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This trail was absolutely gorgeous and exceeded my expectations. Sam’s Point was a nice but very crowded lookout point. Once you get to the top past Sam’s Point the landscape is really interesting with all the dwarf pitch pine and wild plants lining the paths. The ice caves were really awesome and that was a nice short trail, but again, it was really crowded. Once we got onto the footpath for the falls it wasn’t nearly as crowded. We did pass some hikers along the way but it was mostly private most of the way. And the scenery is gorgeous. There are also lots of delicious wild blueberries lining that open part of the trail. You’re on an open mountain side overlooking the mountains ahead for most of the trail leading to the falls and the views are amazing but you’ll be exposed to the sun so coverup and wear sunblock if it’s a sunny day. There’s a point where you go through a little faerie fern forest and I thought it was just magical. Afterwards you go through a patch of white birch and then the falls are spectacular. We didn’t do the entire loop. We just went to the falls and back the same way but I plan to go back and finish the loop. Overall I thought it was a beautiful trail with some interesting terrain changes which kept the trail exciting. And if you’re like me and are really into plants you’ll love checking out all the different plant life along the way.

Awesome workout! Treacherous hiking! Short trails, beautiful falls.

This was a very challenging trail. If you are not prepare and fit don't do it. If you are afraid of heights don't attempt it either. It's a very crowded trail with a lot of dogs. I met a lot of hikers on this trail, some were friendly, others rude. I seen a lady with a 6 month baby on her back. This is definitely not a trail for that.

The fire tower is a great reward at the end of the trail, but at some places there are slippery and/or loose rocks that make the way back down challenging. No plateaus or view points anywhere except at the top. Only a few very steep moments. With many water breaks and a 15 minute rest at the fire tower we clocked in at around 5 hours out and back. Best part was that it is mostly shaded the whole time which made the length bearable. Watch your footing as we did see a baby copperhead on the trail (surely mom was close by).

My husband and I hiked the loop with our dog, camping overnight at Jimmy Dolan Notch. There's been a lot of rain this month, so there was water everywhere, little creeks and waterfalls. We came up via the eastern leg of the loop. It started off fairly easy, but turned into one of the tougher hikes we've done. Several spots where our dog couldn't make the jumps (he's got stubby little legs), and we had to ferry him up the rocks or carry him up balanced on one knee as we pulled ourselves up with tree roots. Not easy with our packs on. Between the challenge of the dog and the fact that our camp stove crapped out on us, we had to call our trip a little short, and we just hiked back down the next morning via the western leg. The descent was easier, the elevation change was definitely steadier on the western side of the loop.

Overall, this was a gorgeous, well-marked hike, and we fully intend to come back (without the doggo) and try it again. Challenging, beautiful, and well worth the drive from NYC.

With overnight gear, this is a trek. Don’t pay attention to the mile markers on the trail - use your gps. Plenty of mis cues. Be prepared for serious ascents and technical descents. Kind of a blast but a mother ef for sure.

Fun all the way up

Hiked Suagloaf, Plateau, and some of Twin last year. If you're looking for a challenge, I would definitely recommend hiking these mountains. Did it as a day hike and I was there for a good 6-7 hours. I know everyone's skill level is different but this one really pushed my limits.
Be prepared to do some dangerous rock scrambles, which are made even more difficult when wet. And to possibly be very sore the next day,

I did the hike with my 5yo son yesterday, a very hot day. I fed him constantly, hydrated him constantly, stopped often and he kept going all the way to the top. Congrats Issei!!
WARNING. You need to know what you are doing, do not attempt this if you are not an expert or your child is reckless. NEVER look away from them. My son is very disciplined, a good listener and stops EVERYTIME I tell him to do so. Nonetheless children that age are unpredictable and disaster could be around the corner. It is up to you to eliminate risk. Took 4 1/2 hour on white/yellow/green/red. I think the full loop would have been too much. Start early on summer days. Gets pretty hot soon. Even on the top. We used one gallon of water between the two of us.
I gave it 4 stars but not for the trail itself but because the conditions the people left the hike in. Graffiti defacing rocks, plastic everywhere... C’mon people!! Carry your own garbage!

It was a challenge and there was a lot of lovely fauna to see including a fresh water spring. Nice views at the top and when you’re done you’ll feel like you had a good day in nature and have gotten some great exercise too.

