Long Path/Hook Mountain Bike Path Loop to Summit of Hook Mountain

Overview

This loop hike climbs to the summit of Hook Mountain on the Long Path, with outstanding views over the Hudson River, and returns via a trail that runs right along the river.

Details
Time:
3.5 hours
Difficulty:
Moderate
Length:
6 miles
Route Type:
Circuit
Dogs:
Allowed on leash
Features:
Views
Location
Park:
Region:
County:
Rockland
State:
NY
Maps/Books
Publication
First Published:
10/10/2002
Submitter:
Daniel Chazin

Photo

Parking


View Nyack Beach in a larger map

Trail Conference volunteers maintain trails in this park.
Trailhead GPS Coordinates
41.120746,-73.911552
Driving Directions

Take U.S. Route 9W north to Nyack, New York. Two blocks north of its intersection with N.Y. Route 59 (Main Street), turn right onto High Avenue. Continue for one block and turn left onto North Midland Avenue. After about a mile, continue straight ahead as the main road curves to the left. Follow Midland Avenue through the village of Upper Nyack until the road ends at the entrance to the Marydell Faith and Life Center, then turn right onto Larchdale Road. At the next intersection, turn left onto Broadway and follow it into Nyack Beach State Park (a parking fee is charged on weekends; daily during the summer). Continue ahead to the parking area.

Description

From the parking area, walk back along the park access road to the park entrance. Here, to the left, you will see three white blazes on a utility pole. These blazes mark the start of the Upper Nyack Trail, which is your route for the first part of the hike. Follow the white blazes, which turn right onto Larchdale Road. As you walk down this quiet street, you will see the cliffs of Hook Mountain to your right. At the end of Larchdale, turn left onto Midland Avenue. In 300 feet, you will observe a double white blaze painted on a rock. Turn right, and follow the white trail as it winds through second-growth woodlands, with houses visible to the left, and then bears right and climbs to a junction with the aqua-blazed Long Path.

Turn right onto the Long Path, which follows the route of an old road. Built in the 1870s, this road was planned to continue to the top of Hook Mountain, but it never was completed. Route 9W, which the old road briefly parallels, is visible through the trees above on the left. Soon, the old road curves away from Route 9W, and the trail soon narrows to a footpath, with views of the river to the right. The trail then bears left and begins to climb rather steeply, then more moderately. As you get a little higher, views open up over Upper Nyack, the Hudson River and the Tappan Zee Bridge.

Just beyond, the trail turns sharply right (avoid the unmarked path leading straight ahead) and climbs a steep, rocky slope, soon reaching the summit of Hook Mountain, with outstanding views over the Hudson River. Rockland Lake may be seen to the north, with the hills of Harriman State Park beyond. You've climbed over 700 feet to reach this point, and you'll want to take a short break, while enjoying the view.

The trail continues straight ahead, descending from the summit and following the ridge of the mountain, with more views over the river to the east. In another 0.3 mile, at the base of a descent, a yellow-blazed trail leaves to the left. Continue ahead on the Long Path, which now begins to climb again. A short distance ahead, you'll reach several viewpoints to the right of the trail, with Nyack Beach State Park visible directly below. There is a sheer drop of several hundred feet here, so use extreme caution if you approach the cliff edge!

After continuing along the ridge for a few more minutes, the trail turns sharply left and begins a steady descent. Soon, it reaches a switchback in an old road and joins the road as the road curves to the right. This well-graded road is a welcome change of pace from the rather rugged ridgetop trail that you've been following for the last mile or so. The Long Path follows the road as it descends gently along the western side of the ridge, then levels off.

At one point, the river is again visible through the trees on the right. Just beyond, the road bears left and ascends gently. After passing an interesting wide stone wall to the left, the road - which is now partially eroded - begins a steady descent.

Soon, you'll notice a well-defined side trail that leads off to the right. Follow this trail uphill to another viewpoint, with Croton Point visible across the river. Directly below, you can see the remnants of old docks. These docks were once used to transport ice cut from Rockland Lake to New York City.

Return to the main trail and turn right. Almost immediately, the trail curves sharply to the left and descends more steeply on a switchback. The trail soon leaves the old road and continues on a footpath, passing a stone foundation to the left. After descending very steeply over rocks, the trail bears right, skirting old concrete foundations, and reaches paved Landing Hill Road.

Turn right, leaving the Long Path, and follow the paved road downhill. As you near the bottom, you'll see the dramatic cliffs of Hook Mountain to your right. Before the park was created in the early 1900s, this was the site of a quarry. Continue along the road as it passes a stone ranger cabin to the left and becomes a gravel road. A short distance beyond, you'll reach a junction with the Hook Mountain Bike Path, which joins from the left. Paint markings on a rock at the junction indicate that the distance from here to Nyack Beach State Park is 1½ miles.

Continue ahead as the road, now once again paved, descends to the river level, passing the ruins of a small stone building to the right. At the bottom, where the road changes again to gravel, there is a picnic area to the left. The road follows right along the river for the rest of the way back to Nyack Beach State Park, passing overhanging rocks and talus slopes to the right. Along the way, there are more good views of the cliffs. This beautiful, level path is a pleasant way to conclude your hike, although you may have to share the route with bikers and joggers. The path ends at the Nyack Beach State Park parking area, where the hike began.

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

A wonderful hike!

