Lake Sebago and Stony Brook in Harriman State Park

Overview

This loop hike runs along the shore of scenic Lake Sebago and follows the cascading Stony Brook

Details
Time:
3 hours
Difficulty:
Easy to Moderate
Length:
5.1 miles
Route Type:
Circuit
Dogs:
Allowed on leash
Features:
Views
Location
Park:
Region:
County:
Rockland
State:
NY
Publication
First Published:
01/06/2011
Submitter:
Daniel Chazin

Photo

Frozen Lake Sebago. Photo by Daniel Chazin.

Parking


View Johnsontown Road parking in a larger map

Trailhead GPS Coordinates
41.179887,-74.163916

Driving Directions

From the New York State Thruway, take Exit 15A (Sloatsburg). Turn north onto N.Y. Route 17 north, and continue through the Village of Sloatsburg. Just past the village, turn right at the traffic light, following the sign for Seven Lakes Drive/Harriman State Park. Cross an overpass over railroad tracks and continue along Seven Lakes Drive for 0.7 mile, passing under the Thruway. Just before reaching a large sign "Welcome to Harriman State Park," turn left at a sign for Johnsontown Road, immediately reaching a stop sign at a T-intersection. Turn right, proceed for 1.2 miles to the end of Johnsontown Road, and park at the cul-de-sac

Description

At the northeastern end of the cul-de-sac, you will find the start of the White Bar Trail, marked by three horizontal white blazes. Follow the blazes gently uphill, heading northeast on a grassy woods road (Old Johnsontown Road). In 0.3 mile, the Kakiat Trail, marked by vertical white blazes, joins from the left, briefly runs concurrently with the White Bar Trail, then leaves to the right. The Kakiat Trail will be your return route, but for now, continue ahead on the White Bar Trail.

In another 750 feet, the White Bar Trail turns left, passes several huge boulders, then turns right at a fork. A short distance beyond, the trail turns left, passes between two green metal gateposts, and heads uphill. After reaching the crest of the rise, the trail begins to descend. At the base of the descent, you will notice a marsh on the left. Soon, you'll see (between the trail and the marsh) a cellar hole, which marks the site of the 19th century homestead site of John Frederick Helms, known as the "Old Dutch Doctor." Helms grew medicinal herbs, such as ginseng, here.

Just beyond, the Tuxedo-Mt. Ivy Trail (T-MI), marked by red-dash-on-white blazes, joins from the right. Turn right here, leaving the White Bar Trail, and follow the T-MI Trail uphill through a rocky area. (NOTE: As of this writing, the intersection of the White Bar and T-MI Trails is not marked well. If you find yourself following both white and red-dash-on-white blazes, you've gone too far, and you should go back to the intersection.) After climbing over a hill, the trail begins to descend, crossing a paved camp road on the way down. In another 250 feet, the trail turns right and passes through a mountain laurel thicket, paralleling the shore of beautiful Lake Sebago.

After briefly coming out at the lakeshore (with panoramic views over the lake), the trail reaches Seven Lakes Drive. It crosses the road, turns left, and follows the sidewalk across the Lake Sebago dam. At the other side of the dam, it turns right, goes under the guardrail, and heads down along the eastern side of the spillway. You've now gone 2.2 miles from the start of the hike.

At the base of the dam, the unmarked Woodtown Road goes off to the left, but you should continue ahead, following the T-MI Trail, which soon bears left to parallel Stony Brook. In a quarter mile from the Lake Sebago dam, the T-MI Trail crosses a tributary stream. Just beyond the stream crossing, the orange-blazed Hillburn-Torne-Sebago Trail (HTS) begins to the right. The T-MI turns left here and heads uphill, but you should continue straight, now following the orange blazes of the HTS Trail.

Continue along the HTS Trail for 400 feet to a junction with the yellow-blazed Stony Brook Trail. The orange-blazed HTS Trail bears left here, but you should continue straight ahead along the Stony Brook Trail. This relatively level trail bears left to cross Diamond Creek, then parallels the cascading Stony Brook for over a mile. About 3.85 miles from the start of the hike, the white-blazed Kakiat Trail joins from the left. Turn right here, now following both white and yellow blazes, and cross a footbridge over Pine Meadow Brook.

About 750 feet after crossing the footbridge, the white-blazed Kakiat Trail splits off to the right. Turn right, leaving the Stony Brook Trail, and follow the Kakiat Trail, which crosses a second footbridge - this one, over Stony Brook - and climbs through an evergreen forest. NOTE:  This second footbridge was washed away by Hurricane Irene in 2011 and, as of February 2014, has not been replaced.  See comment below. After a level section (an old farmsite), the trail climbs to the crest of a hill, then descends on a woods road to Seven Lakes Drive. It crosses the road and heads downhill, reaching the Old Johnsontown Road in 150 feet. Turn left on this road, joining the horizontal-white-blazed White Bar Trail.

