From the park office, proceed ahead on the paved road, passing a gate. As you head uphill, you’ll notice that the road is marked with orange blazes. You’ll pass the entrance to Camp Morty on the left and, as you approach the top of the hill, come to a gravel parking area on the right. Turn right into the parking area and bear right, past a locked gate onto a woods road with white blazes....
From the park office, proceed ahead on the paved road, passing a gate. As you head uphill, you’ll notice that the road is marked with orange blazes. You’ll pass the entrance to Camp Morty on the left and, as you approach the top of the hill, come to a gravel parking area on the right. Turn right into the parking area and bear right, past a locked gate onto a woods road with white blazes.
Follow the woods road, the route of the White Trail, which climbs gradually and reaches a turnaround at the crest of the rise. Bear right here, leaving the White Trail, and continue to a viewpoint by a cedar tree. A bench has been placed here, and you’ll want to take a break to take in the panoramic south-facing view over Lakes Waccabuc (to the right) and Oscaleta (to the left).
When you’re ready to continue, go back to the White Trail and continue ahead. The trail now follows a footpath through a ravine and bears left to climb stone steps below a large rock outcrop. After bearing right and continuing to climb, the trail reaches a seasonal viewpoint over Lakes Rippowam and Oscaleta from a rock ledge. From the viewpoint, the trail bears left and continues to climb.
When you reach the crest of the rise (910 feet), you’ll have climbed about 300 vertical feet from the park office. The trail now levels off and soon joins a woods road that runs along the park boundary, with private property on the right. The woods road descends gradually, curves to the left and ends at the park road which is the Orange Trail.
Turn right and follow the Orange Trail, which begins a steady, gentle climb. After curving to the right, the trail passes a trail on the left that leads to the Larch Lean-to and a rock outcropping. The trail now curves to the left and descends slightly to reach a junction. Bear right at the fork and continue on the Blue Trail, soon passing the start of the Green Trail on the right.
A short distance ahead, the woods road followed by the Blue Trail curves sharply to the right. Just beyond, as the road curves to the left, the Blue Trail (joined by the Yellow Trail) turns left and enters the woods on a footpath, but you should continue ahead on the road, now following the Yellow Trail.
With a house visible ahead, follow the Yellow Trail as it turns left and reenters the woods on a footpath. The trail descends to cross a stream and climbs to join a woods road. After crossing a cleared area for a buried utility line, look carefully for a cairn on the left that marks the junction with the Old Sib Trail (black “OS” on white).
Turn left onto the Old Sib Trail and follow it along rolling terrain. In 0.4 mile, you’ll reach another junction with the Yellow Trail. Turn right, follow the Yellow Trail for 50 feet, then turn left to continue on the Old Sib Trail. The trail now traverses an area with many stone walls. The trail crosses the last stone wall and bears left. It goes through a grove of cedars, crosses the AT&T right-of-way and trail begins a steady descent. Just before reaching a stream, the Old Sib Trail turns right, climbs a little, then descends to reach the Orange Trail.
Turn right onto the woods road, soon crossing a stone causeway that carries the road over a stream. Just beyond, the road recrosses the buried utility line. After passing a campsite (with a picnic table) on the left, the road curves to the left and begins a steady descent. Here, the North Salem Trail (black “NS” on white) begins on the right, but you should stay on the road, following the orange blazes.
Just before reaching a stone causeway that carries the road over Pine Lake, turn left following the Orange Trail onto a woods road and begins to run parallel to the eastern shore of the lake, passing the three Big Pine Lean-tos on the right. The road soon bears left and begins to climb rather steeply.
At the crest of the rise, follow the Orange Trail as it turns right, leaving the road. Several yurts that are part of Camp Morty are visible to the left. The trail parallels the inlet of Pine Lake, below on the right. It steeply descends a rock ledge, bears left, and passes Laurel Lake on the right.
At the end of the lake, the trail turns sharply left, parallels a stream, then turns right and crosses the stream on a wooden bridge. It climbs a hill to end at the park office, where the hike began.Publication: Submitted by Daniel Chazin on 03/13/2014
This hike loops around the park on woods roads and trails and reaches a panoramic viewpoint.
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.