60 Hikes within 60 Miles: New York City
by Christopher & Catherine Brooks (Menasha Ridge Press)
© 2013 Christopher & Catherine Brooks/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.
There is no Turquoise and Yellow trail markers at the beginning of the hike. Only red trail markers that will lead you to the top of the mountain. Also this is not an easy hike. More like a moderate hike. There's some scrambling up rocks and rock face at the higher elevations. When you get to the top of Storm King Mountain there's no white trail markers on the descent to complete the loop. There are two turquoise and yellow trails to descend, one of which leads you back up another mountain and the other leads you down to storm king school, which is probably a half mile down from where the parking lot is on 9W Quick hike with numerous beautiful views though. I recommend it. Just take your time and go down the way you came up following the red trail markers. Lots of cicadas in the trees also at this time of year but they don't bother you.
This seems like a wonderful trail, but the description is very misleading. Combined with the iPhone "Trails" app's pitiful supply of information (it sure would have been nice to be able to see these reviews or some of the photos on the iPhone app, for example), it made for a very poor experience.
I'm 7 months pregnant and so was looking for an easy trail without much climbing. The description says "Easy" and "Elevation gain: 0 feet". Sounds great. But it's not even close to true. Sure, I should have read the trail guide _before_ I got to the trailhead. Even when I did, though, it took quite a while to be sure that it was even the right place because there were no "yellow and turquoise" blazes - only red and grey ones. And there was little sign of the return loop shown on the map, thought I think that's just because of a very large tree that has fallen across what looks like it had been the head of that trail. To be fair, that seems to have happened not that long ago - there are still leaves on the tree.
Anyway, I made it several hundred feet in before giving up (with no end of climbing in sight). I'm sure I'd have loved this trail if I were not pregnant but for now this is not something I can do. This trail is simply not what the description claims.
This was a great hike. I will say I thought the description was a bit misleading. While this certainly wasn't the hardest summit I've climbed, I wouldn't classify it as an "easy" hike. I think it's more of a "moderate" hike. It was one of my friends first time hiking and honestly it was a little rough for a first hike. There was some hand-over-hand rock climbing and the ascent at times was steep. The views were great though. We watched the sun set from the summit - very nice. We're gonna go back in the fall when the leaves are turning. We didn't see any other trail other than the orange blazed trail which led up to the blue/yellow blazes which took us to the summit. We came back down the same way. One more thing...we originally passed the parking area...it's not 9.4 miles from the circle...I would say it's about 8 miles. Also, it's not at the top of a hill it's at the bottom of a hill or coming down a hill around a bend. When you are driving down 9W if you hit the Storm King School (on right), turn around there (that's Mountain Rd) -you've gone too far. Oh, one more thing...after your hike if you're hungry, there's a great BBQ place heading back in to town toward's the BM Bridge on the left side...great food! We loved it!
Excellent hike! Trails clearly marked, particularly the initial orange trail entrance from parking lot on 9W. A little bit of rock scrambling initially on orange trail up to top of Butter Hill, but since it is on the south side of the mountain, most of the snow & ice had melted. Park Ranger indicated that north side of mountain along the lower Yellow Trail (Stillman Trail), had sections that were under significant ice sheets, so we stayed atop the ridge on the snow-covered Yellow Trail, returning on the easy Bypass Trail, which uses white blazes (actually gray in color). The views along the way were fantastic & our scout troop completed the easy 2—3 mile loop in 3 relaxing hours with several stops. Very little garbage found along the trail. The best Trail map is the West Hudson Trail Map #113 from NY-NJ Trail Conference. Bear Mountain Bridge to parking lot on 9w is about 8.7 miles, not 9.3 miles as found in one hiking book.
Nice trail, but the map/directions here don't seem to be very good. You actually begin on a trail that is blazed orange and follow that for a while. Eventually you come to the blue/yellow path--and can go either left or right. I began to the left, but had a gut feeling that I was no longer on the intended loop, so I backtracked and took the blue/yellow in the other direction. Taking the blue/yellow to the right at that original junction, as it turns out, seems to be the correct choice as I ultimately arrived at the high point and then continued on the loop. It turns into the white blazed trail, and you follow the white blazed trail back to the parking lot.
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