Hiking

Indian Hill Loop – Sterling Forest State Park

Could 15, 2021 – Southfields, NY

Problem: Reasonable

Size: Roughly 4 miles

Max elevation: 1,047 ft.– whole elevation achieve 621 ft.

Route sort: Circuit

Purchase Map: Sterling Forest Trails Map 2020 #100

Free Map: Sterling Forest State Park Path Map

Trailhead parking: Furnace Loop Trailhead – Southfields, NY 10975

Giant filth parking space on the finish of an unmaintained filth highway – transportable rest room on web site

Please word: Searching is permitted within the park throughout looking seasons. Hikers ought to put on vibrant clothes.


Park Overview:

Positioned inside the cities of Tuxedo, Warwick, and Greenwood Lake in Orange County, NY, Sterling Forest State Park includes practically 22,000 acres of practically pristine pure refuge amidst one of many nation’s most densely populated areas. It contains quite a few lakes, streams and miles of mountain climbing trails. The Park can also be the house of great historic websites referring to the mining of iron ore and manufacturing of iron merchandise from colonial days up by means of the early years of the twentieth century.

Sterling Forest State Park accommodates important pure assets. 95% of the park is designated as a Park Protect Space and as a Chicken Conservation Space. The Park additionally accommodates many uncommon animals. Along with the Timber Rattlesnake, the Park accommodates all kinds of amphibians and reptiles. The North American Beaver are a typical species that are additionally widespread in Sterling Forest State Park, inhabiting most of the Park’s main drainages and wetland methods.

Indian Hill is strategically positioned between Bear Mountain-Harriman State Parks and Sterling Forest. At 1,047 toes above sea stage, the summit of Indian Hill provides views of the encompassing lands of the Ramapo River Valley, Sterling Forest and Harriman State Park. 

View east towards Harriman State Park

View east in the direction of Harriman State Park

The property is made up of wooded, rolling hills and former farm fields, with hardwood forest and uncovered bedrock, traits of the Highlands Area. It accommodates a pond, a number of wooded wetlands, steep bedrock slopes and picturesque streams.

Warbler Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Warbler Path – Sterling Forest State Park

The property can also be house to Southfields Furnace, a web site listed on the Nationwide and State Registers of Historic Locations as one of the crucial intact iron furnaces within the Highlands Area.

The Appalachian Nationwide Scenic Path traverses Harriman State Park, then enters into Sterling Forest straight adjoining to the northern flank of Indian Hill. There’s a 0.5-mile connector path that hyperlinks the 2.

Indian Hill Loop – Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop – Sterling Forest State Park

A NYS DEC looking license and a Sterling Forest State Park looking allow are required to hunt within the park, which is barely permitted throughout deer and turkey season. Some areas are closed to looking.


Historical past:

Within the City of Tuxedo, off Orange Turnpike, simply north of Bramerton Street, is Indian Hill, a bit of Sterling Forest State Park. It was an outdated farm going all the best way again to 1697. The property was bought a number of occasions, however in 1804 it ended up with the Townsend household, who additionally owned the Sterling Furnace additional south. They constructed one other iron furnace up right here at Southfields. It was fairly a big farm, using greater than 400 individuals. Indian Hill acquired its identify from a golf course that was deliberate for the land again within the 1940’s. 

Within the deep woods of Indian Hill are tall, large and meticulously-constructed stone partitions which might be a lot too large to be property markers. Some people have hypothesized that these partitions had been sacred, constructed by Native People and used to mark the summer time solstice. Others have written that the partitions are “mysterious.”

wide stone walls - Indian Hill Loop Trail

large stone partitions – Indian Hill Loop Path

Donald “Doc” Bayne, president of the Pals of Sterling Forest and a former park ranger and environmental historian who retired in 2011, has mentioned: “What we imagine is that the farmer would let his cows graze within the pasture within the morning, take them all the way down to the stream for water, after which convey them again as much as loosen up beneath these huge shade bushes within the afternoon. These partitions had been to include the herds and maintain the cattle away from the crops and for that, they wanted to be each tall and large.”

wide stone walls – Indian Hill Loop Trail

large stone partitions – Indian Hill Loop Path

“We name the highway between the massive partitions ‘Broadway’ as a result of it’s large sufficient for 3 wagons,” Doc says. “There are indicators of bridge abutments down by the stream, with the remnants of 5 small homes which we imagine housed the farmhands.”

“Broadway” – Indian Hill Loop Path

Sterling Forest State Park was established in 1998 after New York State paid $55 million for 15,280 acres of land utilizing a mixture of private and non-private funds.

The 490-acre Indian Hill tract was acquired independently by Scenic Hudson Land Belief, Inc. for $2.25 million in 1994 from a developer who wished to construct a golf course and luxurious housing on the property. Scenic Hudson transferred the property to the Palisades Interstate Park Fee just a few years later. In 2002, Indian Hill was added to Sterling Forest State Park.

Indian Hill connects Harriman State Park with Sterling Forest State Park. The NY-NJ Path Convention constructed and maintains the three.8-mile Indian Hill Loop Path and a 0.5-mile path that connects to the Appalachian Path.


Trails Overview:

The trailhead is positioned off of Orange Turnpike (County Route 19), marked by an indication for “Indian Hill.” There’s a massive filth parking space on the finish of an unmaintained filth highway. The parking space has a conveyable rest room.

Indian Hill Trailhead – Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Trailhead – Sterling Forest State Park 

It’s a 0.2-mile drive down this filth highway to the parking space. Low mendacity automobiles are usually not really useful for this highway as it’s rutted in locations and there are potholes as properly.

