Highland Forest Main Trail

MODERATE 76 reviews
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Highland Forest Main Trail is a 8.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Delphi Falls, New York that features a waterfall 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.

Distance: 8.1 miles Elevation Gain: 1,177 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

cross country skiing


horseback riding

nature trips



bird watching






wild flowers






This loop trail begins at Highland Forest Park's Skyline Lodge. The trail is well marked with green "M" tags on the trees. The trail is well shaded in the summer and winds through peaceful forests with a few easy stream crossings. The trail dips up and down with short but moderately strenuous elevation gains and occasionally intersects cross-country skiing trails, day use shelters, and horseback riding trails. You can bring leashed dogs on this trail. The Skyline lodge has water fountains and restrooms and you can purchase a day pass from a park attendant.

12 days ago

Paid $3 for the day pass on 10/5/19. Awesome trail that had varied terrain throughout, but no special features like lookouts or waterfalls. Lots of it was a little muddy which was made even more difficult by the leaves hiding slippery spots. About halfway through, I did slip off a log into mud halfway up my shin but it wasn’t that bad. It would be easy to take different routes to make it longer or shorter if you wanted. The dogs loved the adventure too! Definitely check for ticks afterwards.

18 days ago

Great trail, highly recommend.

1 month ago

The main trail is a solid hike. I was able to complete in just over 2.5 hours. A bit overgrown about half way, between the 4 and 5 mile marks. Trails were a bit muddy in place, but I don't mind getting dirty while on a trail. Trail markers are very visible. Many option for all hiking skill levels.

Great Trail! Well marked along the entire trail. Bring hiking boots for the muddier spots!

2 months ago

Many short bursts or inclines, as well as creek crossings. The best view of the Surrounding area is at the main lodge not along the trail.

crushed stone on many trails

3 months ago

After signing in the front desk and speaking to the gentleman at the counter, we ended decided to do a smaller distance because of timing. He recommended the M trail—>K trail —> T trail.. which was about 3.6 miles and a very enjoyable hike. The K portion of the loop would have to be my favorite part. I would consider this an easy to moderate hike for adults. When we finished the hike, my husband and I ate lunch on the hill near the lodge overlooking neighboring towns and it was amazing. I used to come here as a child and you can see the progression of the trail maintenance. It’s very organized and well marked, but I would highly recommend talking to the staff if you have any questions about the map , they are very helpful.

3 months ago

great trail. Shaded most of the hike. Couple wet spots.

over grown
3 months ago

4 months ago

We had a wonderful hike here. The trail was muddy due to all the rain lately. As you enter the trail, you are on Trail M. Somewhere along the M trail you need to turn off for the shorter hike. This wasn't marked well & we continued along the M trail. Thankfully, this app helped us to find our way back. The 2 mile hiked turned into 4 miles, but we still had a great time. Very pretty & peaceful.

5 months ago

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

This trail provides a good workout on a warm summer day. The trail is heavily shaded and primarily winds through the forest. The trail is well marked with green "M" tags on the trees and very easy to follow, even with the trail intersecting other trails in the park. Leashed dogs are permitted and there are a few easy stream crossings. I did this hike the Sunday before Labor Day and encountered a few other hiking pairs, but it was overall a quiet and peaceful hike. There are a few stretches of incline to increase your heart rate but nothing overwhelming or discouraging. About halfway through the loop you can cut the hike short by turning onto the Main Park Road.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

The main trail of Highland Forest has been one of my favorite weekend hikes for months now. It's not challenging if you hike regularly, but has enough gains and distance to get a good workout. Overall the trail itself is well maintained. I was impressed that the thorny brush was recently cut back all the way into the furthest sections. If there was recent rain, the trail will have some deep muddy areas like any other cny trail. There aren't any open scenic views at the higher points, but the forest is nice to get immersed in. During the week, I've had the trail virtually to myself. There's also plenty of chipmunks, frogs, toads, snakes, and deer to look for. Highland was one of the most convenient trails I used in my recent preparations for hiking to the summit of South Sister, in Oregon. I also did hikes in Oregon to acclimatize. Highland is not remotely in the same league, but I made use of what trails I could access as life and time permitted. I will keep hiking Highland, and several other trails, before I hike Mount Marcy in October.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Friday, July 06, 2018

