Bull Hill Full Loop

MODERATE 549 reviews

Bull Hill Full Loop is a 5.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and nature trips and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.5 miles Elevation Gain: 1,394 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

trail running

forest

partially paved

river

views

waterfall

wildlife

bugs

rocky

scramble

This is what the state refers to as the Full Bull Hill hike. Start at the Little Stony Point parking area just north of Cold Spring, then take the Washburn Trail (white) to the right, following an old road to an abandoned rock quarry, which the trail skirts, leading to a couple of viewpoints to the south. The trail can be rather steep, but it never gets to the point of rock-scrambling. A few minutes after passing the intersection with the Undercliff Trail (yellow), there are a couple of viewpoints (not necessarily easily to see) where you get the New York skyline. Shortly before the top of the mountain, there is a rocky outcrop just to the right of the trail, from which you get an excellent view south along the Hudson River, including the NYC skyline. After crossing the flat top of the mountain, there is another viewpoint to the northwest, from Breakneck Ridge in the foreground to the Catskills in the background. The Washburn trail then starts descending, following an old woods road, until it ends at an intersection with the Nelsonville Trail (green) and the Notch Trail (blue). Turn left onto the latter, which leads you to the valley between Bull Hill and Breakneck Ridge. Turn left onto the Brook Trail (red), although you might want to visit the impressive ruins of the Cornish farm just to the right. At a Y-junction, take the left fork onto the Cornish Trail (blue), which passes the ruins of the main estate house (and greenhouse!), at which point the trail follows the old concrete driveway, at the end of which the trail turns left to parallel NY Rte 9D until you're back to your starting point.

hiking
muddy
1 hour ago

hiking
1 day ago

A fun hike with a strenuous uphill for the first third or so of the trail. The pros: it's a good bit of cardio, beautiful nature (including tons of flowering bushes!), a view of the Manhattan skyline on clear days, and relatively light traffic. The cons: if you're looking for spectacular vistas, there aren't too many! reaching the top was a wee bit anticlimactic as you never actually break above the tree line, so there is no grand overlook to mark the accomplishment. That being said, it was the perfect moderate hike to start the season!

hiking
5 days ago

Great hike, beautiful views, varied terrain...a bit strenuous on the climb up...good cardio workout! On the way to top there are some outstanding rock outcrops for a break, a snack, and the views of the Hudson...went in the afternoon on a hot day so I’d advise plenty of water...trails are well marked and the ranger at the station gave us an accurate map...loved this hike and will return!

hiking
7 days ago

Greatly marked. The first 2.3 miles is the hardest if your going up hill. It get easier. definitely enjoyed the hike. Had a nice workout.

hiking
14 days ago

Would recommend starting early and avoiding the scorching noon heat - stunning views

hiking
rocky
15 days ago

hiking
rocky
18 days ago

This is a nice hike. Views are amazing and the route isn’t too difficult. Loved the forest and solitude. I went early in the season.

hiking
23 days ago

Amazing

hiking
24 days ago

They are doing some work in the trail. They’ve marked a detour, but not a great job. After doubling back a few times, I found myself on the wrong side of the fence and decided to call it a day.

hiking
27 days ago

Great hike. Beautiful views along the way. Did this counterclockwise which meant steep in the beginning and a gradual decline with a partial paved path toward the end. I would recommend going on a weekday and avoiding the weekend or a holiday due to the high traffic. I would definitely do this hike again!

hiking
muddy
scramble
28 days ago

hiking
rocky
28 days ago

hiking
29 days ago

Really enjoyable and strenuous hike. Fairly steep and challenging climb with a long decent with varied terrain. Took my 2-year old dog with me and it was a good workout for her as well.

hiking
rocky
29 days ago

Great hike! I suggest walking the full loop of Bull Hill. It’s a bit steep in places at the beginning but not bad. As it was Saturday of Memorial Day weekend the start of Washburn Trail was quite crowded. Several of the overlooks were piled with people so we just kept walking. However, once we got past the top the trail emptied out. We had a gentle decent through lovely woods. We saw two large black snakes minding their own business. One darted across the trail about a foot in front of me, the other was just hanging out on a rock wall under a bit of brush. If you walk quietly, the bird songs are incredible. This area is beautiful and very easy to get to from NYC, which was especially helpful since my husband and I don’t own a car. Train to Cold Spring and a short walk to the trail head.

hiking
bugs
muddy
1 month ago

1 month ago

great hike definitely recommend going on a week day didn't see many people on the trail

hiking
1 month ago

Nice quick hike for me, just over 2 hours. From start to Bull Hill it rises steadily although nothing technical. Easy going after that. Nice views as always.

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike. Family and dog friendly, some nice viewpoints. Feels a bit like Breakneck without the scrambling.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Very well marked trail. There’s a variety of sights and views from mountain vistas to boulders to streams to ruins. Watch out for snakes. There were some muddy spots from the rain yesterday but nonetheless one of the most enjoyable.

hiking
2 months ago

This was the perfect trail for me and my 11 year old dog to do together. There was a little bit of a scramble, but easy enough that he could figure out a way up. It was a good incline in the beginning (make sure you do the paved part on the decline white-red-blue ) with some decent views when you get to the top. It was pretty peaceful and moderately trafficked during the week. Well marked trail that’s good for trail running as well.

hiking
scramble
2 months ago

2 months ago

This trail had a nice variety, from steep climbs to gentle forests.

2 months ago

make sure to carb up before hitting this trail. First half is a steep climb that at certain times you wondered when it would level out. I took the short trail and once you hit the yellow marker its pretty smooth sailing.

2 months ago

Did this trail today (3/30/19). Started at just after 9am, and got a spot in the Washburn trailhead lot. First 1.25-1.5 miles are STEEP in the challenging but fun way. Lost the trail a bit about halfway up and had to backtrack (even with the app open) Beautiful views from the top. Not many people until the last mile or so where the hike crosses to the Cornish trail. Checked out some trail offshoots along the way...overall the fitbit tracked 7.5 miles and it took about 4.5 hours. Great early spring hike. Would absolutely do it again.

hiking
3 months ago

A popular option in the Highlands. The views from the summit are a little underwhelming compared to other peaks in the area (Mt. Beacon/Breakneck). Highlights include: - Interesting quarry near the start of the trail. Great view of Cold Spring (probably the best view of the hike). - NYC View just south of the summit - Cornish estate ruins at 4.5 miles during the return

4 months ago

I've done this hike 30 times + find it a good workout. this past weekend I changed the route + took the Undercliff (yellow) to Breakneck, then the Notch trail (blue) to the Cornish dairy farm, switched to red trail (Brook trail?) then back to rheBlue Cornish trai ri return to parking lot. That's a great hike!

hiking
4 months ago

Great, but there was LOTS of ice coming down the northeast side of the mountain.

hiking
5 months ago

Totally average with similar views to Breakneck, etc. A good workout but overall not the most beautiful hike.

7 months ago

Partial ice , Mug and snow . Clear mark and it is moderate. But still have some foliage!

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