Visit Us

Black Rock Forest reopens to the public December 14, 2020

Visitor Policies & Parking
Become a Friend of the Forest
Directions to Black Rock Forest
Maps of Black Rock Forest
Plan Ahead – FAQ’S
Are Dogs Allowed?
Are Drones Allowed?
Biking in the Forest
Motorcycles/Dirt Bikes/ATV's/Snowmobiles
Hiking Etiquette
Organized Groups
Contact Us

Black Rock Forest COVID-19 UPDATE

4.6.2020 UPDATE: Please avoid hiking/visiting BRF trails during peak hours (11AM to 3PM). 

We are asking the community to help us manage the sudden increase in visitation due to current circumstances. Especially, when the weather is good, please help by planning your visit in the mornings or late afternoons. Our parking lots are filling and sometimes people are tempted to park illegally, on the roadside or blocking our gates.  Parking on our narrow roadsides can obstruct emergency vehicle access should there be a fire, injury, or other incident in the Forest. If you do arrive and find a full parking lot, we appreciate your flexibility and returning at another time. During this difficult period, we are asking everyone join us in making this work: be patient, find different times of day to visit and remember the guidelines:

- Social Distancing - give each other 6+ feet (on the trails, at entrances, etc.)
-Refrain from touching surfaces or use wipes to clean before or after (maps, rails, etc)
Thank you all so much and be safe out there!



  • Parking Fees at the Reservoir Road Lot, effective October 5, 2019
  • Fee: $5.00 per car, daily use (free to annual supporters $25+/yr)
  • New Benefits: Free parking for Friends of the Forest (including current/annual supporters)
  • Visitor Services staff at the Reservoir Road Lot: Peak Weekends & holidays

Why is Black Rock Forest (BRF) charging for parking? Every year the number of people who venture into the Forest increases. BRF now serves over 60,000 hikers and recreational visitors per year, an increase of 20% during the last decade and the number of student and scientist visitor days increased to nearly 15,000.

As a scientific field station that is also open to the public, Black Rock Forest requires special care to preserve and protect its flora and fauna as well as its natural beauty. Our forest crew works daily to mitigate the impact of our growing visitation numbers while protecting nearly 4,000 acres. This new “Friends” program will deepen our base of support to safeguard the Forest for research, education, conservation … and for recreation, too!

We recognize that this will be a transition for visitors of Black Rock Forest. To ease the transition, the fees are as affordable as possible and  there is the benefit of free parking for Friends of the Forest (annual supporters $25+/year).


Minimum Contribution: $25.00/year 

  • Free Parking - at Reservoir Rd. Lot (1 pass for 1 car) thru 12/31/2021
  • Free Admission to BRF Hike Programs
  • Annual “Friends Only” Hike


Minimum Contribution: $40.00/year 

  • Free Parking - at Reservoir Rd. (2 passes, 3rd upon request) thru 12/31/2021
  • Free Admission to BRF Hike Programs for household members
  • Annual “Friends Only” Hike

(Note: license plate #, make and model required for cars on each parking pass and cars must be registered to household address. Please register your car with visitor services on the first day you park )

If you are currently a Friend of the Forest (annual supporter) parking is a benefit.  You will receive a parking pass in the mail for your Individual or Family level which is valid through December 31, 2021. If you do not receive a parking pass and feel you should have, please contact us. We are grateful for your support.


INQUIRIES: call 845-534-4517 or Email [email protected]

VISIT US - What do you need to know if you are planning a visit?