Enjoyed this hike on Father’s Day weekend. We passed no one on the trail. It was moderate for our son, whom is 4.5. He completed the hike in its entirety, which was doable with breaks ( we stopped two times for a snack and a drink break). We enjoyed the change in incline and the scenery. The trails are all marked well and maintained. We did cross over one bridge that was in need of much repair, however it seemed as though it was being set for work relatively soon. I would recommend brining a pack with snacks if you are bringing your kiddo(s). All in all a good hike. Completed in plenty of time to venture into a nearby town for a late afternoon lunch. Don’t forget to pay the 3$ entry fee.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Started in misty cloud, ended in sunshine. Considered the amount of wetness, I was pleasantly surprised there were no mosquitoes! Very nice park. $3 entry fee per person.

Friday, February 02, 2018

Great place to go! Great view from the lodge. Trails for everyone. Hikers, mountain bikers, and they even have trails for horse back riding. You can down load the map right from there site, and there different loops with different distances for all skill levels.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Monday, September 18, 2017

Beautiful hike through the woods with a well balance of inclines, declines, as well as level terrain. I would rate the overall trail as moderate, this coming from an average hiker who exercises on a regular basis. I did the entirety of the main trail in just over 4 hours with some breaks along the way. The lodge at parking area offers maps and clean restrooms as well as a nice view before you even begin the hike on the main trail. I just now noticed the description indicates that there is a waterfall on this trail. We must have missed this as we only witnessed some crossing streams on occasion. Other than the main lookout at the lodge the main trail does not have any major lookouts but was still an enjoyable woods trail. A few spots with mud and higher weeds, but the path was extremely well marked and easy to follow. About halfway through the main trail there is an outhouse should that be a need along your way.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Great day lots of trials

scenic driving
Monday, May 01, 2017

didn't do any hikes due to getting attacked by mosquitos within first 2 mins on trail, but the view of the skyline is beautiful & highly recommended to see - i can imagine how beautiful the view would be at sunset

Sunday, August 21, 2016

My family and I attempted the Main Trail 3 times before finally completing it this spring! Easy terrain but can get muddy sometimes.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Not for the faint of heart! Literally - lots of cardio! There's a -lot- of up and down that I wasn't quite expecting, but plenty of flatter areas between to rest. The shelters were well placed for resting and the vast majority of the trek was shaded. No drinking water between start and finish, though - I'd say bring a camel pack with 1-2L capacity, and take it slow. Took me around 4 hours to complete. Expect that or longer. Definitely going again.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The trail has a lot of diversity and really helpful signage with maps every so often. The trail clearly sees a lot of maintenance, made evident by the many trail structures in place, including an impressively long turnpike system. There are definitely some blowouts and muddy spots along the way but they didn't put us off our hike today. Minimal incline, not a challenging walk. I would definitely go again.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Great hike

Sunday, December 27, 2015

I hiked the Phil Suters Memorial Main Trail the day after Christmas. The trail was very muddy and incredibly eroded making this a very miserable experience. The most eroded sections appear to have been caused by motorized vehicles. It also appears they are in the process of a lumber felling operation as there was a very large number of trees lying perpendicular to the trail reducing the natural feel of forest. Some more positive points of this park is that it is very well marked, has a number of lean-to structures, and has a staffed lodge with restrooms. At the time of my hike there was a $3 day use admission.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Awesome place

Friday, May 22, 2015

I have both snowshoed and cross-country skied here. There are dedicated trails for each making both a nicer experience. The evergreen forest is beautiful, especially after a fresh snowfall. There are various trails from easy to moderate. The lodge is beautiful with a nice fireplace. There's also a sledding hill. There's a small fee for annual use as well as a slightly higher fee for cross-country skiing

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Have hiked this trail several times and have enjoyed it on every occasion. I always do the full main trail to get the most out of my hike. Makes for a really nice few hours of nature and great exercise.

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