Sunday, January 12, 2020

Army Tunnels at Blauvelt State Park

Blauvelt State Park,
Clausland Mountain County Park,
Nike Overlook Park,
Tackamack Park,
Rockland Co.
New York

Hiking Trails:
Long Path: Green blaze
Red Trail: Red blaze
White Trail: White blaze
Orange Trail: Orange blaze

Total Time: 2:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.1 Miles

Pros: Exploration of old tunnels
Cons: Not many good views

Hiking Partners:
Shimmy Rosenberg

I had heard about the Army Tunnels at Blauvelt State Park for some time, and despite it being relatively close by, I had never been there. I took the opportunity to visit them with my partner Shimmy Rosenberg on this very warm winter day.

This is not the type of place you want to go alone. It's very creepy, even in full daylight. Aside from being entirely covered in graffiti, the walls, tunnels, and adjacent structures are somewhat dilapidated and full of beer cans and bottles. Despite this, the nature of these tunnels and our desire for exploration made this a very memorable hike. I would strongly recommend going in daylight, with at least one other person, and bringing a flashlight.

This was the warmest day of the winter so far. With temperatures in the mid-60's, we hiked in short sleeve T-shirts and really enjoyed being outdoors. Though there was a strong breeze, especially at some of the higher elevations. We used two cars for this hike. The first car we parked at Nike Overlook Park, and then we drove to the second starting point on Tweed Blvd. where it crosses the Long Path. There is a small parking spot here on the side of the road for about 1 or 2 cars.

We took the Long Path for a short distance north, to the view. This view faces southwest looking into southern Rockland County and northern New Jersey, with the Manhattan skyscrapers visible in the distance. After this, we took thr short Red Trail to the White Trail, back to the Long Path, which we took south for a short distance to the old firing range. We went to the target wall and tunnels on the eastern side first, exploring the area and then entering the tunnel. We walked through the entire length of the tunnel. I had a flashlight in my back, which helped illuminate our walk. The tunnel is not pitch black - there are cracks of light throughout, but it is still very dark and should not be explored without a flashlight.

Near the west exit of the tunnel there is a large structure which is full of empty bottles and cans. You have to step through them to exit, and climb through an open break in the room with a makeshift ladder to exit. We did that, and then walked above the second tunnel to the west, exploring the area some more. At the end of those tunnels, we cut to the bike bath right nearby, and walked along the bike path until reaching the Long Path. We took the Long Path down towards Tackamack Park North, crossing the scenic stream, and then continued to Tackamack Park South. We then took the Orange Trail for a short distance to Nike Overlook Park, back to where our first car was parked.

Map of the Route

View at the Beginning of the Hike

Manhattan Skyline in the Distance, Facing South

At the View

Shimmy Overlooking the Target Walls

Approaching the Target Walls

Abandoned Structure Adjacent to the Target Walls

Target Walls

Me Inside the Army Tunnels

Entrance of the Army Tunnels

My Silhouette Inside the Army Tunnels

Large Room at the End of the Army Tunnel

Exit through the Wall Breach

Shimmy Exiting the Tunnels

Me at the Busted Tunnel Exit

View of Tunnels from Above

Shimmy at the Target Walls

Stream at Tackamack Park

Ruin at Nike Overlook Park

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