Regarding the views from the trail, the directions state that, for the best views, you have to continue for 150 feet along the blue trail, then go back to the orange trail. The views are still there, and it seems that you may have just turned onto the orange trail without making the slight detour to the viewpoint. The same can be said about the next viewpoint (on the Long Path), where you have to continue beyond the red trail to a “graffitti-scarred rock” and then return to the red trail.
It also seems that you made a wrong turn, towards the end of the hike, when you reached the terminus of the red trail at the white trail. The directions clearly state to turn left here. It would seem that you continued straight ahead. I have added some additional white blazes near this junction, so that they are now more visible to anyone who looks for them.
As for the mileage of the hike, our cartographer, Jeremy Apgar, has carefully calculated the length of the hike from very accurate GIS data and has determined that the distance of 4.0 miles is correct. We have found that some GPS units give inaccurate distances when used in the field, and that more accurate distances can be obtained once the tracks are downloaded to a computer and carefully measured. It is also possible that, due to the mistake you made in following the route, you hiked a longer distance.
We encourage all hikers to bring along a copy of our trail maps, which enable one to understand the hike route and not just blindly follow written directions. This hike is on Map 109 of our Hudson Palisades map set, and we would encourage you to take a copy of this map with you the next time you take this hike.
Glad to hear that you did enjoy your hike after all was said and done!