Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

May 3, 2017
Contact: County Executive's Office, (845) 638-5122
               Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, DO, MPH, CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert encourage you to put on your walking shoes and enjoy the "great outdoors!" Join experienced Rockland County Trail Guides on free guided walks this spring, summer, and fall. Guided walks offer visitors varied terrain, great scenery, interesting discussion points, and different levels of walking.

Fitness Hike: Along the Esposito Rail Trail!
Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 10:00 am - 1:15 pm (approximately)

  • Join Trail Guide Nice Mclean on this difficult, mostly flat, 7-mile round-trip walk along the Esposito Rail Trail to the restored Piermont Train Station used by the Erie Railroad in the 1870's. See the wonderful views of the Hudson River and the Tappan Zee Bridge. Throughout the walk the group will make four stops, for approximately 15 minutes each, and do a variety of exercises including taekwondo, balancing, focusing, and stretching. All of this done to music.
  • Directions: Route 59 to Broadway in Nyack. Make a right and go south. Look for a gazebo before the South Nyack Police Station. For more information visit Google Maps: Street parking is available.
  • Meet at the Gazebo on Broadway in Nyack near the Police Station/Village Hall.

Fitness Time on the Hook! at Hook Mountain State Park
Saturday, May 13, 2017 from 9:00 am (promptly) – 1:30 pm (approximately)

  • Join Trail Guide Nice McLean as she leads you on this strenuous hike all the way up the mountain! Walkers will then proceed down to Nyack Beach and return to the Firehouse along the flat river trail. This is an approximately 8-mile, very difficult walk with some steep uphill walking. The hike will also include stops at four 'stations' for approximately ten minutes to do a variety of exercises including taekwondo, balancing, focusing, and stretching. All of this is done to music while in nature!
  • Directions: From 9W North at Lake Road, make a right into Rockland Lake (North Entrance), stay to the left at the fork and pass the Knickerbocker Firehouse. You will see the parking area. For more information visit Google Maps:
  • Meet in the parking lot by the Firehouse at Rockland Lake State Park in Congers. Parking is limited.

Rockland County Versus Big Oil! At Tallman Mountain State Park
Saturday, May 20, 2017 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

  • Join Trail Guide Jack Bloom on moderate to easy, 3-mile walk, appropriate for youth and up, on a flat wide trail that offers glimpses of the Hudson River. The trail is packed earth and wide, with little incline. The walk is mostly flat and not rocky. It is along a road used for emergency vehicles. Walk through the history of Rockland County versus Big Oil. What REALLY happened at Tallman Mountain State Park? See if you can spot the evidence!
  • Directions: Take the Palisades Parkway SOUTH to Exit 5S. Merge onto Route 303 South. Go into Tappan, make a LEFT onto Oak Tree Road. Continue on Oak Tree Road and pass Route 340 and over Palisades Parkway to light at Route 9W. Make a LEFT onto Route 9W. Go less than 1 mile, just past The Market. On the RIGHT is small, free parking lot. If you pass the Conference Center on left or the main entrance to the park on right, you've gone too far. From the North, the parking lot is approximately 1.5 miles past the main Tallman State Park entrance on the left. For more information visit Google Maps:
  • Meet at the secondary lot, small south lot, on the east side of Route 9W in Sparkill. Going South on Route 9W, the road to the parking is a few hundred feet before The Market store. If you reach The Market, you have gone too far. Please note this is not the main parking lot and there is NO admission fee.

All Aboard for Thiells, Pomona, and Mt. Ivy! At Samuel J. Fisher Mt. Ivy Environmental Park
Saturday, June 10, 2017 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

  • We've all walked on abandoned railroad beds, but this one is full of Rockland County history! Join Trail Guide Jack Bloom on a moderate, 3-mile walk through grassy meadows in the shadow of Boulders Stadium. Then, discover Rockland's railroad history along the old Erie RR right of way...right in our backyard. Maybe you'll even find an old iron railroad tie spike. All this within the Pomona/Mt. Ivy wetlands. The walk is a combination of an old road, open meadows and an abandoned rail road track. There may be some wet spots, especially after rains as the area is a wetland. The trail is relatively flat and wide. Half of the walk is along an old railroad right of way and the other half is a natural trail.
  • Directions: From Exit 12 off the Palisades Parkway make your way to Route 45. Go south 0.1 mile and make a right into Pomona Road, then right again onto Fireman's Memorial Drive. Park at the end of Fireman's Memorial Drive, but do not block the gate. Please note that parking is limited. For more information visit Google Maps:
  • Meet Trail Guide Jack Bloom at the park entrance past the Fire Training Center off of Fireman's Memorial Drive in Pomona.

