June 26, 2022 – Chilly Spring, NY
Size: Roughly 4.6 miles
Max elevation: 1,112 ft.– whole elevation acquire roughly 1,200 ft.
Route sort: Circuit
Purchase Maps (Paper & Avenza): East Hudson Trails Map #102
Free Internet Map: Hudson Highlands North Trail Map 2021
Free Avenza App Map: Hudson Highlands North Trail Map 2019
Trailhead parking: Route 9D – Bear Mountain-Beacon Hwy, Cold Spring, NY
47-space car parking zone – Transportable bogs on website
The park is open 12 months spherical from dawn to sundown.
Bull Hill, often known as Mount Taurus, is a mountain simply north of the Village of Chilly Spring on the Hudson River in Putnam County, NY. It’s a part of the river-straddling mountain vary often called the Hudson Highlands. Whereas not as effectively often called its neighbor to the north Breakneck Ridge or Storm King Mountain throughout the river, it’s a part of Hudson Highlands State Park Protect and has an intensive path system, providing hikers sweeping views of the river and neighboring peaks from rock outcrops close to its wooded 1,420-foot summit, increased than each Breakneck Ridge and Storm King Mountain.
Hudson Highlands State Park Protect consists of a sequence of separate parcels of land stretching from Annsville Creek in Peekskill, north to Dennings Level in Beacon. The largely undeveloped protect of over 8,000 acres, has over 70 miles of trails which incorporates terrain that varies from simple to difficult. The Park Protect protects a mosaic of particular habitats from the estuarine shore of the Hudson River, via younger deciduous forest, to the rocky ridges and summits towering above the encompassing space, offering a haven for a lot of crops and animals simply 50 miles north of New York Metropolis. The Hudson Highlands and Hudson River present spectacular backdrops for the numerous outside actions that may be loved right here, akin to climbing, boating, fishing, and birding.
The unique identify “Bull Hill” got here after a bull that used to terrorize the mountain was chased by indignant inhabitants. A looking occasion drove the bull over the hill. In an try and flee the mountaineers, the bull plunged out into area and fell down. Its damaged and shapeless mass on the rocks was memorialized within the identify of the mountain the bull used to hang-out. Don’t let the identify idiot you. This can be a mountain, not a hill.
On the Washburn Path, the place the Bull Hill Loops start, you’ll go by the large rock formations that have been as soon as a quarry owned by the Hudson River Stone Firm from 1931-1967. The quarry produced onerous gneissic rock to be used in building till mining operations ceased in 1944.
Positioned alongside the Cornish Path, which can be the final leg of the Bull Hill Loops, are the ruins of the Cornish Property. The property was named Northgate by its proprietor, Edward Joel Cornish, who lived there together with his spouse from 1917-1938. What you’ll see in your hike is all that continues to be of the property after a damaging hearth in 1958.
Please Be aware: Path distances denoted under are in relation to this hike solely and never the overall distance of the paths.
- Washburn Path: (white blazes – 1.4 miles) ~ The primary route up Bull Hill from the Washburn Trailhead, it climbs to the mountain’s 1,420 ft summit in nearly 2.3 miles. That is the best vertical ascent of any path inside the park. This can be a very strenuous path that ascends over 1,000 ft from the river to the junction with the Undercliff Path.
- Undercliff Path: (yellow blazes – 1.5 miles) ~ This yellow blazed path travels alongside the shoulder of Bull Hill and descends to the notch between Breakneck Ridge and Bull Hill. It options some steep climbs and open viewpoints from rock outcrops. It takes its identify from the numerous cliffs whose foot it passes.
- Brook Path: (crimson blazes – 0.15 mile) ~ This path runs alongside the notch between Breakneck Ridge and Bull Hill, from Route 9D to its terminus on the Notch Path. The path parallels Breakneck Brook and follows a number of outdated roads, making it one of many extra reasonable trails within the space.
- Cornish Path (blue blazes – 1.45 miles) ~ This blue blazed path follows a disused street via the ruins of an outdated property. Intensive ruins of the mansion and several other outbuildings are scattered all through the realm.
The paths used on this hike have been simple to observe and effectively maintained on the the day that we visited.
In 2021, the Taconic Conservation Corps Crew (TCCC) accomplished the Washburn Path reroute, which concluded 2 years of labor. This venture concerned substantial path enhancements alongside a one-third-mile stretch of path main up from the outdated quarry to the Chilly Spring overlook. Extra stone steps have been put in resulting in a newly constructed viewing platform above the quarry overlooking the Hudson River Valley. The Washburn Path seems a lot totally different than the final time I hiked it in 2016.
