From the northern end of the boat basin, proceed north along the white-blazed Shore Trail. The blazing is rather sparse in places, but the route is unmistakable, as it follows a rocky footpath along the narrow strip between the Palisades cliffs on the left and the Hudson River on the right. The trail goes through an area infested with poison ivy, so be sure to wear long pants and avoid...
From the northern end of the boat basin, proceed north along the white-blazed Shore Trail. The blazing is rather sparse in places, but the route is unmistakable, as it follows a rocky footpath along the narrow strip between the Palisades cliffs on the left and the Hudson River on the right. The trail goes through an area infested with poison ivy, so be sure to wear long pants and avoid touching this plant, characterized by its three leaves.
Almost immediately, you’ll pass the stone ruins of a bathhouse above and to the left. In about half a mile, the trail reaches a beach and briefly runs adjacent to the Henry Hudson Drive, which descends to the river level here. Just beyond, you’ll pass the ruins of the Undercliff Bathhouse in an open area.
For the next three miles or so, the trail runs through a secluded area. New York City is across the river, but all is quiet, except for the waves lapping against the shore and the occasional noise from boats in the river, aircraft above, or trains on the other side of the river. You’ll pass some old stone picnic tables, and at one point you can look up at the cliffs to the left.
About two miles from the start, you’ll cross a wooden bridge and pass a small waterfall, known as Lost Brook Falls. About a third of a mile ahead, you’ll notice a beach and a stone jetty to the right. This is the site of the old Lambier’s Dock. Then, in another third of a mile, you’ll reach Greenbrook Falls, a large waterfall over a rock face to the left of the trail. The trail crosses just below the falls on large boulders.
Half a mile beyond Greenbrook Falls, you’ll pass the ruins of a stone jetty to the right, with a beautiful view upriver to the north. Just beyond, a woods road departs to the left. This is the Huyler’s Landing Trail, marked with dark red blazes. Bear left here and follow this trail as it switchbacks up a wide woods road, soon reaching the paved Henry Hudson Drive. Turn left and follow the drive for about 250 feet, then turn right, ascend wood-and-concrete steps, and continue to ascend on a narrower path. The ascent is steady but moderate. As the trail nears the top of the cliffs, it turns right and climbs wide stone steps. Finally, just before reaching the Palisades Interstate Parkway, the Huyler’s Landing Trail ends at a junction with the aqua-blazed Long Path.
Turn left at this junction and follow the Long Path south, parallel to the Parkway. Although the noise of the traffic on the Parkway can constantly be heard, the Parkway itself is often out of sight. At first, the Long Path follows a grassy woods road, with the blazing a little sparse. It soon dips down, climbs back to the level of the Parkway, and begins to parallel the fence of the Greenbrook Sanctuary on the left. A short distance beyond, it dips again to cross a stream. In another half mile, the trail crosses the paved entrance road to the Greenbrook Sanctuary, which is open to members only.
On the other side of the road, the Long Path climbs wooden steps, continues across several wet areas on puncheons (wooden planks), which may be slippery when wet, and crosses the Green Brook on a stone-faced bridge. In three-quarters of a mile, a short side trail on the left leads to Clinton Point – a magnificent viewpoint over the river, with Yonkers visible to the left across the river. There is no fencing here, so use caution and do not approach the edge of the cliffs. In two-thirds of a mile, you’ll reach another viewpoint, with the Henry Hudson Parkway bridge across the river to the right. After passing the stone ruins of the former Cadgene estate, you’ll soon arrive at the Rockefeller Lookout, with fine views over the river. The George Washington Bridge is visible to the south, with the Manhattan skyline beyond.
Half a mile south of the Rockefeller Lookout, the Long Path swings to the left, away from the Parkway. Just beyond, as the trail curves to the right, you’ll notice an unmarked path leaving to the left. Turn left and follow this short side trail, which leads to the High Tom overlook, with outstanding views across the Hudson River and up the river to the north. After enjoying this beautiful spot, return to the main trail, turn left, and proceed south.
You’ll soon arrive at Palisade Avenue in Englewood. Turn left and briefly parallel the ramp to the northbound Parkway, then turn left again and follow the sidewalk which descends along the park entrance road. You will notice the yellow blazes of the Dyckman Hill Trail, which begins here. Follow the yellow blazes as they turn left and descend stone-and-concrete steps, passing by a waterfall and then going through an underpass beneath the entrance road. The trail then turns right and continues to descend on stone-paved switchbacks and stone steps. When you again reach the park entrance road, cross the road, turn right, then descend steps to the left. Upon reaching the river level, head north until you reach the northern end of the boat basin area, where you parked your car.Publication: Submitted by Daniel Chazin on 07/11/2002 updated/verified on 07/17/2011
This hike begins by following the shoreline of the Hudson River and continues along the top of the Palisades cliffs, with many outstanding views.
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.