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Indian Hill Loop Trail
Directions to trailhead
Take NY Route 17 North through Sloatsburg and Tuxedo, and continue on Route 17 past the intersection with NY 17A into Southfields. About 1.3 miles beyond the intersection with NY 17A, turn left onto Orange Turnpike (County Route 19) and continue for 1.3 miles to the park entrance on the right (marked by a sign for “Indian Hill”). Turn right and follow the dirt road ahead for 0.2 mile, then turn right into the parking area.
This hike follows the white-stripe-on-yellow-blazed Indian Hill Loop Trail, described here in a counter-clockwise direction. (As of April 2013, there are also some yellow blazes along the trail.) From the information kiosk in the parking area, the trail proceeds through a hemlock grove, turns right and climbs to the crest of a rise. After descending a little, it climbs through mountain laurel to reach a open granite ledge, with west-facing views over the hills of Sterling Forest.
A short distance beyond, the red-blazed Furnace Loop Trail joins from the right. Continue ahead, now following both white-stripe-on-yellow and red blazes, as the joint trails climb to the ridgetop and descend into a valley, crossing several stone walls. After climbing to another rock ledge, with views to the south and east, they descend to a junction with a woods road. Here, the trails turn right onto the road, and the yellow-bird-on-green-blazed Warbler Trail begins on the left. You may wish to detour to the left on the Warbler Trail, which leads in 200 feet to a dam and a picturesque pond.
The joint white-stripe-on-yellow and red trails soon turn left, leaving the woods road. Just beyond, the red-blazed Furnace Loop Trail leaves to the right. For the remainder of the hike, you’ll be following only the white-stripe-on-yellow blazes of the Indian Hill Loop Trail. The trail now crosses a stream on rocks and climbs to a panoramic south-facing viewpoint from a rock ledge. It then ascends to the ridgetop, which it follows north.
After a relatively level stretch, the trail climbs to the highest point on the ridge (1,047 feet). Just beyond, rock ledges to the right of the trail offer unobstructed views across the Ramapo Valley to Harriman State Park. Green Pond Mountain dominates the view, with the grassy Elk Pen in the foreground and the New York State Thruway below in the valley.
From the ridge, the trail descends gradually on switchbacks. Near the bottom, it briefly follows a stone wall, then turns right onto a woods road. At the base of the descent, it turns left onto a woods road between unusually wide stone walls. Soon, the trail turns right, goes through a gap in a massive stone wall, and continues on a footpath, passing a huge oak tree.
After crossing a stone wall, the Indian Hill Loop Trail reaches a junction with a blue-blazed trail that begins on the right and heads north to connect, in 0.4 mile, with the white-blazed Appalachian Trail. Here, the Indian Hill Loop Trail turns left and begins to parallel the stone wall. It soon crosses two more stone walls, as well as a woods road lined on both sides with wide stone walls.
After passing through a wide gap in yet another stone wall, the trail turns left onto a grassy woods road. At a T-intersection, it turns right onto another woods road, which it follows for about a quarter mile to the barrier gate just beyond the parking area. Turn left and climb to the parking area, where the hike began.