Directions to trailhead
Take the Palisades Interstate Parkway to Exit 10 (North Middletown Road). At the end of the ramp, turn right onto Germonds Road. In 0.7 mile, turn left onto N.Y. Route 304. In 3.8 miles, turn left onto Ridge Road (County Route 23) and follow it for 0.9 mile to its end at Old Route 304 (County Route 90). Park in the grassy area at the southwest corner of the intersection. Parking is also available along Parliament Drive (the first side street off Ridge Road, heading south from Old Route 304).
One of Rockland County's best known landmarks, High Tor offers outstanding views of the Hudson River and the town of Haverstraw below. During the Revolutionary War, beacons were placed on the summit to alert the Colonists of approaching British troops.
High Tor is composed of diabase (commonly referred to as “trap rock”), which was much in demand for use in construction during the early twentieth century. Operators of nearby quarries sought to purchase the mountain from its owner, Elder Van Orden, but he consistently refused to sell. Soon after Van Orden’s death, the mountain was acquired in 1943 by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission. The last part of the climb to the summit is rather steep, but hikers are rewarded with panoramic views.
From the intersection of Ridge Road, proceed west on Old Route 304. Just beyond the fourth telephone pole from the intersection, a double blaze on a tree indicates that the Long Path (which has been running along the road) turns right and enters the woods. You will be following the aqua-blazed Long Path for the entire hike.
After leaving the road, the Long Path crosses several wet areas on puncheons and soon begins a moderate climb on a rocky footpath. A short distance beyond, the trail bears left, crosses a stream on a wooden bridge, briefly levels off, then continues to climb. In half a mile, after gaining about 250 feet in elevation, the trail bears left and levels off again. It descends a little to reach a junction with the white-blazed Spur Trail, which begins on the left (the junction is marked by two signposts and a triple white blaze on the left). Proceed ahead on the Long Path, which now resumes a gradual climb.
In another third of a mile, the Long Path reaches the crest of the ridge. To the right, you can see the Hudson River through the trees. An unmarked woods road proceeds ahead, but you should turn sharply left, continuing to follow the aqua blazes of the Long Path.
After a short gentle uphill stretch, you’ll reach the base of a steep talus slope. The trail now begins a steep climb of High Tor. The grade moderates as the trail skirts a rocky knob on the left and descends a little into a ravine, but the climb soon resumes, with a number of steep sections. After passing through a grassy area, you’ll emerge on the 832-foot-high summit of High Tor, having climbed over 600 vertical feet from the start of the hike.
The views from High Tor are spectacular. Directly below to the northeast is the town of Haverstraw, with the Hudson River to the east. To the south, you can see the large Lake DeForest. To the north and west are the rolling hills of Harriman State Park. An aircraft beacon was once located on the summit, and the anchors of the beacon are still visible.
After taking in the panoramic views from the summit, return to your car by retracing your steps along the Long Path.