Highland Lakes State Park

Photo

Winter scene along the Long Path (Photo Jakob Franke)

Location


View Highland Lakes State Park in a larger map

Park Overview:

A very large, pristine preserve near Middletown, NY.  No blazed trails, but plenty of informal trails and woods roads.

Trail Uses:Hiking
Dogs:Dogs on leash
Trail Miles:
Park Acreage:3115 acres
City/County/
State:
Middletown/Orange/NY
Park Description:

Highland Lakes State Park is the largest of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission’s undeveloped parks.  There are no amenities; parking is limited.

Geologically, the park consists of a series of low parallel ridges with lakes and wetlands in between. A part of the park near the lakes was known as Camp Orange and was a summer recreation area with many homes. The ruins of the old dwellings have long ago been removed but the foundations are still visible.  The area is slowly returning to its original habitat.

In a rare find for state parks in the NY NJ region, hunting is not allowed in the park.  Still, be aware of illegal hunting. 

The Palisades Park Conservancy is a “friend” of the park.

Trails Overview:

There are no official blazed trails, although a few sections of the old (now abandoned) Long Path route through the park may still have blazes.  There is an expansive network of unmarked woods roads and trails facilitating loop hikes.  No trail map exists, but zoom in on the parking map above in terrain mode to view the road network.  These roads and informal trails, which meander among streams fields and lakes, can be muddy, in part because they are also used by equestrians (permit required) and mountain bikers (not sanctioned).    

Click for photos taken in the park in 2011 (before the Long Path was re-routed).


 

Directions:

From the NJ NY border near Suffern, take I-87 north about 15 miles to Exit 16  connecting to NY-17 west.  When approaching the toll booths keep left to avoid traffic heading towards Woodbury Commons.  Travel on NY-17 west for roughly 17 miles, take Exit 120 for NY 211 east toward Middletown/Montgomery.  Travel 1 mile (four traffic lights) to Goshen Turnpike, turn left and travel 1 mile to Scotchtown Collabar Rd, turn right, 1.5  miles east to Tamms Rd, turn right, 0.5 mile to sharp bend in road. Parking is on the right. 

Alternate Entrance: from Goshen Tpke, make the first right onto Inwood Rd and follow about 1.5 miles and the entrance is on the right

Contact Information:OPRHP-NYS Parks
8457862701
Region:Sterling Forest
Fees:None