Orange County, NY
1,542 acres


US 87; take Rte 17 west to exit 126 (Chester). Turn right at the signal light and take Rte 17M east. Drive about 3 miles and right after you pass Craigville Road on your left and a hilly goldenrod meadow on your right, the parking area will be on left hand side, marked by a small brown sign saying Goose Pond Mountain State Park. If you go into Monroe, you've gone too far. The trail starts across the street from the parking area.

This 1,600-acre, undeveloped tract of land between Chester and Monroe contains horseback riding trails. Lazy Hill Road, a former town road, travels through the park and this constitutes the trail.

There is a southern parking area on Route 45, just south of Spruce Hill Ct., on the right.

There is another parking area in the middle of the park at the end of Boothe Road.


Seely Brook runs on the east side of Goose Pond and Sugarloaf Mountains.


1962-1964 -- property acquired as the state of New York bought up one farm after another; Administered by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission.

All the structures were demolished; these includes old farmhouses on Lazy Hill Road (the main path through the park) and the cobble dwellings along Route 17M.

This supposedly was one of the haunts of the cowboy Claudius Smith.  They say he hid out in a rockshelter on the other side of the marsh. The rock shelters also yield artifacts of prehistoric Indians. Many of these are in the Trailside History Museum in Bear Mountain State Park.

Clyne, Patricia Edwards. 1997. Hudson Valley Tales and Trails. Woodstock, NY: The Overlook Press.


The Highlands Trail from Storm King Mountain to Phillipsburg, NJ goes through this area. (See the website for this trail at The website says that the trail heading south follows the shore of Orange-Rockland Lake and reaches Museum Village Road which it follows, crosses NY 17, and reaches a commuter parking lot at 23.1 miles. The Highlands Trail utilizes an abandoned railbed for a mile as it heads west, crossing back over NY 17. Just before a bridge, the Highlands Trail turns right and heads down an embankment. Making a left under the bridge onto Oxford Road (County 51), the Highlands Trail follows the road and reaches NY 17M at 24.8 miles. After a quick jog across NY 17M, the trail turns right on to Lazy Hill Road. The trail follows abandoned paved road through undeveloped Goose Pond Mountain State Park. At 26.4 miles, it goes left at Laroe Road (County 45) where there is parking.

I walked the blue trail south, I thought it would take me to the mountain. But it just kept going south. So I tried to take a side road.

On the side road all I found was the tremendous activity of the bikers. They have been having a ball tearing new paths that keep going in various circles. Following along some of them I just kept going around and around.

I really hate what these off-road vehicles do to natural areas. And there is very little enforcement and very little punishment.

field trip with JohnYrizzary as leader; Erik Kiviat and Tanessa Hartwig of Hudsonia Ltd. and Dr. Patrick L. Cooney

Acer negundo (box elder maple)
Acer nigrum (black maple) found by Michael St. John, July, 2000
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Catalpa sp. (catalpa)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Gleditsia triacanthos (honey locust)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Ostrya virginiana (American hop hornbeam
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Prunus avium (sweet cherry)? 4/18/02
Prunus serotina (black cherry) 4/18/02 soon
Pyrus malus (apple tree)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Salix nigra (black willow)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Alnus serrulata (smooth alder)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Cornus racemosa (gray stem dogwood)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)
Forsythia sp. (golden bells) 4/18/02
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spice bush) 4/18/02
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Rhamnus cathartica (buckthorn)
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus flagellaris (common dewberry)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Salix sp. (willow) 4/18/02
Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush)
Staphylea trifolia (bladdernut)
Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum) 4/18/02 soon

Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Cuscuta sp. (dodder)
Dioscorea villosa (wild yamroot)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Polygonum scandens (false climbing buckwheat)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vincetoxicum nigrum (black swallowwort) * found by Michael St. John, July, 2000

