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Sterling Forest State Park occupies 22,000 acres in the Ramapo Mountains in New York. The state established the park in 1998.
The Iroquois originally inhabited this land they called Cheesecock. They sold it to English colonists in 1702. The Sterling Iron Works mined iron ore here from 1761 to 1842.
The park links to Harriman State Park in the north and Hewitt State Forest in the south. Together they form an uninterrupted wildlife corridor which is crucial for several species of birds. Sterling Forest also serves as a State Bird Conservation Area.
I explored this park with Take A Hike NJ at the end of March. We took the Sterling Lake Loop which is about four miles.
The trail starts at the Frank R. Lautenberg Visitor Center, which offers exhibits about the local environment and overlooks Sterling Lake.
Next, we passed the ruins of the iron furnace. Then we continued on around the lake for lovely views. The trail is fairly level, though we did have a few climbs on the far end of the loop.
Location: 116 Old Forge Rd, Tuxedo Park, NY 10987
Designation: State Park
Date designated/established: 1998
Date of my visit: March 27, 2021