Excessive Tor State Park

August 21, 2022 – New Metropolis, NY

Issue: Reasonable

Size: Roughly 5.3 miles

Max elevation: 832 ft.– whole elevation achieve roughly 700 ft.

Route kind: Out and again

Purchase Map (Paper & Avenza): Hudson Palisades Trails Map #112 (2018)

Free map: High Tor State Park Trail Map (2015)

Trailhead parking: County Route 33, New City, NY 10956

Parking is out there for about 20 automobiles – No restrooms on website

The park is open year-round, from 8am to nightfall.


Park Overview:

Excessive Tor State Park is a 691-acre state park on the north fringe of the City of Clarkstown in Rockland County, NY. The park is positioned on South Mountain, which has two peaks, Excessive Tor and Little Tor. Its highest peak, Excessive Tor, sits at an elevation of 832 toes above sea degree and Little Tor at 620 toes. Excessive Tor is the very best level on all the Hudson River Palisades. Excessive Tor State Park has a swimming pool, a big picnic space, and climbing trails, most notably a 3.5 mile stretch of the Lengthy Path and a number of other brief spur trails. Hikers are rewarded with a number of the most excellent views within the decrease Hudson Valley from the summits of Excessive Tor and Little Tor.

View northeast - High Tor summit

View northeast – Excessive Tor summit


Historical past:

The vertical, striated look of the Palisades impressed individuals to call them. To the native Lenape, they have been “Wee-Awk-En,” the rocks that appear to be bushes. When explorer Giovanni da Verrazano sailed previous the ridge in 1524, he thought it resembled a “fence of stakes,” or in army parlance a stockade (or palisade) constructed for defensive functions. That’s what it’s referred to as on the primary map of the New World, printed 17 years later. The definition of tor is: a excessive craggy hill.

Like Tallman or Hook Mountain, this chunk of South Mountain was, by advantage of its lure rock composition, confronted with the specter of destruction by quarrying. On quite a few events, quarry operators sought to purchase the property from its proprietor, Elmer Van Orden. Whereas Van Orden at all times refused to promote, his dying in 1942 revived fears that Excessive Tor would possibly find yourself defaced by quarrying. One in every of Rockland County’s most stunning websites, it had impressed numerous poets, artists, and even playwrights. Amongst them Maxwell Anderson, whose well-known 1937 play, Excessive Tor, is the idea of a 1956 film with Bing Cosby and Julie Andrews.

High Tor – courtesy of Historical Society of Rockland County

Excessive Tor – courtesy of Historic Society of Rockland County

After Van Orden’s dying, the Palisades Interstate Parks Fee instantly sought to amass the property. A marketing campaign led by the Hudson River Conservation Society and the Rockland County Conservation Affiliation, and supported by dozens of teams and people, raised enough funds to buy the property, which was transferred to the Fee in April, 1943. On the similar time, Archer Huntington determined to donate his personal 470-acre property, which included Little Tor.


Trails Overview:

The park is traversed by a 3.5-mile part of the Lengthy Path. As well as, a woods street marked with white blazes, leads north, crossing the Lengthy Path alongside the ridge and continues north to the highest of the promontory generally known as Little Tor. Excessive and Little Tor comprise the most important a part of South Mountain, which is the northern boundary of the Palisades.

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

Little Tor Spur Trail - High Tor State Park

Little Tor Spur Path – Excessive Tor State Park

It is a easy out-and-back hike that’s straightforward to observe. The primary half of the hike, the Hudson River will probably be in your left and on the return route, the river will probably be in your proper.


Hike Overview:

I used to be seeking to do a considerably shaded hike with some views on a scorching and humid day. This hike was good. The whole lot of the hike, aside from each summits, had loads of tree cowl. The elevation achieve is sort of manageable, even on the warmest of days. There are brief, steep climbs to succeed in the summits of each Little Tor and Excessive Tor, however the remainder of the hike consists of minor ups and downs.

High Tor State Park

Excessive Tor State Park

elevation profile - High Tor State Park

elevation profile – Excessive Tor State Park

Like most hikers, I choose loop hikes to an “out-and-back,” however typically you don’t have a lot of a alternative. This was a pleasing stroll by comparatively quiet woods, to excellent views over the Hudson River Valley. The occasional loud Harley from the roads beneath might be heard. We ran right into a mountain biker (FYI – no bikes allowed on the Lengthy Path) that stored shouting “bear!” repeatedly as he cruised by us a number of occasions. He mentioned he noticed a big bear within the space the earlier week.


