Explore the most popular hiking trails in Sterling Forest State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
19 days ago

this marked route is not actually the fire tower loop. at the tower, it switches to the sterling lake trail. the red line on the map also cuts off the trail into the woods towards the end, so the actual length is underestimated. it’s also definitely a moderate trail. my moms struggled.

it’s a pretty hike though. nice views.

hiking
27 days ago

More moderate than easy. 4.7 miles to the tower and back without the loop. Climb the tower for an amazing view and the history surrounding the iron mine is truly astonishing.

hiking
1 month ago

great night hike!! must do!!

hiking
2 months ago

We took 3 kids, ages 11, 7 and 4 on the yellow trail to the lake and then back up. About 5 miles round trip.
We were looking for a fun, not to strenuous stream hike that we could do with the kids and that would involve getting wet on a hot day. This was perfect.
The kids loved hiking through the streams and climbing up some of the waterfalls along the way. We saw lots of frogs, a lizard and a snake. At the lake, we turned left and found a nice cleared area to sit, eat lunch and look at the fish up close. The hike back was more uphill but even our 4 year old persevered and made it. Be prepared for lots of mud along with the fun.

hiking
3 months ago

I would call this more of a moderate trail. Not great for kids under 10. There is a fairly steep climb at the beginning - after all, you’ve got to get to the top of a hill where they put a fire tower. It’s almost completely free-covered, with only one scenic view other than the tower.

hiking
5 months ago

Nice hike.. be careful with the many different trails nearby, the visitor center told us it’s easy to go off the trail route onto another trail. The day we went it was overcast. And there were many little flys at the fire tower and in the backwoods. So bring bug spray. The view was nice on the trail to the fire tower at a spot. The trail was easy. Just loose rocks at some spots. We hiked it on May 6th 2018. At the fire tower next to the ranger cabin is a mailbox, don’t forget to write in the logbook! It was a nice time!

I did the yellow trail and it was well marked, as long as you were paying attention. Nice gentle ups and downs and I tracked the trail at exactly 3.5 miles. Mostly in the woods with a couple nice views at higher points, I did not see the waterfall mentioned in the description though. Appreciated the clean port-o-potty at the trailhead! You can hear highway noise the majority of the hike. I did not see a single other person, which was astounding considering the proximity to NYC on a beautiful Saturday in May.

5 months ago

breathing views

snowshoeing
7 months ago

24 inches of snow made this a challenging hike but was fun and not to long to do. With a firetower at the top with some ok views I would recommend

hiking
8 months ago

Not very strenuous. Fairly flat through most sections. Great views off the lake.

We were told now it’s hunting season, better avoid this trail, instead, we took the suggestion and hiked on bare rock ramble loop trail, similar distance as this one, it’s a good hike . You can get a map from visitor center, the trails are well marked.

hiking
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Road to trailhead is rough... good work out... rocky in spots... views are nice... you're by the road for a bit which lowered the peaceful factor ... still an enjoyable time in the woods

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Bare rock was well worth the trip, but the rest of the loop was not. Top of the fire tower is rotting so you cant climb it. I recommend going from the lake to bare rock and back. Worth a trip if its not far from you, but there's much better trails in Harriman state park

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Great hike with decent incline Go right at the loop to avoid going down the boulders. Mostly in the woods. Definitely go see the lookout. It's the only view of the water.

hiking
Sunday, September 03, 2017

Nice trail. Great view of the lake down below. Good cardio.

hiking
Sunday, September 03, 2017

9.1 miles and 1900 feet according to my Samsung Health app, including a short walk on the mining history trail. mostly fairly easy in terms of elevation. Go counterclockwise so you can go up the rock scramble leading to the fire tower. There were only a few others on this trail on a cloudy Saturday afternoon.

hiking
Saturday, August 19, 2017

The reason no one checks in on this trail is because you lose service after a mile or so out. The mileage is incorrect. This trail is 5.9 miles according to both the Sterling Forest trail map (available in Visitor's Center) and my Garmin watch. We did it in 2 hours. While the trail is easy, as indicated, you would do well to wear good hiking boots and long pants. Much of the trail is on old roadbeds, but there are some swampy areas, rocky ascents/descents and even a section that is poorly, if at all maintained, and you'll feel like you're bushwhacking. Overall, a nice hike (secluded too...we encountered few people) in a beautiful park that is often overlooked for the more crowded, nearby Harriman State Park.

hiking
Sunday, August 13, 2017

Good hike overall, some cool old relics. Heads up, I did encounter a black bear. Easily scared him away.

Nice trail. Good for all skill levels.

Well maintained tail.
Staff of visiter center are very kind and skilled. There are many trails from here.

hiking
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Use a four wheeler to get to trail head. Road is real bad on a car. Trail was over grown and easy to get lost

hiking
Monday, June 19, 2017

Great hike with lots to see - beautiful Visitor Center, Iron mining historic district (pickup brochure at Visitor Center), vista over Greenwood Lake and Fire Tower to climb. Also has a fun scramble just before the Fire Tower up the side of the rocky hill. Hike took about 5 hours including stops.

hiking
Wednesday, June 14, 2017

nice trail, easy walk.

I didn't see some of the things other people saw I wish I did but the lake was very pretty and the views were beautiful

hiking
Thursday, April 27, 2017

I believe this is the same hike as "Bare Rock Ramble." Make a right onto BLUE trail from visitor's center, catch the ORANGE, then loop to RED/WHITE and cut back to visitor's center on RED TRIANGLE. Great hike, especially being so close to the city. It is mostly flat except for few steep parts. Highlights are the panoramic vista over the Greenwood lake and the firetower.

hiking
Sunday, April 09, 2017

hiking
Sunday, January 22, 2017

The trail is so peaceful and you are gonna have a very good time. In my opinion it is a moderate trail.
I would recommend you follow the trail signs and not the app's map.

hiking
Saturday, September 24, 2016

great day!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

nice trail but you have to hike on the main road for a bit.

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