Claudius Smith Den/Parker Cabin Mountain Loop - 8+ Mile Discovery Hike

This is a moderate to strenuous hike.   Please do not sign up for this hike unless you have been fairly active in the 6+ mile range leading up until the event.  Some of this hike is a discovery for me and I am estimating a total distance in the 8-10 mile range.  I'd like to be off-trail by 3:30 PM.

There will be an opportunity for a Post-Hike meal in the general area.


$1.00 Fee for this event.


Driving Directions

Take N.J. Route 17 north to the New York State Thruway and take the first exit, Exit 15A (Sloatsburg). Turn left at the bottom of the ramp onto N.Y. Route 17 north, and continue for 4.9 miles, passing through the villages of Sloatsburg and Tuxedo. Just past the Tuxedo railroad station, turn right onto East Village Road, cross the railroad tracks, and turn left into a commuter parking lot. Parking is free on weekends; on weekdays, there is a parking fee.  (Since this is a holliday - I will confirm the extension for free parking.)

From the parking area, turn left and proceed east along paved East Village Road, immediately crossing the Ramapo River. Continue to follow the road as it bears right, paralleling the New York State Thruway, then turns left and crosses under the Thruway. At the next T-intersection, turn left and head north on Grove Drive for about 800 feet. As the road curves to the left, follow the red-dot-on-white blazes of the Ramapo-Dunderberg (R-D) Trail, which turn right and enter the woods.

The trail climbs on a switchback and turns left, soon reaching a junction with the yellow-triangle-blazed Triangle Trail, which continues ahead. This trail will be your return route, but you should now turn right and continue on the red-and-white-blazed R-D Trail.
After crossing a grassy woods road, the trail begins a steep climb. At the top of the climb, the trail bears left and soon reaches a panoramic west-facing viewpoint from a rock outcrop to the left of the trail. The village below is Tuxedo, where you began the hike.

The trail now descends briefly, then turns right onto a woods road. A short distance beyond, you’ll reach a junction. The R-D Trail continues ahead, but you should turn right onto the red-dash-on-white-blazed Tuxedo-Mt. Ivy (T-MI) Trail (be careful here, as both trails have red-on-white blazes!). The T-MI Trail climbs on a woods road, crosses a swampy area, and soon arrives at the base of the massive Claudius Smith’s Rock. Claudius Smith, after whom this rock formation is named, was a thief who was reputed to have used the “caves” at its base as a hideout during the Revolutionary War. He was captured by an officer of the Continental Army and hanged at the jail in Goshen in 1779.

When you’re finished exploring the overhanging rock “caves,” continue along the T-MI Trail for a short distance until you reach a junction with the blue-on-white Blue Disc Trail. Turn left and follow the Blue Disc Trail up to the top of this massive rock formation, with its expansive west-facing view. You’ll want to take a break here to enjoy the view!

After taking in the view, retrace your steps to the junction with the T-MI Trail, and turn left, following the red-dash-on-white blazes. The trail descends gradually, making a horseshoe turn at the base of the descent to skirt a swamp to the left of the trail. It then climbs over a low ridge and descends through a rocky area to cross Spring Brook and reach a junction with the White Bar Trail.

Turn left at this junction and follow the White Bar Trail, which runs along a woods road. Soon, you’ll pass the Dutch Doctor Shelter, on a small rise to the right of the trail. Overnight camping is permitted at this and several other similar shelters in Harriman State Park.

A short distance beyond the shelter, you’ll reach another junction. Here, the White Bar Trail curves to the left, but you should continue straight ahead, now following the yellow triangle blazes of the Triangle Trail. The Triangle Trail – which you will be following for the next five miles – proceeds through an area with a dense understory of mountain laurel and blueberry bushes.

In about half a mile, you’ll cross a stream leading into Lake Sebago and run briefly along the shore of this scenic lake. The trail then bears left, away from the lake, climbs over two low hills, and descends to Lake Skenonto. It soon reaches a rock outcrop that overlooks the tranquil south arm of the lake. This is a good place to take a break.

