevation gain for this loop?

    1. This was hiked 11 years ago and I would have absolutely no idea. If you plan a route in it will give you elevation gain.

    2. I just checked my Gaia track from 3 years ago, it was about 1500 ft elevation gain.