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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.
Easy to Moderate
Allowed on leash
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Trail Conference volunteers maintain trails in this park.
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.