Silvermine Lake Loop


This hike loops around Silvermine Lake and climbs to the William Brien Memorial Shelter.

2 hours
3.8 miles
Route Type:
Allowed on leash
Views, Historic feature, Woods
First Published:

Daniel Chazin


Silvermine Lake. Photo by Dan Chazin.


View Silvermine Lake Harriman in a larger map

Trail Conference volunteers maintain trails in this park.
Trailhead GPS Coordinates
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 sign for Harriman State Park. Cross an overpass over railroad tracks and continue along Seven Lakes Drive, passing under the Thruway overpass, and soon entering Harriman State Park. Follow Seven Lakes Drive for about 12.5 miles to the Silvermine Picnic Area, on the right side of the road (the Silvermine Picnic Area is 2.1 miles beyond Tiorati Circle). Park in the large parking area near the entrance (a parking fee is charged on weekends in the summer).


To begin the hike, find the bridge over the stream at the southern end of the parking area (marked with a sign “Welcome to the Silvermine Boat Launch”). Here, you will see a yellow blaze of the Menomine Trail, which you will be following for the first part of the hike. Cross the bridge, then turn left onto a dirt road, passing two park maintenance buildings. Just before reaching Silvermine Lake, turn right, then bear left when you reach a brown-painted cinder block building. Here, the yellow blazes resume. Follow the trail into the woods on a rocky footpath.

Soon, you’ll again reach the shore of the lake. In a short distance, the trail widens to a woods road – the old Bockey Swamp Road. Before Silvermine Lake was created in 1934, the road followed the edge of what was then known as the Bockey Swamp. When the lake was filled with water, the northern portion of the road was submerged, and the old road emerges from the lake here.

Continue ahead on the level woods road. After passing the southern end of the lake, the road begins to climb, and it soon reaches an intersection with another woods road. Continue to follow the yellow blazes of the Menomine Trail, which turns left onto the intersecting road. After crossing the inlet of the lake on a metal culvert, the road begins to climb, first gradually, then more steeply.

William Brien Memorial Shelter. Photo by Dan Chazin.At the top of the rise, the stone William Brien Memorial Shelter is on the left. Overnight camping is permitted here, and the shelter is frequented by thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail who hope to complete the entire trail from Georgia to Maine. Built in 1933 as the Letterrock Shelter, the shelter was renamed in 1973 in memory of Mr. Brien. This is a good place to take a break.

When you’re ready to continue, proceed for about 50 feet ahead on the Menomine Trail to a junction with the white-blazed Appalachian Trail (A.T.) and the red-dot-on-white-blazed Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail (R-D). Leave the yellow-blazed Menomine Trail, turn left onto the joint A.T./R-D, and follow it up a steep slope on rock steps. The trail traverses a series of short ups and downs, then descends steadily to reach the unmarked Silvermine Road at the lowest point between Letterrock and Black Mountains. Built in 1934 by workers of the Temporary Emergency Relief Administration, it can be recognized by the stone embankments along its sides.

Turn left onto Silvermine Road and follow it downhill. Although it is not blazed, the road is obvious and easily followed. In some portions, you have to walk on the original stone subsurface, but for the most part, the surface is smooth and covered with moss or grass. In about half a mile, you’ll cross a stream, reach the shore of Silvermine Lake and begin to parallel it, with views over the lake on the left.

After following the lakeshore for about a quarter mile, Silvermine Road bears right and parallels Queensboro Brook, below on the left, until it crosses the brook on a wide wooden bridge. Just beyond, as the road curves to the right, you’ll notice the embankment of Seven Lakes Drive on the left. When the road again curves to the right, turn left onto an unmarked trail and follow it a short distance up to Seven Lakes Drive. Turn left and follow the shoulder of the Drive for about 0.4 mile to the Silvermine Picnic Area, where the hike began.

To view a photo collection for this hike, click here.

