Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sterling Ridge Trail from Route 17A

Sterling Ridge Trail from Route 17A
Sterling Forest State Park
Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Sterling Ridge Trail: (Blue blaze)
Highlands Trail Aqua blaze)

Total Time: 1:40 min
Estimated Distance: 2.15 miles
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Level of Recommendation: Not recommended
Points of Interest: Sterling Lake View
Pros: Quiet area
Cons: Too many power lines and lack of significant good views

Google Map of Parking:

I want to start covering more areas in Sterling Forest. I parked on Route 17A on the high ridge between the Tuxedo Ridge Ski Area and the village of Greenwood Lake. There is a small parking area off the road, where the trails can be accessed. This parking area is for both hikers and hunters in the winter. Throughout the winter (Oct 1 - Feb 28) this area is open to hunters, so it is very important not to hike in this area without wearing highly visible clothing.

I took the Sterling Ridge Trail where it is combined with the Highlands Trail, and took its south. It goes along the side of the a nice ridge, and in some parts  there is a 100 foot cliff face on the east part. I continued along the trail past the power lines until the first view on the map. This view shows some of the ridges in the distance, and Sterling Lake is visible through the trees. The rocky exposure is scenic but the actual view is not so impressive. I was thinking of bushwacking down the valley to the Sterling Valley Loop trail and taking that trail back up to the parking area, however due to the active hunting season I reasoned that I’d rather play it safe. I therefore returned back to my car back along the same route.

Map of the Route.
Sterling Forest Maps

Sign at the Parking Area Warning Hikers of Hunting Season

Beginning of the Trail

Plaque at the Trail Intersection at the Trailhead

Interesting Scenery Along the Sterling Ridge Trail. Facing East.

Sterling Lake Behind the Trees from the Sterling Ridge Trail

Nice View by the Power Lines Gap, though Somewhat Marred by the Power Lines.
The Body of the Water is the Northern Finger of Sterling Lake.

Another View from the Power Lines

Approaching the Viewpoint with the Large Rock

At the View on top of a Large Rock

At the View, Where I Turned Around

At the View, Facing Northeast

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