Hiking – Black Rock Forest The “6.25 Mile Trail”

Black Rock Forest Trail
Mountainville New York Hikes
Trail Name:
6.25 Mile Trail
Activity Type:
Nearby City:
6.25 total miles
Elevation Gain:
395 feet
Trail Type:
Skill Level:
5 hours
Year-round (except hunting seasons)
Other Uses:
Dogs must be on a leash and under control at all times
Top Elevation:
1,440 feet

With 3785 acres of natural beauty in Orange County’s Hudson Highlands region, Black Rock Forest offers a slice of nature for every hiker and canine companion. Owned and managed by a consortium of educational and research institutions, Black Rock Forest offers trails in a range of difficulty levels, numerous man-made and natural ponds, and views of the Hudson to astound you. This hike takes you through a less-traveled section of the park, while offering opportunities for gorgeous views and playtime in the water for your dog.
Begin your hike on the yellow-diamond-blazed Mine Hill Trail. It is important to note at this early stage that you will encounter four yellow trails along this hike-all blazed in yellow, yet differing in the shape of the blaze. 

The trail begins an immediate ascent up a rock-strewn single-track trail through a series of Switchbacks. Nearing the top of your climb, note views behind and around you including the Shawangunk and Catskill mountains. The Mine Hill Trail meets with the yellow- circle-blazed Sackett Trail only 0.1 mile into the hike. Bear right at this intersection and continue your walk southwest along the ridge to the next intersection with the yellow-rectangle-blazed Stillman Trail. Bear left, heading southeast on the Stillman Trail as you travel through thickets of mountain laurel-possibly in full bloom if you’re visiting this trail in late Mayor early June.

The Stillman Trail soon joins Hall Road at a right turn and travels east to a triangle intersection with the blue-blazed Compartment Trail. Take a quick left and then a short right to join the yellow-and-blue-blazed trails traveling together uphill on a grassy woods road. The joint trails crest a small hill and then split. Follow the blue-blazed Compartment Trail south to the intersection with the white-blazed Split Rock Trail 1.2 miles into the hike. Bear left onto the white trail, arriving steps later at a scenic overlook with Sutherland Pond below.
Upon departing the overlook, travel across large boulders and past the split rock that gives this trail its name. Arriving at Sutherland Road, turn right to travel along a grassy woods road on the banks of Sutherland Pond. 

Find a rock or downed tree trunk and take a lunch break next to the water while your dog enjoys a swim. After your break, continue your hike southwest past the terminus point of Sutherland Pond to a triangular intersection. Curve left here, following the blue trail south to an intersection with the yellow-rectangle-blazed Arthur Trail.

Proceed left on the Arthur Trail to cross a stream and swamp on log bridges with mountain laurel bordering the trail on both sides. Steps past the swamp, you will encounter the white-blazed Scenic Trail. Bear left on the white trail to pass the exit of the blue trail and arrive a short distance later to a trail intersection marked by a log sticking up from a cairn. Turn right at this intersection continuing your hike along the blue-blazed Eagle Cliff Trail to arrive at the Eagle Cliff overlook. Climb the large boulders to enjoy the views of the New York City skyline to the south on a clear day, with Wilkins Pond below and Jims Pond to your left. Consider taking a break here to allow you and your pooch a moment to enjoy the views.

Continuing from this point, travel along the orange-blazed Rut Trail to its endpoint with the yellow-blazed Stropel Trail. Proceed left at this junction and hike cast to rejoin the white-blazed Scenic Trail via a right turn. Travel west on the Scenic Trail to its terminus at the wide woods Continental Road. Turn left and travel along this flat stretch of grassy road to reach the Chatfield Stone House on your left. Built in the 1830s, the house was damaged by fire in 1912, reconstructed in 1932 and today is used for forest educational programs. Arthurs Pond borders the trail in the distance below to your right. Water and seasonal restrooms are also provided at this location.

Continue north on Continental Road, passing White Oak Road to arrive at a trail intersection marked with cable barrier across the road. Cross over the cable and continue northwest on the yellow-circle-blazed Sackett Trail. A stream borders the trail to the right as you and your four- legged friend continue west toward Hall Road. Travel along grassy Hall Road for a short distance, re-enter the woods on Sackett Trail, pass an old stone chimney, cross a stream, and then begin a final climb-whew!
A short distance after reaching the peak of your ascent, you will return to the intersection of the Sackett and Mine Hill trails. Turn right and twist and turn downhill to reach the trailhead and completion of an exhilarating hike. 


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