No complete Highlands Trail map available at this time. See "West Hudson Trails" map in our map store.
Trail Section Alerts
Alert #1 10/19/20: Major HT reroute between Black Rock Forest and Schunemunk State Park:
Due to the closure of trails across Metro North RR at Schunemunk Mountain State Park and the resulting road walk which had grown to 4.6 miles to get to the new trail head, the Highlands Trail has been rerouted between Black Rock Forest and Schunemunk Mountain. This emergency (much shorter) road walk reroute was originally envisioned to be temporary. However, given the fact that there is the potential to eliminate most of the road walk in the new route by using protected land, this will most likely become the new, permanent HT route. As of 10/19/20, only critical turns on this road walk are blazed.
Alert #2 10/19/20: Black Rock Forest parking on Old Mineral Springs Road has been closed and trail access is closed to all but HT thru-hikers.
The often-ignored "no parking" signs at the Black Rock Forest trail head on Old Mineral Springs Road should now be taken seriously. The town of Cornwall has banned all unuathorized parking on the entire length of Old Mineral Springs Road. Organized hiking groups should contact Black Rock Forest in advance. There is no entry to Black Rock Forest during deer-rifle season (mid-November through early December).
Trail Section Description
Length: 30.8 miles
Click on the icon in the text below for photos.
The Highlands Trail starts at the bottom of Dock Hill Road at the CSX RR crossing by the Hudson River in Cornwall, NY. Parking in this area is available to Cornwall residents only, and is strictly enforced. Follow the blazes uphill on Dock Hill Road .3 miles, turn at first left on Dock Hill Ave. for .1 mile, and come to Route 218 (Bayview Ave). The trail head is across Bayview Ave from the intersection.
At .7 miles, reach a hiker parking lot, where parking is available. Follow the trail along fields, up Storm King Mountain along a stream, and past some view points to a junction with the yellow-blazed Stillman Trail at 1.4 miles. Proceed along the co-aligned the Stillman (yellow) and Highlands Trails over Storm King Mountain, then back down the mountain to a driveway that leads out to a left turn on Mountain Road at 4.4 miles.
After a short distance turn left off of Mountain Road and pass through a tunnel under US 9W. Walk to the Black Rock Forest parking lot on Reservoir Road at 4.8 miles. Turn left uphill across the street from the parking area, still on the co-aligned Stillman and Highlands Trails. Pass the Upper Reservoir, climb over steep Mount Misery and Black Rock.
At 9.1 miles reach a junction where the Stillman Trail and the northbound Compartment Trail (blue) go off to the right, and the co-aligned southbound Compartment Trail and Highlands Trail continue straight ahead. In another 0.6 miles the Compartment Trail ends at a 'Y' junction with Jim's Pond Road. The Arthur Trail (yellow) begins here and follows Jim's Pond road to the left.
Turn left onto Jim's Pond road. Stay on the road when the yellow blazes leave the road to the left. After another 0.1 mile (9.6 miles from the start) turn right following the co-aligned Scenic (white) and Highlands Trails. Continue mostly downhill, passing a waterfall and shortly reaching Old Mineral Springs Road. Bear right on Old Mineral Springs Road and follow it about 500 feet down to Old Mineral Springs Road at 11.7 miles.
***New 10/19/20*** Turn left on Old Mineral Springs Road and follow it for .3 miles out to Mineral Springs Road. Bear left on Mineral Springs Road and follow it for 1.2 miles to Trout Brook Road. Turn right on Trout Brook Road and follow it .8 miles to Route 32. Turn left on Route 32 and follow it .7 miles to where the Long Path crosses Rt. 32 just before the overhead RR trestle at 14.7 miles. Turn right on the Long Path and follow it for 1.4 miles up Schunemunk Mountain, reaching the junction with the yellow-blazed Jessup Trail at 16.1 miles. Turn left at the junction.
NOTE: As of 10/19/20 the yellow blazes of the Jessup Trail were being painted over with green Long Path blazes.
Follow the co-aligned Jessup, Highlands Trail, Long Path for 3.7 miles along and down the ridge of Schunemunk Mountain to the closed portion of Seven Springs Road at Gonzaga Park, where parking is available at 19.8 miles.
Follow the co-aligned Highlands Trail and Long Path .2 miles down to a gate at Mountain Road. Cross Mountain Road and continue on Seven Springs Road for .4 miles, turning right off the road in a residential area. Proceed through the woods and up and over a ridge on the co-aligned Highlands Trail / Long Path to cross NY 208 at 24.0 miles. Follow the shore of Orange-Rockland Lake, then turn left onto Museum Village Road, following it across NY 17. Turn left, reaching a commuter parking lot at 24.6 miles.
Turn sharply right onto the Orange Heritage Trail, formerly the Erie Railroad mainline, and proceed for a mile, crossing back under NY 17. Turn right off of the Orange Heritage Trail on the Highlands Trail (the Long Path continues straight) after a small cemetery on your right and just before a bridge and go down the embankment to the road. Make a left under the bridge onto Craigville Road (County 51), following it to NY 17M at 26.3 miles. After a quick jog across 17M, turn right onto Lazy Hill Road, an abandoned, formerly paved road and enter Goose Pond Mountain State Park. Turn left off of Lazy Hill Road in 1.8 miles*** and follow a narrow trail out to Bull Mill Road at 29.8 miles. Cross Bull Mill Road, go over a hill with a view of Sugarloaf Mountain, and come out to a trail parking lot at 30.8 miles.
***A teal diamond with black center blazed trail continues for .5 miles on Lazy Hill Road to limited trail parking on Laroe Road.