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

Very nice short hike

thank you Mr. Chazin for the great descripton. Hiked my first overnight solo here in early July. Lots of people by the lake and several AT hikers around the shelter, which was actually empty. I saw deer and a garter snake (scare the h#$l out of me as it slithered across my path). At times the trail is very narrow and surrounded by a thicket of mountain laurel (i have missed the bloom unfortunately). One note, be sure to bring plenty of water as the brooks are likely going to be dry or very stagnant so even water filtration is not a good idea. there is no water source around the shelter (normal in Harriman i hear). Exept for a steep rocky climb where Menomine meets the AT, the hike is pretty easy.

Beautiful hike, additional suggestion

I hiked this loop July 3, 2016. Markings were all good. Thanks to the volunteers for the markings and a well-maintained trail. Nice views of the lake at both ends of the hike. One suggestion: Rather than turn left at the Silvermine Road, continue on the AT/RD for less than five mintues and you'll be treated to a beautiful overlook of the lake. It is a little steep, but well worth it.  Also, to avoid walking on 7 Lakes drive, veer left toward the lake when the road starts to veer to the right away from the lake. It's not eactly a trail, but it will bring you to a place just below the dam where you can cross the creek, walk over the dam, and follow a road back to the parking lot. 

Mountain Laurel Blooms in June

We were fortunate to time our hike when the mountain laurel groves were in full bloom.  In some places the trail was a fragrant tunnel through the laurel.  Views of the lake were pleasant, too, and were the only views on this loop. We found the directions to be right on, well described and true.  Could see why there might be confusion at the Brien shelter, but I would clarify that the yellow Menomine trail passes right in front of the face of the shelter, after which one should look left carefully to see the stone steps rising in the rocky slope. One minor disappointment with this loop was finishing with 10 minutes walk on the shoulder of Seven Lakes Drive.  Seems like it should not be hard to blaze a trail that connects back to the Silvermine parking lot without using the Drive.  We saw some orange marker tape tied off on some trees as if someone tried to mark out a trail - though we did not follow those markers. We stopped for a break and moved a bit slower than average, completing the hike in about 2 3/4 hours.

Wonderful hike

I am a city person terrified of getting lost in the woods and dying of exposure. (Seriously.) Keeping this in mind, I thought this was a wonderful hike. My friend (a city person who is terrified of not being physically capable) and I had no problems along this hike at all. The directions are completely clear and very easy to follow. A few times we stopped to verify we were going the right way, and of course we brought a trail map, but mostly we focused on enjoyed nature. I highly recommed this hike as a perfect blend of physcial activity, lovely views, and relaxing solitude. Thank you so much for posting it here.


Hiked this trail Oct. 12, 2015. I would add one hour for average hiker who stops, takes breaks, photos, etc.makes this a three hour hike. Walking poles and good footwear are recommended as the trail is a bit rocky. I can see where confusion occurs at the shelter. The AT/RD trail is to the left about fifty feet beyond the shelter to the left up the rocky outcropping right behind the shelter. Look carefully for the trail blazes among the trees to the left. Then up you go. Do not walk away from the rocky outcropping. Do not follow the yellow blaze. It took me several minutes to locate the right tail. The old silver mine road is fairly easy to spot. At the bottom of the descent is the road with stone abutments. An obvious ascent is directly opposite. Also advise buying a map from the trail conference and printing the trail description.   Good hiking

Directions are correct; trails are well marked

In light of the two comments that appear below, I decided today to check the hike out.  I found that my description was entirely correct, and that all of the trails are marked reasonably well.  As the hike description makes clear, Silvermine Road is not marked, but it is an obvious road at the base of a long descent and right before a steep climb on the A.T./R-D.  Anyone who carefully follows the directions should not get lost.  I should also mention that one should always take along a map when going on a hike.  Even though I have done this hike a number of times and could easily follow it without either map or directions, I made a point of taking a map along with me today.  I strongly urge everyone else to do likewise.

