Hiking: Bull Hill (Mount Taurus) | Hudson Highlands, Cold Spring, New York | 3/23/08

I spent Easter morning with my father hiking up and over Bull Hill along the Hudson River. Turned out to be a great day for a hike and it was good to get out and enjoy the fresh air after we’ve had so many rainy days lately.

I thought it was kind of funny hiking in the Hudson Highlands. I literally grew up right there but we never hiked in the area besides being on the Appalachian Trail throughout the region. Instead we were in the Catskills or Adirondacks the majority of the time. So I had to move away and then come back to visit to go hiking down there.

I’m glad that I did. The hike turned out to be an interesting trip over about 4 miles and afforded me an amazing view of the Hudson River, Cold Spring and West Point.

We started at the trail parking area across from Little Stony Point. We decided to make a loop from here, traveling up to the notch between Bull Hill and Breakneck Ridge and then coming up and over and finally back down Bull Hill.

Bull Hill - Hudson Highlands
The hike up into the notch was pretty easy. We followed an old driveway/roadway that was paved (actually it was concrete) for most of the way. The view back across the Hudson as we got higher and higher was nice too.

Bull Hill - Hudson Highlands
From that height of land we turned and started to climb up Bull Hill. While it’s quite steep where it faces the Hudson, the northern portion of the mountain has a much gentler gradient. The trail made its way up and pretty soon we met up with the old bridal path that climbed the mountain and found our way to the summit.

Bull Hill - Hudson Highlands
There were a number of good views from the summit area and ridge with views both to the north and south, giving you views of the Hudson both as it traveled southward towards NYC and then northward into the mid-Hudson valley. The Catskills were gleaming white in the sunshine, still covered with plenty of snow.

Bull Hill - Hudson Highlands
Bull Hill - Hudson Highlands
Bull Hill - Hudson Highlands
In that last photo the view even includes the Manhattan skyline. You couldn’t see much, but you could definitely make out the skyline of the city, which I thought was a nice touch on such a great day.

Once you reached the end of the ridge and started going down to the Hudson, the gradient definitely changed as it now drops steeply to the river’s edge.

Bull Hill - Hudson Highlands
As we made our way down, we came across two vernal pools that had wood frogs that were actively breeding. As we approached the first one, I thought there were some geese up ahead or something, but it turned out to be the male wood frogs trying to attract their female mates. The pools were literally filled with wood frogs either trying to attract their mates or consummating their finds. I’d bet there will be plenty of wood frog eggs in the next few days.

Bull Hill - Hudson Highlands
I think one of my favorite views was the lowest one. It’s on a cliff overlooking Cold Spring and the Hudson River below.

Bull Hill - Hudson Highlands
Bull Hill - Hudson Highlands
Soon after that the trail joins an old road from the abandoned mine on the mountainside and quickly reaches the parking area where we had started our hike earlier in the day.

Bull Hill - Hudson Highlands


East Hudson Trails For more information
If you are looking for a map of this area of the Hudson Highlands, the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference publishes the East Hudson Trails Map Set which includes the trails on Bull Hill.

Comments

  1. Nice Blog !
    Great Spot ! Nice shots !
    come and visit again and check out another great area hike.
    WWW.ColdSpringLiving.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. nice - hiked it yesterday, of course ALL the trees are now green, even had a black snake cross my path! ewwwww!

    ReplyDelete

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