Sunday, January 11, 2015

Hook Mountain and Rockland Lake Loop

Hook Mountain and Rockland Lake Loop
Hook Mountain State Park /
Nyack Beach State Park /
Rockland Lake State Park,
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Yellow Trail: Yellow blaze
Long Path: Green blaze

Total time: 2:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.7 miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate though conditions were difficult
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Points of Interest: View of Nyack and Hudson River, and Historical Sites
Pros: Excellent Views and Scenery
Cons: End of hike built up and busy, and walk on road not enjoyable

This was my first hike of 2015. This is a unique hike in that it straddles three separate but connected state parks. The beginning of the hike and main summit is in Hook Mountain State Park, a small straddle of the Long Path crosses along the edge of Nyack Beach State Park, and the part near Rockland Lake is in Rockland Lake State Park.

I had been quite busy the last few weeks and the weather didn't necessarily cooperate, so glad to finally have been able to get out for a good hike. The weather was absolutely frigid. When I had left in the morning, my recollection was that the temperature was 14 degrees. It gradually warmed out throughout the day, but I had to make sure to be very well dressed for this hike. The sky was covered with clouds, though the south and east had a cloud line which allowed the sun partially to shine in, resulting in very interesting lighting effects for my photos.

I parked on Route 9W as it crests over the Palisades north of Nyack. There is roadside parking here, and its also the terminus for the yellow trail which takes you to the crest of Hook Mountain. I continued along the Long Path all the way down to the Rockland Lake Landing, where I took the road and then bushwacked to the side of Rockland Lake. I walked along the east and south shore of the lake along the busy path, and then took Route 9W up the mountain on the side of the road back to my car.

Map of the Route

Snow at the Very Beginning of the Hike on the Yellow Trail,
Ascending to the Hook Mountain Summit

Me at the Hook Mountain Summit,
Decked in Winter Garb

View from Hook Mountain Looking South Into a Snow-Covered Nyack

Tappan Zee Bridge Construction from Hook Mountain Summit

The Above Picture Zoomed Out, with a Partial View of Nyack

Zoomed Into Nyack, with the Manhattan Skyscrapers in the Distance
Above the Palisades Ridge

Another View Into Nyack

Looking North Towards Rocckland Lake

A Fuller View of the Tappan Zee Bridge

View of the West From Hook Mountain

A Zoomed Out View of Nyack and the Tappan Zee Bridge

A View of the Hudson River and Westchester

Looking Down from Above the Cliffs Towards Nyack Beach State Park

A Nice Perspective of the Tappan Zee Bridge

A View of the Hudson Looking Northeast

Another View of the Hudson, Looking East

Wild Yucca at the Summit.
I presume this is not here Naturally but was Transplanted.

Cliff Walls Along a Quarry

Looking Down Into the Sheer Quarry Walls

Intresting Graffiti Using a Long Path Trail Marker

A Frozen Rockland Lake, Looking South.
Hook Mountain Rises to the Left.

Frozen Rockland Lake Looking North,
Towards the Haverstraw Quarry and Hi Tor.


  1. Hershel,

    I plan to do your trail through Hook Mountain then circle around the North side of the lake. You mentioned bushwacking through part of the trail, does the trail not connect to one of the roads on the North side of the mountain?


  2. Yes, the trail connects to Landing Road, which is a spur of the Rockland Lake Road. It was at this point that I bushwacked down the hill to the path around Rockland Lake. There is no connecting trail here but its a very short distance. If you walk further north from the intersection, there is a parking lot off Rockland Lake Road that connects to the Rockland Lake path, but I didn't want to head north as it was out of my way.