This park offers a lot of character, including the best views you can get from a hike this close to New York City.
About The Hike
Palisades Interstate Park is located in northern New Jersey along the Hudson River. The trails for this hike are mostly flat unless descending or ascending up the cliffs which are about 400 feet of elevation difference.
The trails are designed to be done as a loop with the shortest option being 4 miles.
Notable features along this hike are the Palisades, Peanut Leap Falls, the White Shore Trail, and the Women’s Federation Monument.
The views from here are spectacular and worth hiking north on the trail away from any crowds at the lookout platforms by the parking lot and café. Crossing the stone walls and barriers are illegal but you will find plenty of open clearings along the trail.
Peanut Leap Falls
These falls are located at the northern tip of the park after the descent of the Palisades. The falls are either hit or miss depending on recent rain and seasonal conditions but the surrounding area has unique stuff to explore. The falls backdrop to the Hudson River and there are a number of decaying concrete buildings and structures.
The White Shore Trail
This is a 2.3 mile stretch of trail that runs along the Hudson River, sometimes only a mere foot away from the water! This section is half dirt path and half a boulder rock scramble over the fallen basalt cliffs. There are plenty of warning signs about this section and the time requirement it will take, I feel 2 hours would be on the extremely slow side but plan your trip accordingly.
Women’s Federation Monument
This monument was erected because of the large role the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Club played in preserving the Palisades and creating the Palisades Interstate Park. In the 19th century the Palisades were being quarried which intensified at the turn of the 20th century for use in concrete construction. The Women’s Federation joined other groups who opposed the destruction of the cliffs and in 1900 the New Jersey Governor, Foster Voorhees and the New York Governor, Theodore Roosevelt commissioned the Palisades Interstate Park.
This monument commemorates their role and was dedicated on April 30th, 1929.
Palisades Park Loop:
Distance: 4.1 Miles
Elevation: 525 feet
Total Ascent: 767 feet
If you’re looking to add more mileage the loop can be extended to the Alpine Boat Basin and from there even Jersey City.
You can also connect to the Cortland Manor Ruins, another awesome hike to explore in the Palisades Park.
Getting There and Important Information
The parking area for this hike is at the State Line Lookout located along the Palisades Interstate Parkway. The café is not open in the early hours but there is a water fountain located behind the building in case you need to fill up before your hike. The Peanut Leap Falls is also a great water source on trail, I recommend always having a Sawyer Squeeze filter even for short day hikes, you can purchase here.
The park is open daily from dusk until dawn and is free of charge to park and use.
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