Visitor Assistance: 
On peak weekends, beginning October 5th, 2019, we will have Visitor Services Staff at the Reservoir Road Kiosk if you have questions or need assistance. Visitor Services staff will have information on our public programs as well as Black Rock Forest t-shirts for purchase. We will be happy to help you pick a trail loop.
Stop by and say hello! 
Directions to Black Rock Forest, Cornwall, New York
Black Rock Forest is located west of Route 9W in the town of Cornwall, NY, in Orange County, on the west side of the Hudson River. It is located between West Point, to the south, and Newburgh to the north.
The entrance to the Forest is on Reservoir Road on the western side of Route 9W, across the highway from the Storm King School. The public parking lot is located at approximatly 80 Reservoir Road, Cornwall, NY (41.418733,-74.010150). The Center for Science and Education and the Forest Lodge are approximately ½ mile farther into the Forest, past the main gate and public parking lot. Hikers are asked to use the public parking lot, as parking at the Center and Lodge is restricted to staff, special events and authorized vehicles. Please use caution entering and leaving the Forest via Rt. 9W, a very busy highway.
The Forest is open dawn to dusk.
Maps of Black Rock Forest: 
Black Rock Forest publishes its own trail map which is kept up to date with any trail changes and is available free of charge at our public kiosk on Reservoir Road when you arrive. Stop by our kiosk and grab one before your hike.

Plan Ahead – FAQ’S

Safety & Planning –
Consider the time of day, length of your hike, the weather and plan and dress accordingly.
Leave No Trace
Take only photos and leave only footprints! Please remember that this is a carry in-carry out destination and be a considerate steward of the land. Thank you!
Are dogs allowed?
Dogs are welcome at Black Rock Forest. We do ask that you follow NYS law and keep your dog leashed and under your control at all times. This is for your dog’s safety as well as for the benefit of the general public (prevents unsafe encounters with wildlife, prevents lost dogs, prevents unwanted encounters with other visitors, etc.). 
Please also pickup after your dog – not doing so leads to unpleasant and unsanitary conditions and can contaminate streams and water systems. Dog waste on the side of trails also causes unsanitary conditions for volunteers and forest crew when trimming and maintaining trails.
Are drones allowed?
Drones are not allowed unless you apply in advance for a permit. We allow drone use for scientific research, special photography requests, etc. (845-534-4517; [email protected]).
Biking in the Forest
Bicycles, Unicycles, etc.  are allowed on the Forest Roads, ONLY.  They are not allowed on the hiking trails.   E-Bikes are not allowed, unless you apply in advance for a permit. (845-534-4517; [email protected])
Motorcycles/Dirt Bikes
Motorcycles and Dirt Bikes are NOT allowed on the Forest Roads or on the Hiking Trails.  Visitors are welcome to visit the Forest on their Motorcycles or Dirt Bikes, they must however park them in the parking lots like the cars/trucks of the other visitors.
  • ATV's/Snowmobiles are not allowed in Black Rock Forest, other then those owned and operated by BRF Staff.
Hiking etiquette
Please remain on MARKED trails or Forest Roads and try to walk single file – help us protect the Forest by preventing erosion. This is especially important in the early spring when the ground is more fragile .
Organized Groups – How do we plan our visit?
  • Organized groups:  Must call to pre-register with Black Rock Forest before visiting (845-534-4517). We will need the Group Name, Address, Telephone # and the Hike Leader Name, Email, Cell Phone, and the Number of hikers.  We ask that groups, carpool as much as possible.
  • We ask that groups travel in cohorts of a maximum of 12 to mitigate the impact on the land. If your group is larger than 12, we ask that you split the group and take separate loops – perhaps meeting for lunch or a snack in the middle. When you call, we are happy to provide maps and hiking suggestions for your group to make your visit more enjoyable. NOTE: large groups may be turned away if they have not pre-registered and there is overcrowding in the parking lot; for the safety of all visitors.  After October 5th, there will be a a charge to park in our lot (additional fees will apply for Vans and large buses.) 
  • Vans: Please note that parking fees for vans (vehicles carrying more than 10 passengers) are $25/daily parking fees.

  • Coach buses: Please note that our parking lots are too small to accomodate coach buses. Please call ahead and make other transportation arrangements.
TEL/OFFICE (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm): 845-534-4517