Goldens Bridge, NY
Pathfinder | 91 pts
This is a spacious, interesting area. The radio tower is the magnet that draws most people (the views are truly entrancing), but the entire area has an assortment of hardwood forest types that are intriguing and quietly beautiful.
The hiking experience is marred somewhat by the probably irrepressible use of the area by mountain bike cyclists and motorized vehicles taking advantage of the many old wood roads that crisscross the preserve.
The biggest problem in navigating the area is the proliferation of marked and unmarked trails. The trail guide we uploaded from Trails.com gave a description of a 2+ mile circumnavigational trail, but, in the welter of intersecting paths, it was impossible to follow, and we wound up having to bushwhack our way back to the parking lot. The adjoining camp has carved out (or marked out) its own trails to the abandoned tower, and the opportunities for error are too numerous to be able to follow the printed trail description with any confidence.
This situation needs to be addressed by a cooperative color-coded marking system to which all the parties using the preserve subscribe and in whose maintenance they all participate.
Having been there once, we now have the general lay of the land in our heads and can probably intuit our way to and from any point on the property using the closed gravel road to the tower as our axis. But woe to the person whose orientation skills are minimal and whose woodland experience is relatively thin. He or she will almost certainly encounter problems, especially if if the impulse to explore is indulged.