Trails: Cliff (White), Buchanan (orange), Pond Loop (Blue), Hackers (Yellow)
[TL;DR – The climb up is the steepest/hardest part of this hike. The whole hike is mostly woods roads with only some easy climbs/descents. Great views, and two waterfalls.]
I haven’t posted in a while; I figured I would rectify that after this weekend’s outing. And the day I went out was the only nice day of the weekend. I got lucky, the sun peeked out a couple of times, and for the most part the day remained mostly cloudy. I drove through rain on the way to the trailhead, and fortunately there was no rain during the day.
A note on parking. I parked in the Hackers Trailhead parking lot, right across the street from the trail. I was the first one in the lot at a little after eight in the morning. The next lot up the road is for Raymondskill falls, and can be used. However, when I finished the trails on the other side of the road, and before I went to Raymondskill falls, I noticed the parking lot(s) were absolutely packed – at around 11:15. This was in January. I can’t imagine this lot in the summer, later in the day. There were gates on Raymondskill Road that were open, I wonder what happens in snowy weather? I did not see anyone on the hike until closer to 11, and as I was by the waterfalls. I had the Cliff Trail to myself.
Start out across the street from the parking lot. To do the Cliff trail, make a right at the first junction, cross a creek, then climb straight up. No switchbacks to speak of. It’s a woods road, so the trail is plenty wide. And when you reach the top, and the first overlook, you will have completed the bulk of the climbing for the day with only nominal ascents and descents for the rest of the day.
There are four overlooks on the way to Milford Knob, all have generally the same view.
In this next picture, the needle pointing straight up in the middle of the picture (zoom in) is High Point State Park. It’s much easier to see live.
The Cliff trail meanders across the top of the cliffs that parallel Route 209. Here’s a shot of the cliff from one of the viewpoints.
While it was mostly cloudy, with not much color, it was easy to pick out some life in the park. Squirrels and birds were the most “wildlife” I saw.
From many of the viewpoints there were side trails/sidequests that you could take. Those paths stayed closer to the cliff edge, and no doubt had more phenomenal views. As the ground was damp, the leaves wet, I decided to stay on the main trail.
The Cliff Trail ends at Milford Knob and has a great view of the town of Milford.
I retraced my steps back to a junction with a spur trail that would lead to the waterfalls.
Both the Buchanan and the Pond Loop were on woods roads as well.
If you take the Pond Loop to the right, you will traverse a section that is pretty wet. The pond isn’t named on the NY NJ Trail Conference maps.
The Pond Loop trail (either one) ends at a parking lot. I took the Buchanan trail to Hackers Trail for the first waterfall, Hackers Waterfall. You can hear this waterfall long before you see it.
The Hackers trail has one climb that is not long, that sets you back on the woods road.
I took the Hackers trail back to my car. And from there, I ambled around Raymondskill falls – and this is where I saw considerably more people. The trail can be slippery. The views are more than worth it.