Sterling Ridge

Sterling Ridge, Sterling Forest (10/30/2009)

This is a hike of my own invention, with a suggestion by my friend Andy near the end. I anticipated that we would see peak fall foliage today (upstate NY was about peak at this time last year and even later) but was surprised to discover that the colors were not only already past peak, but victim of significant leaf drop. So we didn't see as much color as I expected, though in isolated spots it was amazingly beautiful.

We started at the Sterling Furnace on Old Forge Road, picking up the blue-blazed Sterling Lake Loop along the west bank of Sterling Lake. After making a left onto the orange Bare Rock trail (which, ironically, stops far short of Bare Rock which seems to have no trails to it but is denoted as a viewpoint on the NYNJTC map), we turned right on the blue Sterling Ridge trail which afforded three nice viewpoints in decreasing levels of beauty. Turning right and descending in the power line cut brought us to the yellow Sterling Valley Loop trail where we turned right, soon arriving at the west bank of Sterling Lake once again. When the blue trail swung right to leave the bank, Andy suggested we continue on the unmarked trail straight, still skirting the lake. Shortly we arrived at a No Trespassing sign, at which point we bushwhacked west no more than 100 yards to get back to the blue trail, which we took back to the car.

Total distance traveled was 5.3 miles in approximately 3.5 hours.

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

Plaque for Sterling Furnace

Sterling Furnace

The columns are wooden!

Andy in jail

Sterling Furnace

We bushwhacked to the blue trail

First view of a misty Sterling Lake

Sterling Lake


Ruins on the west bank

Ruins from iron days

Color on the wall


Sterling Lake

Colors and mist


Sterling Lake

Color on the orange trail

Bridge over creek


Climbing to the ridge


First viewpoint on blue trail

Sterling Lake

Some localized color

Sterling Lake

View from the ridge



Andy at the second viewpoint

View east

Beautiful surface

Green mountain laurel

View east from third viewpoint

Our lunch spot

The colorful power line cut

Heading east (down) ...

... in the power line cut


Live Wires!


On the yellow trail

Significant leaf drop

Gorgeous colors

Heading south on the yellow trail

Beautiful little cascades


Near the northern tip of the lake

Andy on the tip

View south


Visitor's center across the lake

View east

Houses across the lake

More color!

We bushwhacked here

Tiny bolder field

Southern tip of lake

This HUGE tree makes Andy seem small

Sterling Lake

Photographs and content copyright © Dan Balogh
Web design by Dan Balogh