Not Marked Well - Bring a Map

My friend and I went off the path accidentally even though we had this website's directions.  We followed the white and white with red cross and red dot and ended up at the Palisades Parkway near the visitor center.  After the steep uphill climb make sure you look for the dirt road referred to as Silvermine.  the way we went was strenuous and very rocky so not suited for a begiinner nor pets.  The views at the top are pretty nice so all was not lost (even thought we were)!  

marked poorly

This was not marked very well.  We walked by the shelter and continued on the yellow trail, where we should have turned left onto the white / red dot.  we realized it after about .5 miles or further, the yellow trail just stops so we back traced to the shelter.  BUT we did not find "Silvermine Road" and ended up on Palisades Parkway.  We did not want to go back as was getting late and got a ride back to our car (lucky).  So anyone hiking this trail, please note to turn left at the shelter and there is NO marking for Silvermine Road.  Other than that was a nice hike, had some elevation, a few spots with fabulous views (thought that could have been past the turnoff so part of another trail).

Trail mismarked

The trail was not marked correctly.  We could not locate the white / red and white markers.  Since we did not see those and instead saw a white marker with a red cross, we followed that marker, assuming it must be what the description meant.  That resulted in us being lost, ending up near the highway and having to backtrack our hike.  We looked for the markers when we returned and did not see them.  Please fix or advise where they are.  Thanks.

Trail is marked correctly; you missed the turn

If you saw "a white marker with a red cross," you obviously missed the turn onto the AT/R-D at the Brien Memorial Shelter and continued on the Menomine Trail to its terminus at the Red Cross Trail.  You then must have headed east on the Red Cross Trail to the Palisades Interstate Parkway.  A friend of mine who did this hike just a week ago reported that the blazing is just fine and that he had no trouble following the hike as described.  The description makes it clear that you encounter the white A.T. blazes and the red-on-white R-D blazes about 50 feet beyond the shelter.  Even if you missed them at first, you should have looked more carefully, rather than proceeding on the Memomine Trail for another 0.7 mile to the Red Cross Trail

Good trail

Did this trail yesterday and it was a nice little workout. Was a little disappointed with the "Rock Scramble" since it was basically just climbing over a few rocks. But the trail was accurately marked and I will do this one again sometime.

Tons of ticks in the area

Went on this hike of 6/9/2013, the route is nice, trail sometimes a bit steep, however, a huge downer is the fact that the area is infested with ticks. Whoever goes on this hike with a dog, carefuly examine each inch of your pet's skin and remove these suckers as soon as you are done hiking. Some of them a VERY small here (2-3mm). some are regular size. My dogs had frontline applied a couple of week ago, so most of those I found were already dead, but there many that were still moving in the coat. I found 15-20 ticks on each of my dogs. Personally, will rather go elsewhere next time

Going back, for sure

The description is very accurate. Varied terrain (woods, lake, streams, bridges, scrambles, views, etc.) keep the hike interesting and we look forward to returning. No doubt that our experience hiking the trail on an early Spring day will be much different than the same hike in the lush days of Summer and the colorful days of Autumn.  We also enjoyed that a section of the hike is on the AT. -- Note: 25 MPH is the speed limit on Seven Lakes Drive between 17 and the park entrance and that stretch of road is closely monitored by the Sloatsburg police so be very cautious. 

Nice circuit

.. I added a short go on black mountain, following the A.T. up to Spanish Mine. Benefit : a nice outlook on Silvermine Lake (which I think was missing in the described hike) plus a gorgeous view on the Hudson River and Manahttan skylin in the far. Quite steep though, and adding about 40 minutes to the hike. Thanks for the description ! A hiker from France Laurent

I took this hike yesterday.

I took this hike yesterday.  It's a great hike with lots of variety in terrain.  The first part of the hike is on very swampy terrain, so there's lots of hopping from rock to rock to avoid the many impromptu streams.  The scramble up the big rock by the shelter could present a problem for novice hikers, which is why I consider this probably a moderate to difficult hike.   The description above is very accurate and easy to follow.  Thanks for posting this hike.  It was my first at of many, I hope.