Bull Hill - Cornish Estate Loop | Trail guides from the community | Forum

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Bull Hill - Cornish Estate Loop
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July 4, 2014
3:53 pm
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EdC
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Hi guys. I wanted to post my variation of Mike’s Bull Hill hike. I am a fan of loops as opposed to “there and backs”, so I decided to make a manageable 5.5 mile loop out of Bull Hill (or 6.1 as described at the end). I hike the area from Beacon to Cold Spring often (Breakneck, Mt. Beacon, Bull Hill, Fishkill Ridge, Scofield Ridge). In terms of difficulty, Bull Hill is up there with the best of them. But the beauty of the loop I am about to describe is that after the first 2 miles of a relentless uphill climb, the rest of the way is downhill. And not super steep downhill either. In other words, you work your butt off for close to 2 miles, and then you get to breathe (relatively) easy for the remaining 3.5 miles. You gotta love that!

Ok. So what you want to do is follow Mike’s Bull Hill hike through step 12. You then want to continue up the white Washburn trail instead of heading back down. In 0.33 miles there will be a scenic overlook to your right as designated on the NYNJTC trail map# 102. I am not going to lie and say I have gone to it because I haven’t. But the map says it’s there! However, in another 200 feet the trail opens up onto a rock overlook that affords you some amazing views! You can get a great look of how long Breakneck Ridge really is from here.

From this point on, the rest of the hike is downhill. Continue on the Washburn Trail for approximately 1/2 mile (you will descend 260 feet). At this point the Washburn trail ends at the junction of the blue Notch trail and the gold trail. Stay to you left to take the blue Notch trail. The blue Notch trail will lead you approximately 1.06 miles through the forest and along side a stream in several areas. You will descend another 507 feet while on the blue Notch trail. The blue Notch trail will meet the red trail right at Breakneck Brook. At this point, if you look to your right you will see the ruins of the Cornish Estate Dairy Farm. Turn right on the blue trail and head upstream for 100 feet or so. Go check out those ruins! I found them fascinating. There are 3 sets of building remnants right in that area. If you are feeling brave, you can go inside one of them, stand in the corner, and wait for the Blair Witch to come. I wasn’t that brave, but I did get a bunch of cool pictures!

After you have explored the Cornish Estate dairy farm ruins, make your way back down the blue Notch trail to where it meets the red trail. This is also a great place to splash come cool stream water onto your face! It really helps on a hot summer day. The red trail will run parallel to Breakneck Brook. This affords plenty of photo opportunities of the brook and its mini waterfalls. In .23 miles you will come to the intersection of the yellow trail. There will also be a bridge that crosses Breakneck Brook. You can go stand on it to take pictures, but we aren’t going to cross it. Stay on the red trail and continue down stream for another 0.17 miles, where the trail splits. The red trail continues to your right and the blue trail starts on you left. You want to stay left and take the blue trail. The blue trail will eventually turn into an old road that was used to access the Cornish Estate house. You will see the ruins of it off to your right, about 1/2 mile from where you got on the blue trail. Once you pass the ruins it is a little less than a mile to the end, which puts you back in the parking lot where you started. I have this loop measured as 5.5 miles, BUT that doesn’t include Mike’s steps 7, 8 and 9. So if you add that in, that is another 0.6 miles making this a total of 6.1 miles. But remember – that final 3.5 miles is all downhill! If anyone follows this route, let me know what you thought of it. Thanks!

 

-Ed-

-Ed-

July 25, 2014
3:12 pm
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justherb
Mt. Kisco, NY
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Thanks Ed, I did this loop today. The last time I hiked Bull Hill I did up and back and my knees were killing me, so this was a much more civilized descent. I measured it at 5.8 miles with a little of the yellow trail and a lot of ruins exploring thrown in.

I had intended to do a slow leisurely uphill, but when I parked there was a bus full of camp kids heading up. I wanted to get far ahead of them to avoid the noise so I chugged up past the quarry pretty fast.

I assume that the yellow trail at the bridge is the same one with the views at the top. That might make for another descending option.

Here’s my map:

Bull Hill/Cornish Estate Loop

July 25, 2014
4:05 pm
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justherb
Mt. Kisco, NY
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Here’s a link to some historic pictures of the Cornish estate. I’ll post a link to Rob’s site in the ‘other resources’ forum too.

Cornish Estate

July 25, 2014
7:11 pm
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EdC
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I discovered those pictures a couple of weeks ago. Really cool. I can’t get over how big the main house was. Simply gorgeous. Would have loved to have seen it in person back in the day (would need time machine). Thanks for posting the link!

If you want to see the ruins without hiking up Bull Hill first, simply go left where the blue and white trails split right at the start of the hike. It will take no more that 15 minutes to get to the ruins of the house.

-Ed-

July 25, 2014
8:14 pm
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justherb
Mt. Kisco, NY
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Yeah I might take the wife and kids up that way next time. Maybe I’m in better shape than I was this time last year because I felt ok after this loop, last year I staggered to my car.

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