Doris Duke Trail

Sterling Forest State Park

Wetland along the Doris Duke Trail - Photo by Daniel Chazin Wetland along the Doris Duke Trail - Photo by Daniel Chazin

This loop hike passes by interesting cliffs and a scenic marsh and climbs to a panoramic viewpoint.

41.25313, -74.230043

This hike traverses the Doris Duke Wildlife Sanctuary, a section of Sterling Forest State Park where hunting is not permitted. It follows the Doris Duke Trail, which was improved, under the auspices of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, by volunteers and AmeriCorps crews.


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Trip Reports

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November 08, 2020
Nice Loop Hike with Less Foot Traffic
We returned to this hike on the first Sunday after Election Day 2020 in a much greater spirit than our first time around this loop on the Sunday after the 2016 election. We ran into an old school friend on that first 2016 hike so today was a fine reunion and a fine hike. We followed the recommended counter-clockwise direction as the climb up to the viewpoint and summit are more gradual. With the leaves mostly fallen on a cloudless day, the view of the pond was clear and same above. The trail is well blazed, although I agree that the DD blazes can be hard to see against the fall colors in the background. This loop also features some really good rock craft by the NYNJTC crews that built it - fun stepping stones and useful steps at many trouble spots. The Moderate rating is fair and the time estimate on target. Another advantage of this loop is a decent sized parking area with a large and solid kiosk (another useful Eagle Scout project). My favorite was the walk along the ridge, but the ascent and descent at either end of the hike are in nice natural bowls with running water. A real pleasure.
November 05, 2017
Nice loop for an afternoon
I did this loop on a misty, foggy afternoon in early November, and I had the whole trail to myself. It's a nice way to spend a couple hours, and I'd say certainly accessible to a range of abilities with a nice moderate climb. You can't miss the beaver dam in the pond early in the trail, and I saw a few deer in the second half. I can't speak to the views, since visibility wasn't great, but the spooky misty ambiance made up for that.
September 08, 2016
A nice walk...
<p>A lot of care and planning went into the construction of this trail and it shows....&nbsp; Very accessible to people of all abilities... Nice combination of leisurely walking with&nbsp;a couple of moderately challenging uphills.&nbsp; Some nice views to be had ( moreso when the leaves are off the trees....&nbsp; Trail is easy to follow when leaves are off the ground but one needs to be a bit more vigilant to see the rather small trail markers at those times that the trail is obscured by leaf fall.....&nbsp; A great hike to take when you don't wan't to spend the whole day on trail....</p>
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