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Quick getaway for NYC resident. We completed the trail in approximately 4.5 hours (with a 30 minute detour off the white trail and a 20 minute meal break at the top of the blue trail) with two fit adults and a 45lb beagle dog. Trail markings at times missing, which, thankful for the free Alltrails app with prior free download of the trails.

Some dos and dont's:
Go counter-clockwise, as recommended by many on this page (white - blue - orange - red - yellow). Yellow trail is along the water and brings you back to the parking lot, but minimal trail markings to find the merger from the red trail. To find the orange from the blue - take the left fork when descending from the highest point of blue. Especially if bringing a dog go counter-clockwise because of the rock scramble on the blue trail. 80 degree angle at points.

Wear waterproof boots is a must - no tennis shoes.

We arrived at 10am and there were only 3 parking spots remaining (in both the visitor center and the dirt lot across the road), however, cars were parked adjacent to the center on the main road by the time we left.

Pretty nice trail, I would rate it easy except for that steep part on the blue dot which is moderate difficulty, would recommend doing it counter clock wise, otherwise it would be more scetchy going down on blue dot. A bit too crowded.

Great trail overall. We did the red, blue, and then white but I would recommend the opposite (white, blue and then red). Since the blue was a STEEP downhill, it made going down for our dogs very difficult. Other than that part, we all had a great time! And also, wear waterproof shoes/boots! Getting your them soaked is almost inevitable.

Great hike with great views! Highly recommend it but be prepared for steep rocky portions. I’d say moderate is correct but would not recommend for beginners or people who do not regularly do hikes/hill runs. Took us almost 5 hours at a comfortable pace without breaks and we accidentally kept going after the end of the trail.

Awesome hike. Great way to push yourself and have an amazing end result to a spectacular view

Thank you below to La Gattons. We navigated around the flooded section to the left like you mentioned and it helped immensely! When you get to that flooded part, go left of that area and through the woods and up some slight hills. You'll start seeing some pink and blue ribbons, follow those until you start seeing the red and white markers and you can follow those all the way back to the parking lot. We did the white markers all the way until they merged with the red and white. If you do white to red and white the whole way it's a big loop and that will get you back to the elk parking lot trailhead. All in all a great hike, awesome lake, beautiful scenery throughout. My gf and I thought it was mostly pretty easy to moderate, but we do hike a lot. Not too challenging.

Overall one of the top hikes I’ve been on. It took us about 4.5hrs (but we stayed at the top for about 45 min). We originally read that we should do white - blue - orange - red .. but after speaking to other hikers along the way we were advised to do white - blue - red .. we did this but be very careful because compared to other hikes I’ve been on the trail was not well marked and at times it was difficult to find the next marker which made it a bit confusing. I would recommend wearing boots as it was very wet and at times muddy.

I really liked this trail. Going up and down the hills was a workout, but the the landscape was beautiful. There were many good view points, some castle ruins, and a far away view of the NYC skyline that kept this trail interesting.

hiking
10 days ago

Excellent hike. Shaded. It had rained heavily the night before, and the trail was often muddy; long portions of the trail had water flowing down the trail. Very crowded on an unseasonably warm November day--more than 300 cars were parked at the trailhead at 1pm. Took us 3.5 hours (two fit adults carrying a baby in a baby backpack). Some people were struggling with the rock scramble, but we thought it was fairly straightforward.

Quick Trail, I always go up to see the view and back down. There are other trails within that I ended up roaming around in with my brother and we ended up on the road

hiking
16 days ago

Great hike but don't take it without a map. Easy to get lost, not hard but long. Breathtaking views and nice changes to vegetation and rocks during the hike. Bring water, you'll need it. The last section was flooded, but if you turn left you can make it and be back at the parking lot.

A gorgeous route! I almost exactly followed this route (with a little detour through the woods to get around some flooding!) and it was 8.5 miles. Took me 3 hours at quite a fast pace.

Absolutely beautiful the whole way around - the fall colors right now are spectacular. (October 24). I went mid week and almost had the place to myself. I want to go back in summer and swim in the pristine pond (which is more lake in size).

This hike is moderate to hard. There are some steep bits but apart from the beginning, the climbs aren’t long - there’s plenty of flat & downhill too. Most of the hike is in the trees - until you get up on top which is enormous bare rocks speckled with alpine plants. Really lovely view up there - well worth the climb.

Highly recommend the Lemon Squeezer!

You definitely need this app to follow the route - I needed to follow it most of the way around which wasn’t ideal as I need both hands to balance on the rocky terrain. Certainly if you’re doing this route at pace and may miss the signing which inconsistent and in fall there are leaves underfoot covering the paths.

Tips: wear footwear with lots of grip - there is a lot of rock which would be slippery when wet. I’d also recommend hiking boots more than trail shoes, as you have much needed ankle support as the paths are rather uneven.

See my recorded route for the detour around the flooding. It’s roughly in between Island Pond and Lake Stahahe - very close to Green Pond. It does involve a scramble over some big rocks, but pretty fun! I recommend going clockwise so this part is the last leg of your route. Leave spare shoes and socks in the car in case your feet get wet.

