Ramapo Escarpment and Pine Meadow Lake from Town of Ramapo Equestrian Center

Overview

This hike climbs to scenic Pine Meadow Lake and to several panoramic viewpoints along the Ramapo Escarpment.

Details
Time:
4 hours
Difficulty:
Moderate
Length:
6.2 miles
Route Type:
Circuit
Dogs:
Allowed on leash
Features:
Views
Location
Park:
Region:
County:
Rockland
State:
NY
Publication
First Published:
07/28/2011
Submitter:
Daniel Chazin

Photo

Pine Meadow Lake from Conklin's Cabin Site. Photo by Daniel Chazin

Parking


View Ramapo Equestrian Center in a larger map

Trail Conference volunteers maintain trails in this park.
Trailhead GPS Coordinates
41.174788,-74.08526
Driving Directions

Take N.J. Route 17 north to the New York State Thruway and take the first exit, Exit 15A (Sloatsburg). Turn right at the bottom of the ramp onto Route 59 east and follow it for 1.6 miles to the first traffic light in the village of Suffern. Turn left at the light onto U.S. Route 202 north, follow it for 5.4 miles, then turn left into the Town of Ramapo Equestrian Center. Continue over a small bridge and park on the left, just before the white, fenced-in riding area.

Description

From the parking area, continue heading towards the mountain, with a large barn on your right. You will see another barn at the base of the mountain, behind white fencing. The triple red-square-on-white-blaze that marks the start of the Pine Meadow Trail is visible on the side of that barn. You will be following this trail for the next 2.85 miles.

Follow the blazes uphill for 0.1 mile and turn right onto a gas line service road. In about 750 feet, rock cairns and blazes lead you to the left under the power lines, then right onto a parallel service road, crossing Guyascutus Brook. Soon the trail leaves the power line service road and turns left on a woods road, beginning a moderately steep climb. It recrosses the brook, turns right and climbs alongside it.

At 0.85 mile, after a rather steep climb along the brook, the Pine Meadow Trail reaches a junction with the yellow-blazed Suffern-Bear Mountain (S-BM) Trail. Here, the woods road you have been following along the brook continues straight ahead, but you should turn left, following the co-aligned red-square-on-white and yellow trails up Catamount Mountain. In 0.4 mile, after leveling off and crossing a small stream, the trails diverge. The yellow-blazed S-BM Trail bears left, but you should bear right, following the red-square-on-white-blazed Pine Meadow Trail.

For the next mile, you will pass through a hardwood forest, with an understory of blueberries and mountain laurel, eventually crossing unpaved Pine Meadow East Road (identified only by a rusted "Foot Travel Only" sign). In another 0.4 mile, you’ll reach beautiful Pine Meadow Lake and a junction with the white-blazed Conklins Crossing Trail.Rusted Old CCC Pipe along Pine Meadow Trail. Photo by Daniel Chazin

Continue straight ahead on the red-on-white-blazed Pine Meadow Trail, which follows the northeast shore of Pine Meadow Lake. You will notice some old, rusted pipes along the trail. These were installed by workers of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s to serve children’s camps that were to be built along the lake. The camps were never built, and the pipes were never used.

In about 500 feet, you’ll reach the site of Conklin’s Cabin, which was inhabited by the Conklin family between 1779 and 1935. Nothing remains of the cabin, but a rock ledge on the left offers a panoramic view of the lake.

After taking in the view, retrace your steps back to the junction with the white-blazed Conklins Crossing Trail, and turn right. Follow the white blazes generally uphill for 0.6 mile, crossing two streams along the way. The white trail terminates at a junction with the yellow-blazed S-BM Trail, marked by large boulders. Turn left onto the S-BM Trail. In 0.15 mile, you’ll reach "The Egg" – a huge boulder on your right, with a panoramic view to the southeast from the top.

Stone Memorial Shelter. Photo by Daniel ChazinFrom “The Egg,” you’ll descend, cross a small stream, and climb to reach the Stone Memorial Shelter, built in 1935. The trail goes around the front of the shelter, then bears left and crosses a woods road. It now climbs steadily and, after a few minor ups-and-downs, emerges on the edge of the ridge at Hawk Cliff, with panoramic views.

