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Sterling Forest Bare Rock Trail

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Sterling Forest State Park

Sterling Forest Bare Rock Trail is a 8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Warwick, New York that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 8.0 miles Elevation Gain: 1,253 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

lake

views

rocky

historic site

Fun hike at Sterling Forest. See Lakeville Ironworks ruins, overlook of Greenwood Lake, and climb firetower with endless view of rolling hills. Also has a great Visitor Center! Trail head starts at Highlands Environmental Research Center. Walk through woods to Visitor Center to pick up Blue trail (Sterling Lake trail) After short while intersects with Yellow Lakeville Ironworks trail - follow this through historic site back to Blue trail (road). Follow Blue to intersection with Orange trail (Bare Rock trail). Take Orange trail into woods and uphill. Cross Sterling Ridge and West Valley trails. After almost 3 miles you will see a side trail to vista overlooking Greenwood lake. Return to Orange trail and follow it to intersection with FireTower trail (Red with white). Take Fire Tower trail to left (north). Along this trail you will come to a large beaver pond. Cross below the dam and follow lake edge to pick up trail. Fire Tower trail will join Sterling Ridge (Blue) and Highlands (Turquoise) trails. At this point the trail climbs up the rocky hillside (twice). Eventually you will come to the Firetower itself. This rocky section requires a scamble and is the only hard part of the trail. From the Firetower head downhill on the Firetower trail until you meet the Firetower Connector trail (Red Triangle). Take the this to the road and the Blue trail. Follow Blue trail back to the Visitor Center

2 days ago

Great hike! I would say this hike is more moderate in terms of difficulty. It was mostly flat with few inclines. But I enjoyed the view of the lake and seeing a few frogs and snakes. Just be aware of the ticks this time of year!

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
9 days ago

hiking
bugs
flooded
muddy
21 days ago

hiking
bugs
muddy
over grown
rocky
washed out
22 days ago

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

4/12/20: beautiful weather for an Easter morning hike! Saw very few people once I actually got on Bare Rock. There were a few closer to the visitor center, though. The only challenging portion of this hike is the very brief rock scramble leading to the fire tower. Otherwise I'd rate it more between easy and moderate. I was able to jog through most portions of the trail and finished in just over 2 hours and 15 minutes. Note that today the fire tower was CLOSED, not sure why, and the area around the fire tower was very buggy. I was planning to eat my lunch there but had to make it further down the fire road before the bugs left me alone. Rating the trail alone I'd give it a 3/5. The scenery (at least in April) wasn't anything about which to write home. I'm bumping up to 4/5 though due to the ruins and the fire tower. They always cool.

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice hike. Would rate it moderate, very gradual, easy inclines . Well marked trail with some good view spots . Very few people on trail despite being a perfect weather day.

hiking
scramble
1 month ago

Fantastic hike, we loved it. Beautiful scenery and a real woodsy feel. I wouldn’t rate this as difficult, as others have also stated, it’s a moderate and only gets challenging on a handful of fun, steep scrambles up to the fire tower. Trail was very well marked, but we did have to consult our maps by where the red meets the green because we didn’t see the red blaze by the huge beaver dam. The trail turns sharply to the right towards the beaver dam and continues from there. Gorgeous viewpoint over Greenwood Lake to rest and take in the view, plenty of rocks to sit on. We walked at a moderate pace, got passed by a few very fast groups, and it took us 5 hours total, including a good 15 minutes at the Greenwood Lake viewpoint, stopping at the bathrooms as we were starting and finishing, and a few minutes here and there throughout to catch our breath. We will do this one again.

Well marked trail without treachery. The views were lovely and the vista made for an amazing dinner spot.

1 month ago

Trail was marked well, nice steep part with great views. Would definitely do it again!!

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike. Has some nice views and very well marked. Would rate this hike more on the moderate side than hard.

hiking
2 months ago

Great place for family’s , great views . The trail is very clean and well marked.i will not rated this trail as Hard, is started easy to moderated and the last mile we encountered the scramble. Bring you lunch and enjoy The Lake view of greenwood lake

2 months ago

I really enjoyed this trail. it was more crowded than I thought. I can't wait to see it in the spring and summer!

hiking
2 months ago

Trail is well maintained and easy to follow. Conditions were relatively dry with a few areas of mud/water that were passable without incident. Stunning views of greenwood lake at the overlook, and only passed a handful of other parties hiking Sunday early afternoon. Beautiful day on the trail!

hiking
muddy
over grown
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

hiking
blowdown
4 months ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
4 months ago

Perfect spring-ish hike in December, ice in minimal spots of the trail but can be easily bypassed. The majority of the trail is easy-ish upto the fire tower trail, the climb to fire tower is intermediate but is rewarding

hiking
icy
muddy
scramble
5 months ago

Icy and slippery spots throughout the trail. Very short rock scramble but fun. Be careful of black ice! Fire tower is closed due to icy stairs!

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