Bull Hill from Nelsonville is a 4.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Cold Spring, New York that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length4.1 miElevation gain1,115 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashHikingNature tripsSnowshoeingBird watchingForestViewsWildflowersWildlife
Description
Waypoints (0)

This is the shortest (and arguably the easiest) loop route to the top of Bull Hill (Mt. Taurus), with its spectacular views. Although the ascent is steep in spots, there’s no rock-scrambling involved. (The following description assumes a clockwise trip.) From the parking area (room for about 8 cars), head southwest on the Nelsonville Trail (green blazes), then, at about 0.2 miles, turn right onto the Undercliff Trail (yellow blazes), which gradually gets steeper, reaching a viewpoint to the south at about 0.5 miles. The trail continues to wind its way upward, passing a couple of (partially occluded) views to the south and west, before reaching the Washburn Trail (white blazes), where you turn right to continue the ascent. At around 1.6 miles, there are a couple of very nice views to the south, one on a jumble of rocks on the left, and the other shortly thereafter on the right (marked with “view” painted on the rock), from both of which you can see part of the NYC skyline. The ascent gets less steep from there on. At about 1.9 miles, there is “NYC” painted on a large rock, from the top of which you have a spectacular view to the south, including NYC, the Mario Cuomo Bridge, the Bear Mountain Bridge, and Cold Spring/Constitution Marsh in the foreground. Shortly thereafter, you traverse the (flat) summit of Bull Hill, reaching another spectacular viewpoint at about 2 miles, this time to the north (Breakneck Ridge in the foreground, the Hudson River and the Shawangunk Ridge in the middle distance, and the Catskill Mountains in the background). The trail descends on an old woods road. At about 2.7 miles, the Washburn Trail ends, but you continue straight on the old road, which is now the Nelsonville Trail (green blazes), following this on a gradual descent until you return to the parking area.

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Reviews (215)
Photos (948)
Recordings (214)
Completed (367)
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Mary Ann West
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 31, 2021
Hiking

Overall great hike with exceptional views and a good workout. Counterclockwise is the easier ascent, saving the rocky descent for last. We parked off Wood street and would advise that the well marked green in the parking lot will take you counterclockwise, the less well marked green with one medallion marker is across the road at a fallen tree, and will take you clockwise.

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Daniel Wallenstein
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 27, 2021
Hiking

Watch for trail markers on the route back down as it is easy to pop off trail and toward Stony Point but beyond that, well marked and good for families with experienced hikers.

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Kerri Ahern
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 27, 2021
Hiking

Much better to get to Bull Hill from this route if it's a nice weekend day. 9D parking was insanely busy. Great hike with pretty decent elevation gain in the first 2 miles but nothing too steep. Highly recommend this hike for the good workout and beautiful views.

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Yaakov Rosenthal
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 23, 2021
Hiking

Well Mark great hike counterclockwise is easier than clockwise. About four beautiful vistas is it do again I loved the hike. BTW I’m over 70 

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Tolon Lijoi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 21, 2021
Hiking
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Anya Dicostanzo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 25, 2021
HikingGreat!Icy
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And Mat
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 21, 2021
SnowshoeingIcy
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Lindsay Wolff
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 26, 2021
Hiking
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Jon Lawniczak
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 23, 2021
Hiking

Beautiful but challenging

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Greg Canton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 21, 2021
Hiking
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Bro Koko
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 18, 2021
Hiking

Great going up Way down was just the water drainage from the top Lots of rocks, gravel and leaves Views were great for such a short hike

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Alex London
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 17, 2021
Hiking

Nice!

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Nekisia Davis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 17, 2021
Hiking

Lovely trail! Sunday morning start at about 11am. We went counterclockwise and didn’t see many people until the top then it was pretty crowded but mostly everyone with masks. Beautiful! Little ice little mud. Leaves were slippery but totally manageable. Would totally do again.

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David Goldstein
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 10, 2021
Hiking
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Thomas Fieger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 10, 2021
Hiking
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Danika Laszuk
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 28, 2020
Hiking

Great trail for our kids & pups. A few strenuous spots, great views from the top.

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P B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 28, 2020
Hiking

good trip, a solid moderate. storms and snow have pushed lots of debris and loose rocks onto trails, particularly the green blazed. still lots of fun and can't beat the views.

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JOSHUA Ziel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 28, 2020
Hiking

Nice straightforward hike with some nice views.

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Nancy Delgadillo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 21, 2020
Backpacking
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José Oliveras
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 19, 2020
Hiking
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Nick User
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 13, 2020
WalkingIcyMuddy

One of the best hidden gem trails in the area. Fantastic hike not too easy, but not too tough, huge variety of scenery and the views make this hike worth every step.

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Dylan Garret
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 13, 2020
Hiking
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Roberta Mulder
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 8, 2020
Hiking

No mud - just icy patches! Which made some cool ice formations (and my boots stayed dry). Clear-as-day view of NYC from the top. Lovely walk, and close to home for a change.

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Katie Reedy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 7, 2020
HikingRocky

Lovely views, interesting boulders, and crystal creeks. Counter clockwise from the Nelsonville trailhead, be warned that there are a few steep portions around rocks going down, and that most of the trail is currently (as of December) thick with potentially slippery leaves and rocks. Blazes are also hit or miss- I took a few wrong turns, especially at the confluence of the many paths separating the short and long Bull Hill loops. Recommended!

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Michael Kazda
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 4, 2020
Hiking

this was a great hike. counter clockwise started with the steepest portion. after summit it was gradual downhill. no scrambles.

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Amanda Kirkpatrick
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 29, 2020
Hiking

great hike, not too intense

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Mark Giordano
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 27, 2020
Hiking
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Drew Brixen Dillman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 21, 2020
Walking

Excellent views in mid November

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