GPS: 41.41867, -74.01048 TIME: 3H 40M LENGTH: 5.5 MILES ELEVATION: 1,391 ft
Let me tell you about my first hike of 2019! (Please feel free to skip this and scroll directly to the hike info below). We saw about a dozen people throughout the hike, and half of them with four-legged friends. I will pet any dog that let’s me, and two big fluff balls did just that. So pups on the trail are always a plus for me!
I am also a fan of running water during hikes. It’s so soothing. I had read that there are several creeks along this hike and was excited to see more water than usual. It rained the night before and drizzled on our way there. Little did I know that precipitation was going to be a pretty big theme for this hike.
I experienced something at Black Rock Forest that I have never experienced anywhere else in New York. Lake Effect! As we walked further into the trees we could hear precipitation falling. However, since it rained the night before we three assumed it was rain. I stuck my hand out to confirm the rain because it sounded a little different as it hit the ground. I caught a couple of teeny tiny hail-like snowballs. And just as quick as it started it would stop intermittently.
When we reached the summit what we saw in the distance and assumed was fog, was in fact a storm rolling in. FAST! I was posing for pictures for my IG and then it hit us in the face! You can see the video on my page HERE [WARNING: I curse in those videos] #sorrynotsorry
Go up the Stone Staircase and walk right past the green gate on the gravel road.
Cross Mailley’s Mill Bridge.
Cross the second bridge.
Follow the trail upstream (Blue Trail).
The Blue Trail ends where you cross the stream. If it rained the night before or that morning, be prepared to get wet. The water flowed right above the top of my Palladiums. Luckily they were tied tightly and close to nothing got in. The top of my socks got a little wet, but it was fine. Way better than squishy toes if you ask me. I was impressed and very happy about it considering we were just starting our 6.58 mile day.
The rocks looked like they would be high enough to keep me out of the water.
But then my right foot drops right into the water!
Back on the gravel road make a right uphill (Yellow Trail). Stay left at the fork and walk to the reservoir bank. Appreciate the stillness for a moment like my best friend Nicole does.
Continue walking on the road next to the reservoir.
After the “No Trespassing No Swimming” sign (facing away from you as you approach it) walk between the two yellow posts up ahead. But if you pass the yellow gate you’ve gone too far.
Turn right to continue on the Blue trail. It will be marked with three blue blazes on a tree and a couple of stepping-stones. We retraced our steps a couple of times here looking for the blue blazes. Trust me, just walk past those two yellow posts and in less than a minute you’ll see a tree with the blue blazes.
Ignore the white trail and stay on the blue trail until you reach the gravel road. Turn right on the gravel road and stay on it briefly.
Turn left at the wooden gate (it was closed so we walked around it). Keep walking and you’ll come across another reservoir. Walk around the right side of the reservoir. If it’s rained then you’ll definitely hear the water. So pretty!
Cross the bridge over the bottom section of the spillway.
Continue to walk up the small hill alongside the reservoir until you are standing at the bank.
Directly behind you there is a tree with two Yellow and two Teal blazes you’ll follow into the woods.
Once again ignore the white trail and continue following the Yellow/Teal trail. Soon after the white trail blazes pay close attention to the Yellow/Teal trail as it turns sharply to the right. You’ll see the gravel road to your left (don’t go that way!).
You’ll emerge onto Black Rock. Look at the view! No, seriously, look! That is lake effect heading my way. I thought it was a fog to be honest. And then in minutes we were all hit in the face by snow! Check out my post HERE to see videos of it coming in and surprising us all!
Ready to head down? Look out towards the view and then go left. You’ll see Yellow and Teal markers on the rocks.
Follow the trail all the way to the gravel road and turn left.
When you get to the intersection there will be a podium with a map. Make a left.
In a moment you’ll come across another intersection with a huge tree in the middle. Make a left.
In about 10 minutes you’ll come across two boulders. Walk between the boulders and hop onto “Buster’s Bend.”
After a short walk find the Yellow and Teal trail again. Make a right onto the trail towards the reservoir.
Follow the Yellow/Teal trail carefully as the White trail makes an appearance again.
Cross over the spillway bridge again.
Right after the bridge jump onto the White trail on the left.
Climb the stairs when you get to them, this is the White trail continued. We were on this trail for 15 minutes.
When the White Trail ends, which is marked by three White blazes, you’ll make a left onto the Blue Trail (this area is close to the first bridge you crossed earlier in your hike).
You’ll cross “Ben’s Bridge.”
Immediately after crossing the bridge, start following the Red Trail.
The Red Trail is going to meander for a while until you get back to your car.
The guide we read and followed HERE stated the hike was 5.4 miles and 3.5 hours long. However, with taking pictures and retracing our steps a few times, we did a total of 6.58 miles in almost the same amount of time!
I hope this post is helpful. Even if it helps one person have an better hiking experience, it’ll have been worth it. Until next hike!
In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. — John Muir