It has been a minute since I've done one of my favorite local hikes. I need to fix that. The Giant Stairs is a unique intermediate hiking experience in the Palisades Interstate Park, the natural area just North of the George Washington Bridge. This very scenic 3.5 mile loop hike descends the Palisades cliffs, follows a challenging, rocky path along the Hudson River, passes a scenic waterfall, and climbs to reach a panoramic viewpoint over the river. I estimate the hike will take about 4 hours depending on the length of our stops.
A $3.00 organization fee will be collected at this event, your host is in the running for hardest working person on meetup.
The important stuff ...
• You should dress for physical activity and for the weather but in layers, preferably in non-cotton clothing, wear hiking boots or trail shoes (I wouldn't recommend sneakers but that is at your discretion).
• Bring 1 or 2 liters of fluid and have a packed lunch and/or snacks with you prior.
• This is an intermediate-level hike and I recommend that attendees be in decent cardiovascular shape -- being a triathlete isn't necessary but "exercise" shouldn't be a four-letter word to you.
• Rain cancels the hike. Check your email the morning of the meetup for any last minute updates.
• No guests allowed, sorry.
You can get there via public transportation or private vehicle.
1) Bus -- Rockland Coach’s Number 9 bus, which departs from the Port Authority Bus Terminal (42nd Street, Gate 18) 9:15 AM, stops at Bridge Plaza in Fort Lee (a number of other bus lines connect at the Bridge Plaza stop from points in New Jersey), then travels up U.S. Route 9W to the state line lookout and on to Rockland County. Fare is $7.80 one way (cash only) and you can pay on the bus. Get off at the state line lookout @ approximately 9:55 AM (ask/tell the driver to announce the exact stop when you board the bus), which is also the entrance to Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, a research facility run by Columbia University. From here, simply follow the old concrete highway east. After about an easy 1.5 mile walk you will arrive at Lookout Inn (a refreshment stand and gift shop) and “Point Lookout,” the highest point on the Palisades Cliffs in New Jersey (elevation 532 feet), with panoramic views of the Hudson River Valley north, east, and south. We will all meet at 10:30 AM in front of the Lookout Inn refreshment stand to begin the hike (see photo below).
Bus schedule: http://www.coachusa.com/CoachUsaAssets/files/97/route09.pdf
2) Drive -- Take the Palisades Interstate Parkway North from the George Washington Bridge. Continue for 1.7 miles beyond Exit 2, and turn right at a sign for the State Line Lookout. Follow the access road for about half a mile until it ends at a large parking lot near the lookout. (If you are coming from the North on the Parkway, bear left just beyond Exit 3 and follow the signs for the lookout). We will all meet at 10:30 AM in front of the Lookout Inn refreshment stand to begin the hike (see photo below). Please post if you will be driving and can give a ride to how many passengers, and from where in the comments box when you RSVP. Passengers, please contact your driver beforehand to work out the details and as a courtesy should pick up the tabs for gas/tolls.