2 Parks One Walk - Dutch Gardens and Demarest Kill! Fast Forward in Time .... To the Past
Saturday, September 9, 2017 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

  • Join Trail Guide Jack Bloom on a 2-mile, fairly easy walk, for youth and up, through some 18th century Dutch remains in Demarest Kill Park, and walk around Greenberg Lake. Then, fast forward 200 years to the 1930's and view the renovated Dutch Gardens. Learn about all those wacky bricks while you enjoy this gem right in the heart of downtown New City. This walk is flat with some paved surfaces, some trail, and one moderate hill at Dutch Gardens.
  • Directions: From Main Street in New City, turn onto New Hempstead Road. The entrance to the park is located across from John Street. The park is before the intersection of New Hempstead Road and Little Tor Road. For more information visit Google Maps: The parking lot is at 57 New Hempstead Road, between Little Tor Road and the jail, across from Johnson Road.
  • Meet Trail Guide Jack Bloom at the park entrance.

High Up on High Tor! At High Tor Mountain State Park
Saturday, September 23, 2017 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

  • Join Trail Guide Marianne Bloomfeld on this 2-3-mile, moderate "High up on High Tor" walk. Enjoy fall in a place that almost disappeared. This walk, along a cleared, crushed gravel, easy changes in terrain, will lead participants around High Tor park. The reward for the uphill climb is the spectacular view. Be prepared for a moderately steep uphill climb over loose rocks and gravel on the last segment of the walk.
  • Directions: Take Little Tor Road, past the blinking light at South Mountain Road. Little Tor becomes Central Highway there and ascends High Tor (heading toward Haverstraw). At the peak of the hill, pull off the road to the right, this is the trailhead. Going South (from Route 202 in Garnerville) on Central Highway, just past the crest of the hill, the small parking area will be on the left. For more information visit Google Maps:
  • Meet at the trailhead on Central Highway. Parking is free and limited along the side of the road.

Rockland County's Secret Hollywood! Lights, Camera, Action! Explore the Evolution of Early Movie History in Rockland
Saturday, October 14, 2017 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

  • Join Trail Guide Jack Bloom on a moderate to easy, 3-mile wooded hike while you learn some of the 35 mm history of early New City. Learn about the start of the movie business right at Kennedy Dells Park... New City's Secret Hollywood! This walk is mostly flat, some wooded and some wide and hard-packed, trails.
  • Directions: Head North on Main Street in New City until you are out of town. Pass Phillips Hill Road light and the park is approximately 1/2 mile on the left. For more information visit Google Maps:
  • Meet in the main Kennedy Dells Parking lot on North Main Street in New City
  • Restrooms are available at this park.

Panoramic Views from Atop the Hook! at Hook Mountain State Park
Saturday, October 21, 2017 from 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

  • Join Trail Guide Carole Greens on this moderately difficult, 3-4-mile walk with some uphill walking to atop the hook. Be delighted with scenic, 360 degree views on top of The Hook--700 feet above the Hudson River. The Trail Guide will discuss flora, fauna and geology of the area. We will focus on the natural beauty of the area. Most of the walk is moderate, but there are a few short, steep, rocky sections. The walk is linear. It goes east until it meets the Long Path. Then we go south to a high point on Hook Mountain overlooking the Hudson and Rockland Lake. We will spend about 15 minutes at the top before returning along the same route we used to go up. The terrain is a mostly cleared trail through woods.
  • Directions: From New City, take Congers Road and continue on it as it becomes Lake Road (Route 80). At the traffic light on 9W (facing the North park entrance), make a right onto 9W. Go 1.2 miles to traffic light and turn left, into the South Park entrance. Keep right, passing parking lot #4 on your left, for 0.4 miles to the Executive Golf Course entrance road (Executive Road). Turn right and go 0.2 miles. Turn left into an unmarked driveway and park to the rear of the lot, away from the Clubhouse/golf course. Parking here is free. For more information visit Google Maps:
  • Meet in the rear of the parking lot at Rockland Lake State Park Executive Golf Course located in Congers, NY (10920).

"We hope County residents take advantage of this great chance to explore our beautiful, natural environment and get some exercise at the same time," said Dr. Ruppert.

Important general information about the guided walks:

  • Pre-registration for all walks is suggested (for some walks pre-registration is required). For more information or to register, call (845) 708-7307 or e-mail
  • Check for more information, directions, and any changes to the schedule. Walks are held throughout the year - stay tuned by checking out the website periodically for updates.
  • Meet in the parking lot, unless otherwise specified. All walks are rain or shine.
  • Hiking boots are recommended, or else closed-toe shoes with sturdy soles. Wear light-colored clothing and dress for the weather (bring a jacket, hat, and rain gear as needed). Bring snacks and plenty of water, bug spray, sunscreen, binoculars, and a walking stick if you would like.
  • Unless otherwise specified, these walks are not stroller-friendly, dogs are not allowed, and there are no rest rooms available.
  • As with any physical activity program, it is recommended you speak to your physician before starting.
  • All guided walks are coordinated and supported in partnership with the Rockland County Division of Environmental Resources, the Rockland County Youth Bureau's Conservation and Service Corps program, and the Rockland County Department of Health.