The 4 stars is only relative to the best hikes I’ve ever done in more dramatic surroundings in Maine, Utah & California. Still a great hike. So wonderful to have beautiful country just 90mins from Brooklyn - I will be back!

backpacking
24 days ago

Great hike! A bunch of really nice features: running Brooks, waterfalls, scramble, ledge/peaks. Definitely go counter clockwise to avoid coming down the blue trail scramble. It’s pretty steep and can be slippery. I went on a solo hike mid October weekday. Arrived at lot at 12:00 noon, it was full. Even some cars on the road. Still I only saw about 4 groups of 2-4 people on the whole hike. The waterfall on the north side of the loop is gorgeous. Plenty of spots to sit and have lunch or just soak it all in. Lots of rocks too, definitely wear boots. I stopped many times and hike pretty slow, and I finished within 4 hours. I’d hike it again!

Fun trail! A piece is still under water but you can get around it in the forest - just detour around and then back to the trail. Took 3:45 at a leisurely pace, a good one for the area!

Great views from summit. Very steap on way down with rock scrambling. Be careful.

hiking
1 month ago

FYI- Arden Surebridge trail section before you get to island pond unnamed trail is completely underwater due to beaver activity, about 120ft of trail is under 2ft of water!

great trail, good elevation climbs a handful of pretty steep rocky parts although nothing too tough, and definitely not dangerous.

1 month ago

this is a lovely trail, though it's more moderately trafficked than lightly trafficked (hence the 4 stars). we went clockwise and the scramble down was a little steep, but mostly made harder by the constant drizzle and slippery rocks on the day of our hike. we enjoyed the hike thoroughly - it had a few ascents and descents, little waterfalls, a bit of mud (not too bad), and many ledges (we didn't see any vistas because of the fog but I'm sure it would have been beautiful). you do have to look out for markers on the boulders as these can be hard to see but other than that a fantastic trek!

Very satisfying for an afternoon with a 9yo and dog. Definitely go white-blue-orange red if you go with a dog- the blue rock scramble would be very tough going down for any but the most athletic pup (and mine does agility)

Hiked in September 2018. The description of the hike doesn’t match the mapped area and trail markers. So we followed the map downloaded from AllTrails and it worked great. I’d say it’s more easy than moderate. There are some nice viewpoints - Castle ruins, a water tower, nice lake, few streams with some waterfalls.
There are 2 parking areas, the one with directions from AllTrails has 2 portapotties. No ranger station, only trailhead with a map posted. Trails are clearly marked. We didn’t get lost as were following the app’s map.
A lot of people with dogs at the beginning of the hike. You can combine trails for various difficulties. Parking is tight but people come in and out all the time, as there are a lot of locals who just come to walk with dogs around the lake.

hiking
1 month ago

We initially planned to hike the loop but it was so easy to get off trail that we ended up making a detour to the pine meadow lake. It was so worth the detour because the lake is vast and it was the perfect spot for us to eat our lunch! I highly recommend the lake especially when the fall foliage unravels.

It rained yesterday and so the trail was damp/moist. Wear shoes with traction because there are gravels and rocks everywhere along the trail.

Great hike, lots of variety. A lot of people during the AT portion.

Avoided the Arden - Surebridge (R) trail because people have said it was flooded (SW of Island pond). Instead, we continued on the Dunning trail (Y/W) and connected to the Stahahe Brook trail (R). The Stahahe trail doesn’t appear in the app.

Awesome trail but challenging! The beginning of the blue trail is quite steep so if it rained recently, it might be quite slippery. Otherwise, amazing views and incredible way to spend a few hours. Took about 4 hours total but I stopped at the mountain top to take it all in - I’m sure you’ll do the same!

hiking
1 month ago

Fantastic hike. Varied terrain. A bit hard with some rock maneuvering but not dangerous. Definitely a core workout. The views and memorial at the summit are totally worth it. I recommend hiking or trail shoes. IMO is best to start it at the lot in Fort Montgomery, this way you’ll be able to unwind towards the end by trekking it down to the creek.

part of the trail was flooded, had to go around through the woods

hiking
1 month ago

What an amazing hike! Absolutely stunning views, and such a great range of terrain & elevation. The views of island pond are especially breathtaking. However, I deducted a star for a few reasons: First, this hike is NOT seven miles. My mother and I both measured the distance, and it came out to about 12 miles in total. Also, really keep track of what trail you should be following - it changes abruptly at times. We followed: white to green at times square, then to blue on white, then red on white, then yellow, then to a trail that had no markings until the parking sign. The main thing that threw a wrench in our hike was the 35 feet of standing water in the last mile and a half of the hike. We were stuck with another two hikers and could not find anyway around this water (even hiked >50 feet away from the trail). We ended up wading through water that was mid thigh-high for me (I’m 5’9”). All in all, I think it’s a rewarding hike if you take adequate breaks and plan for distance & weather!

Moderate hike. Gorgeous views.

Lovely hike. We did what other reviewers suggested: white to blue to orange to red. The scramble up at the beginning of the blue portion was definitely a challenge (I’m in reasonably good shape for my 51 years) but fun. I’m glad we went UP for that scramble; going down would have been a bit much for me. Overall really nice way to spend 3-4 hours, with some majestic views. The trail blazes can be a bit difficult to locate, so be on the lookout for those.

OK hike. Hard uphill to start. once you make to the blue trail, it becomes very easy. Saw kids on the hike. Views are very nice it and make the hike worth it.

Pretty and not boring with different terrains

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