South Mountain County Park
This lollipop hike is my own invention and spans Gurnee County Park and South Mountain County Park in Rockland County, New York. The complete path of the hike is shown on the NYNJTC Hudson Palisades Trail Map 112 and almost completely on this map, though the western-most part including the parking area on Route 45, is not included. That small segment can be seen on this map. We parked at that lot and took the Long Path east passing several viewpoints all the way to Route 33 (where more parking is available). At Route 33 we turned and headed back west but instead of using the Long Path we used the meandering woods road (seen on both maps) which leads to the radio tower near the center of the South Mountain County Park. At that point we got back on the LP and headed back to the car, choosing a wonderful off-trail spot on the cliffs of Gurnee County Park for lunch.

One of the more interesting parts of this hike comes right at the beginning, where the Long Path takes a somewhat steep climb just east of Route 45. It is exactly here where the entire Palisades escarpment ends, dipping right into the ground, just before Route 45.

Total distance covered was just under 5 miles on this relatively hot spring day (temperatures were in the 80s), in just over 2.5 hours including lunch.

(Click on the thumbnail to bring up a bigger image in a pop-up window)

Room for lots of cars

The Palisades ends right here!

It quickly climbs

Warning sign on fallen tree

First view north

Cliffs form a natural ampitheater

Rocky path


Steep drop [photo by Laura]

Wow! That's steep!

View west

View north

Excellent lookout

Wildflowers ... which Laura did not trample

Red cedars abound

More red cedars

Interesting spider


Southern view

View south

Field in distance


[Photo by Laura]

Antenna with sun blocked

Small pond near antenna

Rocky LP ascent

Rocky LP descent


Descending to Route 33

Lone red cedar


Barrier at Route 33

Heading west on woods road

More wildflowers

Bright yellow feather

Dan taking ... [photo by Laura]

... this photo

Heading back to antenna

Houses to the north

View south

Spring buds

Lunch spot looking east

Lunch spot looking west

View north

Mountains east

Photographs and content copyright © Dan Balogh
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