The hike begins at the northwest corner of the State Line Lookout parking area, at a sign for the Long Path. Follow the wide path into the woods. You'll soon reach a junction where the Long Path turns left and Trail A comes in from the left and proceeds ahead. Continue ahead on the wide path. Just beyond, you'll come to another junction. Here, Trail C begins on the right, but you should...
The hike begins at the northwest corner of the State Line Lookout parking area, at a sign for the Long Path. Follow the wide path into the woods. You'll soon reach a junction where the Long Path turns left and Trail A comes in from the left and proceeds ahead. Continue ahead on the wide path. Just beyond, you'll come to another junction. Here, Trail C begins on the right, but you should continue ahead on Trail A. About five minutes into the hike, you'll reach a third junction, marked by an old rock monument on the left. Trail A turns left here, but you should continue ahead on Trail B, which begins to climb.
After approaching the Parkway, Trail B curves to the left. Soon, with the access road to State Line Lookout visible ahead, a branch of Trail B goes off to the left, but you should continue ahead to the paved access road. Cross the road and turn right along its shoulder for 400 feet. Just beyond a "Do Not Enter" sign, at a sign "9W Overpass 0.1 mi.," there is a break in the stone guardrail. Turn left here and descend on an unmarked trail, which climbs a little and bears left, crosses a wooden footbridge, and begins to parallel the Parkway.
After turning left, away from the Parkway, the unmarked trail ends at a woods road just east of the Parkway. Turn left onto this road, and just ahead you'll reach a junction with the blue/white-blazed Forest View Trail. To the right, this trail crosses a footbridge over the Parkway, but you should proceed ahead (east) on the trail, which follows a wide woods road. At the next junction, turn sharply right onto another road - the route of the aqua-blazed Long Path - and continue to follow the Long Path when, in about 500 feet, it turns left onto another woods road.
In another 0.3 mile, the Long Path curves to the left and begins to approach the cliff edge. When it curves to the right near the cliff edge, continue ahead on a footpath that leads towards a concrete-block wall. Just to the right of the wall is a spectacular viewpoint, known as Ruckman Point. This overlook - situated 520 feet above the Hudson River below - offers panoramic views up and down the river. The abandoned pilings in the river to the north are the remains of the former Forest View marina.
When you're ready to continue, go back to the Long Path and head west, retracing your steps for about 200 feet, then turn right onto a wide, unmarked footpath (before reaching a concrete culvert). Follow this trail for about 0.2 mile along a section of cliff that has split from the main face of the Palisades, with a steep ravine on the left. At the end of the trail, there is another panoramic viewpoint from which you can see north as far as the Tappan Zee Bridge.
Now retrace your steps, returning to the Long Path, and turn right, crossing a concrete culvert over a stream. About 100 feet beyond the culvert, you'll notice a gravel path that goes off to the right. Turn right and follow this unmarked trail which heads north, parallel to but on the other side of the ravine. Soon after reaching the end of the isolated cliff section on the right, you'll approach another ravine. Here, a side trail leads right to another panoramic viewpoint.
Continue ahead on the unmarked trail, with an interesting shallow ravine on the left. Soon, another side trail on the right leads to a viewpoint with a bench. In the spring, daffodils and periwinkle bloom in this area. Beyond the viewpoint, the trail passes through the former estate of John and Cora Burnett, which was taken by eminent domain in the 1950s to enable the construction of the Palisades Interstate Parkway. You'll notice on the left a number of exotic plants and the remnants of their swimming pool.
After widening into a woods road, the unmarked trail ends at an intersection with the blue/white-blazed Forest View Trail and the aqua-blazed Long Path. Turn right and follow these trails, which lead to the Women's Federation Monument - a small stone "castle" that commemorates the efforts of the New Jersey Federation of Women's Clubs to preserve the Palisades in the early 20th century.
Continue to follow the aqua-blue/white-blazed trail, which descends steadily to a T-intersection. Here, the Forest View Trail turns right, but you should turn left, following the aqua-blazed Long Path, which crosses a footbridge over a stream and climbs rather steeply on rock steps. At the top of the climb, follow the Long Path as it crosses the access road to State Line Lookout and re-enters the woods. A short distance ahead, the Long Path turns right onto Trail A. Continue along the Long Path/Trail A, which passes a vernal pond and returns to the parking area where the hike began.
To view a photo collection for this hike, click here.Publication: Submitted by Daniel Chazin on 12/30/2010 updated/verified on 05/11/2022
This loop hike passes several panoramic viewpoints over the Hudson River and goes by the Women's Federation Monument
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.