Storm King Professional Review and Guide
"Storm King rises regally from the western bank of the Hudson River, south of Newburgh. The Stillman Trail, which climbs over Butter Hill to Storm King’s summit, has suffered from its proximity to the city. The first 0.25 mile is a disturbing testament to human disrespect and interference: garbage litters the parking area and trailhead, graffiti covers the ledges, traffic and construction noise drone incessantly. Nevertheless, civilization at its worst is soon overtaken by nature at its best. Dark caves dot the wooded slopes, scrambles up boulder-strewn hillsides lead to open ledges with splendid views over the Hudson River, generous blueberry bushes engulf the trail. Far away, the crowded roadways snake toward the city and boats jockey for space on the busy river, but you are above it all, in the clouds, hearing only the wind and smelling only the trees. It’s disheartening to hike with the results of carelessness and disregard for the environment, even though the damage is limited to a relatively short section of trail. But climbing past the results of teenage pranks and parties sends a powerful message to kids—especially older kids, for whom this hike is intended—saying more to them in silence than an adult can say with a year’s worth of warnings. And there’s no doubt that the rewards of this route far outweigh the drawbacks."