Having completed the “Bull Hill Full Loop” in 2016, it was time to pay a return go to. I’ve all the time needed to hike the part of the Undercliff Path that runs alongside the shoulder of Bull Hill. The realm that features Bull Hill, Little Stony Level and Breakneck Ridge have among the most closely used trails within the Hudson Valley and the parking areas are often stuffed to capability. Getting there early is the important thing to securing a parking spot and avoiding the large crowds through the summer season climbing season.
We received up vivid and early on a Sunday morning, arriving on the Washburn Trailhead at about 7:30am. The car parking zone is straight throughout the road from Little Stony Level.
After we arrived again on the car parking zone round midday, the lot was full, with a number of automobiles coming and going.
The day was scorching and hazy with temps round 90°. Except for the rock outcrops, nearly your entire hike was below a cover of timber, making the warmth tolerable. We noticed some teams of individuals, however not as many as I assumed that we’d run into. Beginning early actually pays off.
This counterclockwise loop begins at river degree and shortly positive factors elevation because it climbs Bull Hill on the Washburn Path. As soon as on the Undercliff Path, the majority of the elevation is completed with just a few minor ups and downs the remainder of the way in which. When you attain the Brook Path, it’s all downhill for the remaining 1.7 miles.
From the northern finish of the parking space, proceed north on the white-blazed Washburn Path. In 100 ft, you’ll attain a junction with the blue-blazed Cornish Path, which continues straight forward. The Cornish Path can be your return route, however for now, bear proper and proceed to observe the Washburn Path uphill alongside an outdated street, as soon as used to entry a quarry.
In about half a mile, you’ll attain the positioning of the quarry, opened in 1931 by the Hudson River Stone Company and deserted in 1967. The quarry website is now overgrown with timber, though the scars within the rock are plainly seen on the left. Right here, the path leaves the street, veers sharply proper, and follows the rim of the quarry. You’ll discover some rusted pipes and cables alongside the path, remnants of former quarrying operations.
The Washburn Path now ascends a not too long ago rerouted part of the path that took two years to finish. The path ascends a sequence of stone steps to a newly constructed overlook alongside the rim of the quarry. Instantly under is the quarry and to the northwest, throughout the river is Storm King Mountain.
Storm King Mountain (heart) throughout the Hudson River with the Bull Hill quarry within the foreground.
The uncovered rock summit of Butter Hill (left) and Storm King Mountain (proper).
A brief distance later because the path makes a pointy proper flip, there’s a extra wide-ranging view over the quarry, with Storm King Mountain throughout the river to the best and Crows Nest Mountain to the left. This makes a great spot to take a break.
Bull Hill quarry.
Storm King Mountain throughout the river to the best.
Crows Nest Mountain throughout the Hudson River with Butter Hill on the far proper.
The Washburn Path turns proper and a brief distance later, reaches the Chilly Spring Overlook.
Chilly Spring is seen straight under with Structure Island to its south and West Level throughout the river to the southwest. The southern part of the East Hudson Highlands, together with the hills of Fahnestock State Park are seen to the left. Chances are you’ll wish to cease right here to benefit from the spectacular view.
Previous the perspective, the path continues to ascend extra regularly, however quickly steepens. After climbing one other 400 vertical ft, it comes out on open rocks, with views over the Hudson River to the west and south. Crows Nest Mountain is straight throughout the river, and the USA Navy Academy at West Level is distinguished within the distance to the south. After a brief degree part, the path resumes a fairly steep climb.
Crows Nest Mountain.
About 1.4 miles from the beginning, the Washburn Path reaches a junction with the yellow-blazed Undercliff Path. Flip left and observe the Undercliff Path which begins an undulating traverse of the western shoulder of Bull Hill, passing a number of extra viewpoints over the Hudson River. Upon reaching the far finish of the shoulder, the path emerges on a rock outcrop with a sweeping view to the north. Breakneck Ridge is the ragged ridge to the north, and Storm King – with its reduce for the freeway – is straight throughout the river.
View of the Hudson River because it snakes its method south round Structure Island (heart) and the West Level Navy Academy (far heart).
Trying north up the Hudson River. Breakneck Ridge is the ragged ridge on the best, with the northern tip of Storm King, throughout the river on the left.
Trying north in direction of Breakneck Ridge.
Storm King Mountain throughout the river.
Outstanding peaks and ridges of the East Hudson Highlands.
