1777E/Doodletown Bridle Path Loop from Route 9W


This hike follows pleasant woods roads through the abandoned hamlet of Doodletown and loops back on the Doodletown Bridle Path.

3 hours
Easy to Moderate
5 miles
Route Type:
Allowed on leash
Historic feature
First Published:
Daniel Chazin


Doodletown at Bear Mountain. Photo by Daniel Chazin.


View Doodletown in a larger map

See also
Trail Conference volunteers maintain trails in this park.
Trailhead GPS Coordinates
Driving Directions

Take the Palisades Interstate Parkway to its terminus at the Bear Mountain Circle. Continue south on Route 9W for 1.3 miles to a small hikers' trailhead parking area on the left side of the road, just past a concrete bridge over a stream.


From the parking area, walk back across the bridge. On the left (west) side of the road, turn left at a sign for "Doodletown" and proceed uphill on an old road with crumbling pavement. This road, known as Doodletown Road, led into the hamlet of Doodletown, which was abandoned in 1965. Small historic markers along the way identify various former buildings and their occupants.

The road makes a sharp left turn and continues uphill. Near the top of the hill, the 1777E Trail comes in from the right and joins the road. Continue ahead along the road, now following the 1777E blazes. After skirting the Doodletown Reservoir, you'll reach a T-intersection, where you should turn right.

A short distance beyond, you'll reach another junction, where a sign to the right shows the site of the Montville Community Church. Here, you should turn left onto Pleasant Valley Road, following the sign to the Herbert Cemetery. Along the right side of the road, old stone walls and steps mark several abandoned homesites.

Soon, the 1777W Trail leaves to the right and the road to the Herbert Cemetery goes off to the left, but you should continue ahead on Pleasant Valley Road. After passing the site of the Thomas home to the right, you'll reach an intersection with the Doodletown Bridle Path (at this writing, it is marked by a sign "Vandals have removed the ‘you are here' map").

Turn right onto the Bridle Path, which you will be following for the rest of the hike. Although unmarked, this wide woods road is easily followed, and it is relatively level for the next half mile. After it crosses the Doodlekill (a small stream) on rocks, the yellow-blazed Suffern-Bear Mountain (S-BM) Trail joins from the left.

The Bridle Path now enters a narrow valley. Soon, the S-BM Trail leaves to the right, but you should continue to follow the Bridle Path, which goes through an area of mountain laurel and begins to climb, with a stream down below on the right.

After turning sharply right near the top of the climb, the Bridle Path heads downhill on a rougher road. At the bottom of the hill, you'll come to T-intersection. Here, the Bridle Path turns right and is joined by the 1777W Trail on a level route, with a stream to the right. In half a mile, the 1777W blazes continue ahead, but follow the Bridle Path as it curves left, now again joined by the yellow blazes of the S-BM Trail.

In another 200 feet, bear left, continuing to follow the yellow S-BM blazes along the Bridle Path (do not follow the road ahead). The Bridle Path now descends. At a curve to the right, the S-BM blazes leave to the left, but you should continue ahead on the Bridle Path, now once again unmarked.

In three-quarters of a mile, you'll come to an intersection marked by a Doodletown map. Continue ahead, and you'll soon pass a viewpoint to the right over Dunderberg Mountain and the Hudson River, and the First June Cemetery to the left. When you reach a intersection with a large "2," turn right and descend on the 1777E Trail. At the following intersection, bear sharply left onto Doodletown Road, and retrace your steps back to the parking area where the hike began.

Learn more about Doodletown.

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

Suggested Improved Directions & Trail Description

Below are suggestions for improving the Directions and Descriptions for this great hike. I have not had the chance to enjoy this area since childhood - when I do I will update the number of yards below where I left ??? for now. An excellent PDF of the trails around Bear Mountain Stagte Park, including to Doodletown, can be found here: http://nysparks.com/parks/attachments/BearMountainTrailMap.pdf.   I would replace the driections posted abve with this paragraph: Driving Directions: The simplest access is from a small trailhead just south of the Bear Mt Bridge. It is 1.3 miles south of the Bear Mt Circle on Rte. 9W/202, immediately south of South Entrance Road, and just north of Iona Island Rd. There is a small parking area on the east (river) side of the road, next to a concrete bridge over a small brook called either Timp Brook or Doodle Brook. I would replace the first two paragrpahs of the trail description above with these three: Description: On the west side of the road, Cornell Mine Trail crosses the brook. Follow the trail north (right). Turn left at a sign for "Doodletown" and proceed uphill on an old road with crumbling pavement. This road, known as Doodletown Road has small historic markers that identify various former buildings and their occupants. The road makes a sharp left turn and continues uphill. In about ??? yards, continue straight onto Ski Trail as Cornell Trail breaks to the right. Near the top of the hill, the 77E Trail comes in from the right and joins the road. Continue ahead along the road, now following the 77E blazes. After skirting the Doodletown Reservoir (seen as the pond along the Timp Brook here: https:[email protected],-73.9932192,15z), you'll reach a T-intersection, where you should turn right onto 77W.

