Hiking is one of the best ways to immerse oneself in the great outdoors and get a healthy dose of exercise while enjoying scenic views. Palisade Interstate Park, located in northeastern New Jersey and southern New York, is a perfect destination for hiking enthusiasts seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The park covers over 2,500 acres and features a diverse range of terrains, including steep cliffs, dense forests, and winding streams. In this article, we’ll explore the natural wonders of Palisade Interstate Park through hiking and discover what makes this park so special.
Palisade Interstate Park boasts over 30 miles of hiking trails that cater to different skill levels, ranging from easy to strenuous. One of the most popular hiking trails is the Giant Stairs Trail, which spans approximately 4.5 miles and takes hikers through a series of steep stone steps and boulder fields. The trail also offers stunning views of the Hudson River and the New York City skyline. Another popular trail is the Long Path, a 358-mile hiking trail that runs from New York City to Albany, passing through Palisade Interstate Park. The park also has several other trails that offer diverse landscapes, such as the Shore Trail, the Closter Nature Center Trail, and the Women’s Federation Monument Trail.
Palisade Interstate Park is home to several natural features that are sure to captivate hikers. The park’s main attraction is the Palisades cliffs, which rise to over 500 feet above the Hudson River. The cliffs are made of volcanic basalt rock that dates back to the Triassic period, approximately 200 million years ago. Hikers can also explore the park’s dense forests, which are home to a variety of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, red foxes, and several species of birds. The park also features several streams and waterfalls, including the 20-foot-high Buttermilk Falls, which is a popular spot for picnicking and swimming.
In addition to hiking, Palisade Interstate Park offers several other outdoor activities that visitors can enjoy. The park has several picnic areas and playgrounds that are perfect for families, as well as a boat basin that offers fishing and boating opportunities. The park also has two public golf courses, the Alpine Country Club and the Rockleigh Golf Course, that provide stunning views of the Palisades cliffs.
Palisade Interstate Park is a natural gem that offers something for everyone, from hiking and wildlife viewing to picnicking and golfing. The park’s stunning natural features and diverse range of hiking trails make it a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a novice, Palisade Interstate Park is sure to offer an unforgettable experience that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. So, pack your hiking boots, grab your water bottle, and head to Palisade Interstate Park for a day of adventure and exploration.
Photo by Paul Pastourmatzis on Unsplash