This hike is great. It has a little bit of everything and more. One of my favorites now.  Check out some images from my hike: https://scenesfromthetrail.com/2016/07/10/hook-mountain-state-park/

Great, fun way to spend a Saturday morning!

My girlfriend and I completed this hike on Saturday, June 4th, 2016.  The instructions above are spot on.  The first part of the hike (as described) on the local, white-blazed Upper Nyack trail, is very easy.  However, be aware that this first part of the trail is not as well marked as the aquablazed Long Path section of the trail. That said, once you get to the Long Path, it ascends pretty quickly.  If looking for a sligtly easier route, then one might consider doing this hike backwards, by starting out going along the Hook Mountain Bike Path, as the back end of the hike doesn't appear to be as steep as the front end. (There are more casual switch-backs and paved roads.)  However, I defintiely reccomend completing it as described above, so that you end with a nice leisurely stroll along the waterfront.   Overall, it took us about 3.5 hours to complete. going at a nice, leisurely pace. Starting and ending at the Nyack Beach State Park is an added bonus, as they have a nice, big clean restroom with drinking fountains, so you canfill up on water before heading out.  

Aqua trail questions

I have questions for those who know this trail. I've been parking on the dead end road near the fire station and head up the rocky trail. Last time I did this, I made the mistake of taking yellow to the right, then ventured down the lake to walk that path before heading back to the car. I love the aqua portion of the trail, and I've read that I can make this a 6 mile loop, but I haven't found how to do that. If I stay on aqua and don't turn off on yellow, does the aqua trail ultimately run a big loop? If so, is it all as nicely marked as the portion I've described, or are portions just roads with turn offs onto the trail that are harder to see? Not sure why this trail doesn't have easy to access maps online. It's clearly a well used and enjoyed trail! Thanks for any info or tips!

Aqua Trail questions

  The aqua trail you refer to is the Long Path, a long-distance trail of 357 miles, that starts in NYC and currently ends in Thacher State Park near Albany. There is an online guide to the LP available at http://www.nynjtc.org/book/long-path-guide-softcopy. The section you refer to is shown on our trail map 110, which is part of the Hudson Palisades map set sold by the NY/NJ Trail conference. The way you are hiking is north from Landing Hill road, heading south to Upper Nyack and Nyack Beach Road. This hike is described (in opposite direction) on our website at http://www.nynjtc.org/hike/long-pathhook-mountain-bike-path-loop-summit-hook-mountain. You are starting at the bottom of paragraph 8, and hiking in the opposite direction, from Landing Hill Road south. You will see 2 yellow trails on your right, neither one of them maintained by our volunteers. The first  one is the one you took, which ends up in the Executive golf course parking area. The second yellow trail goes off to the right past the summit of Hook Mtn. This yellow trail ends at Rte 9W. If you continue on the LP, which is well-blazed all the way, you'll eventually see a white trail to the left; you are then close to 9W. Turn left on the white trail, which brings you to Nack Beach State Park via a couple of local streets. There are white blazes along the way. From Nyack Beach it is an easy walk back along the river to Landing Hill Road. This shore portion of the loop is not blazed. I hope I answered most of your questions. As to the maps online, that's not my baliwick. I use "real" paper maps. Jakob Franke (Chair LP South Committee).  

Great hike

fun hike, well marked in august 2015 good views, nice terain it took is about 4.5 hours.  Moderate uphill climbing, requiring frequent short rests. great hike, definitely recommend it! 

Question on yellow trail

About half way through the description, you mention at the base of a descent, a yeliow- blazed trails goes off to the left.  Does anyone know where this leads to?

The yellow trail you mention

The yellow trail you mention leads to a parking area of one of the golf courses at Rockland Lake state park.

Invasive plant?

What is that vine that seems to be smothering everything on top of Hook Mtn, including the endearing little cacti? 

The vine is called black

The vine is called black swallow wort. A nasty non-native that is wreaking havoc all long the ridge.

super hike

ps......... signage was great and the hike description meticulously accurate.     

wonderful hike

Had a fun lunch at the top of Hook Mt. studying a bird watching group comfortably enscounced in chairs they'd hauled up. Stunning views, wonderful hike.

A fun hike!

I did this hike today and it was a good way to spend a few hours. Not a terrible ascent by any means, at times it was a little steep, but nothing to complain about. Trail is marked very well, maybe one or two Blazes were faded. Saw 12 other hikers throughout the hike on a Monday. The views from the top of the cliffs are pretty impressive indeed (even on a cloudy day), but it is much more imposing looking up from the road below! One note, they do charge a 6 Dollar parking Fee in the Summer even on weekdays.

Great snowshoe route

Wife & i did it sunday 2/10/13 after 2' snowfall, great route. Breaking trail for most of the ridge walk. Beautiful day, great views, great snow. We did it counterclockwise, routefinding easy. 4.5 hours door-door, and we're old folks! 

Hook Mountain Hike

Hook Mountain Bikepath north of intersection noted above now appears to be open. I noticed a sign saying something like "Haverstraw Trail, 3.5miles". Very nice hike--did it early November, 2010. Saw turkey vultures and a raven along ridge of the mountain. We did the hike a little past the peak of hawk watching season.

Long Path/Hook Mountain Bike Path Loop to Summit of Hook Mountai

Landing Hill Road (third paragraph from bottom) is Landing Road according the street sign. Jakob Franke