Know the New Hiking How-tos
Highland Lakes State Park
From the NJ NY border near Suffern, take I-87 north about 15 miles to Exit 16 connecting to NY-17 west. When approaching the toll booths keep left to avoid traffic heading towards Woodbury Commons. Travel on NY-17 west for roughly 17 miles, take Exit 120 for NY 211 east toward Middletown/Montgomery. Travel 1 mile (four traffic lights) to Goshen Turnpike, turn left and travel 1 mile to Scotchtown Collabar Rd, turn right, 1.5 miles east to Tamms Rd, turn right, 0.5 mile to sharp bend in road. Parking is on the right. Designated parking area: 55-223 Tamms Rd, Middletown, NY 10941-- GPS coordinates: 41.504094, -74.334012
Alternate Entrance: traveling as above along the Goshen Tpke make the first right onto Inwood Rd. GPS Coordinates: 41.470125, -74.344696
A very large pristine preserve near Middletown, NY. No blazed trails, but plenty of informal trails and woods roads.
There are no official blazed trails, although a few sections of the old (now abandoned) Long Path route through the park may still have blazes. There is an expansive network of unmarked woods roads and trails facilitating loop hikes (use Web Map link on this site). These roads and informal trails, which meander among streams fields and lakes, can be muddy, in part because they are also used by equestrians (permit required, issued by Minnewaska State Park office) and mountain bikers (not sanctioned).
Click for photos taken in the park in 2011 (before the Long Path was re-routed).
Highland Lakes State Park is the largest of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission’s undeveloped parks. There are no amenities; parking is limited.
Geologically, the park consists of a series of low parallel ridges with lakes and wetlands in between. A part of the park near the lakes was known as Camp Orange and was a summer recreation area with many homes. The ruins of the old dwellings have long ago been removed but the foundations are still visible. The area is slowly returning to its original habitat.
In a rare find for state parks in the NY NJ region, hunting is not allowed in the park. Still, be aware of illegal hunting.
The Palisades Park Conservancy is a “friend” of the park.