Hike Reviews

April 08, 2019
Missed the blue blazes twice!
The trail and trailhead were easy to find but my friends and I got lost again. This was the 2nd time and with a different group of friends. Luckily, this time we turned back once we realized we were making the same mistake as last time. We got lost when it talks about the trail junction and 1777 and 1779 separate from the blue trail. There aren't clear indicators of where the junction is and you literally have to turn your head around to notice where the blue blazes splits off. We didn't think to look backwards even though the directions said there was a sharp right because the trail ahead of us still had 1777, 1779 and blue blazes. Even as we continued going forward we kept seeing this combination for a while so we thought we were going the right way. It was only when we were 3.5 miles into our hike and realized nothing was as the description described that we turned back. On the way back, we saw the blue blazes that took a sharp right up to Mine Road. To add to the confusion, there were 2 trails that did this! While we didn't get to do the hike that's described here, we had a fun time and enjoyed being outside. We hope to do it again next time and turn right at the correct set of blue blazes. "After about two-thirds of a mile along the West Point Aqueduct, you'll reach a trail junction. The 1777W and 1779 Trails continue ahead, following the aqueduct, but you should turn sharply right, following the blue blazes of the Timp-Torne Trail, which climbs gradually on a woods road, soon reaching paved Mine Road."
June 15, 2018
Gorgeous hike, great directions
15Jun2018. Great directions, just something I would change at the end: instead of dashing across 9W and hoping to not die, I would turn left, cross the bridge, go until the sidewalks ends then turn left and continue through a meadow briefly until you can turn left again (there will be a sign facing the opposite direction for "Visitor's Center," where the hike began). This will lead you back under the bridge as you did at the beginning of the trail directions.
June 05, 2017
The bridge is fixed!
CD Players
The bridge was fixed when we did this hike on June 4, 2017! We parked in the auxiliary parking about 1/4 mile north of the Fort Montgomery site (to leave its tiny parking lot for its visitors). Auxiliary parking is on the east side of 9W, and the trailhead is on the west side; the east side of 9W has a sidewalk all the way, and I recommend staying on that side until just before the bridge over Popolopen Gorge because cars are moving very quickly. That said, dashing across 9W was not a problem at 9:15 a.m. on a Sunday morning. We missed the trailhead boulders but saw a clearing at the 9Wfork, ventured in and picked up the blaze -- white with red center. (Maybe we turned too soon? Or the boulders were removed in the bridge construction and haven't been replaced?) I definitely recommend the clockwise direction for this route; this lets you go up the rock scrambles to the torne and then mostly hike rather than scramble down at a flatter pitch. (The path to the peak is a tight U, and on a wet day you can also avoid the rocks altogether by doing an out-and-back on the exit arm of the U; turn left at the road and walk about 1/8 mile to the kiosk on the right.) The first time we did this hike, in 2016, we missed the sharp upward left turn about 1/4 of the way into the hike but knew to look for it this time and easily saw the cairn and double blaze. The descent from the tome took a little while to find both times; you have to double back to the south and can miss the first blaze. This time, we missed the turn at the very end and ended up walking 5-10 minutes the wrong way on Firefighters Memorial Drive; not a big deal.
July 19, 2016
Fun hike but better do it in the opposite direction.
Did this hike twice, on both directions. The description above is excellent. Trail marks are a bit of a hit and miss but, use common sense and you shouldn't have much problem. Some parts of the trail are not in best shape, some fallen trees, nothing really challenging, just minor discomfort. The best part is, of course, scrambling up the Torne. In the direction described above you'll end up descending the steeper part. As others have wrote, it's a little sketchy but go slow and pay attention and you'll be alright. Doing it the other direction though is A. Easier (or, at least, less scary) and B. More fun (imho). Last note; on my first trip, on the north part of the summit, I almost stepped on a rattler that was kind enough to rattle rather than bite.
November 09, 2015
Great hike!
