After passing 3 picnic areas and a dock, the path takes you across a boulder-strewn terrain known as "Giant Stairs," which is a 1-mile rigorous scramble. The footing can be tricky, and the rocks get hot in the sun, so perhaps bring hiking gloves and put some protective ointment on your pup's pads. They can be slippery after a rain, as well. After passing a magnificent rocky structure called Peanut Leap Cascade, you'll begin to climb steeply again to the top of the Palisades some 400 feet above and you'll encounter an intersection with another Palisades Park trail called Long Path, ending just north of the New York/New Jersey border.
Most of the trail is located under a canopy of trees and you'll find the shade a welcome relief, but be sure to bring water and drink it throughout the entire hike. A snack bar or 2 is also a good idea because you'll need to replenish some energy on this one! Your reward will be furtastic vistas from atop the palisades and even at lower points on the cliffs, as well as sightings of falcons and eagles soaring above and below you looking for lunch. Deer abound in the park and are not particularly shy, so you can expect to see them with their fawns in the spring and later. One of the most pawsome experiences on this hike is to look up from below to see the cliffs of the Palisades towering over you, especially knowing you will be climbing to their tops!
The trail is closed from December through February, but in the other 3 seasons it's sure to be a unique workout and woofderful hike for you and your pooch!
Although they're known to be shy creatures, the copperhead snakes that live in the woods along this trail may bite if disturbed, so be sure to keep Fido tightly leashed, and don't reach into areas such as under or around rocks or bushes without looking. Watch your step and wear hiking boots for protection. There is also abundant poison ivy in the area, so learn how to recognize it and stay away. Long sleeves and pants will help protect you from this and ticks, too..