There are two parking lots off of 9W—one to the north of the trailhead, which has space for about 10 cars, and the other south of the trailhead which is much larger. From the northern parking lot, the entrance to the trail is only a few hundred feet to the south.
Generally speaking, the trail for much of this hike is easy to follow due to well-worn paths or clearly marked trail blazes. Not long after passing a stone-arch tunnel along the trail (a remnant of the Dunderberg Spiral Railway) and approximately 0.3 miles from the parking lot, you'll have to decide whether to follow the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail
or the Timp-Torne Trail
Electing to follow the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail
, we went right and followed the red-dot-on-white blazes. This also gets the steepest climb out of the way first. After the initial rapid ascent, there is a short stretch of trail with moderately-sized loose rocks. It's not difficult by any means, but more of a mild annoyance as one wonders if the whole trail is like this. Worry not, my friend, it eventually passes.
You may have read earlier that there are views on this loop and that makes sense given its proximity to the river and the city, but we went on the foggiest of days and were lucky to see the blazes as we trekked along. Once you get to Bald Mountain, there should be a good viewpoint, but again we're unable to verify! As you continue on the Ramapo Dunderberg (R-D) Trail
, you'll eventually reach The Timp and the trail will combine with the Timp-Torne Trail
and its blue blazes.
If you follow the combined trail, you'll reach a point with views of the city. Snap that photo and then double back, making your way down on the Timp-Torne Trail
. Once you leave the combined trail, you've got about 3 miles left until you're back at the parking lot. As you hike down, you'll start to hear the trains off in the distance, eventually meeting up with the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail
. Continue to retrace your steps, take another look at the stone-arch, and make your way back to 9W.
Due to storms over the summer of 2020, there are several trees down and the trail managers have done a good job of clearing some of the paths. There was one stretch that was one section of the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail
trail marked with fluorescent tape, but hopefully, that is fixed soon.
In 1890-1891, the Dunderberg Spiral Railway, a pleasure railroad was partially completed. One can see remnants of the project on the hike.