Indian Hill Trailhead – Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Trailhead – Sterling Forest State Park

Though laborious to inform on this {photograph}, there’s a quick steep incline from the highway to the parking space. Low mendacity automobiles could backside out right here. The parking space itself has house for about 14 automobiles.

Indian Hill Trailhead – Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Trailhead – Sterling Forest State Park

The white-stripe-on-yellow-blazed Indian Hill Loop Path is a closed loop path that’s roughly 3.8 miles lengthy of reasonable issue. There are a number of seasonal viewpoints alongside the path. The path parallels and cuts by means of an in depth system of rock partitions, each pure and man-made. From this path, connection will be made to each the Appalachian Path to the north and the Furnace Loop path to the south. This path is maintained by the NY-NJ Path Convention.

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park


Hike Overview:

This reasonable four-mile hike is ideal for each newbie and intermediate hikers on the lookout for a more difficult hike. Indian Hill isn’t as well-known because the extra well-liked trails, and the world offers good views of the encompassing hills in a extra serene setting. It additionally boasts among the largest and oldest oak bushes which will be discovered within the park. For these which might be navigationally challenged, this hike follows only one path (elective quick detour) for the whole hike, making getting misplaced very troublesome.

With a widespread gasoline scarcity alongside the U.S. East Coast, we determined to maintain the journey to a minimal. With solely a 30 minute drive from the Tappan Zee Bridge, this hike was good. I’ve had this hike on my record since 2017, however had forgotten about it. Looking for hikes which might be evenly trafficked has turn out to be more and more troublesome today, however this one checked all of the packing containers. No crowds, loads of parking, good views and properly marked trails.

Indian Hill Loop Trail – Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

There are a number of quick steep climbs and quite a few ups and downs on this hike, however the elevation achieve at about 621-ft. is on the decrease spectrum of a reasonable hike.

elevation profile - Indian Hill Loop Trail

elevation profile – Indian Hill Loop Path


The Hike:

This hike follows the white-stripe-on-yellow-blazed Indian Hill Loop Path, described right here in a counter-clockwise route. From the knowledge kiosk within the parking space, the path proceeds by means of a hemlock grove, bears proper and climbs to the crest of an increase. After descending a bit of, it climbs to succeed in an open granite ledge, with west-facing views over the hills of Sterling Forest.

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

A brief distance past, the red-blazed Furnace Loop Path joins from the precise. Proceed forward, now following each yellow and purple blazes, because the joint trails climb to the ridgetop and descend right into a valley, crossing a number of stone partitions. After climbing to a different rock ledge, with partial views to the south and east, they descend to a junction with a woods highway. The paths flip proper onto the highway, however chances are you’ll want to detour to the left on this highway, the route of the Warbler Path, which leads in 200 toes to a dam and a picturesque pond.

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Warbler Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Warbler Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Warbler Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Warbler Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Warbler Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Warbler Path – Sterling Forest State Park

Retrace your steps again to the junction and proceed to observe the joint Indian Hill/Furnace Loop trails. Quickly, the red-blazed Furnace Loop Path leaves to the precise. For the rest of the hike, you’ll be following solely the white-stripe-on-yellow blazes of the Indian Hill Loop Path. The path now crosses a stream on rocks and climbs to a panoramic south-facing viewpoint from a rock ledge. It then ascends to the ridgetop, which it follows north.

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

After a comparatively stage stretch, the path climbs to the best level on the ridge (1,047 toes). Simply past, rock ledges to the precise of the path provide unobstructed views throughout the Ramapo Valley to Harriman State Park. Inexperienced Pond Mountain dominates the view, with the grassy Elk Pen within the foreground and the New York State Thruway under within the valley.

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

From the ridge, the path descends regularly on switchbacks. Close to the underside, it briefly follows a stone wall, then turns proper onto a woods highway. On the base of the descent, it turns left onto a woods highway between unusually large stone partitions. Quickly, the path turns proper, goes by means of a niche in a large stone wall, and continues on a footpath, passing an enormous oak tree.

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

After crossing a stone wall, the Indian Hill Loop Path reaches a junction with a blue-blazed path that begins on the precise and heads north to attach, in 0.4 mile, with the white-blazed Appalachian Path. Right here, the Indian Hill Loop Path turns left and begins to parallel the stone wall. It quickly crosses two extra stone partitions, in addition to a woods highway lined on each side with large stone partitions.

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

After passing by means of a large hole in yet one more stone wall, the path turns left onto a grassy woods highway. At a T-intersection, it turns proper onto one other woods highway, which it follows for a few quarter mile to the barrier gate simply past the parking space. Flip left and climb to the parking space, the place the hike started.

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail - Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop Path – Sterling Forest State Park

 

Indian Hill Loop Trail parking area

Indian Hill Loop Path parking space


Assessment:

A completely gratifying hike by means of a evenly trafficked space of Sterling Forest. We solely encountered a number of hikers alongside the path and that was close to the trailhead. The views though nowhere close to spectacular, had been frequent sufficient to make for cease factors alongside the hike and take a brief break. Among the viewpoints had been extra like keyhole views, however throughout leaf-off season, they’re most likely extra large ranging. The abundance of markers makes this path straightforward to observe and the place was litter free. Value a go to to flee the crowds at among the extra well-liked mountain climbing spots. Aside from the rock outcrops, there’s loads of shade alongside the path from the dense cover of bushes, making this an excellent selection on these scorching sunny days.

Execs:

Properly marked trails, litter free, scenic panorama, quite a few scenic viewpoints, evenly trafficked space.

Cons:

Some thruway noise will be heard alongside the japanese facet of Indian Hill.


Take a hike!

Indian Hill Loop – Sterling Forest State Park

Indian Hill Loop – Sterling Forest State Park


Sources:




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