Cross the tracks on the pedestrian footbridge. From the south end of the northbound platform, follow a wide path that heads south and then east, entering the Foundry Cove Historic Site. This path follows the route of a rail spur that once served the foundry after which the cove is named. This foundry, which operated here in the 1800s, produced munitions used in the Civil War. After passing a...
Cross the tracks on the pedestrian footbridge. From the south end of the northbound platform, follow a wide path that heads south and then east, entering the Foundry Cove Historic Site. This path follows the route of a rail spur that once served the foundry after which the cove is named. This foundry, which operated here in the 1800s, produced munitions used in the Civil War. After passing a gate on the left, bear left, leaving the wide path, and continue on a blue-blazed trail that leads through the ruins of the foundry.
When you reach a T-junction just below a road, bear left and climb to Chestnut Street. Cross the street and continue ahead on Paulding Avenue . Make the first right onto Pine Street and continue for three blocks to Pearl Street. Turn left onto Pearl Street, cross Main Street, and continue to Secor Street, where Pearl Street ends. Proceed ahead through an unpaved parking area to a kiosk, where the yellow-blazed Undercliff Trail begins.
Follow the yellow blazes of the Undercliff Trail, which bears left, then bears right to cross a small stream on rocks. The trail makes several more turns and soon crosses a wide stream on rocks (this crossing may be a little difficult when the water is high). A short distance after the stream crossing, the green-blazed Nelsonville Trail joins from the right. The two trails run jointly for 0.2 mile. Be careful to follow the yellow-blazed Undercliff Trail as it turns left and leaves the route of the Nelsonville Trail.
The Undercliff Trail soon bears right at a fork and begins a rather steep climb up Bull Hill ( Mt. Taurus ). (In the next mile, the trail will gain about 750 feet in elevation.) About a mile from its start, the trail reaches a viewpoint to the south and east over the Catskill Aqueduct and the Hudson River. This is a good spot to take a break. The trail now descends briefly and continues along the side of the hill, crossing several streams. It bears right, climbs past an attractive cascade, and finally reaches an outstanding viewpoint over the Hudson River, with the Village of Cold Spring visible below to the left and Constitution Marsh beyond.
Continue ahead on the Undercliff Trail, which bears right and soon crosses the white-blazed Washburn Trail. The Undercliff Trail now begins an undulating traverse of the western shoulder of Bull Hill, passing several more viewpoints over the Hudson River. Upon reaching the far end of the shoulder, the trail emerges on a rock outcrop with a sweeping view to the north. Breakneck Ridge is the ragged ridge to the north, and Storm King - with its cut for the highway - is directly across the river.
The Undercliff Trail now turns sharply right and begins to head in a northeast direction. After crossing a stream, it descends on switchbacks to reach the stone foundations of a woods road that was never completed. The trail turns right and proceeds along the road, which soon acquires a dirt-and-gravel surface, crossing a stream on a one-log bridge. After bending to the left, the trail resumes its steady descent, soon beginning to parallel a stream.
About four miles from the start of the hike, the Undercliff Trail turns right, crosses the stream, and reaches a wide woods road - the route of the red-blazed Brook Trail. The Undercliff Trail immediately turns right again and crosses a wider stream on a wooden bridge, but you should bear left and continue on the red-blazed trail along the woods road. After passing a small abandoned building to the right, you'll reach a fork. Bear left here onto the blue-blazed Cornish Trail, which follows an old road through the former estate of Edward G. Cornish, chairman of the board of the National Lead Company.
After passing a large cement-and-rock cistern on the right, the road becomes paved. In another half a mile, the stone ruins of the Cornish mansion are visible below to the right. The old road descends steadily to Route 9D, where it ends. Turn left and follow Route 9D for about half a mile, then bear right onto Fair Street , which branches off to the right. Continue along Fair Street to its end at Main Street, then turn right on Main Street, follow it down to the railroad, turn left and return to the station parking lot where the hike began.Publication: Submitted by Daniel Chazin on 06/05/2003 updated/verified on 09/04/2016
This loop hike climbs to several outstanding viewpoints over the Hudson River, Cold Spring and Storm King Mountain.
Whether you are going for a day hike or backpacking overnight, it is good practice to carry what we call The Hiking Essentials. These essentials will help you enjoy your outing more and will provide basic safety gear if needed. There may also be more essentials, depending on the season and your needs.
Hiking Shoes or Boots
Water - Two quarts per person is recommended in every season. Keep in mind that fluid loss is heightened in winter as well as summer. Don't put yourself in the position of having to end your hike early because you have run out of water.
Map - Know where you are and where you are going. Many of our hiking areas feature interconnecting network of trails. Use a waterproof/tear-resistant Tyvek Trail Conference map if available or enclose your map in a Ziplock plastic bag. If you have a mobile device, download Avenza’s free PDF Maps app and grab some GPS-enhanced Trail Conference maps (a backup Tyvek or paper version of the map is good to have just in case your batteries die or you don't have service). Check out some map-reading basics here.
Food - Snacks/lunch will keep you going as you burn energy walking or climbing. Nuts, seeds, and chocolate are favorites on the trail.
Sunscreen and insect repellent
Rain Gear and Extra Clothing - Rain happens. So does cold. Be prepared for changing weather. Avoid cotton--it traps water against your skin and is slow to dry. If you are wearing wet cotton and must return to your starting point, you risk getting chills that may lead to a dangerous hypothermia. Choose synthetic shirts, sweaters and/or vests and dress in layers for easy on and off.
Compass - A simple compass is all you need to orient you and your map to magnetic north.
Light - A flashlight or small, lightweight headlamp will be welcome gear if you find yourself still on the trail when darkness falls. Check the batteries before you start out and have extras in your pack.
First Aid Kit - Keep it simple, compact, and weatherproof. Know how to use the basic components.
Firestarter and Matches - In an emergency, you may need to keep yourself or someone else warm until help arrives. A firestarter (this could be as simple as leftover birthday candles that are kept inside a waterproof container) and matches (again, make sure to keep them in a waterproof container) could save a life.
Knife or Multi-tool - You may need to cut a piece of moleskin to put over a blister, repair a piece of broken equipment, or solve some other unexpected problem.
Emergency Numbers - Know the emergency numbers for the area you're going to and realize that in many locations--especially mountainous ones, your phone will not get reception.
Common Sense - Pay attention to your environment, your energy, and the condition of your companions. Has the weather turned rainy? Is daylight fading? Did you drink all your water? Did your companion fail to bring rain gear? Are you getting tired? Keep in mind that until you turn around you are (typically) only half-way to completing your hike--you must still get back to where you started from! (Exceptions are loop hikes.)
Check the weather forecast before you head out. Know the rules and regulations of the area.
The Leave No Trace Seven Principles
- Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you'll visit.
- Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
- Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
- Visit in small groups when possible. Consider splitting larger groups into smaller groups.
- Repackage food to minimize waste.
- Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.
- Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
- Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
- Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.
- In popular areas:
- Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
- Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
- Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.
- In pristine areas:
- Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
- Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.
- Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter.
- Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
- Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
- To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.
- Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
- Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
- Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
- Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.
- Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
- Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
- Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
- Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.
- Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
- Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
- Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
- Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
- Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.
- Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
- Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
- Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
- Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
- Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.
The Trail Conference is a 2015 Leave No Trace partner.
(c) Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: www.LNT.org.