The Kakiat Trail soon turns off to the right, but you should continue straight ahead on the grassy woods road, retracing your steps along the White Bar Trail for 0.3 mile back to the Johnsontown Road Circle, where the hike began.


To view a photo collection for this hike, click here.

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

Kakiat Trail Bridge over Stony Brook

In reply to the March 15th comment: and valid concern:

The situation with this bridge remains as it was before: the Trail Conference has not been allowed to replace the washed-out bridge.  The park was to replace it themselves.  An intent was to find a more suitable and more permanent location for the bridge, but to date no such location has been identified.  Although replacing the bridge has been discussed with the park a number of times, we will bring the issue to the attention of park authorities again in the near future.  Possibly there will be by now some modification of the decision.  Following the spring water run-off would seem an ideal time for doing so.  The lack of this bridge certainly eliminates use of this good and useful trail connection.  The water at this location never seems to get sufficiently low during the year that crossing would be safe or practical without a bridge.

The situation for replacement of the Hillburn-Torne-Sebago bridge is similar, except the location is essentially detemined, within a few yards of its most prior location.  The park did begin to locate tree trunks for this bridge but other demands brought a halt to the work. 

If we are allowed to replace these bridges we may make a call for futher volunteers or funding for materials.

Thank you for the detailed

Thank you for the detailed reply.

If they do allow the trail conference to build it,  feel free to contace me if you need labor help.

Let's build the bridge!

I was thinking about doing this hike today until I read that the bridge is out.

If possible, maybe we can get some volunteers (myself included) to rebuild the bridge and some of the other bridges that are worn down.

The weather's getting better and now's the time to get this done.

If we wait for the state to fix it, we'll be waiting a few more years.

Any info from the trail conference on this would be appreciated.

 

Bridge still out

The second bridge is still completely out and crossing without it is very difficult indeed. 

Bridge still out

We hiked this trail on 9/17/2013.  The bridge is still out, and like previous threads, we ended up continuing on the yellow blaze trail to the visitor center, and then hiked the two miles to where our car was parked.  Also, the T-MI trail intersection is poorly marked as stated above. We could not find the continuation of this trail even after bushwacking for over 30 minutes.  Instead we continued on the White Bar trail, and then followed an orange triangle trail which veered off to the right as the White Bar trail curved to the left.  This trail took us to the lake.  We then followed the lake via a path along the shore line and eventually met up with the route at the dam.  While traveling along the lake shoreline we came upon a camp, and the curator was the individual responsible for trail maintenance.  I informed him about the lack of markings for the T-MI trail.  This should be resolved.

Footbridge over Stony Brook has not yet been replaced

The footbridge that carries the Kakiat Trail over Stony Brook was washed away by Hurricane Irene in August 2011.  The Park has assumed the responsibility for replacing this bridge, but as of February 2014, it has not been rebuilt.  It is not practical to cross Stony Brook at this location in the absence of the footbridge, so, at present, the hike cannot be completed as described above.

Warning: bridge completely gone

Update :  the second bridge over the Stony Brook is now completely gone. We were unable to cross over to the white-blazed Kakiat trail and had to take the yellow trail back to a different parking lot (at the visitor's center) and then hitch a ride to our car (it is another 3 or so miles if you want to walk back to the car). Advice: do not do this hike until the bridge is replaced/repaired. We actually attempted to take off our shoes and walk across the brook but the water was high and moving very fast so we abandoned that plan.

Plesant and easy hike; Make sure you watch well for the markings

Dan, thanks for the note about the Tuxedo-Mt. Ivy Trail (red-dash-on-white blazes). We initially missed it but quickly realized to trace our steps back and look for it.

As of June 2012, the second footbridge over Stony Brook is still washed out (not existent at all). It certainly can be a little tricky to cross the brook if you are with small children or dogs.

Overall, we found the hike not so well marked compared to some of the other hikes that we have taken starting from the Reeves Meadow Visitor Center - it might be just because for a big portion of the hike you need to follow white painted-on-the-trees markers, rather than some other more vibrant color blazes.

Hurricane Irene Damage

The Kakiat Trail bridge over Stony Brook has been washed out.

Kakiat Trail bridge over Stony Brook is partially washed out

Did this hike on 3/20. The second footbridge over Stony Brook was partially washed out.

Picture of damaged bridge

I passed by this point on March 28 [it is about 15 minutes from the Reeves Meadow Visitor Center following the "red dot" to "yellow" paths from the parking area along Stony Brook.]

As can be seen from this photo, the damage could prove to be an obstacle for hikers with dogs or children, or for seniors.  I didn't measure the height of the remaining structure, but it is probably 7 to 8 feet tall, and the exposed footing more treacherous than the picture shows. 

For the time being, if you can't climb to the remaining structure of the bridge there is no viable walk around to complete the loop hike.

Sebago Stony Brook hike

Nice write-up Dan. Donald Hecht