Thanks to My Harriman State Park for the awesome banner image!
Background you can feel free to skip: After taking a look at my first Anthony’s Nose trail guide, my friend Tom said, “You should really try the Anthony’s Nose hike coming up from the other side, on the Camp Smith Trail. It has some really nice views.”
“Sure, thanks, I’ll check it out,” I replied, but a couple of years went by before I finally made it out here, largely because the original way is already a great hike, and also because our Netflix queue wasn’t going to watch itself. (Sure, we live in an exquisitely beautiful area, but is Don Draper going to land the Heinz ketchup account or what?)
But man, Tom was right. This is a great hike, and it features some views that you just don’t get if you come up the other way.
That said, both hikes really are excellent, and they both lead you to the same money spot with amazing views of the Bear Mountain Bridge (and surrounding awesomeness).
We visited over Memorial Day weekend, which was kind of like going to the mall before Christmas.
Of the two trailheads that day, though, there seemed to be far fewer cars parked at the small lot for the hike documented below, as opposed to the Wal-Martesque parking situation at the base of the Bear Mountain Bridge.
If you’re looking for solitude, you should try to hit this hike at an odd time, or pick a different one altogether. This place deserves to be a popular destination, and it is.
As far as which path to take to Anthony’s Nose, I’d recommend trying each way once to see which one you like best. My guess is that most people will prefer the Camp Smith route documented here, but they’re both excellent hikes.
Whichever way you pick, there’s really no wrong way to pick Anthony’s Nose.
1. From the small parking area on Route 6 (also marked as Rt 202 – see “Directions to the trailhead” below), check out the kiosk that marks the beginning of your adventure today, just a few feet into the woods. (With your back to the road, Anthony’s Nose is to your left, so don’t be lured to the right by any trails over that way.)
The rest of this sentence may very well make this trail guide obsolete, but from the kiosk, you’ll take a left onto the blue-blazed Camp Smith trail, which you’ll follow all the way to Anthony’s Nose, 1.3 miles from here.
Oh, you’re still reading? Sweet! What the heck, why don’t I keep blathering, then?
2. From the kiosk, pick up the blue blazes and head toward the little (probably seasonal) creek, which you need to hop across. (On the day we visited, the people in front of us didn’t see the creek crossing and were wandering around, trying to find the Blue Trail. It’s not 100% obvious that you need to begin by hopping across the creek like Winnie the Pooh.)
3. From the creek, just keep trekking and following those blue markers. You may notice the DANGER sign that advises you not to stray off trail, lest you wander into a live firing range.
If you’re only going to pay attention to one sign in your life, this one should certainly be a top candidate. The very active Camp Smith military installation, a training ground for the New York Army National Guard, does not share the name of this trail by coincidence. Let’s stick to the trail, shall we?
4. About ten minutes into the hike, you’ll cross another stream, then you’ll get more serious about gaining some altitude.
5. And then, about twenty minutes into the hike, SHABOOM! The trees drop away to your left to open up some fairly righteous views.
6. From here, just keep enjoying the occasional shabooms.
And between shabooms, more climbing.
7. About 40 minutes into the hike (walking at four-year-old pace), you may catch a hint of the Bear Mountain Bridge through the trees. The money spot can’t be too far! But first, more climbing. And rocks. Lots of ‘em. Whew. Dude, need a water break.
8. When you emerge onto a large open rock face with very nice, but limited, views back behind you (it took about us an hour to get here from the parking lot), take a break and take it in.
Some people might find this view nice enough to decide that this must be the money spot. During our most recent visit, I witnessed a great tragedy here. Two hikers from New York City, who had been in front of us for the entire hike, turned around to go home.
“Wait, the best view is right around the corner,” I said.
“How far? We have to get back to the city,” one of them replied.
“Like, less than five minutes for sure,” I replied, not remembering exactly how far it was. They decided they’d seen enough, didn’t have time, and headed back down the hill, about thirty seconds from reaching Anthony’s Nose.
Seriously, they only needed to go another hundred yards to see one of the best views in the Hudson Valley. Instead, they came all the way up here just to leave without seeing Anthony’s Nose. I’m getting teary just thinking about it now. Hang on. I need a minute. I’m all verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves.
9. Just after the faux money spot, you’ll come down a very steep, short, rocky section.
At the bottom of that steep descent, you’ll see the well-trodden (but unmarked?) trail to Anthony’s Nose, straight ahead. Take that bad boy over the rise to see what’s on the other side. Spoiler alert: It’s cool.
(At the bottom of that steep section, DO NOT turn right to continue following the blue blazes, or you’ll end up taking the Camp Smith Trail all the way back to the Appalachian Trail and coming down the mountain on the wrong side, potentially ending up in Georgia. Or Maine. Try not to do that, unless you have a really strong hankering for peaches or lobster, respectively.)
10. Just over that little rise, SHA-BOOOOOOOOM!
What an awesome spot. Hang out here for a while. Anthony would want it that way.
11. When you’re done hanging out on Anthony’s Nose (or Forehead?), turn around and retrace your steps, following the blue blazes all the way back down to your car, and turning down any opportunities to wander into a firing range. It took us 60 minutes to get down, walking at a four-year-old pace.
The only potential wrong turn you could make would be just moments after departing Anthony’s Nose – be careful to clamber back over the steep, rocky section to go straight on the Blue Trail, rather than taking that left turn toward the Appalachian Trail and peaches or lobster.
Otherwise, enjoy the views, watch your step and the skies, and follow those blue blazes home!
Aren’t you glad you picked Anthony’s Nose today?
Directions to the trailhead:
From the eastern side of the Bear Mountain Bridge, continue east on Route 6 (also marked as Route 202). At the fork with Route 9D immediately after the bridge, bear right to stay on Route 6 (if you’re coming south on 9D, hang a left at this intersection, away from the bridge). Enjoy the scenic drive for about 1 mile, then find the small parking area on your left, on the outer edge of a sharp right U-shaped curve. Pull off, hop out, and let the adventure begin!
Here’s a Google Street View image of the parking area.
You can also get directions by checking out the Anthony’s Nose II (via Camp Smith Trail) entry on the HiketheHudsonValley.com Google map.
Sorta nearby address for your GPS: The intersection of Route 9D and Route 6 (aka Route 202) in Cortlandt Manor, NY is just a mile or so west of the trailhead. You can also type “Anthony’s Nose” into Google Maps and it’ll take you to the mountain, but not this exact trailhead. If you follow those directions to the Bear Mountain Bridge, from there, just follow the “Directions to the trailhead” above and you’ll be golden.
GPS coordinates of parking area: 41.31227, -73.96485 (Clicking will open in Google Maps or the Apple Maps app, depending on your browser/device.)
Super-cool Google Earth flyover of hike route:
Google Terrain Map of hike route:
Related resources: If you’re looking for actual facts and/or useful information, visit these resources:
- The concise Anthony’s Nose Wikipedia page
- A cool Anthony’s Nose panoramic photo from this location scouting site
- A longer hike to Anthony’s Nose detailed on NYCdayhiking.com
- For several Anthony’s Nose options, plus many other excellent hikes in the area, check out this page from CatskillHiker.net
- My other Anthony’s Nose trail guide, for more fact-free trail advice, and a different approach to the same money spot