4. Long Clove to Mt. Ivy

Section 4: Long Clove to Mt. Ivy

Quick Facts

Distance: 6.85 miles
Parks: High Tor State Park, South Mountain County Park, Gurnee County Park
Maps: Interactive Map, Hudson Palisades Trails (maps 111 and 112)
Print-Friendly Version: Link

General Description

In this section, the Long Path follows little-used roads for a mile, passes dramatic quarried cliffs of the Palisades, and then enters the woods and ascends High Tor. The ascent is often steep, with several good viewpoints. The open summit affords a 360-degree view up and down the Hudson Valley. The trail then descends from High Tor, ultimately passing Little Tor while following the ridge. After crossing Central Highway, the trail enters Rockland County's South Mountain Park. The section ends by descending off the western curving edge of the Palisades just before that feature plunges below the ground.


This section begins on US Route 9W about 100 yards east of its junction with NY Route 304. The trail crosses Route 9W in the center of an "S" curve on the highway.
By public transportation: The Coach USA 11A bus stops at the intersection of Ridge Road and Old Route 304 (Rockland County Route 90, and erroneously shown as South Mountain Road on some maps), which the trail crosses.


0.00  Limited parking on the southeast side of Route 9W, across from Landmark Drive, formerly known as Long Clove Road. (41.17449°,  -73.94458°)
1.15  Grassy area at the SW corner of Old Route 304 and Ridge Road, large enough for at least 4-5 cars. (41.17682°, -73.96148°)
4.75  Central Highway (limited parking). (41.19210°, -74.00450°)
6.85  Parking in Gurnee Park and Amphitheater on the east side of NY Route 45 in Mt. Ivy, 0.15 mile south of US Route 202. (41.18434°, -74.03635°)
On holidays and weekends, there is additional parking in the commuter parking lot at the corner of Routes 45 and 202.

Trail Description

0.00  The section begins by crossing US Route 9W and a guard rail, near a large Tilcon sign. The trail proceeds northward on Landmark Drive, an abandoned town road formerly known as Long Clove Road, and follows the road uphill around a sharp left hook.

0.60  Make a right turn onto Scratchup Road. The trail passes the gates for the Tilcon New York quarry.

1.00  The trail swings left and uphill to reach Old Route 304. Turn left here onto the road. This is a twisting road with narrow shoulders. Remember to walk single file facing traffic.

1.15  Pass Ridge Road on the left.

1.20  The trail turns right into the woods and crosses a wet area. It continues uphill, meandering beside and sometimes over stone walls.

1.70  The trail levels off and passes by a stand of mountain laurel. After a brief descent, the trail resumes uphill climbing to reach the ridge top near another stone wall. Halfway along the descent is a white-marked trail to the left and a sign saying: "Spur Path (High Tor State Park) - 2/10 mile to the site of the historic Youmans-Van Orden House and High Tor Vineyards."


View of Haverstraw from High Tor. 2001 [MICHAEL WARREN]

2.30  Reach the summit of High Tor. High Tor is the highest peak on the Palisades and its open, rocky summit affords spectacular views in all directions. The Hudson River vanishes to the north behind Dunderberg Mountain. Directly below, along the Hudson, is the Town of Haverstraw. The decommissioned Indian Point nuclear plant is visible across from Tomkins Cove. To the west, the rolling hills of the Ramapos and Harriman State Park may be seen. The polygonal pattern visible on the summit's rocks is a natural result of the cooling of the diabase that forms the Palisades. Colonists used the summit as a signal point during the Revolution, and it later was the site of an airplane beacon; the remains of the tower are still visible. The peak was the subject of Maxwell Anderson's play High Tor. The Long Path leaves High Tor and drops steeply into the woods.

2.45  The trail reaches the end of a fire road that it will follow gently downhill all the way to Central Highway. On the way, it runs through deciduous woods on or near the top of the ridge of the Palisades. The slope is steep to the right of the trail and gentle to the left.

