Trailhead GPS: Coordinates N41.7891 W74.7633
Getting There: Exit State Route 17 at exit 99 and drive to North Main Street at the end of the access road. Turn left onto North Main Street in Liberty and drive south for 1.1 miles to Lake Street which is the second traffic light. Turn right on Lake Street which is also Route 55 and follow it for 1.1 miles to Walnut Mountain Road. Turn right and drive to the main parking area. Caution: At .5 miles Route 55 makes a sharp left turn. Be sure to follow Route 55. Do not continue straight ahead on West lake St.
Difficulty: This hike is rated STRENUOUS because it is over 5 miles long and has a few uphill sections along the way.
Trail Surface: The trail surface is generally free of large stones and consists mostly of small stones, dirt and grass. The trail can be wet and muddy in places.
Hike Description: Walnut Mountain park has many different trails that allow visitors to create their own routes from easy to difficult. In addition to the hiking trails there are also single track mountain bike trails which can be hiked. The mountain bike trails are rough trails while the hiking trails are more open carriageways.
This hike begins at the main parking area on Walnut Mountain Road. Face the baseball field and walk to your right toward and opening in the fence and follow the path which parallels the road. Turn left near the treeline and you will be on Walnut Loop – East. Walk along the path next to the woods until the path turns slightly right and enters the woods. The trail continues downhill until you reach .6 miles where you should turn left on Walnut Loop – North. If you reach the parking area, you have gone too far. Since you are at the lowest point on the hike, you will now get a chance to walk uphill a little on the Walnut Loop – North trail. The yellow Vista Way trail will appear at about 1 mile on your left. Continue straight ahead on the Walnut Loop – North trail until it ends at the Walnut Loop – West trail at about 1.25 miles. Turn Right on the Walnut Loop – West trail and get ready to enjoy a nice uphill walk to the first of two viewpoints. At about 1.9 miles, at the top of the climb, the orange Mountain Overlook trail makes a sharp turn to the left. Continue straight ahead on the Walnut Loop, – South trail. Almost immediately the trail opens up to a viewpoint to the southwest. Swan Lake is the most prominent feature. Continue on the red Walnut loop – South trail as it descends passing the ultimate Frisbee course and an old quarry. At 2.5 miles you will be back at the parking lot. Walk north through the lot and watch for the yellow Vista Way. Follow this trail as it enters the woods. At 2.9 miles the Vista Way ends at the Walnut loop – North trail. Turn left here and follow the trail until it ends at the Walnut Loop – West trail at 3.2 miles. Turn left at this junction and walk downhill to the next junction with the orange Mountain Overlook Trail. Follow this trail on a gentle uphill grade to about 3.6 miles and another nice viewpoint. The view is much the same as at the other lookout but it is higher and there is usually a picnic table here. Make a sharp right onto the yellow Sunset Trail which rolls a little through the woods until it comes to a trail junction at 4.1 miles. Turn right at this trail junction which is the first one on your right on the Sunset Trail. You are now on the Mountain House trail which winds its way along the eastern side of the summit. Watch on your right as you pass over the highest point on the trail and you will see the foundations from the Mountain House. The trail decades the other side of the mountain and meets the Sunset Trail again at 4.5 miles. Turn left here and the left again when the Sunset trail meets the Mountain Overlook trail. Follow the orange trail as it heads north and down. At 4.9 miles you will come to a trail junction which may look familiar. Turn right and walk back down the hill to the parking area and your car.