Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
Loop
Distance
5.00 mi (8.05 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Black Rock is one of several high mountaintops in the 3,870-acre Black Rock Forest with unique views of the Hudson Valley. While it is not the highest mountain in this forest (Spy Rock), it rises to 1,402 feet and offers a beautiful vista of the Hudson River to the north and the surrounding lands to the west.

Begin your adventure from the gravel parking area off of Pecks Road. The space is somewhat discrete and more difficult to get to when traveling from the south on Route 9W. White Trailhead markers are painted on a rock in front of a dirt roadway. Go through the gate and follow along the stream for about three-quarters of a mile until you come to the large water filtration plant. Upon reaching this opening, you will see this same White Trail continue on your right, uphill, and into the woods.

Step after step, this path traverses the eastern face of the mountain with a continuous, steep ascent to the top. At almost 1,100 feet, the White Trail ends and intersects the yellow-marked Stillman Trail, named after Dr. Ernest Sillman, who bought the land in 1928 and began its first restoration and research efforts. At this junction, go right until you see the wide White Oak Road. Don’t go to the road, but stay on the Stillman Trail to the right, which continues about a half-mile to the summit.

Take some time at the top and make sure to explore this rock-faced lookout. There is a rewarding view through a few trees to the north a little off of the path. From here, you can choose to retrace your steps or continue on the Yellow Trail downhill to the west. At the next intersection, go right on Hulse Road, a wide-dirt vehicle path, which will lead back down to the White Trailhead and the parking area.  

Bedrock that forms this section of the Appalachian Mountains is composed of Precambrian gneiss. It was formed over 1.1 billion years ago, making it some of the oldest foundation in New York State. The black bands of magnetite prevalent within the bedrock give the forest its name. 

The Black Forest is the largest area in the Hudson Highlands with a sustained elevation over 1,200 feet. It has been an important and valuable resource for local residents for centuries in the form of logging, mining, water supply, and farming. The prolific trail system throughout this forest makes it possible to be inventive with routes and journeys around the land, and hikers can extend adventures for many miles. Today it is managed by the Black Rock Forest Consortium, which promotes a mission of careful forest and ecosystem management. Caution should be exercised when hiking on these roads, as they are used by vehicles driven by scientists and researchers with special permits. When enjoying the land, be mindful of the wildlife and check yourself for eastern deer ticks, which spread the inflammatory Lyme disease. The forest is closed for hunting seasons throughout the year, so check the Black Rock Forest website before making your visit.

The consortium is dependent on voluntary contributions to help cover the expenses of maintaining the forest, and any help to aid their efforts is greatly appreciated.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Great view of the Hudson Valley.

Cons

Parking lot is easy to miss.

Trailhead Elevation

405.00 ft (123.44 m)

Net Elevation Gain

980.00 ft (298.70 m)

Features

Waterfalls
Big vistas
Wildflowers

Suitable for

Biking

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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