Fishkill Ridge Loop via the Fishkill Ridge, Wilkinson, Blue Trails

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Fishkill Ridge Loop via the Fishkill Ridge, Wilkinson, Blue Trails is a 7.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Glenham, New York that features a great forest setting and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until November.

Distance: 7.7 miles Elevation Gain: 2,155 feet Route Type: Loop

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

views

This hike ascends to Fishkill Ridge from the north, then makes a loop around the ridge. Along the initial part of the hike, there are good views to the north and west once you gain some elevation. The views from the Fishkill Ridge Trail are quite spectacular, with several spots where the New York City skyline is visible. The terrain along the route varies from steep to relatively level. From a parking area just off the end of Sunnyside Road in the community of Beacon Hills, walk around a fence and past a bulletin board, then make a U-turn to the right to start on the Overlook Trail (red). At about 0.4 miles, stay straight where a white-blazed trail starts off to the left. At about 0.9 miles, you start to get a view to the northwest (leaves permitting), including the Fishkill Correctional Facility and the Hudson River. In a while there are a couple more, unobstructed views to the northwest, now including the Mid-Hudson Bridge and the Catskill Mountains. There is a viewpoint to the west at about 1.2 miles from which you can see Beacon in the foreground, then the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge, Newburgh (including Stewart Airport), and the Shawangunk Ridge in the background. At about 1.6 miles the Overlook Trail ends, at which point (which also has a nice view) you turn left onto the Fishkill Ridge Trail (white blazes) which eventually begins a steep ascent leading at about 2 miles to a clearing near the top of Lambs Hill, with not only views to the north, west, and southwest, but also plenty of low-bush blueberries in season. After a further short climb, you reach the top of Lambs Hill, from which you descend (with a pitch varying from mild to moderately steep) to reach Dozer Junction, where you cross a woods road (a blue-blazed trail starts to the right) at a spot where a bulldozer has been abandoned. Shortly thereafter there are a couple of limited views to the southeast. At about 2.4 miles you reach a point from which you get a good view to the south (Hudson River and the top of the New York City skyline). About 0.5 miles later you reach another spot with views to the south (now including Lake Valhalla in the foreground, the Hudson River, the Bear Mountain Bridge, and the New York City skyline). Continuing along, the trail reaches a clearing from which you get views to the east (Route 9, the various rock quarries along it, and former IBM-East Fishkill plant to the northeast) and, shortly thereafter, a bit of the Hudson River to the west. After a series of ups and downs, you reach the top of Bald Hill, where there is a short detour to the right for a viewpoint to the south (including the New York City skyline) and the southeast. This makes a great rest stop. Returning to the main trail, continue to the northeast as you begin a descent and eventually make a gradual turn to the southwest, where the trail follows an old road. The Fishkill Ridge Trail ends at a point where the Wilkinson Trail (yellow blazes) joins the road from the left. Continue straight on the Wilkinson Trail. At the point where the Wilkinson Trail makes a turn to the left, stay straight on an unnamed blue-blazed trail which takes you back to Dozer Junction. Turn left to retrace your stops on the Fishkill Ridge Trail (white blazes) and the Overlook Trail (red blazes) to get back to your starting point.

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