A nice day hike loop in both Harriman and Bear Mountain State Parks that offers a good amount of elevation change and some amazing views as it heads along a section of the Appalachian Trail.
Look out for rattlesnakes. Pay attention to trail markers as it's easy to get lost.
To get to this hike, take the Palisades Interstate (aka 6) to Exit 14. This will drop you in a gigantic parking lot. We made the mistake of hiking through the parking lot to the far end to start the trail, but you can avoid this by taking the service road up to the mixed-use Green Trail
. Head straight south on this trail until it crosses the Appalachian Trail.
After a short distance, look for the Red, Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail
on your left (east) and make the steep ascent to the first summit. Continue on the Red Trail
east until you have descended into the bottom of a ravine. There is a four-way intersection here; continue on the Red Trail
east, and back up most of the next summit.
Before you reach the top, you'll meet the Blue, Timp-Torne Trail
which you'll have to make a sharp left on - this is nearly a 180° turn so keep your eyes open for it.
The Blue, Timp-Torne Trail
will take you the rest of the way to the summit. Continue on back into the ravine. There is an unmarked forest road here that you could wind up on (we did) so keep a keen eye out for blue blazes. You should start ascending right out of the ravine and up to the third summit and the Yellow, Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail
Stay on the Blue Trail
until you hit the Appalachian Trail, which you should follow north for nearly a mile. There are excellent views all along this part of the trail which is following a ridge. The Blue Trail
will then split to the left and begin descending. Look for another Red, Fawn Trail
at an intersection and head left (west) back to the service road.
Note: You can take the unmarked forest road at the intersection in the ravine between the first and second summits to significantly shorten this route.