From the parking area, walk back along the entrance road until you reach a gravel road on the right blocked off with a gate. Turn right and follow this road, marked with the 2"x3" white blazes of the Anthony Wayne Trail, the 2"x3" red-dot-on-white blazes of the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail (R-D) and the 2"x6" blazes of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Bear right at the next fork and continue uphill,...
From the parking area, walk back along the entrance road until you reach a gravel road on the right blocked off with a gate. Turn right and follow this road, marked with the 2"x3" white blazes of the Anthony Wayne Trail, the 2"x3" red-dot-on-white blazes of the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail (R-D) and the 2"x6" blazes of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Bear right at the next fork and continue uphill, proceeding ahead across a four-way intersection.
When you reach a T-intersection, turn left. Then, in 25 feet, you'll notice three red-"F"-on-white blazes on a tree to the right, which mark the start of the Fawn Trail. Turn right onto the Fawn Trail (also the route of the A.T.), which climbs, using switchbacks and rock steps for part of the way, to reach a junction with the blue-blazed Timp-Torne Trail.
Turn right onto the Timp-Torne Trail (also the route of the A.T.) and climb steeply over rocks to reach a viewpoint to the left over Bear Mountain (with the Perkins Memorial Tower visible at the summit). After a short level stretch, the trail continues its steady climb, steeply in places.
In about a third of a mile, you'll emerge onto a panoramic viewpoint from an open rock ledge, with Bear Mountain and the Hudson River visible to the left, the north parking area at the Anthony Wayne Recreation Area (where the hike began) below to the right, and Black Mountain in the background.
After another relatively level stretch, the Timp-Torne Trail climbs some more. Near the summit ridge of West Mountain, the white-blazed A.T. leaves to the left. Continue ahead on the Timp-Torne Trail, now following only blue blazes. Soon, you'll reach another viewpoint to the left over Bear Mountain and the Hudson River. The trail now swings to the west side of the ridge and emerges at a west-facing viewpoint over Black Mountain, with the Palisades Interstate Parkway and the two large parking areas for the Anthony Wayne Recreation Area visible in the valley below.
The joint Timp-Torne Trail proceeds south along the ridge for about two-thirds of a mile, passing more viewpoints to the west. After reaching another east-facing viewpoint, with a tower of the Bear Mountain Bridge visible between Bear Mountain and Anthony's Nose (on the east side of the river), you'll come to a junction. Here, the orange-on-white-blazed West Mountain Trail continues ahead, but you should turn left and follow the blue-blazed Timp-Torne Trail, which heads southeast, crossing a fire-scarred ridge.
Soon, you'll reach a junction with the yellow-blazed Suffern-Bear Mountain (S-BM) Trail. Turn right and follow the S-BM Trail, which descends to a valley, where it crosses a stream. After climbing out of the valley, it crosses another fire-scarred area, with some young pine trees. It then descends from a rock ledge, joining the red-dot-on-white-blazed Ramapo-Dunderberg (R-D) Trail on the way down.
The joint trail soon comes out on a slanted rock ledge (near a steep climb known as "Cats Elbow") with a panoramic south-facing view (the Hudson River is visible to the east). Here, the two trails split. You should turn right (west) and follow the R-D Trail, which descends steeply on a long switchback, then more gradually through dense mountain laurel thickets.
At the base of the descent, the R-D Trail crosses the wide Beechy Bottom Road, blazed with blue-on-white Bike Trail markers. Turn right onto this pleasant woods road (improved by workers of the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1934), which you will follow gently downhill for the next 1.4 miles.
In about a quarter of a mile, red-dot-on-white-blazed Ramapo-Dunderberg (R-D) Trail joins from the left. Continue ahead on Beechy Bottom Road, now following the red-dot-on-white blazes of the R-D Trail (as well as the Bike Trail markers) When you reach a T-intersection in 1.0 mile, turn right, then immediately bear left, continuing to follow the R-D Trail blazes and the Bike Trail markers. Then, at the next Y-intersection, bear left and follow the white-blazed Anthony Wayne Trail, the white-blazed A.T. and the red-dot-on-white-blazed R-D Trail downhill, retracing your steps to the north parking area at the Anthony Wayne Recreation Area, where the hike began.Publication: Submitted by Daniel Chazin on 07/30/2009 updated/verified on 05/01/2023
This loop hike climbs to the ridge of West Mountain, passing several expansive viewpoints over the Hudson River and the surrounding hills.
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.