From the cul-de-sac, proceed ahead on a path which soon turns left and reaches a junction with the Yorktown Trailway – a wide path that parallels the Taconic State Parkway, with occasional green blazes. Turn right onto the Yorktown Trailway. At first, the Trailway follows a boardwalk below the level of the Parkway, but it soon climbs to the level of the Parkway, then again descends. After...
From the cul-de-sac, proceed ahead on a path which soon turns left and reaches a junction with the Yorktown Trailway – a wide path that parallels the Taconic State Parkway, with occasional green blazes. Turn right onto the Yorktown Trailway. At first, the Trailway follows a boardwalk below the level of the Parkway, but it soon climbs to the level of the Parkway, then again descends. After moving some distance away from the Parkway, it again approaches it – this time, overlooking the road.
About a mile from the start, the Yorktown Trailway again curves to the right, away from the Parkway, and reaches a junction with the purple-blazed Dynamite Run, which joins from the right. Just ahead, follow the purple blazes as Dynamite Run turns right, leaving the Yorktown Trailway, and heads uphill, passing on the right the southern end of the yellow-blazed Arthur's Ramble. Just before reaching the top of the rise, Dynamite Run ends at the pink-blazed Taconic Bridge Trail. Continue ahead on the Taconic Bridge Trail, which almost immediately reaches a junction with the white-blazed Circolara Trail, which joins from the right. Continue ahead on a footpath, following the co-aligned Taconic Bridge and Circolara Trails. In a short distance, you'll reach a junction where the yellow-blazed Arthur's Ramble begins on the right and the pink-blazed Taconic Bridge Trail turns left. Continue ahead on the white-blazed Circolara Trail, which now follows a woods road and descends.
After passing a huge fallen tree, the yellow-blazed Stark Hollow Trail begins on the left. Soon, the green-blazed Granite Knolls Trail crosses. Just before reaching stone gateposts, the purple-blazed Giant Boulder Trail joins from the left. Continue ahead, following the co-aligned Circolara and Giant Boulder Trails through an area strewn with boulders of various sizes. After passing a small quarry on the right, the two trails diverge. Bear right to follow the purple-blazed Giant Boulder Trail as it heads uphill to reach a huge rock pushed by a glacier to its present location. It is not considered an erratic, as the boulder is made up of the same kind of rock as the adjacent bedrock. Pieces of the Giant Boulder that have been removed are scattered at one end, but this gigantic boulder is still impressive. Note the drill marks visible at the edges of the boulder.
When you’re ready to continue, backtrack for about 100 feet to the green-blazed Granite Knolls Trail and turn right (north) onto this green-blazed trail, which follows a winding footpath around many smaller boulders. Be alert for three red blazes on the left, which mark the start of Bruno’s Run. Turn sharply left and follow this red-blazed trail, which descends steadily. It switchbacks to the right just before reaching a stone wall and bears left at a fork with an unmarked trail. After crossing several stone walls, Bruno's Run crosses the white-blazed Circolara Trail and continues to descend. Mountain bikers designed the narrow trails in this park, which accounts for their many twists and turns.
Bruno’s Run reaches the orange-blazed Happy Ending (so named because it is considered a great way to end your bike ride in Granite Knolls). Turn left onto Happy Ending and continue downhill. When Happy Ending ends at the Yorktown Trailway, turn left and follow the Yorktown Trailway back to the end of Buckhorn Street, where the hike began.Publication: Submitted by Daniel Chazin on 01/13/2012 updated/verified on 11/15/2016
This hike loops around this park, passing many interesting boulders.
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
Plan Ahead and Prepare
- 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.
Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
- 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.
Be Considerate of Other Visitors
- 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.