From the parking area, proceed east on a level gravel road, following the aqua blazes of the Long Path. In 0.3 mile, you’ll notice the ruins of a brick-and-concrete building on the right. Follow the Long Path as it turns left here, leaving the road. After crossing a wet area on plank bridging, the trail begins to run along an elevated mound of earth known as a “berm.” The berms in this area...
From the parking area, proceed east on a level gravel road, following the aqua blazes of the Long Path. In 0.3 mile, you’ll notice the ruins of a brick-and-concrete building on the right. Follow the Long Path as it turns left here, leaving the road. After crossing a wet area on plank bridging, the trail begins to run along an elevated mound of earth known as a “berm.” The berms in this area were built by the Standard Oil Company in the 1920s to retain seepage from an oil tank farm that they planned to establish here. Fortunately, because of public opposition, the project was abandoned.
The trail follows the berm for about a third of a mile, passing a pond on the right and wetlands on either side. When the wide berm abruptly ends, the Long Path turns right onto a narrower berm which crosses another wet area.
About a mile from the start of the hike, the Long Path crosses a wide gravel road, the route of the Tallman Bike Path. This will be your return route, but for now you should continue ahead, following the aqua blazes of the Long Path. After crossing the road, the trail curves to the left and begins to head north along the top of the Palisades Escarpment, with views through the trees of the reed-covered Piermont Marsh directly below. After crossing a small stream, the trail follows an old road, with a rough stone wall on the left.
About half a mile from the Bike Path crossing, the Long Path bears right at a fork and descends to reach the south end of a picnic area. With a gated road visible on the left, the Long Path bears right again and soon passes a stone comfort station on the left (closed in the winter) and a large group of picnic tables. Just beyond, it bears right at a fork, descends a slope, and briefly continues ahead along a stone-lined road. The trail bears right, leaving the road, and continues to descend more steeply on a footpath and stone steps. Use caution here, as the steps are uneven and may be slippery. At the bottom of the steps, the trail turns sharply right and descends on a switchback.
The Long Path turns right at the base of the descent and crosses a stream on a wooden bridge. Just ahead, the park swimming pool is visible below on the right, with the Piermont Marsh and the Hudson River beyond. A bench has been placed here, and you might want to pause to enjoy the view.
When you're ready to continue, follow the Long Path as it turns sharply left and climbs a paved path to a traffic circle. The marked trail bears right and crosses the park road leading down to the river. On the other side of the road, it goes up wooden steps and continues to climb rather steeply to the North Picnic Area. At the top, it turns right and follows the paved park road that runs close to the edge of the escarpment.
After passing a stone picnic shelter on the left, the Long Path reaches a viewpoint over the Hudson River from an open area on the right. The mile-long Piermont Pier (built by the Erie Railroad in 1838 as a terminus for its trains from the west) juts into the river to the north, with the Tappan Zee Bridge beyond. Piermont Marsh is directly below, and the villages of Irvington and Dobbs Ferry may be seen across the river.
Continue ahead along the paved road. In another 200 feet, as the road bends to the left, follow the aqua blazes which leave the road and continue ahead to a panoramic viewpoint. This one looks north along the Hudson, with the village of Piermont directly below and Hook Mountain jutting into the river in the distance. Benches have been placed here to encourage you to pause and enjoy the view. The Long Path now bears right and steeply descends to the river level on rough, uneven rock steps. Use caution here, especially when you reach the very steep section at the end of the descent.
At the bottom, leave the blazed Long Path and turn right onto an unmarked gravel road which curves to the right and begins to parallel the reeds of the Piermont Marsh. This is the Tallman Bike Path, which you will follow for most of the remainder of the hike. When the gravel road ends at a barrier of wooden posts, bear right and continue uphill on the paved park road. When you reach the traffic circle, turn left at the end of the guardrail and then immediately bear right on an unmarked footpath that leads into the woods (do not turn left on the paved path that descends to the left). Follow this unmarked path which heads south, parallel to the park road. After crossing an open area, it joins a moss-covered paved path that comes in from the left and soon ends at a park road that leads to the South Picnic Area.
Turn left onto this paved road, then bear right at the fork, following the green “Bike Route” sign. Continue along the road for about 500 feet. When you reach a barricade of wooden posts on your right, turn right onto another paved road, closed to vehicular traffic (but open to bicycles). The pavement ends at the top of the hill, but you should follow the gravel road ahead as it heads south, parallel to the Hudson River, which is sometimes visible through the trees on the left. After about 20 minutes of pleasant walking along this level gravel road, the road curves to the right and begins to head west. Continue ahead along the road, and in another ten minutes or so you’ll rejoin the Long Path and reach the parking area where the hike began.
ALTERNATE RETURN ROUTE: From the point at which the paving of the Bike Path ends (near the top of the hill), continue ahead on the Bike Path for 0.3 mile. Watch carefully for the Long Path crossing, and when you reach the spot where the Long Path crosses the Bike Path, turn left onto this aqua-blazed trail. Continue for about 300 feet until you come close to the cliff edge, and you'll notice an unmarked footpath that comes in from the right. Turn right onto this footpath and head south, with views of the Hudson River to the left through the trees. In about half a mile, you'll reach an open rock ledge on the left that affords spectacular views over the river, the Piermont Marsh below, and the Tappan Zee Bridge to the north.
After taking in the view, continue south along the unmarked trail. In about 500 feet, just before reaching a deep ravine, the trail turns right and begins to head west. Just beyond, bear right at a fork (this turn can easily be missed, as the left fork is more distinct). The unmarked trail soon ends at the gravel road followed by the Bike Path. Turn left onto this road and follow it back to the parking area where the hike began.Publication: Submitted by Daniel Chazin on 12/05/2002 updated/verified on 03/01/2017
This loop hike follows the Long Path to several expansive viewpoints over the Hudson River and returns via the Tallman Bike Path.
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.