Mt. Misery/Hill of Pines/Rattlesnake Hill/Black Rock...

Black Rock Forest

View of Mt. Beacon and Breakneck Ridge from Black Rock Mountain - Mt. Misery/Hill of Pines/Rattlesnake Hill/Black Rock Mountain Loop - Black Rock Forest - Photo by Daniel Chazin View of Mt. Beacon and Breakneck Ridge from Black Rock Mountain - Mt. Misery/Hill of Pines/Rattlesnake Hill/Black Rock Mountain Loop - Black Rock Forest - Photo by Daniel Chazin

This loop hike parallels a cascading stream and climbs to several panoramic viewpoints.

41.41857, -74.01014

Cascade along The Reseoir Trail. Photo by Daniel Chazin.From the bulletin board at the end of the parking area, proceed ahead on the red-blazed Duggan Trail. In about half...

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Trip Reports

rate experience
August 08, 2017
4
mod-stren hike for 3.5 mi, followed by easy, then one last climb
its mainly a moderate-strenuous hike for the first 3.5 miles - up mount misery, hill of pines and rattlesnake hill. but there is very minimal scrambling (maybe 3 times total?) - so i would not say strenuous or very strenuous. after these 3 hills/mountains, you come down to arthur's pond which is quite nice, then you have a long carriage road which is not just moderate, it's easy. if you were trail running you could easily run this section. then you turn back into the forest to scale black rock mountain - come back, see ben's bridge again, but don't cross it (otherwise you do the whole thing again) but go left up the red marked blazes to the parking lot. things we saw: we saw several mushrooms including a HUGE mushroom almost about a foot in diameter. we saw lots of frogs and newts (orange color) as well as huge worms (centipedes?) we also saw a snake on the side of the trail. and we ate from the many blueberry bushes that were ripe of blueberries. however at some point (on black rock) we saw another plant that had berries, but they were not blueberries. we're not sure what these were, they look exactly like blueberries but the plant is different than the blueberry bushes. the views are quite nice and the trail is well cleared for the most part. a couple of things to note: (1) the tower vue trail is actually not easy to miss, it is quite hard to miss and quite obvious. it did take us 5 min to get there, however i do think the wording here should be different and qualitative, bc not everyone walks at the same pace. perhaps the actual distance would be helpful. (2) at the end, the last summit on black rock mountain the description says "The trail turns right and descends gradually. With the wide White Oak Road visible ahead, the trail bears left and joins a woods road." but this is not completely right however, the trail doesn't turn right, you need to head back and turn left from the way you came (or turn right before you climb atop the rock and see the views) - as noted by the user @kleepet it looks like: "When you reach the top of Black Rock Mountain, the views are to your left, and it looks like the trail goes off that way, too. It does NOT. That is an old trail, marked with painted footprints that peter out. Note where you leave the real trail BEFORE you check out the views. It has an arrow with two points painted on the rock." we ended up following the old trail with painted blue footprints that peter out - and promptly got lost. There is a trail but then it just ends abruptly. For us, it was fine b/c we saw that it crosses the white trail at some point. but we followed the directions, not the comments and now that i'm seeing it, now i know to bring the comments with me. we also have the New York Walk Book so we'll be bringing that with us as well. if we were to do this again, i would look at kleepet's notes one more time. all in all, the directions were generally good - and the hike was good, thank you!
SnowEcho
January 05, 2014
0
Your hike
I read your comment on my hike and tried to follow the route you describe on my map. To begin with, I note that you state that "I don't have a map of the area."  While I consider my directions quite accurate, I would never do a hike in an area that I'm not familiar with -- or even generally in an area that I am familiar with -- without having a map with me.  This is particularly the case when it comes to Black Rock Forest, which is criss-crossed by unmarked woods roads.  I would highly recommend the Trail Conference's West Hudson Trails map set, which includes all the trails in Black Rock Forest.  But if you don't want to purchase this map, Black Rock Forest makes available a free trail map at the trailhead kiosk.  A map is also available online. Getting back to your description of where you think you actually went, you say:  "After crossing the inlet stream of the pond, the trail reaches the dirt Bog Meadow Road, which it crosses on a slant. Turn right onto the woods road."  Two things are incorrect there.  First, the Scenic Trail does not cross the dirt Bog Meadow Road on a slant.  Second, the trail turns left, not right, onto the road.   Initially, I was completely puzzled as to what you did.  After thinking about it some more and carefully reexamining the map, I think I know what you must have done.  You must have turned right onto Carpenter Road, which the Scenic Trail intersects between Hill of Pines and Rattlesnake Hill (thus completely eliminating Rattlesnake Hill from your hike).  If this is what you did, your alternative route makes complete sense.  But that also means that if you had actually followed the route of the hike as described, you would have had no trouble following the cairn -- as you admit that the cairn was quite obvious once you reached its actual location.
Daniel Chazin
January 04, 2014
0
Some discrepancy in trail description possible
Just did this hike (end of December 2013).  Loved the hike -- and the views!  We had trouble at the part of the description which references the cairn marker ("easy to miss").  After backtracking several times, we gave up the search and took a few turns down woods roads.  Not ten minutes after we did so, we stumbled across the cairn, and all of the subsequent directions guided us where we wanted to go. I don't have a map of the area.  I'm curious whether, had we continued down the trail, we would eventually have come across the cairn via a longer route... definitely longer than 5 minutes from the junction.  Below is the description of the route we took, for those interested: (from original directions) After pausing to enjoy the view, continue ahead on the white trail, which begins to descend, first steeply, then more gradually. The trail briefly runs along the southern boundary of Black Rock Forest, with Bog Meadow Pond visible through the trees to the left. After crossing the inlet stream of the pond, the trail reaches the dirt Bog Meadow Road, which it crosses on a slant. Turn right onto the woods road, and continue for a few minutes until you reach an intersection with another woods road.  Take a left at the intersection.  After a short distance, you will see white blazes reappear on the trees.  Keep an eye out for the cairn to your right -- it is a good-sized cairn, with clearly marked yellow blazes on the tree above. Turn right and follow the yellow-blazed Tower Vue Trail over undulating terrain, through mountain laurel with an understory of blueberry. (continue with original directions) Eliminating our backtracking to try and find the cairn through the original instructions, this adjustment took about 10 minutes. We tend to walk at a good clip. If you try the hike in the winter, note that crossing below the dam can be tricky due to ice.  We crossed on a log further downstream. Love this hike & this area! Hope to be back soon.
auoconnell
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