3.05  The Long Path meets an unmarked trail to the right. This trail leads to a summit over the cliff edge.

3.70  The trail crosses a dirt road. To the right the road is blazed white, and heads briefly uphill and swings to the front of the open summit of Little Tor. To the left is a small artificial pond. It was the water source for the Kaatz mansion, a building demolished in the early 1970's during the construction of High Tor State Park. There is a fine view to the north, with Haverstraw directly below. As the Long Path continues to gradually descend along the ridge, it is crossed by many unmarked side trails and dirt roads.

4.45  Cross beneath a power line.



Deer by the trailside. 2001 [TODD SCHREIBMAN]


4.75  Cross Central Highway and enter Rockland County's South Mountain Park. The trail enters the woods on a gravel road, but just after passing the car barrier, it leaves the road and turns right onto a steep path. The trail is generally close to and parallel with the gravel road and crosses it once.

5.20  Join the gravel road briefly as it curves left. Follow the road for about 50 feet and than leave it to descend gently to the right. The Long Path is now a wide, well-cleared path through the woods following the cliff edge of the Palisades. There are extensive views to the south.

6.55  A precipice affords a view of Cheesecote Mountain and Limekiln, Catamount and Horse Stable Mountains. An old quarry and the edge of the Palisades can be seen looking down along the direction of the trail.

6.65  A view over an old quarry shows the end of the Palisades. Beyond, the Palisades ridge dips into the ground. The trail follows this last curving ridge downhill.

6.85  Reach the parking area in Gurnee Park and Amphitheater, a county park on the east side of NY Route 45.


Previous Section: Section 3
Next Section: Section 5

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Sheila F.'s picture

Leg 4! We knew this would be a walk in the park; the shortest hike for awhile. We left nice and early, parked at our destination and took a car service back to the trail head. We saw deer, hawk, but for the first time since we started, not another human being on the trail. The laurel was lovely and the views from High Tor were spectacular. We came across several mysterious piles of a golden hairlike substance on the trail through South Mountain Park. A Golden Retriever basking in the sun? Fallout from Kilauea? Bigfoot? Hmmm.... Next time we enter Harriman!
Gedalyamil's picture

I was unexpectedly sluggish this morning waking up for the final section of the Hudson Palisades. What an accomplishment! Walking from Upper Manhattan to this neck of the woods! I had a lavish dinner last nite in Brooklyn with my brother, brother-in-law, and our respective significant others. The restaurant was violating the draconian COVID rules and we had to enter thru an adjacent store-front and then cross a back alley to be seated. It was nice to be around regular people. However, I felt like a FPOS (fat piece of crap) after dinner. I ate less than I would at home on a normal nite, but there is nothing like ordering a $100 portion of lambchops to make you feel like a glutton. Once I was awake this morning, I was on the road to Gurnee Park within the hour. I didn't even trouble my wife to make my lunch sandwiches (i have the ability to be a chef). My friend Dan joined me again. I am so glad he has discovered the joys of hiking and connecting with nature. We used 2 cars and parked one at Gurnee Park, although there are many Taxi services available here in absence of a 2 car shuttle. This hike was a pleasure. It was too short to work off all the lambchops, but perfect for a Friday. The initial trek on Long Clove and Scratchup roads were pleasant. I think we passed an Apple orchard. The climb of High Tor was relatively easy and the views were as advertised, a beautiful slice of Americana. After leaving High Tor State Park we continued on a well maintained and pleasing path in Rockland County's South Mountain Park until we reached the Gurnee Park and Amphitheater at this Stage's terminus. We discussed Bitcoin and Bitachon on the trail. Dan is a strong proponent of investing in Bitcoin. He believes that FIAT (i thought it was a car company, but it means traditional money) becomes devalued by inflation, whereas Bitcoin at least holds steady. Bitachon is the central Jewish concept of trust in God that everything that happens to us is ultimately for the best. The Chinese may have believed in a from of Bitachon too because Dan showed me the story of "Sai Weng Lost His Horse". Putting everything together, I suppose its Bitachon that I missed an investment opportunity in Bitcoin (or it it Bashert?). I will be taking tomorrow off from hiking the Long path in honor of the Jewish Sabbath, but I look forward to Stage 5 on Sunday.