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Palisades Interstate Park: Giant Stairs

Length: 4 miles
Difficulty: moderate - challenging (rock scrambling & rocky terrain!,700'+ elevation gain)
Estimated hiking time: individuals: 3 hours

At the north end of the parking area, near the State Line Cafe you will find the Long Path (blue/aqua/green blazes). The trail either goes north paralleling the river or it goes westward away from the river. From the back of the State Line Cafe (the side farthest from the river) take the trail south (westward at this point). The trail skirts the western side of the parking area as it heads south and soon, after crossing a road, starts to descend the Palisades.

You will soon get to a junction with the Forest View Trail (blue and white blazes). Make a left onto the Forest View trail. If you find yourself on a combined Long Path / Forest View trail then you missed the turnoff junction. Take the Forest View trail down to a junction with the Shore trail (white blazes). At this junction make a left to head north on the Shore trail.

Take the Shore trail over the “Giant Stairs” to “Peanut Leap Cascade” (a nice place to eat lunch). Continue on the Shore trail up the Palisades and then make a left onto the Long Path. Take the Long Path (south) back to the parking area.

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.

REFERENCES: NYNJ-TC trail map 109 (Hudson Palisades Trails).

Driving Directions from New York City to Palisades Interstate State Line Lookout

Take the George Washington Bridge to the Palisades Interstate Parkway heading North. North of Exit 2 is an exit for the “State Line Lookout”. Take this exit and then take the road to the large State Line Lookout parking area by “Lookout Inn” (State Line Cafe). Park here (GPS: N: 40.98919, W: 73.90711). The total driving time is estimated at about 25 minutes without traffic and is about 16 miles.

Click here for What to Bring on a Hike

Click here for Information for Group Hikes

Questions: Michael Brochstein

The parking area and the State Line Cafe by the State Line Lookout (October 2010).
The State Line Cafe by the State Line Lookout (October 2010).
The State Line Cafe by the State Line Lookout (October 2010).
The hike starts here.  Note the Long Path trail marker on the left (above the "A", "B" and "C" markers).  (October 2010).
October 2010   Long Path trail marker (also blazed aqua, blue or sometimes green)
Warning sign prior to getting to the Giant Stairs (October 2010).   View from the Long Path (October 2010).

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



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


The Peanut Leap Cascade
 (November 2003)


A section of the Giant Stairs (October 2010).


 Last updated: 10/2010

Copyright © 2010 Michael Brochstein. All rights reserved.