Explore East Trails - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
1 day ago

Good morning hike!

Climbed in July and am going back before the month’s end. Went up Chimney and Cathedral (quite challenging) and then down Saddle and Chimney. About 12 miles in 6+ hours. Loved soaking our tired feet in the stream before we were finished.

trail running
4 days ago

Great selection of trails! Make sure and take a map of you're adventurous like me

hiking
8 days ago

Great trail, takes a little over an hour to do the loop at a reasonable pace. The trail markings are clear, so it is easy to make your way around. Good terrain changes to keep it interesting with lakes / rivers / rocks to take in as you go. Really good for beginners!

One of my favorite hikes within 2 hrs of NYC. Beautiful, peaceful, varied terrain, at times challenging (although never daunting), good views of Greenwood Lake, and a nice visit to Surprise Lake. You will see other hikers but the trail is just difficult enough that there are unlikely to be major crowds, and most of your time on the path will be in isolation unless walking directly in front of or behind another group. The majority of people are up in the north end of the park closer to the lake, since there is another entrance up there for the shorter Surprise Lake Loop.

If doing the whole route starting from the south end, side of the road parking available near intersection of Warwick Turnpike and White Rd. Path can be done clockwise or counter-clockwise. Clockwise (walking west and then north on the white trail to start) puts the steepest part of the hike first, and you go uphill for it. Counterclockwise (keep right and go north on orange trail) leaves steepest part for the end and is downhill. I'd recommend Clockwise.

The path of the loop as currently marked on the alltrails website is a little confusing, because it appears to run north/south in between Surprise Lake and West Pond. However if you look at the maps available at the trailheads (as well the map available on alltrails for the Surprise Lake Loop) you will see that the yellow trail actually runs around outside of and around West Pond. So either the map listed here is representing some shortcut trail that I couldn't find and is not listed on the official park map, or the actual route is a much wider loop at the top and I would guess the whole trail is closer to 7.25 miles instead of the 6.6 listed. Maybe someone who is very familiar with this park can comment and clarify.

Trail is for the most part well marked and maintained. Only tricky part is if going counter clockwise and turning onto yellow path up north near the NJ/NY state line, the turn on to the yellow was only marked on the ground instead of at eye-level and can be missed if not on the lookout.

The path was fine in the summer a couple days after a storm, but I could imagine the trail being very difficult in the snow or soon after heavy rains.

a go-to walk for me. this trail allows add extra loops to make this as long a hike as you'd want

We did this yesterday morning before the thunderstorms rolled in. It was humid and not very windy, which is very rare for Katahdin. Started at Roaring Brook, up to Chimney Pond and then Cathedral to Baxter Peak. Took Knife Edge to Pamola Peak and Helon Taylor all the way down. It was a beautiful, warm hike! I’m not good with heights so Knife Edge was tough for me. Some parts are pretty tricky and I would never be up there except on a clear day. I saw people in tennis shoes but I would not have felt comfortable traversing Cathedral or Knife Edge without my boots. There was also a ton of water along the Chimney Pond trail and Taylor trail in the trees (I believe from all the rain the last few days). It would have been very difficult to do this in shoes and absolutely impossible to have kept them dry. We also came across a couple going down Cathedral but I wouldn’t want to mess with that. Cathedral, like other reviewers have said, is a full-body workout (scramble). It’s a TON of fun and exhausting but really great!

Never have I been so scared in my life but it was awesome!

I did this hike a few times 25 plus years ago. The mountain got bigger, steeper, but no less beautiful when we did it this past weekend. We went up Saddle to Knifes Edge and down Taylor. It was a challenging hike and would not attempt it in bad weather ( at least not the knife edge). I would suggest going in the opposite direction so you can climb up Chimeny vs down.

It is incredible hike.

Good if you live in Fairfield County and don’t feel like driving too far to get into the woods for exercise...some broken glass at the only lookout spot, though.

Trail was moderate to difficult and a test of mental and physical endurance. We had inexperienced hikers in our group so we took the Saddle Trail up and back to Baxter Peak. Unfortunately I was not able to cross the Knifes Edge. We decided to stay as a group and everyone made it up and back thanks to our team leader Doug Hunt an experienced AT guide Took us round trip 12 hours. Highly recommend this hike. A memory for the history books

Best hike ever. Exhausted!!!