Trying north up the Hudson River previous Breakneck Ridge.
Trying north with Storm King Mountain (left) and Breakneck Ridge (proper).
The Undercliff Path now turns sharply proper and begins to move in a northeast path. After crossing a stream, it descends on switchbacks to achieve the stone foundations of a woods street that was by no means accomplished. The path turns proper and proceeds alongside the street, which quickly acquires a dirt-and-gravel floor, crossing a stream on a one-log bridge. After bending to the left, the path resumes its regular descent, quickly starting to parallel a stream.
Virtually three miles from the beginning of the hike, the Undercliff Path crosses a stream and reaches a large woods street, the route of the red-blazed Brook Path. The Undercliff Path turns left, briefly becoming a member of the Brook Path then instantly turns proper and crosses a wider stream (Breakneck Brook) on a wood bridge, however it’s best to bear left and proceed on the red-blazed path alongside the woods street, paralleling Breakneck Brook.
After passing a small deserted constructing to the best, you’ll attain a fork. Bear left right here onto the blue-blazed Cornish Path, which follows an outdated street via the previous property of Edward G. Cornish, chairman of the board of the Nationwide Lead Firm.
The street passes a big cement-and-stone cistern on the best, then curves round two switchbacks and continues with a concrete pavement. Simply earlier than reaching the paved part of the street, there’s an unmarked footpath that leads right down to the stone ruins of the Cornish Property, that are seen under on the best.
The Greenhouse: It seems that Edward and Selina Cornish, partly, used the greenhouse for winter storage of palm timber and different unique crops that have been positioned in entrance of the home through the hotter climate. A boiler within the basement offered warmth to the constructing and sprinklers.
There are quite a few informational indicators all through the realm that designate the utilization and historical past of the buildings on the property.
The Mansion: For the design of the mansion, Sigmund Stern employed the architectural agency of Werner and Windolph. The architects paid particular consideration to the pure setting of the home, maximizing views of Storm King Mountain, Breakneck Ridge and the Hudson River.
The Cornish Property ruins website is presently present process preservation efforts after receiving a grant to assist uncover the thriller behind this as soon as prestigious mansion.
The Cornish Property and subsistence farms have been first developed in 1910 by Chicago diamond service provider Sigmund Stern, who utilized the 650 acres of land. Stern was on the board of Shock Lake Camp, the nation’s longest-running Jewish sleepaway camp.
In 1916, the land was supplied for lease after Stern’s spouse handed away. New York businessman Edward Cornish and spouse Selina took over the property the next 12 months and ran a dairy farm. Within the late 1930’s, the Cornish couple handed away inside two weeks of one another. The property was given to a nephew who didn’t keep the property, and in 1958 a hearth destroyed nearly all of the mansion.
Mockingly, within the 1930’s Edward Cornish hoped to bequeath his 650-acre property to New York State. NYS determined the mountainous website was no place for a park and turned him down. It didn’t turn out to be a part of Hudson Highlands State Park Protect till the late 1960’s.
When you’re completed exploring these spectacular wanting ruins, proceed via the porte-cochère down the property driveway. It’s best to see blue and crimson markers on a tree. Comply with the driveway to the subsequent junction and bear proper.
An enormous boulder alongside the path.
To switch the steep and winding Breakneck Valley Highway that approached the mansion from the north, a brand new driveway was laid connecting the mansion to Shore Highway (present-day Route 9-D) from the south. This main enterprise required important engineering and rock blasting. Culverts and spillways directed runoff alongside and below the street.
The paved street descends steadily in direction of Route 9D, the place it ends at a gate. Simply earlier than the gate, the Cornish Path turns left, crosses a moist space on rocks and stumps, and continues alongside a footpath parallel to Route 9D for a couple of quarter of a mile to finish simply earlier than the car parking zone the place the hike started.
A totally pleasant hike. There are such a lot of factors of curiosity on this hike that you simply’ll wish to cease not solely to catch your breath, however to soak up the distinctive views or discover the in depth ruins. Be forewarned, that is no stroll within the park, however pleasant nonetheless. As with a lot of the in style trails within the Hudson Valley, you’ll run into loads of day hikers on any given day. The hot button is to go to on a weekday or very early mornings earlier than the crowds arrive. The paths are effectively marked with loads of signage. I extremely advocate this hike to all which are bodily ready.
Views galore, effectively marked and maintained trails, Cornish Property ruins.
Widespread climbing space which attracts crowds.
Take a hike!