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Long Path/Bike Path Loop in Tallman Mountain State Park
This loop hike follows the Long Path to several expansive viewpoints over the Hudson River and returns via the Tallman Bike Path.
Allowed on leash
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Trail Conference volunteers maintain trails in this park.
Take the Palisades Interstate Parkway to Exit 4, and proceed north on U.S. 9W for about one mile to the traffic light at the intersection of Oak Tree Road/Washington Spring Road. Continue north on U.S. 9W for another 0.25 mile, and turn right into a parking area on the east side of the road, just before you reach an abandoned golf driving range on the west side. A small sign identifies the parking area as part of Tallman State Park, but this sign is not easily seen from Route 9W.
From the parking area, proceed east on a level gravel road, following the aqua blazes of the Long Path. In 0.3 mile, you'll notice the ruins of a brick-and-concrete building to the right. Follow the Long Path as it turns left here, leaving the road. It proceeds to cross several marshy sections on plank bridging and then begins to run along an elevated mound of earth known as a "berm." The berms in this area were built in the early 20th century to retain seepage from an oil tank farm that was to have been established here. Fortunately, because of public opposition, the project was abandoned.
The trail follows the berm for about half a mile, passing a pond to the right and wetlands on either side. When the wide berm abruptly ends, the Long Path turns right onto a narrower berm which crosses another wet area.
About a mile from the start of the hike, the Long Path crosses a wide gravel road, the route of the Tallman Bike Path. This will be your return route, but for now you should continue ahead, following the aqua blazes of the Long Path. After crossing the road, the trail curves sharply left and begins to head north along the top of the Palisades Escarpment, with views through the trees of the reed-covered Piermont Marsh directly below, and the Tappan Zee Bridge in the distance. After crossing a small stream, the trail follows an old road, with a rough stone wall to the left.
After passing an old stone foundation to the right, the Long Path bears right at a fork and descends to reach the south end of a picnic area. With a gated road visible to the left, the Long Path bears right again and soon passes a stone comfort station to the left (closed in the winter) and a large group of picnic tables. Just beyond, it descends a slope and briefly continues ahead along a stone-lined road. The trail bears right, leaving the road, and continues to descend more steeply on a footpath and stone steps. Use caution here, as the steps are uneven and may be slippery. Watch out for a right turn at the base of the steps, where the trail has been rerouted onto a switchback to allow for a more gradual descent.
At the base of the descent, the Long Path turns right and crosses a stream on a wooden bridge. Just ahead, the park swimming pool is visible below to the right, with the Piermont Marsh and the Hudson River beyond. A bench has been placed here, and you might want to pause to enjoy the view.
When you're ready to continue, follow the Long Path as it turns sharply left and climbs a paved path to a traffic circle. The marked trail bears right and crosses the park road leading down to the river. On the other side of the road, it goes up railroad-tie steps and continues to climb rather steeply to the North Picnic Area. At the top, it turns right and follows the paved park road that runs close to the edge of the escarpment.
After passing a stone picnic shelter to the left, the Long Path reaches an outstanding viewpoint over the Hudson River from an open area to the right. The mile-long Piermont Pier (built by the Erie Railroad in 1838 as a terminus for its trains from the west) juts into the river to the north, with the Tappan Zee Bridge beyond. Piermont Marsh is directly below, and the villages of Irvington and Dobbs Ferry may be seen across the river.
Continue ahead along the paved road. In another 200 feet, as the road bends to the left, follow the aqua blazes which leave the road and continue ahead to another viewpoint. This one looks north along the Hudson, with the village of Piermont directly below and Hook Mountain jutting into the river in the distance. Benches have been placed here to encourage you to pause and enjoy the view. The Long Path now bears right and steeply descends to the river level on rough, uneven rock steps. Use caution here, especially when you reach the very steep section at the end of the descent.
At the bottom, leave the blazed Long Path and turn right onto an unmarked gravel road which curves to the right and begins to parallel the reeds of the Piermont Marsh. This is the Tallman Bike Path, which you will follow for most of the remainder of the hike. When the gravel road ends at a barrier of wooden posts, bear right and continue uphill on the paved park road. When you reach the traffic circle, turn left at the end of the guardrail and then immediately bear right on an unmarked footpath that leads into the woods (do not turn left on the paved path that descends to the left). Follow this unmarked path which heads south, parallel to the park road. It eventually joins a moss-covered paved path that comes in from the left and soon ends at a park road that leads to the South Picnic Area.
Turn left onto this paved road, then bear right at the fork, following the green "Bike Route" sign. Continue along the road for about 500 feet. When you reach a barricade of wooden posts to your right, turn right onto another paved road, closed to vehicular traffic (but open to bicycles). After the road climbs a hill, the pavement ends. Follow the gravel road ahead as it heads south, parallel to the Hudson River, which is sometimes visible through the trees to the left. After about 20 minutes of pleasant walking along this level gravel road, the road curves to the right and begins to head west. Continue ahead along the road, and in another ten minutes or so you'll rejoin the Long Path and reach the parking area where the hike began.
ALTERNATE RETURN ROUTE: From the point at which the paving of the Bike Path ends (near the top of the hill), continue ahead on the Bike Path for 0.3 mile. Watch carefully for the Long Path crossing, and when you reach the spot where the Long Path crosses the Bike Path, turn left onto this aqua-blazed trail. Continue for about 300 feet until you come close to the cliff edge, and you'll notice an unmarked footpath that comes in from the right. Turn right onto this footpath and head south, with views of the Hudson River to the left through the trees. In about 0.3 mile, you'll reach an open rock ledge to the left that affords spectacular views over the river and the Piermont Marsh below.
After taking in the view, continue south along the unmarked trail. In about 0.2 mile, just before reaching a deep ravine, it turns right and soon ends at the gravel road followed by the Bike Path. Turn left onto this road and follow it back to the parking area where the hike began.