Sterling Forest Region

The Sterling Forest area includes over 20,000 acres of parkland, featuring dense second-growth woodlands, lakes and marshes.

31 miles of trails are maintained by 21 Trail Conference volunteers and member groups.

Find descriptions of great hikes in this region: click here.

Trail Conference News: Allis Trail relocated off the gas pipeline. Revised edition of Sterling Forest Trails map published. 

Southwest trending ridges are faced on the west by steep, rugged cliffs, invisible from any outside point, but striking to encounter at close vantage. The area is home to bobcat, bear, grouse and bald eagles, as well as rare and endangered species of flora and fauna. Sterling Forest is also the source of the Ramapo watershed, which provides pure drinking water to over two million New Jersey residents.

Sterling Forest played an important role in the early history of the mining and smelting industry, and it contains the remains of over 20 old mines and several furnaces. It has a rich cultural history with evidence of prehistoric settlement dating back 6,500 years.

Once owned by the Harriman family, Sterling Forest was sold in the early 1950s to private investors. In the late 1980s a massive development was proposed for the area, but after a 15-year effort to preserve the forest for public recreation, the bulk of Sterling Forest was purchased by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission in 1998. Finally, a 571 acre parcel was acquired by the Trust for Public Land in November, 2006 and immediately transferred to New York State. The Palisades Interstate Park Commission now administers Sterling Forest State Park.