The Hike:

The hike begins on the trailhead for South Mountain County Park, which is on the alternative aspect of Central Freeway (County Route 33). There may be parking for about 20 automobiles. The Lengthy Path crosses the street right here connecting Excessive Tor State Park and South Mountain County Park. There is no such thing as a signal for Excessive Tor State Park at this trailhead, however the hike begins throughout the street from the wood signal for South Mountain County Park and the identical aspect of the street because the parking space.

South Mountain County Park Trailhead

South Mountain County Park Trailhead

South Mountain County Park Trailhead

South Mountain County Park Trailhead

Don’t cross the street, as a substitute proceed previous the gate and observe the aqua blazes of the Lengthy Path in an easterly route on a large woods street. The path climbs steadily because it winds its approach alongside the ridge of South Mountain. In about 400 yards, there’s an unmarked path on the left that climbs steeply as much as the powerlines. You might wish to take this brief detour for some good Hudson River views. When you observe the unmarked path round, it descends again right down to rejoin the Lengthy Path.

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

Power Lines Trail - High Tor State Park

Energy Strains Path – Excessive Tor State Park

Power Lines View - High Tor State Park

Energy Strains View – Excessive Tor State Park

Power Lines View - High Tor State Park

Energy Strains View – Excessive Tor State Park

Power Lines View - High Tor State Park

Energy Strains View – Excessive Tor State Park

Power Lines View - High Tor State Park

Energy Strains View – Excessive Tor State Park

When the Energy Strains Path descends and terminates on the Lengthy Path, flip left and rejoin the aqua-blazed path, persevering with on the extensive woods street in an easterly route because the path descends just a little then ranges off.

Turn left on Long Path

Flip left on Lengthy Path

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

In one other 0.4 mile, the Lengthy Path passes by two painted signal posts, the place an unmarked woods street crosses. To the correct, the unmarked street leads right down to the general public swimming pool in Excessive Tor State Park. To the left, the woods street heads steeply down the northern face of South Mountain. Proceed forward, nonetheless following the aqua blazes.

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

In simply over a mile from the beginning of the hike, the Lengthy Path reaches a junction with the white-blazed Little Tor Spur Path, which begins on the left. Flip left and observe the white blazes as they climb to the summit of Little Tor, passing two rock outcrops with wide-ranging views alongside the best way.

Turn left on Little Tor Spur Trail

Flip left on Little Tor Spur Path

Little Tor Spur Trail - High Tor State Park

Little Tor Spur Path – Excessive Tor State Park

Little Tor Spur Trail - High Tor State Park

Little Tor Spur Path – Excessive Tor State Park

Little Tor Spur Trail - High Tor State Park

Little Tor Spur Path – Excessive Tor State Park

Little Tor Spur Trail - High Tor State Park

Little Tor Spur Path – Excessive Tor State Park

The City of Haverstraw is immediately beneath with the Hudson River within the distance.

View north - Little Tor

View north – Little Tor

View northeast - Little Tor

View northeast – Little Tor

To the north, the hills of Harriman and Bear Mountain State Parks are seen within the distance.

View north - Little Tor

View north – Little Tor

A zoomed in view of the Hudson River, Westchester County and the East Hudson Highlands past. The Indian Level nuclear energy plant is seen simply left of heart within the picture beneath.

View northeast - Little Tor

View northeast – Little Tor

The path climbs to a different rock outcrop with extra views.

Little Tor Spur - High Tor State Park

Little Tor Spur – Excessive Tor State Park

View northwest - Little Tor

View northwest – Little Tor

The Little Tor Spur continues previous the the 2 rock outcrops and climbs steeply to the true summit of Little Tor, with 360° views of the encompassing area. This makes for a great place to take a break and benefit from the improbable views.

Little Tor Spur - High Tor State Park

Little Tor Spur – Excessive Tor State Park

View northwest - Little Tor

View northwest – Little Tor

Trying west throughout Rockland County and into northern New Jersey.

View west - Little Tor

View west – Little Tor

Trying south, the summit of Excessive Tor is seen on the left.

View south - Little Tor

View south – Little Tor

A balanced boulder sits on the summit of Little Tor.

