Reeves Brook/Raccoon Brook Hills/Pine Meadow Trails Loop from Reeves Meadow

Overview

This loop hike at the southern end of the park follows picturesque streams and climbs to several panoramic viewpoints.

Details
Time:
3.5 hours
Difficulty:
Moderate
Length:
5 miles
Route Type:
Circuit
Dogs:
Allowed on leash
Features:
Views
Location
Park:
Region:
County:
Rockland
State:
NY
Maps/Books
Publication
First Published:
10/22/2009
Submitter:
Daniel Chazin

Photo

West-facing view from Torne View -- Photo by Daniel Chazin

Parking


View Reeves Meadow Visitor Center in a larger map

Trail Conference volunteers maintain trails in this park.
Trailhead GPS Coordinates
41.173916,-74.168658
Driving Directions

Take N.J. Route 17 north to the New York State Thruway and take the first exit, Exit 15A (Sloatsburg). Turn left at the bottom of the ramp 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 signs for Seven Lakes Drive/Harriman State Park. Cross an overpass over railroad tracks and continue along Seven Lakes Drive for three-quarters of a mile to the Reeves Meadow Visitor Center, on the right. Park in the Visitor Center's parking lot.

Train

Take the NJ Transit/Metro-North Port Jervis Line to the Sloatsburg station.  From the station, cross the railroad tracks and head north on Ballard Avenue. When Ballard Avenue ends, turn right onto Academy Avenue and continue to Seven Lakes Drive. Turn right on Seven Lakes Drive, continue under the New York State Thruway, and pass Greenway Road and Laurel Road on the right. A short distance beyond, about 0.9 mile from the train station, you'll reach a bridge over the Stony Brook. On the bridge, you will notice a triple red-square-on-white blaze and a directional arrow, which mark the trailhead of the Pine Meadow Trail. Turn right, leaving the road, and follow this red-on-white-blazed trail for about 0.8 mile to the Reeves Meadow Visitor Center, where the hike begins.

Description

From the parking lot, head east (left when facing the woods) on the broad red-on-white-blazed Pine Meadow Trail, passing the Visitor Center on the left. In about 300 feet, a white-blazed trail leaves to the right. Turn right onto this trail - the Reeves Brook Trail - which follows a woods road uphill. Soon, the trail begins to parallel Reeves Brook, which is to the left.

In about half a mile, another woods road leaves to the right. Just beyond, follow the white-blazed trail as it bears left and begins a steeper climb on a footpath, passing attractive cascades in the brook. The trail continues to climb more gradually, still paralleling the brook.

About a mile and a half from the start, you'll notice a steep escarpment just ahead. Here, you'll reach a junction with the blue-on-white-blazed Seven Hills Trail. Turn right onto the Seven Hills Trail, which climbs over a rise, descends a little, and then ascends gradually.

In about half a mile, you'll come to a junction with the black-on-white-blazed Raccoon Brook Hills (RBH) Trail, which begins on the left. Continue ahead a short distance on the Seven Hills Trail to a west-facing viewpoint, known as Torne View. From here, the Ramapo Torne may be seen on the left, with the hills of Sterling Forest to the west.

Now retrace your steps to the junction with the RBH Trail. Turn right and follow this black-on-white-blazed trail, which descends to cross a stream on rocks (passing the end of the white-blazed Reeves Brook Trail on the way down). It then climbs an escarpment, first steeply, then more gradually, passing two southwest-facing viewpoints. Near the second viewpoint, a large rock, known as The Pulpit, juts out by the cliff edge. After a short descent, the RBH Trail climbs to reach a junction with the orange-blazed Hillburn-Torne-Sebago (HTS) Trail on an open rock ledge (the junction is marked by paint blazes on the rocks).

Turn left onto the HTS Trail, which proceeds through dense mountain laurel thickets. It descends to cross a strip cleared for a gas pipeline, climbs to a minor summit, then begins a steady descent. On the way down, the blue-on-white-blazed Seven Hills Trail joins briefly from the left and soon leaves to the right, following which the descent steepens.

At the base of the descent, the HTS Trail reaches a woods road, the route of the red-on-white-blazed Pine Meadow Trail. You will take the Pine Meadow Trail all the way back to the parking area. Turn left and briefly follow the joint HTS/Pine Meadow Trail along the woods road, but just ahead, where the HTS Trail departs to the right, continue ahead on the Pine Meadow Trail. Soon, you'll come to a section where the woods road has eroded, and the trail has been relocated onto a footpath to the left.

After crossing a gas pipeline and then Quartz Brook on a wooden bridge, the Pine Meadow Trail reaches a junction where the yellow-blazed Stony Brook Trail begins to the right. Continue to follow the Pine Meadow Trail as it bears left and begins to run close to Stony Brook, with its attractive cascades. To bypass a wet spot at the crossing of a tributary stream, the trail has been relocated to the hillside on the left, where it crosses another wooden bridge. Just beyond, you'll come to the Reeves Meadow Visitor Center and the parking lot where the hike began.

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

Which map is this trail on?

Is this hike on map Harriman-Bear Mountain South (118) or North (119)?  I would like to download the pdf map, but don't know which one to get.  Thanks

Hike is on Map 118

This hike is on Map 118, Southern Harriman-Bear Mountain State Park.

visually gorgeous but noisy

There must be a target practice area nearby because our entire hike was marred by the sound of someone shooting what sounded like a rifle in the not-too-far-off distance.  The noise was constant and irritating -I don't think I'll do this hike again for that reason.  If you are not bothered by this sort of thing, then by all means hike this beautiful area!  Wonderful long flowing, gently sloping waterfalls over fabulous rock formations. Beautifull vistas at certain points.  No sign of woldlife, probably because of the constant NOISE!!  I would be interested to know if other people have had a similar experience with this area.  If so, maybe we need to try to find a way for them to contain the noise that ricochets off every blasted surface in the area.

Some advice for crossing the gas pipeline on the HTS trail

I completed this hike on an unseasonably warm May 31.  It was refreshing to end my hike with a cool walk along a rushing Stony Brook.  We spotted a Fowler's toad and Northern Water Snake on our hike.

I occasionally lost sight of the orange blazes on the HTS trail, especially on mountain ridges where there were few trees and the blazes on rocks were hidden by undergrowth or faded.

As you across the gas pipeline on the HTS trail, look to your left for a rock cairn.  That will direct you to the continuation of the trail.