“Beautiful trail gaining the highest point in Bennett's Pond State Park - Pine Mountain.”
— Michael Blake 22
Starting from Orange Access Trail - West
, Yellow Trail
- Pine Mountain climbs an easy grade to the top of the Hemlock Hills ridge. From here the trail continues east and passes some amazing rock formations and swamps as it runs in conjunction with Blue Trail
. Eventually, Yellow stays east as Blue Trail
veers away to the north. The trail then descends the ridge, intersects with Blue Connector
, then heads north into a gully. Continuing north, Yellow begins ascending the Pine Mountain portion of the State Park.
When Yellow hits Pine Mountain Road, work your way around the steel gate and head left on the pavement. Keep an eye out for the yellow blazes as the trail resumes its route, on the right. Now heading uphill, this portion of trail is perhaps the most strenuous part of the trail, yet it is also one of the more aesthetically pleasing. Remain on Yellow for the next mile or so, ignoring the many spurs and side trails that crop up as the trail first gains the rocky slope, then contours along the grassy ridge. The pinnacle of your effort, shortly after the Ives Trail merges with Yellow from the right, is a granite plateau surrounded by pines, oaks, and a few dogwoods.
From that lovely vantage point, which boasts great views of the southern hills, the undulating trail gives you the option of heading around Pine Mountain on the short Pine Mountain Loop before eventually cresting at the ruin of what some believe was Charles Ivess cabin. All that remains is the fieldstone chimney. Meandering farther along the ridge, the trail eventually meets a kiosk, where the Ives Trail heads east, breaking off from Yellow.