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WEST RIM TRAIL
Level - Moderate
A bit less than 4 miles around, this trail can be reached in several ways: from the steep Stable trail (described previously); from the lower end of Old Promised Land Road (park in the ski lot at the end of Dutch Hill Road, a mile from the Lodge, and walk up the mountain on the dirt road beyond the ski lift for about a quarter mile to the trail); and from the upper end of Old Promised Land Road (park in the driveway for the Upper Fails Trail at the top of Route 390 and cross the road from the driveway entrance).
The highlight of this trail is the Gazebo, at about 1900 feet in elevation, where there are magnificent panoramas of Skytop Lodge, the Lake (about 400 feet directly below the vista), Camelback Mountain, the Delaware Water Gap and an endless stretch of forest. This is an excellent vantage point from which to watch migrating hawks and flaming foliage in autumn, and to just relax and enjoy the beauty of nature at any season.
The forests along the West Rim Trail are comprised mostly of young red, white, scarlet and chestnut oaks, sassafras, and black birch, with pignut hickory and pitch pine near the cliff edges and lots of beautiful mountain laurel and sheep laurel which bloom in June. Huckleberry is also abundant and is used by black bears throughout late summer. Near the exposed cliffs there are delicate wildflowers like wild columbine, blue harebell and mountain sandwort, leathery rock tripe lichens, and rare rock loving ferns. It’s not necessary to hike the entire trail at once – many people walk to the Gazebo via one route and return by another. The trail is also challenging for cross-country skiing in winter but steep sections are also used by downhill skiers who the right-of-way.