Shorter Loop North of State Line Lookout
Directions to trailhead
Take the Palisades Interstate Parkway north to the exit for the State Line Lookout, about two miles north of Exit 2, and follow the access road to the parking lot for the lookout. If you are coming south on the Parkway, there is a U-turn available just south of Exit 3.
This hike offers an easy loop on pleasant woods roads and paths north of the State Line Lookout. It is suitable for cross-country skiing when conditions permit, but while it is a relatively easy hike, it is moderate to difficult for cross-country skiing.
The hike begins at the northwest corner of the parking lot at the State Line Lookout, at a sign for the Long Path. Follow the wide path into the woods. Soon, you’ll 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, where you should turn right onto Trail C.
After a relatively level stretch, the trail begins a steady descent. At the base of the descent, it crosses a stone-faced culvert over a stream. Soon, you’ll come to a Y-intersection, where Trail D begins on the left. Bear right, continuing to follow Trail C, which descends slightly to cross another culvert and then goes up a little to reach an abandoned concrete road. This wide roadway was built in 1926 as a New Jersey state highway (it was subsequently designated US 9W), but it was abandoned in the 1950s when the Palisades Interstate Parkway was constructed.
Turn right and follow the wide road for about 100 feet, then bear left onto Trail E (marked by a sign). The trail proceeds north, parallel to the old concrete road, then bears right (east) and begins to climb on moderate grades. Soon, it reaches a junction with another trail – the route of the aqua-blazed Long Path.
Follow Trail E as it bends very sharply to the right and begins to run parallel to the Palisades cliffs. Especially in the winter, there are views through the trees over the Hudson River. The trail climbs a little more, then descends slightly and bears right, away from the river. In about half a mile from the sharp bend, it rejoins the old Route 9W. Bear left and follow the abandoned roadway southward. You’re now once again close to the edge of the cliffs, and gaps in the stone guardrail on the left side of the road lead to excellent viewpoints over the river (be sure not to go beyond the green fencing or the stone parapets at the edge of the cliffs).
A short distance ahead, you’ll reach the State Line Lookout. To the left, Point Lookout offers an outstanding vista over the river, both north and south, with the Tappan Zee Bridge visible to the north. Lookout Inn, where refreshments, books and maps are available, is directly across the road, and the parking lot where you began the hike is just beyond.