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Hiking in Harriman State Park:
Elk Pen 5 Mile Circular

Total Distance: approximately 5.2 miles
Difficulty: Medium (about 1,100'+ total elevation gain)
Estimated hiking time: 3+ hours (individual)

From the parking lot take the path through the middle of the field eastward to get to the treeline. Take the Appalachian Trail (white blazes) eastward (which is actually in the north bound direction as far as the AT is concerned) into the woods. You will be hiking on the AT for about 2 miles.

About 15+ yards before you would get to the entrance to the "Lemon Squeezer" make a hard right turn onto the Arden-Surebridge trail (A-SB, red triangle on white blazes). This turn is not well maked from the direction you will be hiking. If you get to the immediate area of the Lemon Squeezer and see blazes for the A-SB then you have gone too far and should not take this turn. Instead, retrace your steps along the AT (about 15? or so yards until you see the other turn onto the AS-B from the AT. This turn (further from the Lemon Squuezer) is the turn you should take.

The Lemon Squeezer, while not on the path of this hike, can be a "fun" and relatively brief diversion to try.

Take the A-SB (about 3 miles) back to the parking lot.

References: NY-NJTC Trail Map #119 (Northern Harriman-Bear Mountain Trails)

Driving Directions from New York City

Take the George Washington Bridge to the Palisades Interstate Highway heading north.

In about 19 miles exit the parkway at exit 9W onto the Thruway (Route 87/287) which heads west. About 10 miles later, exit the Thruway at exit 15A. At the exit turn left onto Route 17 North.

After about 10.5 miles, turn right onto Arden Valley Road. Make a right and go 0.5 miles until a parking area turnoff on your right. Turn right and park in the parking area, Elk Pen (GPS: N 41.26534, W 74.15363). The entire trip is about 47 miles and should take less than an hour.

Public Transportation

From the Port Authority in New York City there is a bus that leaves people off on Route 17 near Arden Valley Road.

Click here for What to Bring on a Hike

Click here for Information for Group Hikes

Questions: Michael Brochstein

Arden Valley Road sign at turnoff from Route 17 North. (October 2010)   Road leading into the Elk Pen parking area from Arden Valley Road. (April 2004)
The turnoff for the parking area.  Make a right here, going from Arden Valley Road to the parking area. (October 2010)   The parking area. (October 2010)
Information board inside the parking area.  Too bad there is no useful information here for hikers (how about a map with a "You are here" label), they seem to have some unused space in it. (October 2010).   The start of the trail (going from the parking area eastward) to where the marked trails are, at the treeline.  The hike starts here.  (October 2010)
Entrance to the Lemon Squeezer. (September 2008)   The Lemon Squeezer. (September 2008)
About halfway through the Lemon Squeezer (before the rock scrambling section) there is an "Easy Way" (a side trail) to finish your journey through the Lemon Squeezer and avoid most of the rock scrambling. (November 2010)   Getting out of the Lemon Squeezer (the rock scrambling section). (September 2008)
Elevation profile

 Last updated: 11/2010

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