West Mountain is a 6.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Highland Falls, New York that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Great hike that is much less crowded than nearby Bear Mountain with almost as good views on a nice long ridge. Isn't has challenging as Major Welch Trail going up Bear Mountain, but still lots of fun for a quick 2-3 hour hike.
Good all-around hike, with a little bit of everything: scenic views, water crossings, modest climbs, etc. We hiked it on Thanksgiving so as hoped, we had the trails to ourselves.
Incredible views both sides of mountain highly recommend.
Small parking lot at 41.304111,-74.015858
From parking lot go onto W1777, Yellow, Blue, White
Beautiful views, river crossing, and well marked. Though I had to ask for directions from hikers passing by in the beginning. I followed the trail markers in this order for the 4 mile loop- white trail/1777 to blue trail, to yellow trail, back to 1777/white. I stopped a couple of times, lots of incline and rocks, and made it back to the car in about 3 hours. I parked on the roadside, the small lot only holds about 5 cars.
summer of 2006(?)
We did this trail with a light snow on the ground-- a bit difficult on some of the more vertical parts but still doable. We loved the views!
A favorite hike- variable terrain, great scenery, and just long enough to finish in an afternoon. Highly recommend it
I came over this ridge early in the morning and had the entire length of it to myself. Really, I was caught off-guard by the view and quality of the hike. Really nice and worth your time to get out there for it, especially in the morning.
Great hike today - trail was well marked and had firm footing given the cold temps. I followed the trail directions from the NYNJ Trail Conference website (http://nynjtc.org/hike/west-mountain-loop-seven-lakes-drive), but made a slight change. After reaching the West Mountain Shelter (and talking w/ four hikers who spent a cold night there) I continued on the Timp-Torne Trail heading southeast. At the bottom I turned left on the Timp Pass Road - I would not normally take a unmaintained trail, but the road was well defined and easy to follow. I used this road to cut over to the 1777 trail/Pleasant Valley Road, turning left heading north. There were a number of informational signs along the road explaining about the houses that used to be there as part of the Doodletown village. Just after the Herbert Cemetery the trail meets up with the 1777W trail that takes you back up to Seven Lakes Dr and the Appalachian Trail to the parking lot. My GPS logged the trail as 6.4 miles which took me approximately 3 hrs, stopping for rest and pictures. Highly recommend the hike!
Beautiful trail! Can't wait to go back. Has a lot of beautiful scenery and a lot of different trails.
Came here over the weekend with 5 dogs and 6 friends. The directions that I found via google were excellent. The parking lot is not well advertised. You can easily drive past it. They need a big sign saying this is the parking lot or parking lot in x miles or feet. One main problem is that the parking lot is not big enough and if you come late, you will end up parking on the side of the road. When we finished our hike around 2pm, there were TONS of cars parked up and down the side of the road. They should expand the parking lot.
The trail we started on was the red square on white square. if you are facing directly at the soda machines, the trail is exactly 180 degrees behind you. You'll see a little small brown plastic post with the trail marker. It can be easily missed if cars are parked in front of it. We started there and journeyed our way on this path, then went onto the orange trail, then went to some woods path and ended up walking by somebody's backyard. We were really close to the houses. We thought we were lost but luckily we were able to find our way back to the orange trail. If you end up here, the houses will be on your right hand side and if you keep walking, you'll see a huge lake/pond to your right, immediately after the 2 houses. At that point, you should see a trail to your left and you should walk on that trail (away from the lake) and that will lead you back to the orange trail. Then you'll hike up and down steep hills and may have to "climb" rocks at certain points. This is all part of the orange trail and you need to climb a little to reach to the top to see the fantastic view of the valley. The dogs needed a little help in 2 sections of the ascent. Other than that, no issues. We then went from the orange trail to the black trail then to the white trail back to the parking lot. Another "photo" opportunity would be on the white trail, there are 2 very small waterfalls that you can photograph.
The orange trail could be marked a little better. The black trail needs bigger trail markers. The color black is kind of hard to find because it sort of blends into the trees. Another complaint is that this place has lots of trails and they all intersect with one another so you can easily get lost or extend or shorten your hike than expected.
Our dogs had some ticks crawl on them but they were easily picked off.
We originally intended a certain trail but because we got side tracked, it was still a fun and enjoyable hike. I would definitely come back to this place and can't wait to see what this place is like during the winter times. I would recommend this place to others.
My phone survived the hike so here are the GPS info for our hike:
This trail is marked as moderate. That's about right as far as physical effort. There were a few "staircases". In good weather, probably still moderate. But we went after a week of sub-freezing temperatures, so the staircases became treacherous. We we forced to go off the trail in some places, as the trail is also a run-off channel which turned into an icy slope.
The variation in the route, the views, and the solitude make this my favorite trail in Harriman/Bear Mt. so far. Don't know how busy it is in the other seasons.
Parking area is pretty obscure. It's a small driveway with parking for about 10 cars. Since we went in winter, there were a few open spaces, but in the high season, it's probably hard to park there. I don't know if parking on the road is allowed right there.
Done this trail a couple of times. Pretty much for all levels. Nice views & wildlife. Diverse. Many options to hike. Just have a good map or a GPS.
A good "all purpose" hike.