Patriots' Path/Conifer Pass Trail Loop

Black River County Park

Cascades in the Black River - Photo by Daniel Chazin Cascades in the Black River - Photo by Daniel Chazin The rocky gorge of the Black River - Black River County Park - Photo: Daniel Chazin The rocky gorge of the Black River - Black River County Park - Photo: Daniel Chazin

This lollipop-loop hike runs along the scenic Black River, following an abandoned railroad grade for part of the way and passing through a spectacular rocky gorge.

40.778641, -74.720206

Cooper Mill. Photo by Daniel Chazin.

From the northwest corner of the parking area, proceed west to the stone Cooper Mill. The mill, built in 1826, is open for tours in the summer and on weekends in the...

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Trip Reports

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May 09, 2017
Hiked Spring 2017
Good Hike and very neat description provided. However few changes at the last portion of the hike due to changed trail marking. Let me try to compile this - where the trail description says "The trail continues high above the river, with views of the river below through the trees. In another 0.4 mile, you’ll reach a T-intersection with a wide dirt road.". Just after the last turn in around 100 feet you will see one green marking going downhill and red blazes going uphill on right. I will name this as point "X". This one got me confused as I have not covered 0.4 miles and realized the problem much later. You should continue on the red blazes going uphill and at the next T-intersection you should turn left and follow Light Orange Blaze until the next intersection where you should continue the light orange and blue blaze. Then you can follow the remaining trail description. Alternatively from the Point X (mentioned above) you can follow the green blazes going downhill. This green trail will level with the river and again climb back to give a view of the river from top. In around 0.5 mile it will reach a wide path intersection with yellow blazes. you should continue straight on the Green trail and in around 600 ft you will reach intersection with blue trail. Turn left and follow the blue trail to return to the parking. The GPS co-ordinate will take you half mile from the actual parking. The old closed bridge is there, you can park start your hike here by entering the closed bridge over black river, and you will cut short the trail by 2 miles round trip. This one make you start at end of Kay Pond. Rather follow the trail head description. From the GPS location continue straight until you reach route 5. turn right on route 5 and you can see the old mill on your right.
September 25, 2016
Hiked this today
Printed out the directions and parked next to the Grist Mill (very cool by the way). Start off was easy but I felt the trail marking could have been better/more frequent. Directions were spot on but I admit I got a bit lost at this part " Pass just to the left of the Environmental Center (note a Patriots' Path blaze on a tree to the left of a fence) and continue on the blue-blazed Bamboo Brook Trail. The trail follows a wide grassy path between fields and continues on a grassy woods road. It turns left at a T-intersection, then bears right to join the paved entrance road. It continues along the road for a quarter mile, then turns right onto Pottersville Road. " Eventually I was spit out on someones farm on Pottersvill road and decided to walk down a bit to see if I could pick up the trail. Was able to find it and was fine. I will say that part of the trail, as well as the first 3rd or so of the red trail were poorly maintained and very narrow (and few markers). I can see in the fall losing the trail will be quite easy especially with the switchbacks. It's about 12 - 18 inches wide at points. Covered with leaves you won't see it. Anyway, great trail overall, nice and easy. Did it in about 2 hours (the 6.4 mile one). Only negative besides some of the trail conditions and markings is that the first part (1.3 miles or so) you hear a lot of road traffic so the purist in me wasn't crazy about it. Beautiful overall tho. I would hike this again. 
September 07, 2013
Update - September 2013
Hiked this trail today - all trees are cleared except for one very small spot. This is a wonderful hike!
Little Bird
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