Sunday, January 17, 2016

High Tor & Little Tor

High Tor State Park
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Long Path: Green blaze
Little Tor Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 2:10 Hours
Estimated Distance: 4.0 Miles
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Level of Recommendation: Highly recommended

Points of Interest: Excellent views
Cons: Lots of graffiti and views are very urban

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

High Tor is one of the most prominent peaks in Rockland County. It is the tallest point in the Palisades, formed from a volcanic diabase intrusion. It had been a while since I had last been here at High Tor, and decided to give it another visit. This was a two car hike, where we parked the first car on South Central Highway, near its location at the Long Path, and the other car on South Mountain Road at the parking area on the top of the ridge.

We started at the Long Path off of South Mountain Road near Ridge Road, and took the Long Path up the mountain. The beginning part is a mild climb, and it then evens out, before a more serious climb to the summit. We took this trail up to the top, where there is a fantastic, 360 degree view looking over the entire Rockland county, Westchester across the river, and the Manhattan skyline is clearly visible in the distance. The mountain sits directly over Haverstraw, which provides the viewer an unobstructed view of the urbanized landscape below, which also includes West Haverstraw, Garnerville, and Stony Point.

After High Tor, we continued along the Long Path towards Little Tor. Little Tor is a very similar formation in the Palisades as High Tor, with a rocky Promenade sticking out from the surrounding area. We veered off the Long Path the short Little Tor path, which goes to to the summit where there is another excellent view. Instead of turning around at the end of the short dead end trail, we bushwacked down the northwestern side of the mountain back to the Long Path. We then continued along the Long Path to the trailhead at South Central Highway where we had our other car.

Map of the Route.
Palisades Trails (northernmost map)

Shimmy on the Final Ascent Towards the High Tor Summit

Lake DeForest from the High Tor Summit

New Condo Development on the Hudson River,
and Across the River into Westchester, from the High Tor Summit

Zoomed Out into Haverstraw from High Tor Summit

Looking North Into the Hudson River and Hudson Highlands

The Manhattan Skyline from High Tor Summit

New City from the High Tor Summit

Looking Southeast Towards the Hudson River and Hook Mountain

Looking into Ossining from Across the Hudson River

Zoomed Into Colorful Houses in Haverstraw

Hudson River and Hudson Highlands, Looking North.

Looking West Towards Concklin Farm and Ramapo Mountains

Another View of the Manhattan Skyline

Zoomed Out Over Haverstraw from the Summit

Me at High Tor Summit

Bowline Park in Haverstraw

Bowline Poweline, Haverstraw, and Train from Little Tor

The same view at Little Tor, Zoomed Out

View at Little Tor, Looking North

View from Little Tor Looking Northwest

Shimmy at Little Tor

Looking at the Western Ridge of the Palisades from Little Tor

Looking over Garnerville from Little Tor


  1. Great post and blog! Is there really a place to access the Long Path on South Mountain Road? I'm not seeing evidence of a driveway or parking area using Google's street view photos. Can you share a map link, coordinates, or a more detailed description for where you parked around the east side of the park? The west end parking area location is much more obvious to me:

  2. The place to park is on South Mountain Road, between Ridge Road and Scratchup Road, on the north side of the road. There is a little pull-off the road where you can park the car there. It's position is closer to Ridge Road than to Scratchup Road.