I did this hike with my small (26 pounds) dog for the first time on November 7, 2015. The description on this page, while quite verbose, was very clear and helpful.  I found the trail to be well-marked and only had trouble spotting a blaze once or twice, and probably because I let the dog lead instead of looking where I was going.   We did the hike in 3 hours, without much stopping, aside from taking in the beautiful views at the summit.  The climb down from the summit was quite difficult with the dog, and I wound up actually sliding down a rock face for a good 5 feet, and so did the dog...not a good time!  When approaching the summit, there are ropes to help those who need assistance, and I think ropes would have been beneficial for the descent side as well.  It may be easier to climb that side of the summit going up, so maybe next time, I'll do this hike in reverse.   I'm actually glad that the viaduct was closed due to construction, as the other way to get back to the parking area gives you great up-close views of the Bear Mountain Bridge, and you cross over the water for more great picture/view opportunities.  I look forward to doing this hike again in the spring, summer and earlier in the fall when there's more foliage and colors!
July 07, 2015
7/7/15 Note about construction on trail
We did this gorgeous hike today, and used the directions on this page, which were perfect all the way. Wanted to let people know that when you get near to the end at the point where you emerge from the woods and need to cross 9W, that the bridge is entirely under construction and the sidewalk is closed so you cannot take that left to bring you back to the trail head. You have to go right and as soon as construction allows, cross 9W, stay to your left and the road will bend around to a bridge with a toll booth. Still staying to your left, walk like you are going to cross that bridge, but right before you'd enter the walkway on the bridge, there is a lamp post and a big bush. Look down and to your left to find stairs that will take you on a trail that will lead you over a footbridge and back to the parking area.    Beautiful hike. Well worth it!
September 05, 2014
Beautiful hike, but Timp-Torne turnoff is hard to find
We did this trail in the winter, and it was a good workout in the snow. A lovely contrast of hiking through a valley/gorge and summiting the Torne. The hike description states that "After about two-thirds of a mile along the West Point Aqueduct, you'll reach a trail junction." That's technically true, but in the direction that you're walking, you will not actually see that you're at a junction. If you turn around and face the other direction, this is what you would see: (That's the aqueduct/1777W/1779 Trail on the right, which is where you're coming from. The Timp-Torne Trail has its blaze missing. If you were doing the hike as described, you would be facing the camera, walking towards me, and the hike recommends that "you should turn sharply right," which will take you up along the left side of this photo.) It's likely you'll miss this junction. But actually, that's OK. The next opportunity that you have is still another sharp right, but it's a little more noticeable, being more of a stone stairway. Again, this is what it looks like facing the opposite direction of how the hike description states (you would be walking towards the camera on the right side of this photo):   You'll know you missed both of these turnoffs if you see the bridge over the creek. Should that occur, turn around, and then you'll see this exact view, which is very close to the bridge. I recommend going up in this direction--the stone stairway--because it's steeper, and I prefer to go up steeply and down more gradually. If you disagree, then do as the hike description recommends, which is the first photo above. Enjoy!
June 23, 2014
This hike
Just did the hike on June 22. Sunny day, beautiful weather. The hike was mostly in the shade, so it wasn't overly hot. We printed out the directions above and had very little problem following the trail markings. Only once or twice did we have to scout ahead a little to find the next blaze. A well-marked trail with enough difficulty to be a little challenging for someone with good fitness. The descent was tricky, but not dangerous. Go slow and you'll be fine. The views from the top of the torne were great and the return along the gorge was pretty as well. We did it in 3.5 hours on the dot, with several short breaks along the way.