5 out of 5 on awesomeness, and 5 out of 5 on difficulty.

Insane views. This hike will test you physically and mentally.

it's a small preserve with many trails varying by great amount. the trails even include some like climbing and spectacular views from the top of the quarry where the stone came from for the kensico dam.

Highly recommend. Did just a portion because if time constraints. However will return and complete.

hiking
1 month ago

We really enjoyed the hike. The road was a bit uneven but not bad at all. The markings were good. There were couple of fallen trees but it didn't interfere us from following the marks. Started out on green > yellow > white with red triangle. Overall, the hike was great! The lake was beautiful too.

Con: bring bugs repellent. Several spots have mosquitos and bugs flying around.

Great and local. As another commenter said, lots of bugs in Spring/early Summer. Almost none in fall.

Nice lake. Some rocks for kids to scramble up. Great vibe as other hikers share the road, parking lot, and trails.

Beautiful. To be clear, you want to follow the green blazes, then walk right when you see the yellow blazes, then walk right when you see the white and red triangle blazes. It’s a wonderfully varied trail.

Very pretty, but make *sure* you bring your bug spray!

The trail markers were definitely a little confusing, and I agree that perhaps there were too many different colored trails.
But they are all well maintained and the preserve is lovely.
I’ve learned that mountain laurel is one of my favorite plants!

This was an incredible hike. One of the best we’ve done! Unfortunately steely Dudley trail was closed (indefinitely). This meant that we could only go out to Baxster Peak and hike the same way back. Still well worth it! We hiked up Helon Taylor trailfrom Roaring Creek Campground. The whole trip was roughly 8 miles and took us about 5hrs 40min. Our pace was 42min/mile. On the way back we went around Pamola Peak instead of ascending and descending it again cutting off 20min.
Our biggest concern when finally making the trek all the way to Baxster State Park was the insects. We were here the first warm weekend of the season (Memorial Day weekend) which meant the mosquitos and black flies were all hatched and hungry! We would highly suggest strong bug repellent (with deet). And if you’re camping bring citronella candies. Although this was the case at the base of the mountain the wind kept the bugs at bay while we hiked. It was a beautiful day to hike but always expect wind once you’re above the tree line. The hike is rigorous and there are parts a the hike that you are required to do some climbing. The trail is very well marked so no worries about losing your way.
Our only regret was not having climbing gloves for the last stretch just because the rocks were a little tough on the hands. This hike is great for intermediate to advanced hikers (beginner hikers could make it to Pamola Peak (3.2 mi)). Go for it!

“Long Trail” along the lake has green blazes, connecting to yellow blazes of Dunning (wide trail), and then white with red triangles is the Arden-Surebridge. Trail is nice mix of scenery, valleys, small hills, view of lakes, crossing many small stream. Everyone and their mother stops at the parking lot on evening and weekends, especially for the sunset across the lake, and therefore the green trail can get pretty busy. Sometimes trash is left there too, so please help keep it clean! But just visited and it was pristine!

Great trail. Many pine trees, springs, very close to the city and isolated at the same time.

did it late Summer 2017. Rock scrambles. if you come early you can find parking on Warwick Turnpike in West Milford/Hewitt near White Road. Be equipped - hiking shoes, sticks, water, and be aware.

Wonderful hike just an hour drive from NYC. Proper hiking shoes definitely help with especially climbing or walking down the rocks. The yellow trail has the best views. The trail has minimal traffic and is very quiet and peaceful.

hiking
3 months ago

Great overlooks - be mindful with your dogs though because it crosses over the highway.

Loved it.
Took my 2-1/2 year old for a walk today on the trails weather was great people were nice and friendly. Tons of trails to choose from I was going to do the lake loop but changed my mind and walked to the 13 bridges instead a nice workout beautiful peaceful nature walk. Would definitely recommend for little legs with lots of energy.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked with my daughter. As many has said it is an uneven trail. lots of rocks, hills, trees and roots. No real photo opts, then again we didn't finish. We got halfway around then needed to turn back as the sun was going down.

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