July 11, 2020
Very picturesque trail
A very nice trail - it's not exactly wild and you never really leave civilization, but it was not crowded when we went. The cascading stream makes it particularly pleasant.
September 03, 2016
Hike description has been updated
Thanks again for your comments! Yes, my description did contain an error (near the start, the trail turns left, not right, to cross the footbridge over the stream). I have corrected the error. Also, you are correct that, largely due to the efforts of represenatives of the Trail Conference, the end of the loop has been rerouted to stay on the same side of the creek, thus permitting you to use the road bridge to cross the creek. So I have updated this, too. Finally, the old blazes of the former trails remain along the Blue Mountain Loop Trail, and they can be expected to stay there indefinitely. I have deleted a statement that they would be taken down this past summer.
September 02, 2016
I did a variant of this hike today (9/2/16). First of all, a couple of corrections to the original writeup. At the very beginning, the normally infallible Mr. Chazin makes a mistake - The last sentence of the 2nd paragraph of the description should read "In a third of a mile, follow the trail as it turns left [not right], leaving the woods road, and crosses the creek on a wooden footbridge." In the last paragraph of the description, Mr. Chazin indicates that the Blue Mountain Loop officially crosses the creek, and he adds that, if the water is high, you should continue ahead along the north bank of the creek to Coursen Road and use the road bridge for the creek-crossing. Evidently, enough people had a problem with this creek-crossing that the trail was officially moved so that it now follows the north bank until it meets the road. OK, with that out of the way, let me enthuse about the hike that I did. My route (a total of about 10.5 miles, done in about 4.25 hours) was to follow the Blue Mountain Loop until Stony Lake, and then veer off to circle the pond itself, after which I went to visit the Silver Mine, rejoining the Blue Mountain Loop at the northeastern terminus of the Silver Mine Trail to continue with the end of the loop described by Mr. Chazin. I confess to being something of a nut about old mines, so I was interested in the remains of the mine (presumably lead) along the Lachner Trail - the moderately sized pit to the right of the trail (about a third of the way between the intersection with the Lead Mine Trail and the northeastern end of the Lachner Trail), and what looked to me like a smaller such pit on the right at about the two-thirds mark of this stretch of the trail. Once I figured out that the brown-blazed trail Stony Brook Trail leading north from Stony Lake had been re-routed since the 2012 version of the NY/NJ Trail Conference map 122 came out, I followed it to Stony Brook Falls (a very pleasant walk along the brook, culminating in a beautiful falls), after which I turned right onto the Silver Mine Trail. For those not familiar with this, the actual silver mine entrance is on a very short spur (still blazed as the Silver Mine Trail) that leads downhill from the main trail to the grated-over shaft entrance, although there is clear evidence of other mining activity in the area. Once you return to the main part of the trail, the other item of note is part of a concrete wall and some large trenches to the left of the trail about three-quarters of a mile past the start of the spur trail to the mine. I initially guessed that this might also be associated with mining activity, but a little on-line research yielded the information that, though the same person (John Snook) who ran the silver mine also built this other feature, it turns out that it was the first part of a dam for a projected lakeshore resort, which ran afoul of the Great Depression. At the end of the Silver Mine Trail, I returned to the "official" hike. Certainly the most picturesque part of this was the rather lengthy walk along Stony Brook and Big Flat Brook. I will say the I can imagine that the western end of this could be a bit tricky in high-water times, given the multitudinous crossing of brook tributaries. Overall, a really great hike!