Little Tor summit

Little Tor summit

We noticed numerous birds hovering above us, together with some Turkey Vultures.

Little Tor summit

Little Tor summit

Little Tor summit

Little Tor summit

When you find yourself able to proceed, retrace your steps on the white-blazed Little Tor Spur, passing the 2 decrease rock outcrops on the best way again right down to the junction with the Lengthy Path and switch left.

Little Tor Spur - High Tor State Park

Little Tor Spur – Excessive Tor State Park

Little Tor Viewpoint - High Tor State Park

Little Tor Viewpoint – Excessive Tor State Park

Little Tor Spur - High Tor State Park

Little Tor Spur – Excessive Tor State Park

Little Tor Viewpoint - High Tor State Park

Little Tor Viewpoint – Excessive Tor State Park

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

Proceed heading in a southeasterly route, following the aqua blazes on the extensive woods street. The path travels over undulating terrain, with some minor ups and downs.

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

At one level, the Lengthy Path leaves the woods street to keep away from an eroded part, however rejoins the street a brief distance later.

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

The Lengthy Path descends alongside a excessive craggy cliff with jumbled boulders at its base. Quickly, the Lengthy Path turns proper on the base of a steep talus slope, just under the Excessive Tor summit.

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

The path turns left and begins a steep climb of Excessive Tor on a rocky footpath. The grade moderates, however the climb quickly resumes, with a number of steep sections.

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

In about 2.7 miles from the beginning of the hike, the Lengthy Path climbs up a rock face and emerges on the 832-foot-high summit of Excessive Tor. This marks the midway level and turn-around spot of the hike, and makes for a superb place to relaxation from the steep climb and benefit from the panoramic views.

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

High Tor summit

Excessive Tor summit

Trying south in the direction of DeForest Lake in Clarkstown, NY.

View south - High Tor summit

View south – Excessive Tor summit

Northeast view over the City of Haverstraw and the Hudson River.

View northeast - High Tor summit

View northeast – Excessive Tor summit

When you go searching rigorously, you’ll see some very outdated graffiti carved into the craggy rock on the summit.

High Tor summit

Excessive Tor summit

Throughout World Conflict II, an plane beacon was positioned on the summit, and the anchors of the beacon are nonetheless seen right now.

High Tor summit

Excessive Tor summit

Trying west over Rockland County and into New Jersey.

View west - High Tor summit

View west – Excessive Tor summit

Trying southeast down the Hudson River. The land mass jutting into the river, throughout the best way is Croton Level Park.

View southeast - High Tor summit

View southeast – Excessive Tor summit

A zoomed in view of DeForest Lake with the NYC skyline seen at its southern finish, far within the distance.

DeForest Lake from High Tor summit

DeForest Lake from Excessive Tor summit

Trying northeast up the Hudson River in the direction of Peekskill and the southern gate of the Hudson Highlands.

View northeast - High Tor summit

View northeast – Excessive Tor summit

View northeast - High Tor summit

View northeast – Excessive Tor summit

Down beneath, the Bowline Level Thermal Energy Plant’s smokestacks (heart) and Haverstraw Bay.

View northeast - High Tor summit

View northeast – Excessive Tor summit

A zoomed in view in the direction of Peekskill. The Indian Level nuclear energy plant is seen (heart proper), with the Hudson Highlands simply past.

View northeast - High Tor summit

View northeast – Excessive Tor summit

When you find yourself executed having fun with the Hudson River Valley views, retrace your steps on the Lengthy Path, for about 2.6 miles, again to the parking space, the place the hike started. Bear in mind, the river will now be in your proper as you make your approach again.

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park

Long Path - High Tor State Park

Lengthy Path – Excessive Tor State Park


Overview:

An gratifying hike in a comparatively quiet space that doesn’t get as crowded as different sections of the Hudson River Palisades. The views are excellent and there are many them. The Lengthy Path is effectively marked and straightforward to observe. The shaded trails makes this a superb hike for these scorching sunny days. I extremely suggest this hike, particularly for these searching for a reasonable hike with straightforward to observe trails.

Professionals:

Lengthy Path, Hudson River Valley views, the Palisades, effectively marked trails, no crowds, enough parking.

Cons:

Some street noise may be heard.


Take a hike!

High Tor State Park

Excessive Tor State Park


Sources: