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Palisades Interstate Park: Northern Section Hike

Length: 7 miles
Difficulty: moderate (500'+ elevation gain)
Estimated hiking time: groups: 4.5+ hours, individuals: 3.5 - 4 hours

From the Alpine Boat Basin parking area take the Shore Trail (white blazes) north (slightly uphill initially, not by the shore) until the junction with the Forest View Trail (blue and white blazes). Make a left and take the Forest View Trail connector path upwards until the junction with the Long Path (blue/aqua/green blazes). Make a right and take the Long Path north until the State Line Lookout (there is a bathroom and a restaurant here).

Turn around here and retrace your path heading south on the Long Path continuing on the Long Path pass the junction with the Forest View Trail. Stop at the Women's Federation Castle for a lunch break.

After lunch continue south on the Long Path until the Park Headquarters Administration Building (there is a bathroom here). From the Park Headquarters building veer left and take the connector path / gravel roadway down to the Alpine Boat Basin where you parked your car. The path will be blazed green (and orange) initially as it is part of the Long Path. At an old stone underpass on the right, the orange trail splits and goes both ways, to the right along with the Long Path through the underpass and downward to the left by itself. Take the orange trail to the left downward. (If you get to Route 9 then you went the wrong way at the old stone underpass). At the end of the orange trail, just prior to reaching the marina you will intersect part of the Shore Trail. Take it to the right down to the marina.

Please note that there are a multiple of sections of this hike that have rocky terrain (many small rocks on the trail) and hiking boots are very highly recommended.

Optional Extra #1: From the State Line Lookout head north along the Long Path (blue blazes) turning right onto the Shore Trail (white blazes) and go down to the river passing the The Peanut Leap Waterfall near the bottom. This "extra" will add over an hour (90 minutes?) onto the hike.

Optional Extra #2: From the junction of the Shore Path and the Forest View trail, continue northward on the Shore Path past the "Giant Stairs" and "Peanut Leap" waterfall until it ends at the junction with the Long Path. Make a left onto the Long Path and take it south until the State Line Lookout. This extra adds 2+ miles and 90 - 120 minutes to the hike and is a much more difficult than the version discussed in the main section.

REFERENCES: NYNJ-TC trail map (#4A or) 108 & 109 (Hudson Palisades Trails).

Driving directions to
Palisades Interstate Park Alpine Boat Basin

Take the George Washington Bridge to the Palisades Interstate Parkway heading North. Exit at Exit 2 ("Alpine / Closter / Route 9W") and take the road down towards the Alpine "Boat Basin / Picnic Area" (and to the marina) and park in the parking lot by the water. Pay the parking fee ($5 in season, free off season) and park in the parking lot by the marina (GPS: N 40.94590 , W 073.91879).

The total driving time is estimated at about 25 minutes without traffic and is about 16.5 miles.

Click here for What to Bring on a Hike

Click here for Information for Group Hikes

Questions: Michael Brochstein


Alpine Picnic Area and Boat Basin (November 2003)


Entrance to parking area
(November 2003)


Parking area in front of marina
(November 2003)


Beach front picnic area near marina (November 2003)


Along the Shore Path (November 2003)


First to the Stateline Lookout and then to the Women's Federation Monument (November 2003)


Long Path trail marker (also blazed aqua, blue or sometimes green)


State Line Lookout snack bar, bathrooms, and souvenir shop (November 2003)


View of Hudson River from State Line Lookout (November 2003)



Shoreline below "The Peanut Leap Waterfall" (November 2003)


Women's Federation "Castle" (November 2003)


Park Administration Headquarters (November 2003)


Path on left (see arrow!) going down to the parking area is around the corner from the Park Administration Headquarters (November 2003)


My Ferrari (and a fun drive home!)


The Peanut Leap Waterfall
 (November 2003)


Plaque near Alpine Boat Basin by the Shore Trail (November 2003)


We take the "Best Route"
(November 2003)

  Sign warning hikers about the "Giant Stairs" along the Shore Path in a section of the Shore Path discussed in "Optional Extra #2 above. (May 2006)
Sign at the bottom / start of the Forest View trail (May 2010).   The underpass encountered on the orange trail towards the end of the hike.  Do not go through this underpass, make a left here and continue downward on the path (May 2010).
Near the end of the hike, at the bottom / end of the orange trail you will intersect the Shore trail, make a right here (May 2010).    

 Last updated: 5/2010

Copyright © 2010 Michael Brochstein. All rights reserved.