This hike came as advertised. It was a kind of boring hike up, but the ruins are really cool, the views are great, and we saw a timber rattlesnake. My wife and I have only been getting serious about hiking for a few months and we finished in 2.5 hours, which included a few minutes chatting with some volunteers at the top. Overall,it was a great way to spend a morning.

Great trail I love it

Moderately difficult trail. Definitely wear boots. Wet and slippery in several areas. Do the Orange trail to the left to go up. At the top turn right at the fire pit and take the Red Trail. Ironically the first marker you see is a Blue Marker. This is the Red Trail even though the first market is Blue. Several sections could use a grab wire or rope. One slip and you are over the edge. Winter time be prepared for lots of ice.

hiking
7 days ago

This hike is definitely EASY - not moderate. I am not super fit but I managed this very easily (there are a few hills but they're not challenging). The hike is very muddy and wet, so you need good hiking boots. The view is unreal!!!! I would highly recommend this, considering it's little energy exerted for a stunning view!

It was fine except that when your finished your legs are KILLING you

Great hike that was really well marked. I have the worst sense of direction and get lost on a lot of well marked trails, but I did this one solo and when I got turned around I immediately found my way quickly due to all of the markings.
It is a workout but loved every second. Slid down one of the rocks after trying to follow a path forward that was too steep, but quickly recovered.

hiking
8 days ago

Great panoramic views throughout the trail. Even though this is high up there is shade at regular intervals on this trail in summer which is a welcome relief. Went after a week of on and off raining, the trail was very very slippery. Be careful if you're going after snow/rain, some of the rock scrambles and descents my grip was slipping, especially the steep rocky section by the stream crossing. Plenty of deep crevasses to hop over and a few scrambles near drop offs--keeps the interest and adrenaline going. There are two rock formations that are similar, apparently Gertrude's nose is the one with the larger outcropping. You can take Millbrook Carriage back for a longer but more gentle way to end or to MM trail to Lake Minnewaska for a steeper route.

Looked for but didn't see many blueberries at all, sadly. Plently of huckleberries along the way, though.

We hiked this back in April. Muddy trails but the top was worth it. There’s awesome abandoned buildings and a tower you can climb at the top. Gorgeous views

Great, scenic hike. Take a waterproof backpack, wear proper hiking boots, bring water and a snack. On very nice days it can get busy and there are a lot of people who don't hike with proper attire, but it didn't bother us. People were very courteous and friendly. Take the Orange trail to hike up the falls, it's nice and cool, lots of great waterfalls! We didn't hike the whole Orange trail, once we got to the top we cut over to go down on the Blue marked trail. It is very rocky, slippery in some spots, but the adventure is fun!

Nice trail, completely in shade with lovely green cover and little brooks crisscrossing every now and then like naughty kids. Not very steep as few reviews suggested. The white markers take you right to the top and extend onto the AT. Do not miss the big pile of rocks once you feel like you reached the top. The view to the vista is left from the pile and can be easily missed. Technically the trail ends at the vista unless you are a through AT hiker. Nice to meet the through AT hikers and have a chat with them learning their experiences.

hiking
9 days ago

So many beautiful views on this loop around Gertrude’s Nose. Loop itself was about 6ish miles, with just under two coming in and out from the parking lot. Not sure about folks who don't find this a difficult trail - either they’re stroking their egos or I’m nurturing mine!...you make the call *smile*. Lots of irregular terrain, steep spots to climb - up and down, and large slippery rocks with water crossings on the path. That said, I’m no pro hiker and I found it totally doable. And, despite it being a Sunday and there being lots of folks circulating by the lake, I was solo for nearly the whole loop.... just ran into one duo toward the end. (Maybe because it was later in the day, ~3-7.) I wanted a challenging new trail with lots of natural beauty and definitely found it!

One of the toughest hikes I've done in NJ. I went counter clockwise and went at a fast pace and when I got to [a little more than] the halfway point (Stonetown road crossing at Monksviille) I was pretty spent and took the road back (3 miles). Great views during the first few miles and lots of steep, but short, up and down scrambling.

Fantastic hike. Very difficult climb and certainly dangerous at many spots along the climb. We took our 15 year old and 6 year old (who is tough as nails). They did really great. Do NOT attempt this climb without hiking boots and pants. We were crawling in spots and on all fours going up. Worth the hour to the top. The falls are breathtaking! I was amazed at how many people were climbing back down the same way they came up. Seriously dangerous! When you get all the way at the top of the last fall you’ll find a fire ring. The trail on your right takes you back down a very easy decent right into the parking lot.

