Silvermine Lake Loop

Overview

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

Details
Time:
2 hours
Difficulty:
Moderate
Length:
3.8 miles
Route Type:
Circuit
Dogs:
Allowed on leash
Features:
Views, Historic feature, Woods
Publication
First Published:
09/29/2011

Updated/Verified:
10/13/2013
Submitter:
Daniel Chazin

Photo

Silvermine Lake. Photo by Dan Chazin.

Parking


View Silvermine Lake Harriman in a larger map

Trailhead GPS Coordinates
41.295607,-74.05961

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 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).

Description

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 a T-intersection. Continue to follow the yellow blazes of the Menomine Trail, which turns left onto another woods 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). Turn left onto the joint A.T./R-D and follow it up a steep, rocky slope. The trail traverses a series of short ups and downs, then descends steadily to reach the Silvermine Road in the col 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 unmarked, it 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.

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.

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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 Harriman...one of many, I hope.