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Granite Knolls Easy Loop
This hike loops around this park, passing many interesting boulders.
Allowed on leash
Trail Conference volunteers maintain trails in this park.
Driving DirectionsTake the New York State Thruway across the Tappan Zee Bridge and get off at Exit 8A, following signs to the Saw Mill River Parkway North. Continue on the Saw Mill River Parkway for about four miles, and take Exit 26 (Taconic State Parkway North - towards Albany). Follow the Taconic State Parkway for about 15 miles, and take the exit for Route 132 (Shrub Oak). At the top of the ramp, turn left onto NY 132 (Old Yorktown Road). Bear left a fork in 0.2 mile to continue on Old Yorktown Road, and make the next left onto Buckhorn Street. Continue for about 0.3 mile to a cul-de-sac at the end of the street, where parking is available.
From the cul-de-sac, proceed ahead on a path which soon turns left and reaches a junction with the Yorktown Trailway – a wide path that parallels the Taconic State Parkway, with occasional green blazes. Turn right onto the Yorktown Trailway, which you will be following for the next mile. At first, the Trailway follows a boardwalk below the level of the Parkway, but it soon climbs to the level of the Parkway, then again descends. After moving some distance away from the Parkway, it again approaches it – this time, overlooking the road.
About a mile from the start, the Yorktown Trailway again curves to the right, away from the Parkway, and soon reaches a junction where the pink-blazed Taconic Bridge Trail comes in from the left. Continue straight ahead, uphill, now following pink blazes along a wide woods road. At the top of the rise, the yellow-blazed Arnold’s Ramble begins on the right, but you should continue ahead on the pink-blazed trail.
In another 500 feet, the pink-blazed trail bears right, leaving the woods road. The white-blazed Circolara Trail joins from the right, and you should continue ahead on a footpath, following both pink and white blazes. A short distance beyond, you’ll reach a woods road. Here, the yellow-blazed Arnold’s Ramble begins on the right, and the white-blazed trail continues ahead. You should turn left onto the woods road and continue to follow the pink blazes, which descend along the route. Just ahead, be sure to follow the pink blazes as they bear right, leaving the woods road, and soon join another woods road.
At a huge fallen tree, the yellow-blazed Pond Trail begins on the left, but you should bear right and continue to follow the pink blazes. Just beyond, before reaching stone gateposts, turn right onto the blue-blazed Giant Boulder Trail, which begins here. Follow this footpath through an area with interesting boulders. When you reach a woods road, the route of the white-blazed Circolara Trail, turn left, and begin to follow both blue and white blazes. Soon, the road curves sharply to the right.
At a fork in the road, follow the blue blazes as they bear right, leaving the white-blazed trail. The blue-blazed trail now climbs to reach the Giant Boulder, a huge glacial erratic. The boulder used to be even larger, but it was reduced in size by quarrying (the drill marks are still visible at the edges of the boulder). You’ll want to take some time to observe this unusual feature.
When you’re ready to continue, backtrack for about 100 feet to the green-blazed Granite Knolls Trail and turn right (north) onto this trail, which follows a winding footpath around many smaller boulders. Be alert for three red blazes on the left, which mark the start of Bruno’s Run West. Turn sharply left and follow this red-blazed trail, which descends steadily. It switchbacks to the right just before reaching a stone wall and bears left at a fork with an unmarked trail.
After crossing several stone walls, the red-blazed trail ends at a woods road, the route of the white-blazed Circolara Trail. Turn right onto this trail, which climbs gradually, soon passing through a gap in a stone wall and turning sharply left. Just beyond, you’ll reach a T-intersection with another woods road, the route of the yellow-blazed Arnold’s Ramble. Turn left, now following both white and yellow blazes.
A short distance ahead, the white blazes leave to the right (the red-blazed Bruno’s Run East also begins here), but you should continue ahead on the woods road, now following only yellow blazes. When the yellow-blazed trail ends, turn left onto the pink-blazed Taconic Bridge Trail and follow it downhill for a short distance. At the next intersection, bear left onto the Yorktown Trailway and follow it back to the end of Buckhorn Street, where the hike began.