This loop links five trails together. The first trails takes you up an old road past ruins of stone houses from about 60 years ago. This area is very interesting to explore.
There are also many views of the Hudson River and Storm King State Park across the way. However, these views are near the end of the loop when done in a clockwise direction.
The trailhead gets very crowded on weekends. Arrive early!
This loop is a great option to avoid crowds on the west side of the Washburn Trail
. Start at the same trailhead for the Washburn Trail
. The Cornish Trail
is on the left and there is an obvious sign at the fork just past the parking area. The Cornish Trail
is a defunct road from about 70 years ago when the mountain was inhabited with families. You'll pass several old stone ruins, one which is very impressive. The Cornish Trail
is designated by blue disc markers. After about 1.5 miles, you'll merge with the Brook Trail
for a short distance (red disc markers).
Stay on the Brook Trail
for about 0.5 miles passing the Undercliff Trail
(yellow disc markers), until you reach a trail junction with the Notch Trail
. There are a few ruins of an old dairy farm just up the Notch Trail
. Turn right on the Notch Trail
(blue disc markers) and follow this for about one mile until you reach a junction of three trails (Washburn, Nelsonville and Notch). The Notch Trail
in this direction is a steady climb but mostly gradual.
At this three-way trail junction, turn right on the Washburn Trail
(white disc markers). This section of the Washburn Trail
follows an old fire road to the summit. The summit has great views north and continuing on there are several more. Continue on the Washburn Trail
until the Undercliff Trail
(yellow disc markers) junction.
Turn right here and continue to some of the best viewpoints on West Point and Storm King Mountain
. This trail sees little traffic and is very enjoyable. Follow it until you reach the Brook Trail
again and turn left onto the access road that will eventually merge again with the Cornish Trail
and bring you back to the trailhead.