October 24, 2013
Popolopen Gorge Hike
I just hiked the gorge and torne today albeit in reverse from the NYNJTC hike description.  All the trails were marked and the fork to the bridge was obvious from the south side of the creek.  As one commenter said, back track if you lose the trail markers because they are there and obvious enough.  The trail on the south side of the creek is marked with a red square within a white square.  The trail down to the bridge across the creek and up to the torne and back down again is a blue blaze.   After coming down the torne on the back side to Mine Road, there is a hikers parking area from which you walk down to the acqueduct trail that heads back to Fort Montgomery.  At this point the easiest thing is to follow the 1777/1779 blazes all the way back to Fort Montgomery.  This route uses short bits of Mine Road in a residential area twice from which it returns to the woods.  Just keep heading east, watching for the trail blazes first on the left then the right.  The view from the top of the torne is great.  The scramble wasn't as bad as I expected, but there are a couple places where you do need to boost yourself up onto the next slope of rock.  Even my medium sized dog made it up without much problem.  Just take your time and watch your footing and hand holds.  It's not a cliff;  I get vertigo and this didn't phase me at all.
September 16, 2013
We started the hike at the
We started the hike at the Fort Montgomery parking lot.  While the hike was very enjoyiable we found the trail to be poorly marked and parallel to a major roadway making the serenity of the woods overtaken by the roar of cars and motorcycles.  Our first indication that something had gone wrong with the trail markers was when we came upon the warning sign for a firing range right in the middle of the historic 1777/1779 Trail.  After a while we found ourselves by a pump station for a dam where we found out  some trees had recently been cut down that had trail markers on them but new trail markers have not been posted.  As we proceeded we found ourselves at a major road to cross to continue the trail...we decided against it.  After three hours of pretty much warndering around we wanted to get back to our car parked at the Fort Montgomery lot which closes at 5pm.  Fortunately we hitched a ride and it took six minutes by car to get to the parking lot.  During this hike we saw NO ONE!  Very weird since this was a glorious day for hiking.  Maybe the word is out to avoid this trail until better trail markers and directions are available.
September 07, 2013
Took my sweet time and enjoyed this hike to the fullest!
I'll keep this one short.  Directions are very good, blazes are almost always visible, just pay attention and if you feel lost, stop and go back to the last blaze, look ahead for the next one! The top of the Torne is the absolute best place I've been to all Summer, and that's saying a lot :) Will try to make this a monthly trek in each direction. Aother fine job by the Trail Conference.
July 08, 2013
Blazing of Timp-Torne Trail in Popolopen Gorge
Daniel Chazin
I did this hike (in the opposite direction) a few weeks ago, and I unfortunately concur in your comment that this section of the Timp-Torne Trail is very poorly blazed.  In fact, I might not have succeeded in finding the continuation of the trail myself were it not for the fact that I had a map and the description with me, and I am somewhat familiar with this trail, having hiked it a number of times before.  I have brought this matter to the attention of our West Hudson South Trails Chair, who has assured me that corrective action will be taken.  You should keep in mind that our trails are maintained by volunteers, so it can take some time before the problem is corrected.  I have also amended the description to make it clear that you are supposed to follow the paved road for a relatively short distance.  As for Wildwood Ridge, there is a sign reading "Wildwood Rdg" at this intersection (or at least there was such a sign a few weeks ago when I was last there). Again, I concur that the blazing of this trail at present is poor and that it needs to be upgraded.  Thanks for bringing this to our attention.
July 07, 2013
I recommend skipping this trail until somebody decides to mark it.  
July 07, 2013
Paved Road
Actually, what is not correct is your description of the trail. I wandered for an hour on a paved rad looking for the turnoff to the trail.  The description did not give an accurate description of this section of the hike.   The description says:  "Turn right onto the paved road, but just past the intersection with Wildwood Ridge (another road), follow the three trails as they turn left, leave the paved road, and descend into the woods." The description did not indicate how long to walk on this paved road.  I walked and walked and ended up in a suburban area.   There was no Wildwood Ridge.   I never did find the entry back into the woods.   Moreover, since the trail is so poorly marked going back, I couldn't find my way going back either.  Finally, I just walked back to my car on the road. In my view, if you're going to describe trails and then publish them, you should be very careful with your descriptions.  Especially these trails in Bear Mountain, which are very poorly marked.  As the prior commenter noted, no wonder nobody was on the trail that day.  They know to go somewhere else.            
