Sunday, May 13, 2018

Hudson Highlands Nature Center, and Black Rock Forest

Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Pond Trail: Blue blaze
Field Trail: Red blaze
Highlands Trail: Yellow blaze
McKeon Loop Trail: White blaze
Woodland Trail: Orange blaze
Stowell Loop Trail: Teal blaze

Total Time: 2:00 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.9 Miles

Pros: Lots of trails in area
Cons: Views aren't great and some of trails snake too much

The Hudson Highlands Nature Center is located near Storm King State Park and Black Rock Forest. It contains many trails, a childrens nature discovery area, and signs along the lakes. It has a newly blazed trail that climbs up the mountain and affords views, and another new trail connecting to Black Rock Forest.

The weather was damp, but it was not actively raining until the end of the hike. I nearly did all the trails in the area, except for a small part of the Teal Trail that I was unable to complete due to the rain combined with time constraints.

I parked in the parking area off Muser Road, which is right near Route 9W. I took the Pond Trail to the lookout over Goose Pond, and then along the other part of the pond trail. I then took the combined Stowell Loop and Field trail to Muskrat Pond, then continued on the Highlands Trail as it climbed uphill, to the McKesson Loop Trail. I took the McKesson Loop to its terminus where I first went on the trail, and passed several views along rh way. The views are somewhat obscured by large trees. I continued along the Highlands Trail back down, to the Woodland Trail in its entirety back to the Highlands Trail, and then took the Stowell Loop Trail back, along the stone wall and back to the Muskrat Pond. I then took the other let of the Field Trail back down towards Goose Pond, and then back to the visitors center parking area.

Map of the Route

Map of the Trails Show to be my a Nature Center Employee

Goose Pond

Overlook from the Pond Trail

Muskrat Pond

Information Plaque at the Property Line of Black Rock Forest

Overlook Facing Northwest

Above View, Zoomed Out

View Facing North

View Facing West Looking at Schunnemunk Mountain

View Facing North

Red Eft Salamander - There were Hundreds of These

View Facing Northeast, Towards the Hudson River

View of Hudson River

View of the Mountain I Climbed from the Views Above, near the Trailhead

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