Pink puddingstone and mountaintop megaliths make for one perfectly memorable hike. Schunnemunk Mountain State Park [Intersection of Taylor Rd and Creekside Ln, Mountainville NY] is a diverse six and half mile loop hike gaining over 1,700 ft in elevation. Head through the meadow and turn right when the white and yellow trail.
Turn right on white to venture into the woods, leaving the noisy thruway behind. You will need to cross over railroad tracks, do so carefully. Soon you will be heading up, up, and into an obscurely beautiful place. Views of the Hudson Valley are revealed and possibly your first glimpse of that bizarre pink conglomerate – puddingstone!
Keep trudging and when you reach the junction for the yellow and teal trail, head left. Climbing higher and higher you will reach a clearing. Follow the markers and cairns enjoy the continuously captivating views and more of that outlandish puddingstone. Be on the lookout for MEGALITHS written out on the bare rock, that’s your clue to hop on the spur trail.
This is a whacky hike. The gigantic slabs of rock combined with the expansive vista are really impressive.
When you’re ready to head back return on the spur and make a left on the yellow/teal where you just came from. Now you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for the black and white blazed Dark Hollow trail approximately a quarter of a mile away. Head right and you will start your steep descent. The views keep coming and I especially loved how quiet it was on the way down.
The trail will dead-end at the railroad tracks, but don’t cross them just yet. Take the red trail and marvel at the crystal clear creek complete with cascades.
A right at the intersection of white and you’ll be back to the field and then the parking lot. This is an extremely unique day hike to take in the Hudson Valley, versatile, exciting, and a great workout!