Timp-Torne Trail

New York

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Timp-Torne Trail Facts

States: New York
Counties: Orange, Rockland
Length: 5.4 miles
Trail end points: Mine Road, Bear Mountain State Park (near Popolopen Torne) and U.S. Route 9W and River Road
Trail surfaces: Dirt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 7191221
Trail activities: Walking

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Timp-Torne Trail Description

Just an hour north of New York City, the Timp-Torne Trail offers a scenic hike through Bear Mountain and Harriman State Parks with panoramic vistas of the Hudson River. The rugged blue-blazed trail travels along Dunderberg Mountain, The Timp summit, West Mountain and the steep rockface of Popolopen Torne. The trail is mostly wooded, so look for deer and other wildlife. Along the way, you'll also enjoy a mix of modern views (the Manhattan skyline) and historic sites: two tunnels and several rail beds from the Dunderberg Spiral Railway, which started construction in 1890, but was never completed.

Parking and Trail Access

To start on the trail's northern end: From Palisades Interstate Parkway (Route 6), turn north on Route 9W. Take the first left after crossing the bridge over Popolopen Creek and then the third left (west) onto Mine Road. Follow Mine Road for just over a mile to the trailhead and small parking area at the base of Popolopen Torne.

A dirt parking lot is also available at the southern trailhead on U.S. Route 9W near its juncture with River Road.

Timp-Torne Trail Reviews

This is listed as a rail-trail (which it is), but it's not a typical such! The Dunderberg Spiral Railway (DSR) was to be a gravity railroad, with two very steep up-grades that hauled the cars to the top (where there was to be a resort), and ten miles of gently sloping down-grades. The Timp-Torne Trail initially follows a short bit of near the end of the DSR down-grade, to the unfinished cut-and-cover tunnel. Then it follows the steep section for a little ways. The Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail (red dot on white rectangle) continues up the hill on the DSR. The TT (blue rectangle) cuts to the left (south).

You'll continue to climb, cutting across the hillside to make the slope a little more gentle. You'll recognize that you've come back to the DSR when the trail becomes nearly level and curves only gently. This continues to the hard-rock tunnel (only about half dug). Do stop and check it out! The TT trail continues around to the 180 degree turn-around curve and then the other side of the tunnel.

The TT trail continues on. My interest was in the DSR, not the TT, so I left the TT and walked on a construction road built for the DSR, to rejoin the DSR higher on the hillside. Then I walked down the hill (steeply!) on the up-grade. It's about 90% complete, with some gaps where the down-grade crossings were to be built.

The RD trail is also worth hiking if you're interested in seeing more of the DSR. It has another partially-constructed tunnel. Only about 60% of the DSR was graded, and none of the buildings were begun.

This was a great day hike, good balance of distance and difficulty, plus a beautiful view, and good workout. The top is windy, so make sure your outer layer is wind resistant if you want to hang out at the summit.


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