Achillea millefolium (yarrow) 10/04/01
Acorus calamus (sweet flag)
Agrimonia parviflora (small-flowered agrimony)
Alisma subcordatum (water plantain)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 4/18/02
Allium tricoccum (wild leek)
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)
Anemone cylindrica (thimbleweed)
Angelica sp. (angelica)
Aquilegia canadensis (columbine)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asarum canadense (wild ginger)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Aster cordifolius (heart-leaved aster) 10/04/01
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster) 10/04/01
Aster novi-belgii (New York aster) 10/04/01
Aster puniceus (purple stemmed aster) 10/04/01
Aster novae-angliae (New England Aster) 10/04/01
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress)
Bidens cernua (nodding bur marigold) 10/04/01
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle)
Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed) 10/04/01
Chelidonium majus (celandine)
Chenopodium album (pigweed)
Cichorium intybus (chicory) 10/04/01
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)
Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) 10/04/01
Dipsacus sylvestris (teasel)
Elodea canadensis (elodea)
Epipactis helleborine (helleborine orchid)
Erechtites hieraciifolia (pileweed)
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod) 10/04/01
Galium sp. (bedstraw)
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium)
Geranium sibiricum (Siberian geranium) 10/04/01
Geum canadense (white avens)
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)
Lemna sp. (duckweed)
Leonurus cardiaca (motherwort)
Lepidium virginianum (poor man's pepper)
Linaria vulgaris (butter and eggs) 10/04/01
Ludwigia palustris (water purslane)
Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)
Medicago lupulina (black medick) 10/04/01
Melilotus alba (white sweet clover) 10/04/01
Mentha arvensis (wild mint) 10/04/01
Mimulus ringens (monkey flower)
Mitella diphylla (bishop's cap)
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe)
Myosotis laxa (smaller forget me not) 10/04/01
Myosotis scorpioides (larger forget me not) 10/04/01
Nepeta cataria (catnip) 10/04/01
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose) 10/04/01
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) 10/04/01
Parietaria pensylvanica (pellitory)
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonatum pubescens (hairy true Solomon's seal)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed) 10/04/01
Polygonum hydropiper (water pepper)
Polygonum sagittatum (arrow-leaved tearthumb)
Polygonum sp. (knotweed) fls green with white margins 10/04/01
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Potentilla recta (rough-fruited cinquefoil)
Potentilla sp. (cinquefoil)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal) 10/04/01
Rumex crispus (curled dock)
Satureja vulgaris (wild basil)
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal)
Solanum carolinense (horse nettle nightshade)
Solidago canadensis var. scabra (tall goldenrod) 10/04/01
Solidago rugosa (rough-stemmed goldenrod) 10/04/01
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion) 4/18/02
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadow rue)
Trifolium pratense (red clover) 10/04/01
Typha angustifolia (narrow-leaved cattail)
Typha latifolia (broad leaved cattail)
Urtica procera (stinging nettle)
Verbascum blattaria (moth mullein) 10/04/01
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Verbena hastata (blue vervain)
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain)
Vernonia noveboracensis (New York ironweed)
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell)
Viola sororia (common blue violet) 4/18/02

Rushes and Sedges:
Carex lurida (sedge)
Carex sp. (Purple notched sedge)
Carex stricta (tussock sedge)
Eleocharis sp. (spike rush)
Juncus effusus (soft rush)
Scirpus atrovirens (dark-green bulrush)
Scirpus cyperinus (woolly grass bulrush)

Bromus inermis (smooth brome grass)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Echinochloa crus-galli (barnyard grass)
Leersia oryzoides (rice cut grass)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stilt grass)
Panicum capillare (witch panic grass)
Panicum dichotomiflorum (fall panic grass)
Phalaris arundinacea (canary reed grass)
Phleum pratense (timothy grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Poa annua (annual bluegrass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Asplenium platyneuron (ebony spleenwort)
Asplenium trichomanes (maiden hair spleenwort)
Cystopteris sp. (fragile fern)
Dryopteris cristata (crested woodfern)
Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Polypodium sp. (rock cap fern)
Thelypteris palustris (marsh fern)

Sphagnum sp. (sphagnum moss)

showy orchid
100 walking ferns (done in by gardeners?)