Nice Hike

I did this hike with my wife and dog on 10/12/13.  Very nice hike and description was easy to follow.  After passing the reservoir and turning right at the T-intersection a black bear walked onto the path about 50 yards ahead of us.  I was pretty surprised at first since we have never encountered one before.  We slowly backed up and the bear briefly looked toward us.  He or she then slowly continued walking away from us and into the woods.  After a few minutes we continued the hike without see it again (thankfully in my opinion!).  I hope this does not discourage people from hiking, but I think you should be aware and know what to do should you come across one.  It is called Bear Mountain after all!    

Great hike, loved the cemeteries

Great hike, loved the cemeteries and all the signs with historical info about the remains of the buildings. Got startled by a deer crashing through the bushes onto the trail right in front of us. :)

Got confused--possible trail blockage

I hiked this loop on July 11, but starting and ending at the Bear Mountain Inn. This description was very helpful -- THANK YOU. However, I did veer off course in once place -- after climbing to the top of the hill where the bridle path rises (with stream on the right) and I made a right turn, I ended up descending along a rough path and finding myself on the OLD AT (the white blazes were painted over). That's because at the top of the hill I didn't see an obvious way to continue on the bridle path -- I did see what may have been a Y junction, but the path to the right was not only blocked by fallen trees, but I really didn't see a "path" beyond those trees. Maybe I was wrong. Anyway, no harm done. I followed the old AT down the hill and then rejoined 1777W and then the bridle path. It was a great hike but rougher surface than I expected.

Take a detour to the Bear Mountain Inn

See the Inn for Christmas. Have some cocoa. Bring your map. It's not far off the trail.

Excellent hike well

Excellent hike well described.  We did not see the "Ice Skating" sign near the trail head, or the "Ski Trail Closed" sign, so they may be gone.

Hike has been updated

Thanks for your comments! I have corrected the hike description by eliminating the references to the two signs that seem to have been removed.

Power Lines Cleared

All the power lines have been cleared from the Doodletown Road.  It is a great hike.  

September 2011 issue

This is a great, great hike which I did about 2 weeks ago.  Lots of history and a fascinating walk thru a ghost town.  Take some time to read the signs and maybe take a stroll thru the cemeteries. It's strange to see headstones from the late 1700's right next to those of just a few years ago. Anyway, I went back about 5 days after Hurricane Irene, and be aware, that the entrance to the trail off of 9W is closed with signs indicating downed and dangerous power lines.  I was with my kids, so being a good doobie, I turned around and went to Fort Montgomery as an alternative.  Don't know how long it'll take to get this open again, but given how much extensive damage is in the Harriman/Bear Mountain park system, it could be a while. 

Hiked on June 5, 2011

We hiked this trail on Sunday, June 5th. It is a nice hike and for us, it was longer than any we have done before (5 miles). Doodletown is pretty much completely grown over. Some of the sites are so over grown that you have to take the word of the signs indicating that there was ever something there (i.e. the church). The hike is an odd experience as it combines a hike with something like an archeological visit so if you’re looking for classic hiking experience, you might be a bit disappointed. There is an abundance of “barberry” bushes (I think that is what they're called). They are these small bushes with green leaves and small thorns that people use for landscaping. I think they are so prolific here because the former inhabitants must have used them on their properties and now they're running rampant. It made for some dull viewing. Daniel Chazin's write up here is once again excellent. It is so detail oriented right down to the Vandals have removed the ‘you are here' map which on the date of our hike was still present. It never let us down. My only complaint was the unmarked bridal path. Were it not for Mr. Chazin's fine write up, it would be a challenge to stay on it. Why isn't it marked? It might've made it a bit easier.