In another half mile, the red-square-on-white-blazed Pine Meadow Trail joins from the left. From here to the end of the hike, you’ll be retracing your steps. Continue along the co-aligned red-square-on-white and yellow trails for the next 0.4 mile, and when the trails diverge, turn right, following the red-square-on-white blazes.

Follow the Pine Meadow Trail downhill, crossing under the power line, and briefly follow along the gas line. Be alert for a sharp left turn, and follow the red-square-on-white blazes as they descend to the equestrian center and back to your car.

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

FIRE on pine meadow tr near conklin cabin

yesterday 7/4/16 i hiked this loop in reverse, SBM to conklin crossing and then out by pine meadow, everything is gorgeous now but there apparently was a major fire on the pine meadow trail --probably went on for 1/4 mi or so between the lake and a bit past  pine meadow rd east on the pine meadow trail--lots of blackened underbrush but nothing actively burning BTW i had posted in 2014 about a fire on the ramapo escarpment--all traces of this are gone, its all green again

ramapo escarpment

i did this hike only in reverse, went to the lake via SBM and conklins crossing and back by the pine meadow trail. it was gorgeous except that there was a fire still smoldering on the SBM  north of the stone shelter south of the viewpoints on hawk cliff. be careful not to scare the horses at the EQ center.  driving too fast or coming down too fast on the way in from the hike can spook them. this is a great hike tho. if you need to shorten it up you can go right at the shelter up the sherwood path to pine meadow rd east and hit the pine meadow trail.  here is the lake!!  if you look you will see a tiny little rock pile which holds the headstone of the grave of matthew conklin and phebe hand. i dont know if their acftual grave is there in the lake but there was rock pile built to hold the headstone. another interesting historical site...      

Pine Meadow Lake is a Harriman treasure.

You get working right from the start of this hike and it's definitely  a good workout. The Blazes were visible througout the hike and the directions were accurate as usual. There are some steep areas and good climbs, even some places you need to use both hands and feet. Pine Meadow Lake is absolutely amazing!  Once I seen it, I knew I could not just turn around after the Conklin Cabin,  so I decided to go all the way around Pine Meadow Lake and made a left turn onto the Unmarked road at the Northwestern end of the lake which wraps around the Southern portion, it goes in an Easterly direction up a short but steady hill, it goes around the Conklin Cemetery and at the second unmarked trail (there is an old pipeline) I made a right turn then stayed on this for about 15 minutes until it intersected with the Conklin's Crossing Trail where I made another right turn. This did add a little over three miles extra to the overall trip. But it was well worth it. The view from the Egg was outstanding :) The total elevation gain was 866 feet, but it felt like a little more. Lots of good resting places and a varied terrain to make this an extremely enjoyable hike!

Pine Meadow trail Head at the Equestrian Center

A comment from August 2011 noted difficulty in finding the Pine Meadow trail head at the Ramapo Equestrian Center.   The trail head is well marked with the standard tripple blazes for trail beginning, on the barn directly past the last white fence as you continue toward the hill along the main building, past the corrals.   Improvement in the trial marking may bave occurred after the comment was posted. It is very visible from the parking area in the vicinity of the large barn. 

Yellow Blazed S-BM trail not always clearly blazed

Be careful when hiking the portion of the yellow blazed S-BM trail used in the hike, there are portions where it is not obvious where the trail is. There were 2 or 3 times where we had to back track to the last yellow blaze and do some peripheral scouting to find the next blaze and pickup the trail again.

Location of Trail Head not clear from description

To find the trail head after parking your car walk down the road towards the riding stable, you will come to a parking lot and a white fenced in riding area on the other side of the parking lot. It is this fenced in area that the trail description is asking you to circle around counter clockwise. DO NOT try to circle the riding area where you parked your car after the bridge! We did try that and were not happy with the results! Luckily we spotted some hikers coming back from the trail and they told us where to find the trail head. :-)

Conklin Cabin -Pine Meadow hike

  I believe remnants of the foundation of the Conklin cabin can still be found. There is also rusted wire fencing at the site.