It's a must!
Anyone hiking in the Hudson Highlands State Park either Breakneck Ridge or Bull Hill should make the effort to visit this little spot! It's a less than an hour walk but the views are incredible. Stop here and look up at Breakneck or Bull Hill and see where you're going to hike or stop after hiking those mountains and look up at where you've been. Or just go for a hike along a beautiful section of the Hudson River!
History and Trails
Little Stony Point
Hudson Highland State Park
The Loop and The Cliff
Difficulty Level 1.5
Situated on the Hudson River across from majestic Storm King Mountain, Little Stony Point State Park in Cold Spring, NY is a welcome refuge for hikers, beachcombers, naturalists and sightseers throughout the region. The network of trails, sandy beach and scenic environment offer visitors a variety of ways to enjoy the natural surroundings.
If you ask someone local about Little Stony Point, the first thing that you’re liable to hear about is the extraordinary view. From various points around the park, visitors can see the Village of Cold Spring, West Point Academy, Bannerman’s Island, and both Storm King and Breakneck Mountains. Crossing over the bridge that leads to the park, you can see the Metro North train tracks extend both south and north along the river. The view from the top of the hill in the middle of the park is nothing short of breathtaking: a panorama of the entire valley, with a view of the winding river that extends for miles in both directions.
Hudson River Conservation Society and Jackson Hole Preserve, Inc. are among two of the groups we can thank for the approximately 3800 acres of land within Hudson Highlands State Park. It took 30 years, beginning with the Society persuading landowners to donate property to the State, then continuing with other conservation groups working towards preserving the beauty and fragility of the Hudson Highlands through donation and acquisition.
Little Stony Point was originally an island, but The Hudson River Stone Company filled in the channel during the early 1900’s as they quarried the rock. Hudson River Valley Commission, the State Council of Parks and its supporters saved Little Stony Point from industrial development in 1967, when the Georgia Pacific Company purchased Little Stony Point as the site for a wallboard factory. Governor Rockefeller intervened and helped relocate the factory to Verplanck. In 1970 Little Stony Point became part of Hudson Highlands State Park.
Little Stony Point’s many trails have also made it a mecca for area hikers and anyone looking for a leisurely stroll through nature. The main trail winds around the outer edge of the park, passing several small beaches along the way and opening up into a large open area in the middle. There are also trails intersecting across the park at various points, including one that ascends to the highest point on the island, where there are plenty of rocks available for weary travelers to sit and rest, or perhaps enjoy a relaxing picnic while taking in that unforgettable view.
The outer trail leads to the sandy beach on the north part of the island, another major draw for visitors, particularly when the weather is warm. Though swimming is not currently allowed on the beach, its spectacular views and solitude have made it a relaxing spot for visitors. There are plans to set up a designated swimming area with supervision in the future.
Anyone walking along the main trail should also be sure to visit "the cave," part of the old quarry that existed on the site. The cave is cut through the rock in the side of the hill and extends roughly 25 yards in. It’s dark, it’s cold, and if you ask any kid who has ventured inside, they’ll tell you it’s really cool (if you can overlook the trash that was there on my visit).
Little Stony Point Park is located on Route 9D, just a short walk north of Cold Spring. There is a small parking lot just outside of the entrance, as well as parking along the sides of 9D. Be careful when you park, the traffic, both foot and vehicular, can be heavy.
For more information on the park, contact the Little Stony Point Citizens Association at (845) 265-7815. Park hours are daylight to sunset, 7 days a week.