Sunday aug 5 started at 830 to beat heat. 2 hours up about 40 minutes summit time and 1:20 back down. No bugs! Some water on trail but after all that rain it’s fine never had to walk through water. Creek beautiful being a bit higher

Had low expectations due to hunter and it’s skiing reputation but I was wrong. Less then a dozen people all day well all morning. Tim the Seward was friendly and informative. Very sturdy and beautiful tower. Awesome views 360 and guide in the tower that is circular shows the surrounding area and peaks. Reminder no ground views so climb is a must

Never would know a major nys ski area is so close. Trail is easy gravel and fast. Bring the permethrin for covering the clothes prior to hiking as a precaution. Great time of year to get out there and enjoy this season. The trip and the firetower made a great summer day.

Great for families, terrific payoff after an easy hike. Enjoy it!

Great hike! The trail isn’t marked well and it’s easy to get off track without using the map on AllTrails. The waterfalls were amazing, especially with all the rain, but quite a bit of the trail had ankle deep standing water too. The overlooks were also just as beautiful.

We went from the visitor center to ice caves on the white trails to the falls on the aqua trail and then the high point red trail. It had just stopped raining 30 min before. We clocked in 13 miles even with taking a wrong path that might of hows our time by 45 min.
The ice caves are amazing and cool but very slippery. It was really cool in some parts that I wished I can stay. There are places with motion sensor lights but by the time you get 1/2 down a dark path it would turn on. We looped on the white trail where there are some places you might have to go up a small ladder.

We then went on the Aqua trail towards the falls. There are also a-lot of huckleberry and blue berry bushes, but it was very open space so be prepared to get sun burn, cuz there is not much shade and it is a narrow and very wet and rocky path. Once you get to the stream area the lady we met was not kidding you might wanna take off your shoes it’s cold but it’s very refreshing. And gotten to the falls area. It’s is definitely a beautiful site how the mountains has been carved. After a short rest we continued on to aqua path towards high point.
>>>the trail from the falls the the high point red trail is a 90 degree climb<<< be prepared
When we finally gotten to the cross road of the red and aqua trail. The foot path said 2.5 miles on the red trail to the carriage road.

What they did not tell you able the high point trail. There is a lot of rock climbing and just when you think it’s the highest point there is another rock formation you need to climb. At some points it was more like common your kidding me. The high point is scenic and hard and not a lot of shade coverage. And the end of the high point there is a very steep incline to go down with a lot of loose rocks back on carriage road.
From the carriage road to the visitor center is another 2.8 miles there is not a lot of markers that would tell you how many miles is left. 1/2 of it is not shades the other 1/2 when you get close to the visitor center is shades.

I had about a little two liters of water each person. One thing to remember is that it’s NOT enough. We struggled at the end because we didn’t bring enough at all. We had 2 liters of ice water via hydration bladder. If I had to do it again I would of brought about 3-4 liters of water and a hat.

Very easy to get over heated on parts of the aqua trail and the high point trail especially now. Now that we got home I can honestly say I wished I taken some more photos it was truest beautiful and above the clouds.

It’s great but very wet after the rain. There are rails and at the end you can exit the ice caves and continue on the white trail to loop back out. There are some parts that get narrow and even though there are some places in the caves with motion sensor lights, bring your own head lamp. You will get dirty there are some places where you need to climb a small ladder. We gotten there at 1030 and the rain just stopped around 10. But I wouldn’t have hiked this in the summer with out the rain. It would be very hot.

This is easily one of my favorite hikes near NYC. The only reason I give it 4 stars is due to the amount of people on the trail. It can be a zoo if you get there after 9am. So go early. But if you want a short hike with a little challenge and seriously rewarding views, this is the one. You also have the option to extend the hike out to the fire tower, if you want more mileage and dodge fewer people. After the hike, I love to head to Cold Spring for some lunch, a rewarding beer, or a little shopping. I heard the trail will be closed down next year, so get there while you can.

The scramble on Bonticou Ascent trail is like an adult’s playground. It was more challenging than Breakneck Ridge for me, but the actual scramble was the perfect length—not too short, not too long. Just right. Loved it. And the view is gorgeous when you get to the top. The way down is laughably easy, but a great break for the arms and legs. I can’t wait to do this one again, and hopefully with friends next time. You def want a hiking partner to capture a cool shot when you get to the crag.

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