Black Rock Forest

Cornwall, New York 12518

Black Rock Forest

Black Rock Forest Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Take in great views and green buildings on this loop through a diverse Hudson Highlands preserve used for teaching and research. Black Rock Forest’s history is intertwined with that of Storm King, its betterknown neighbor to the east. Both were preserved by the actions of Dr. Ernest Stillman, who began buying land in the area during the 1920s to develop better forestry techniques. Both were threatened by the proposed Consolidated Edison power plant proposal in the 1960s, which led to a landmark ruling that aesthetics could be considered as part of a project’s environmental impact. And fortunately, both are open to the public for hiking and other types of lowimpact recreation today."

More Black Rock Forest Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

60 Hikes within 60 Miles: New York City (Menasha Ridge Press)
Christopher & Catherine Brooks
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"Historians report that Rome was built on seven hills. That’s one more than Black Rock Forest can boast of, but then Black Rock also has half a dozen bodies of water, and because it sees relatively few visitors, you are apt to have many of those features exclusively to yourself. Between the rock-scrambling to vistas and stream-hopping through swamps, you’ll enjoy a great workout in a diversity of habitats that virtually guarantees wildlife sightings."
Best Hikes Near New York City (Falcon Guides)
Ben Keene
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"Explore an underappreciated part of the Hudson Highlands named for the magnetite that was found here and in the surrounding area in the eighteenth century. Choose to wander along woods roads (some of which follow historic routes) or test your fitness and endurance on one of the many hills that rise to over 1,000 feet."
Best Hikes with Dogs: New York City & Beyond (The Mountaineers Books)
Tammy McCarley
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"With 3785 acres of natural beauty in Orange County’s Hudson Highlands region, Black Rock Forest offers a slice of nature for every hiker and canine companion. Owned and managed by a consortium of educational and research institutions, Black Rock Forest offers trails in a range of difficulty levels, numerous man-made and natural ponds, and views of the Hudson to take your breath away. This hike takes you through a less-traveled section of the park, while offering opportunities for gorgeous views and playtime in the water for your dog."

Black Rock Forest Trip Reports

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Great moderate trail. The beginning is a bit steep but completely manageable. Great views but would be better in the fall when the leaves are down. The variety of trails in the area make it easy to plan a custom route depending on your ability. the difficulty ranges from moderate to strenuous. On the day we went we were able to see the skyline of NYC.
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A very nice hike! We took the Reservoir Trail up to the reservoir all along a nice brook with many beautiful small waterfalls. About 2 hours round trip. It had just rained heavily the day before so the water was rushing. A very easy trail although all uphill. As it was hot it would have been great to be able to jump into the rese at the top but its a water supply os there is no swimming in the stream or the res. Very quiet - only saw a few other people. A number of other trails there looked good - I'll probably go back to check them out as well.

Black Rock Forest Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
868 feet
Elevation Gain
Skill Level
5.0 hours
USGS Cornwall-on-Hudson; New York–New Jersey Trail Conference West Hudson Trails, Map #113; trail map available at trailhead kiosk or online at Black Rock Forest Consortium website
Local Maps