The Triangle Trail continues parallel to the lake shore, crossing the main inlet stream of the lake and joining a woods road. After a short distance, it crosses another woods road – the route of the Victory Trail (blue V on white) – and heads back into the woods.

The Triangle Trail now begins a steady climb of Parker Cabin Mountain. On the way, it crosses under a power line and passes an interesting overhanging rock to the right, while ascending through a shallow ravine. After a short, steep climb, you’ll reach the summit ridge of Parker Cabin Mountain, where a rock outcrop affords an expansive southeast-facing view over Lake Sebago.

On the summit ridge, the Triangle Trail is briefly joined by the red-dot-on-white R-D Trail. The two trails soon split, and you should continue to follow the Triangle Trail, which now begins a steady descent through mountain laurel. After a relatively flat section, the White Bar Trail joins from the left, then leaves to the right in about 500 feet.

Follow the Triangle Trail as it descends to cross a stream, then levels off. For the next two and one-half miles, the Triangle Trail passes through a little-used area of the park. At first, the trail is relatively level but, after crossing a wide stream, it widens to a woods road and descends gradually. It passes through a hemlock grove, crosses Deep Hollow Brook, then – in another quarter of a mile – turns very sharply left onto another woods road and recrosses the brook. The second crossing of the brook may be a little difficult if the water is high.

The trail now bears right, crosses under power lines, and goes through a hemlock grove, soon crossing several small streams and a gas pipeline. Upon reaching the power lines once more, it bears right, crosses under the power lines and parallels them for a short distance, then finally turns left and recrosses under the power lines for the final time.

After a short climb, the Triangle Trail ends at a junction with the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail. Continue ahead, following the red-dot-on-white blazes, retracing your steps to the trailhead on Grove Drive, then turn left, make a right under the Thruway, and follow East Village Road back to the parking lot where the hike began.


Will provide phone number as we get closer to the date.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Great day!

    May 29, 2012

  • Mary

    Thanks Steve for organizing a great hike. It was my second hike in two days and boy was it HOT both days. The production crew will have to work on AC for future hikes. ;-)I wasn't sure I was going to make it, but I did and truly appreciate the shuttle service to the parking lot after the hike.

    May 29, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    A hot one, but still enjoyed seeing old and new hiking pals; thanks Steve.

    May 29, 2012

  • Jeff

    always great hiking with this group. wasnt sure if i would make it out ... HOT!!! ... but when it's all over it always feels good. i think i am getting the feeling back in my legs :) thank you steve for all that you do. you make it fun for everyone!

    May 29, 2012

  • Patrizia

    Help me say... HOT!!!! but we all made it out alive... ( Never a Diet Coke has tasted so good ) !! Thank you Steve for maintaining a reasonable pace. It was a very scenic hike, in spite of your complaints of lack of dramatic views. Our appearance was enough drama for the day! A real pleasure to see Greg again!

    May 29, 2012

  • Ray A.

    Fab gear......

    May 29, 2012

  • Carol

    Albeit a bit warm, had a wonderful time! Thanks!

    May 29, 2012

  • rita c

    Had a great hike with some new faces, and some familiar faces. All and all good day, a little hot, but that was expected. Nice group.

    May 29, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Nice and manageable!

    May 28, 2012

  • Steve

    I want to thank everyone for attending today. Special thanks to Jay for helping us on this discovery hike. Extra bonus to Amit for catching up with us. Thanks to the production crew although they did scare me when the tree fell. A little too close for comfort.

    May 28, 2012

  • SheShe

    Awesome day in the woods. Thank You Steve for organizing/leading and thank you all for good conversation, funny stories and the occasional lyrical break out.

    May 28, 2012

  • Adam C.

    I am sorry for canceling at the last day

    May 28, 2012

  • rita c

    Hey Anna you want to carpool?,

    May 25, 2012

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