Loop hike to CCC Camp Ruins, Indian Rock Shelter, Raven Rocks, Dancing Rock and Bear Rock at Ward Pound Ridge

Overview

This loop hike passes various features of interest and reaches an expansive viewpoint.

Details
Time:
3.5 hours
Difficulty:
Easy to Moderate
Length:
5 miles
Route Type:
Circuit
Dogs:
Allowed on leash
Features:
Views, Historic feature
Location
Park:
Region:
County:
Westchester
State:
NY
Publication
First Published:
12/12/2013
Submitter:
Daniel Chazin

Photo

Hiker at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation viewpoint

Parking


View Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in a larger map

Trail Conference volunteers maintain trails in this park.
Trailhead GPS Coordinates
41.297413,-73.613892
Driving Directions

From the George Washington Bridge, proceed north on the Henry Hudson Parkway, which becomes the Saw Mill River Parkway. Follow the Saw Mill River Parkway north for about 29 miles to the exit for N.Y. 35 (Cross River Road). Turn right at the end of the ramp, follow N.Y. 35 east for 3.7 miles, and turn right onto N.Y. 121. After crossing a bridge over the Cross River, turn left and enter Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. Continue to the tollbooth (a parking fee is charged on weekends, daily in the summer). Make the next right onto Michigan Road, and continue for 0.7 mile to a parking area near the end of the road.

Description

 

From the circle at the end of the road, bear right and follow a road blocked by a wooden gate. Just beyond, you’ll pass a kiosk on the right and come to a fork at intersection #70. Bear left onto a woods road with red and yellow blazes, but at the next fork (#24) bear right, now following only the Yellow Trail.

Foundation of 1930s era Civilian Conservation Corps camp.Near the crest of the rise, you’ll notice a concrete-and-flagstone sidewalk on the left. Turn left and follow this old sidewalk, which passes through the site of a Civilian Conservation Corps camp from the 1930s. You’ll pass an old stone water fountain on the left and a large concrete foundation on the right. When the sidewalk ends, continue ahead, and you’ll soon reach a woods road. Turn right onto this road – the route of the Yellow and Red Trails.

Bear right at the next intersection (#11), but at the following intersection (#50), turn right onto a white-blazed trail, which begins to climb, first rather gently, then more steeply. After a level stretch, this white-blazed trail ends at intersection #20. Turn left here and follow the co-aligned Yellow, Red and Rocks Trails (the Rocks Trail is blazed with “RT”-on-white blazes).

At the next intersection (#19), bear right, leaving the woods road (and the Red and Yellow Trails), and continue to follow the Rocks Trail, which descends on a footpath. After crossing two footbridges, the Rocks Trail turns right and passes cliffs on the right. It soon reaches the Indian Rock Shelter, frequented by Native Americans because the overhanging rocks offered protection from the rain.

Just beyond, at intersection #18, turn right onto a white-blazed trail which passes jagged cliffs on the right. When the white-blazed trail ends at intersection #21, turn left onto the Red Trail, which climbs over a rise. A short distance beyond, at intersection #48, the “RT”-blazed Rocks Trail is just to the left. Turn right onto the Rocks Trail and follow it a short distance downhill to Raven Rocks, a spectacular unobstructed overlook over the Stone Hill River valley.

After taking in the view, continue ahead on the Rocks Trail until you reach intersection #62, where a short white-blazed trail begins on the right. Turn right onto the white-blazed trail and, in a short distance, turn left onto the Red Trail. Bear right at intersection #47 and continue to follow the Red Trail through a valley.

Stone ruins at Dancing Rock. Photo by Daniel ChazinWhen you reach intersection #36, follow the Red Trail as it turns left, but just ahead (at a fork) bear left onto the Rocks Trail. At the next intersection (#37), turn left and follow a white-blazed trail up to Dancing Rock – a flat rock where farmers used to dance to celebrate the completion of the harvest. Continue ahead on the white-blazed trail, which passes stone ruins, then loops around and descends to end at another junction with the Rocks Trail (intersection #60).

Turn left onto the Rocks Trail, which goes under power lines and soon passes the Bear Rock Petroglyph (on the right) – a rock carving by Native Americans in the shape of a bear. At the next intersection (#39), turn right onto a white-blazed trail, which recrosses under the power lines and ends at intersection #38, where you turn left onto the Green and Red Trails.

Continue ahead at intersection #34, but at the next intersection (#32), turn right onto a white-blazed trail that crosses a footbridge over a stream and climbs to pass through a gap in a stone wall at the crest of a rise. After descending, turn right at intersection #25, rejoining the Green and Red Trails, and follow these trails back to the circle at the parking area where the hike began.