Pass by the hubbub going on at the Bear Mountain bridge – less than five minutes up the road is a quiet park most people haven’t even heard of. If low key is your idea of a good time, have a hike at Manitou Point Preserve.
From the lot trails are a bit tricky. They are undergoing some maintenance and the map is not extremely helpful at this point in time.
Once they get it done, I know this park is going to be fantastic – because it’s already there once you navigate through the woods. It isn’t too big of a preserve, so don’t worry about getting terribly lost. All in all I believe I hiked an incoherent 3 miles. I hopped on one trail, took it to its terminus. Then another, and another, and I was about to give up. I’m so glad that I didn’t. Regardless of my initial confusion, I still enjoyed the scenic woods.
The singing birds were happy to have so few human visitors.
Finally my trekking on the red trail brought me out to a gravel road. Instantly I was attracted to the abandoned building.
Next I was excited to hear the train, so close! The metro line is right beside the trail, and the freight train across the marsh. Partial views into that area are so charming.
Take the gravel road from one side to the other. Cross a bridge and see a perfectly triangular hill north of the tracks.
Finally, you can access the peninsula seen on the map and here the trails coincide correctly. The blue trail parallels the Hudson River, it can be pretty steep and narrow at times.
A daredevil tree lives on the perpendicular side.
Following the blue trail the forest is very quiet.
Eventually it dead ends at a pretty little view with a stone bench.
Take the optional loop on back, it’s a shortcut avoiding the steep trail and shaking things up a bit. Find your way back to the gravel path. Not wanting to get turned around in the woods again, I followed the gravel path winding up in elevation – eventually to the road. It lands you the road, but not in the parking lot. If you go this way, carefully walk on the side of the road to the right for a short distance, looping back to the lot. There is no sidewalk! Even with all of its current quirks, I really am glad I stuck it out at this preserve – which has a lot to offer. Can’t wait to see what future improvements are made to create an even better experience.
Good to know:
*Parking lot is on 9D in Garrison, it comes quickly on a road with a fast speed limit, right before its GoogleMaps GPS location – which leads you to a locked gate
* Another option is parking on Mantiou Station Rd, Garrison – and hopping on the pedestrian gravel ‘Mystery Point Rd’