Arden Point and Glenclyffe (Garrison, N.Y.)

Overview

This hike passes several panoramic viewpoints over the Hudson River and follows an historic road used by Benedict Arnold to escape during the Revolutionary War.

Details
Time:
2.5 hours
Difficulty:
Easy
Length:
3.7 miles
Route Type:
Circuit
Dogs:
Allowed on leash
Features:
Views, Public Transportation
Location
Park:
Region:
County:
Putnam
State:
NY
Maps/Books
Buy Trail Map:

Buy Book:
Publication
First Published:
05/05/2006

Updated/Verified:
01/15/2012
Submitter:
Daniel Chazin
Trailhead GPS Coordinates
41.380049,-73.94699

Driving Directions

Take the Palisades Interstate Parkway to its northern terminus at the Bear Mountain Bridge. Cross the bridge and bear left onto N.Y. 9D. Proceed north on N.Y. 9D for 4.5 miles to an intersection with N.Y. 403. Turn left at this intersection onto Lower Station Road and follow it downhill to the Metro-North railroad station. Park in the station parking lot (parking is free on weekends; there is a fee on weekdays).

Train

Take the Metro-North Hudson Line to the Garrison station.

Description

Just south of the southern entrance to the station, you’ll notice two stone pillars and a sign for “Arden Point – Hudson Highlands State Park.” This is the trailhead of a blue-blazed woods road which heads south. Follow this woods road, soon passing ruins of brick buildings on the right and crossing a wooden footbridge over a stream. 

 

In about half a mile, you’ll come to a sign for "Marcia’s Mile." To the right, a one-lane steel truss bridge goes over the railroad tracks. Turn right and cross the bridge, which leads to Arden Point. Immediately after crossing the bridge, follow the blue-blazed trail as it turns right onto a footpath, passing through a mixed forest of deciduous trees and white pines.

 

Near the north end of Arden Point, the blue-blazed trail ends at an intersection with a red-blazed trail. Bear right onto the red-blazed trail and follow it past an old stone wall and down to the water’s edge, where there is a broad view north up the Hudson River, with West Point visible to the left, on the west shore, and Bull Hill of the East Hudson Highlands in the background.

After enjoying the view, retrace your steps to the intersection with the blue-blazed trail and bear right, continuing to follow the red-blazed trail. Soon, a short side trail on the right leads to a west-facing viewpoint over the Hudson River. The large red-brick building directly across the river is the Hotel Thayer at West Point. Running along the west bank of the river is the West Shore Railroad, built in 1883 between Weehawken, N.J. and Buffalo, N.Y. to compete with the New York Central, whose line followed the east bank (now operated by Metro-North). Passenger service on the West Shore line was discontinued in 1959, but the line is now operated by CSX for freight service, and you may see a mile-long freight train snake its way along the river.

When you’re ready to continue, return to the red-blazed trail and turn right, heading south. Near the southern tip of the point, the red-blazed trail makes a sharp left turn. Bear right and continue ahead on a wide path to a rock outcrop at the very end of the point, which affords a panoramic south-facing view, with the Bear Mountain Bridge in the distance. The yellow brick buildings on the west side of the river are occupied by the West Point Museum and Visitor Center, established in 1989 on the site of the former Ladycliff College.

After taking some time to enjoy this view (a bench has been placed here), retrace your steps up the hill to the red-blazed trail and bear right, now heading north on the trail, which ends at the bridge over the tracks. Bear right, recross the bridge, and turn right (south) onto the white-blazed Marcia’s Mile, which follows a woods road, bordered for part of the way by low stone walls.

In about a quarter of a mile, you’ll reach a junction, marked by a wooden sign on the left. Turn right and head uphill on stone steps, now following a trail marked by the red blazes of the Open Space Insitute (OSI). This is the start of the Glenclyffe Loop, which circles the Glenclyffe property of OSI. Just ahead, you’ll reach a large gazebo, with a view over the river.

The trail passes to the left of the gazebo and heads south, parallel to the river. The large brick building on the left was built in the 1920s as a friary by the Capuchin Franciscan order and acquired in 2001 by OSI, which has preserved the property as publicly-accessible open space. This building has been conveyed to the Garrison Institute, which operates it as a spiritual retreat center (the buildings on the Glenclyffe property are not open to hikers). The trail passes to the left of a stone patio with benches overlooking the river, descends concrete steps, and bears right to reenter the woods.

After crossing a rock outcrop, the trail turns left, then bears right and continues to parallel the river. It goes by a water treatment facility and bears right at a bamboo thicket. (The red brick building on the left, built in the 1860s, was once the home of Hamilton Fish, governor of New York.)

Soon, the trail comes out at the top of a ravine. It bears right and descends into the ravine, then turns left and continues to parallel the river. At a sign pointing to the "Historic Overlook," the red-blazed trail turns sharply left, but you should continue ahead on a short side trail (also blazed red) that leads south to a wooden viewing platform. The platform overlooks the site of Beverly Dock, used in 1780 by Benedict Arnold to escape when his treason was discovered. Bear Mountain Bridge is visible to the south, with Sugarloaf Hill towering to the east.

Retrace your steps to the junction and bear right, continuing on the red-blazed trail, which descends to a ravine, where it begins to follow an old woods road. Known as the Beverly Dock Road, this road was used by Benedict Arnold to flee. The trail crosses a stream on a large metal culvert and climbs gently, with the stream to the left. After bearing right at a small dam and bamboo thicket, the trail passes to right of a small pond. Near the end of the pond, a kiosk relates the story of the escape of Benedict Arnold along this road during the Revolutionary War.

Just beyond, the trail turns left, recrossing the stream on another culvert and passing a cinder-block building. It immediately turns right, passing to the left of a second pond. As the trail approaches Route 9D, it bears left, climbs a rise and emerges onto a broad grassy expanse. The trail follows a line of trees parallel to the road, with Castle Rock visible on the hilltop to the east.

At a sign for the Garrison Institute, turn left onto the paved entrance road. To the left of a large trail map, you’ll see a white blaze that marks the start of Marcia’s Mile. Follow the white blazes down a grassy knoll and along a woods road, passing a small pond on the right. The trail skirts the left side of a meadow, reenters the woods, and passes a concrete foundation on the left. It then turns left at a T-intersection and descends on a footpath.

 

At the base of the descent, turn right onto the woods road on which you began the hike earlier, still following the white blazes of Marcia’s Mile. When you reach the bridge over the railroad (do not cross it), continue ahead on the blue-blazed woods road which leads back to the Garrison railroad station, where the hike began.

 

 

 

Comment: Please be relevant, civil, non-commercial.

Historic Overlook, Glenclyffe

Sugarloaf Hill towers over you to the east when seen from the Historic Overlook, not the west like the description says. [Thanks, Steve!  You're right, and I've corrected the description.  Daniel] From that limited overlook, a small hill is visible down to the right, on the other side of the railroad tracks. That is technically outside of the park, but it's a really pretty spot...