May 16, 2012
Took Popolopen Gorge Trail this past weekend
Sounds really easy above to get to the start of the trail, but it is NOT.  The start of one trail begins off of Mccoy Road, which isnt even stated above.  We wasted ALOT of time up and down trails to find our way back and up to the top for the views.  The trails are not well marked at all.  What they definetely need are small wooden signs stating which way is Timp-Torne trail; to Popolen Creek; to the top of Popolen etc etc.  Mine Road was a long walk on macadem.  If it wasn't for some seasoned hikers we may have never made it to the top.  We've been hiking for over 30 years, but this was not easy to find and follow.  It's No wonder there were not more hikers out on a beautiful day, their probably stil looking for the entrance to the trail.  It was beautiful at the top, I  just hope you get there!
October 31, 2010
Alternate version
I did this hike yesterday with my husband, but not exactly as Daniel has posted. We parked at the small parking area on Mine Rd. This brings you to the junction of the gorge and the Torne parts of the trail. Ours was a shorter version of the hike, but still strenuous! We hiked the footbridge that the Trail Conference built and along the gorge before doing the Torne. We went up the front of the Torne and down the back. The views were wonderful and we were awed by the memorial on the top. The next time we do this, I'd like to start at the Fort.
July 30, 2010
popolopen torne
I have wanted to do this hike for a while and decided to park at Bear Mountian Lodge and take the Fort Montgomery trail to avoid walking on the road. Unfortunately I was there before the Zoo opened (it was a shock to me that part of the AT could actually be closed!) so had to go up to the bridge and take the blue trail. Then I discovered that the gate to the Fort Montgomery trail was locked (it was 9:53 by now and the trail was supposed to open at 9). I think I was spotted because within minutes of my arrival, someone arrived to open it. From there it was easy to find all trails. The view from the top of the Torne is magnificent though the descent is a little disconcerting . I decided to take 1777 to the AT and climb up to the Perkins Tower - I wanted to see the newly completed AT back to the Bear Mtn parking lot. My aching legs tell me that combining two strenuous hikes in a ten + miler was not my brightest move, but it was worth it! Least enjoyable part is actually the AT on Perkins Drive.
July 03, 2010
Supporting Daniel's statement
My wife and I hiked this loop for the first time yesterday. As Daniel wrote, there was no problem finding the FIRST turnoff (to the right) for the Timp-Torne Trail. The dark blue blazes were reasonably visible on the nearer trunk of a double-trunked tree on the right. More importantly, the trail junction itself is blatantly visible as an incline coming down on the right from the east parallel to the trail you are on, ending in a large swath of dirt where hikers have "rounded" the curves on both sides of the intersection. The NAD30 coordinates displayed right smack in the middle of this trail junction were 0582870/4575140. And, BTW, this loop trail is strenuous!
May 02, 2010
Above comment is not correct
Daniel Chazin
I did this hike last week, and the above comment is not correct.  The hike is correct as written.  The Timp-Torne Trail does climb the hill on a woods road, rather than a stone staircase, and the double blaze indicating the turn is visible in the direction of the hike.  The writer of the above comment missed the first turnoff of the Timp-Torne Trail; her comments are applicable to the second turnoff, which is where the hike route returns to the Aqueduct route.  Just keep a careful eye for the turnoff, and you should be able to follow the hike as written.
April 05, 2010
blaze not visible for Timp-Torne trail
Early on in this hike, there are instructions to turn right on to the T-T trail ("After about two-thirds of a mile along the West Point Aqueduct, you'll reach a trail junction. The 1777W and 1779 Trails continue ahead, following the aqueduct, but you should turn sharply right, following the blue blazes of the Timp-Torne Trail, which climbs gradually on a woods road,") but the 1) the blaze for this trail is not visible from the direction this hike takes. Because of the placement of the blaze you can only see it if you've gone too far and doubled back and 2) the T-T does not begin with a woods road, as indicated, but with a stone staircase. To clarify, the trail begins shortly after the end of the aqueduct wall and first appears as a set of stone steps heading up to the right.

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