Stockbridge Mountain/Nawahunta Fire Road Loop from Silvermine Picnic Area

Overview

This loop hike passes remains of an old settlement and a shaft of an iron mine and climbs to the Stockbridge Shelter atop Stockbridge Mountain.

Details
Time:
3 hours
Difficulty:
Moderate
Length:
4.7 miles
Route Type:
Circuit
Dogs:
Allowed on leash
Features:
Views
Publication
First Published:
04/09/2009
Submitter:
Daniel Chazin

Photo

Parking


View Silvermine parking area in a larger map

Trailhead GPS Coordinates
41.295607,-74.05961

Driving Directions

Follow 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 Seven Lakes Drive/Harriman State Park. Continue along 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 the Tiorati Circle). Park in the southwest corner of the large parking area (a parking fee is charged on weekends in the summer).

Description

From the parking area, proceed west (parallel to Seven Lakes Drive) on a woods road that goes through a picnic area, following the yellow blazes of the Menomine Trail. Just beyond a cable barrier, the trail turns right, climbs a slope, crosses a paved road (the entrance road to an abandoned parking area for the former Silvermine Ski Area) and enters a pine grove. To the right is a stone marking the grave of James H. (“Scobie Jim”) Lewis, who once farmed the area now covered by Lake Nawahunta.

Follow the Menomine Trail as it crosses Seven Lakes Drive and continues ahead on a woods road, known as the Nawahunta Fire Road. After passing a cellar hole (believed to be the remains of the Lewis family home) to the left, you’ll come to a fork. Here, the yellow-blazed Menomine Trail bears left, but you should take the right fork, leaving the blazed trail and continuing on the unmarked woods road.

In another 700 feet, you’ll notice a small cairn on the right side of trail. Here, about 50 feet to the right, is a rock cut angled into the hillside which marks the Lewis Mine (there are also scattered tailings – small pieces of discarded rock – in front of the mine). After exploring this interesting feature, continue ahead on the pleasant grassy woods road (built by the park as a fire road in 1954). The road climbs gradually for about a mile, then descends for a quarter of a mile.

At the base of the descent, turn sharply left (south) onto the aqua-blazed Long Path (heading north, the Long Path joins the fire road). Follow the aqua blazes through a low-lying area, with some wet sections. The trail crosses an underground stream, then begins to climb, first gently, then more steeply.

After reaching a high point and descending a little, you’ll cross a relatively level area. A rock ledge marks the end of the level area. Here, to the left is the Stockbridge Cave Shelter – a natural rock overhang, with a stone fireplace built in.

The Long Path climbs the ledge, levels off briefly, then climbs a little more to reach the northern summit of Stockbridge Mountain (elevation 1,320 feet). From the large flat rocks on the right, you can see Arden House to the southwest.

Just beyond, you’ll descend slightly to reach the stone Stockbridge Shelter, built in 1928. The Long Path now steeply descends a rock ledge and continues down to a level area, where a triple-yellow blaze marks the start of the Menomine Trail.

Turn left onto the Menomine Trail, which descends on an old woods road. It soon bears left and levels off, then turns right and resumes its descent. Near the base of the descent, you’ll pass through a pine grove and cross the outlet of Lake Nawahunta. The trail briefly parallels the lake, then bears right onto the Nawahunta Fire Road, which it follows to Seven Lakes Drive.

Now retracing your steps, follow the yellow blazes across the road and back to the parking area where the hike began.

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

Beautiful hike

Did this one yesterday, on the official New Year's holiday.  Temp was a brisk 40 with pretty big wind gusts but down in the valleys we were sheltered from the wind.

We were the only ones on this route and had the cave shelter to ourselves for lunch.  Very cool spot.  The Stockbridge shelter is also very interesting due to the way it's built into the rock.

Nawahunta Fire Road is beautiful and an easy climb.  Menomine descent was very quick.

I would recommend this hike as a way to introduce friends to hiking who are perhaps a bit apprehensive.  Not too challenging, but not too easy either, with pretty good payoffs and interesting features (ruines, mine, cave shelter, viewpoint, trail shelter, lakeshore) to keep new folks interested.

Took us 4 hours, including 1/2 hour stop for lunch and 15 min at the second shelter.