Sterling Ridge & Lake

Sterling Ridge & Lake, Sterling Forest (10/16/2010)

This is a slightly shorter version of Western Hudson Hike #3 ("Ridge and Shore Loop") from the book Take a Hike: New York City (1st edition) which is also the Hike of the Week for 9/19/2002 as described on the NY-NJ Trail Conference website. The difference is that we skipped the visit to the fire tower, which we have visited several times in the past. So instead of continuing west on the Sterling Ridge trail when we intersected with the Bare Rock trail, we made a left on that trail and took that south to Sterling Lake.

After spending a week hiking in Virginia, which was just beginning to show autumn color, this was basically our first home fall foliage hike, and it was not disappointing. The colors in Sterling Forest varied from barely any, to quite high, as you can see in the photos. It was a gorgeous, windy fall day, so windy that I'm sure loads of leaves were blown from the trees before reaching peak color. In essence, this might have been our last chance to see really good fall foliage this year, though we're keeping our fingers crossed that this isn't the case.

Total distance traveled was 5.6 miles in approximately 3.5 hours.

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Northern start of Sterling Ridge trail

[photo by Laura]

Autumn yellows ...

... on the ridge

[photo by Laura]

Small cascade


[photo by Laura]

Nice climb here

Sun came out

Power line cut looking west

Power line cut east

Near an outcrop


One of many views east

Hills of Sterling Forest


Zoom view east

Mountain Laurel thicket

View of Sterling Lake from ridge


Explosion of yellow

Rebuilding a cairn

Ridge pine

To another vista

View of Sterling Lake

Fall foliage

[photo by Laura]

South on Bare Rock trail

Two-colored leaf

Leaf-topped water

[photo by Laura]

Lots of leaf drop


Descending on Bare Rock trail


Bridge across creek

The creek is nearly dry

The Sterling Lake trail

At lake level

Sterling Lake ...

... and fall foliage



Continuing on Lake trail

Dog goes fishing

At the NW tip of the lake

Taking a break

View south

Visitor Center across lake

[photo by Laura]

Resting in color


View south

Lake trail north

Colors on Sterling Valley trail


Lots of leaf drop

Creek off S. Valley trail

Beautiful color

Shooting into the light


How did they know? [photo by Laura]

Color in power line cut

View west

Leaves in the path

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