Loop hike to CCC Camp Ruins, Indian Rock Shelter, Raven Rocks, Dancing Rock and Bear Rock at Ward Pound Ridge
Directions to trailhead
Take I-684 North to Exit 6 (Cross River), which briefly joins the Saw Mill River Parkway, then exits to N.Y. Route 35. Turn right and follow Route 35 east for 3.7 miles to N.Y. Route 121. Turn right onto Route 121, cross a bridge over the Cross River, then immediately turn left and enter Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. Continue for 0.7 mile to the tollbooth (a parking fee is charged on weekends, daily in the summer). Make the first right beyond the tollbooth onto Michigan Road and continue for 0.7 mile to a parking area just before a turnaround circle at the end of the road (if this parking area is full, additional parking is available uphill to the left).
From the circle at the end of the road, bear right and follow a road blocked by a wooden gate. Just beyond, you’ll pass a kiosk on the right and come to a fork at intersection #70. Bear left onto a woods road with red and yellow blazes, but at the next fork (#24) bear right, now following only the Yellow Trail.
Near the crest of the rise, you’ll notice a concrete-and-flagstone sidewalk on the left. Turn left and follow this old sidewalk, which passes through the site of a Civilian Conservation Corps camp from the 1930s. You’ll pass an old stone water fountain on the left and a large concrete foundation on the right. When the sidewalk ends, continue ahead, and you’ll soon reach a woods road. Turn right onto this road – the route of the Yellow and Red Trails.
Bear right at the next intersection (#11), but at the following intersection (#50), turn right onto a white-blazed trail, which begins to climb, first rather gently, then more steeply. After a level stretch, this white-blazed trail ends at intersection #20. Turn left here and follow the co-aligned Yellow, Red and Rocks Trails (the Rocks Trail is blazed with “RT”-on-white blazes).
At the next intersection (#19), bear right, leaving the woods road (and the Red and Yellow Trails), and continue to follow the Rocks Trail, which descends on a footpath. After crossing two footbridges, the Rocks Trail turns right and passes cliffs on the right. It soon reaches the Indian Rock Shelter, frequented by Native Americans because the overhanging rocks offered protection from the rain.
Just beyond, at intersection #18, turn right onto a white-blazed trail which passes jagged cliffs on the right. When the white-blazed trail ends at intersection #21, turn left onto the Red Trail, which climbs over a rise. A short distance beyond, at intersection #48, a white-blazed trail begins on the left. Turn left onto this white-blazed traill and follow it a short distance downhill to Raven Rocks, a spectacular unobstructed overlook over the Stone Hill River valley. A bench is provided if you'd like to take a break to admire the view.
After taking in the view, turn right and head west on the Rocks Trail (marked by "RT"-on-white blazes) until you reach intersection #62, where a short white-blazed trail begins on the right. Turn right onto the white-blazed trail and, in a short distance, turn left onto the Red Trail. Bear right at intersection #47 and continue to follow the Red Trail through a valley.
When you reach intersection #36, follow the Red Trail as it turns left, but just ahead (at a fork) bear left onto the Rocks Trail. At the next intersection (#37), turn left and follow a white-blazed trail up to Dancing Rock – a flat rock where farmers used to dance to celebrate the completion of the harvest. Continue ahead on the white-blazed trail, which passes stone ruins, then loops around and descends to end at another junction with the Rocks Trail (intersection #60).
Turn left onto the Rocks Trail, which goes under power lines and soon passes the Bear Rock Petroglyph (on the right) – a rock carving attributed to Native Americans in the shape of a bear. At the next intersection (#39), turn right onto a white-blazed trail, which recrosses under the power lines and ends at intersection #38, where you turn left onto the Green and Red Trails.
Continue ahead at intersection #34, but at the next intersection (#32), turn right onto a white-blazed trail that crosses a footbridge over a stream and climbs to pass through a gap in a stone wall at the crest of a rise. After descending, turn right at intersection #25, rejoining the Green and Red Trails, and follow these trails back to the circle at the parking area where the hike began.