Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sterling Lake Loop

Sterling Forest State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:

Sterling Lake Loop Trail: Blue blaze

Total Time: 1:40 hours
Estimated Distance: 4.2 miles
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended great lake and foliage views
Points Of Interest: Beautiful lake, historical mine
Pros: Very scenic, quiet area, well-marked trails
Cons: Part of trail (near trailers) is freaky, too many woods road as opposed to trails, and end goes on road

Google Map of Parking:

View 2013 Hiking Locations in a larger map

Sterling Lake is a large lake with a nice loop trail around it. The weather had been rainy and foggy, and although it was not raining hard, the rain came down all day and the visibility was very poor in the fog. Nevertheless I wanted to get some good fall foliage, and despite the gloom I got some very good photos. I partially picked this trail because there is no lookout view, but only a lakeside view which can be effective despite the weather.

I parked at the Sterling Forest Visitor Center by Lakeville, and started the Sterling Lake Loop Trail from the north. The trail crosses the road, and then goes alongside some odd-looking factory and then beside a few eerie trailers on the side of the trail. It then goes alongside an old railroad bed elevated above the swamp below. The trail then veers again towards the lake and climbs up a little bit. It passes some more trails along the way, and then loops around by the northern part of the lake, causing over a causeway. After this, the trail turns into a wide woods road for much of the rest of the way. At the end, the trail goes alongside with the road, and passes the old iron mine relics along the way. The trail then goes into a forest thicket and then back to the parking area.

Map of the Route.
Sterling Forest Trails

Foggy View of Sterling Lake from the Visitor Center

Early Fall Foliage Scenes Along the Trail

More Foliage Scenes

Northern End of Sterling Lake from the Causeway

Looking Southwest from the Causeway

Looking North from the Causeway

Bright Red Blueberry Bush

Another View Looking North from the Causeway

Another Lake Foliage Scene

Lily Pads in the Lake

Path Near the Edge of the Water

Sterling Lake, looking South

Woods Road Along the West Side of Sterling Lake

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