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Hudson River Views at Manitou Point Preserve
This figure-eight hike loops around the preserve, with spectacular views across the Hudson River.
Easy to Moderate
Allowed on leash
Views, Public Transportation, Cliffs
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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, and cross the Bear Mountain Bridge. At the east end of the bridge, turn left onto Route 9D. In 1.8 miles, turn left onto Mystery Point Road, then immediately turn left into the parking area at a sign for "Nature Preserve Parking."
Metro-North has Hudson Line service to Manitou Station on a limited basis, primarily weekends. Check their schedule. From the station, proceed east on Manitou Station Road for 0.1 mile, then turn left and pass between stone pillars with a white gate onto a dirt road that runs along the southeast edge of Manitou Marsh. On the right side of the road, you will see several trailheads, including the white trail on which this hike begins. Continue on the white, and follow the directions starting in the middle of the second paragraph, where the white trail hits the dirt road. Follow the remainder of the hike description, then the directions in the first two paragraphs until you return to the dirt road.
From the kiosk at the end of the parking area, head south on the white trail. Almost immediately, a blue trail begins on the right. This will be your return route, but for now, continue ahead on the white trail, which parallels Route 9D. In a quarter mile, the white trail bears right, away from the road, and descends rather steeply to cross a stream in a ravine. It turns right and briefly parallels the stream, then bears left and climbs out of the ravine.
The white trail now begins a gradual descent towards the Hudson River, running close to the southern boundary of the preserve. About a mile from the start, after paralleling an old stone wall, the white trail ends at a dirt road. Turn right and proceed north on the road, passing the Manitou Marsh on the left.
After passing a yellow-blazed trail on the right, you’ll notice a wide red-blazed trail, also on the right. Turn right and follow this trail, which climbs gradually to the crest of a rise, then descends. After passing a blue-blazed trail on the right, the red-blazed trail ends at a dirt road. Turn left and follow the road downhill.
Bear right at the next intersection and cross over the Metro-North railroad tracks on a wide stone-arch bridge. This is an active railroad, and you may see Metro-North or Amtrak passenger trains on their way to Poughkeepsie, Albany or New York. To the right (north), the cone-shaped hill in the distance is Sugarloaf Hill.
On the other side the bridge, immediately turn left onto the blue-blazed River Trail, which parallels the railroad tracks. Across the tracks, you can see the ruins of an old brick building. Soon, the trail curves right, away from the tracks, and reaches a dirt road.
Cross the road diagonally to the right and continue on the blue-blazed trail, which climbs rather steeply over a rise, then descends steeply to the shore of the Hudson River. Follow the trail as it turns left onto a narrow footpath along a bluff overlooking the river, with panoramic views across the river. You may see a freight trains on the CSX tracks across the river. Use caution, as there are steep drop-offs to the right.
After following closely along the river for about a quarter of a mile, the trail climbs a little. If you look back to the north, you can see Sugarloaf Hill above the trees. Soon, the trail bears left and heads inland. At a junction with a carriage road (to the right, the road is blazed red), turn sharply right and continue to head south on the blue trail, which now runs slightly inland, with limited views of the river through the trees.
In another quarter mile, follow the blue blazes as they turn sharply left and head north. Soon, the trail bears further right and begins to run close to the Metro-North rail line. It then bears left and reaches a red-blazed carriage road.
Turn right onto the carriage road, continuing to follow the blue-blazes. When you reach the junction where the blue-blazed trail goes in both directions (the road ahead is blocked off with a fence), turn right and retrace your steps to the bridge over the railroad. Turn right, cross the bridge, and follow the dirt road uphill back to the parking area where the hike began.
To view a photo collection for this hike, click here.