Lambs Hill is a 1,400-foot mountain located at the northern end of the nearly 6,000-acre Highlands State Park. Situated on the east side of the Hudson River, near Beacon and Fishkill, it features the steep elevation gains and grand views that are characteristic of all the mountains within this park. While it’s much less popular than Breakneck Ridge or Mount Taurus to the south, this 4-mile round-trip trail is a delightful 1,000-foot climb through the mountain valley and up to the summit.
The trailhead is located at the end of Sunnyside Drive, not far from the Fishkill Creek. There is a large parking lot and an information kiosk with red markers designating the entrance into the woods. The trail climbs smoothly up the mountain, crossing over a footbridge and passing some large boulders. A short distance up the trail there is a sign posted high on a tree with an arrow to Malouf’s Mountain Camping, where a white-blazed trail diverts from the main path. Continue to ascend the Overlook Trail and the red markers.
The trail will wrap around the mountain to a scenic bend where it crosses a narrow stream. During the summer there are many wildflowers along this route including the white and pink varieties of mountain laurel that bloom around mid-June. About a half-mile farther the trail will switchback and begin a quick ascent to the summit. The path will become very rocky and almost feel like a scramble. Nearing the top, pitch pines and blueberry heaths will populate the areas between exposed rock faces. At the summit, you can enjoy open vistas over Mount Beacon and Storm King State Park to the south. Skytop Tower and Minnewaska State Park can be seen to the northwest where the Catskill Mountains breach the horizon. You can also see Stissing Mountain in Pine Plains rising to the north where the Stissing Fire Tower resides.
From this point, you can return down the same path or choose to explore more of the Hudson Highlands on the Fishkill Ridge Trail, marked by white blazes. This leads to Bald Hill, the next mountain to the northeast. The New York Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYSOPRHP) maintains a map of the Hudson Highlands to help you navigate your route.
NYSOPRHP requests that you remain on the trails to minimize impact on the forest environment. This helps to protect the many rare and delicate plant species on these mountains and helps prevent erosion. Lyme disease, transmitted by deer ticks, has become a major concern and danger throughout the Hudson Valley, so please check your body for these pin-head size creatures during and after your adventure. Dogs are permitted on leashes under 10-feet long. For additional information on hiking tips and safety, visit the NY-NJ Trail Conference website.