ORAK Ruins, Jackie Jones Fire Tower and Big Hill Shelter

Harriman-Bear Mountain State Parks

Hikers at the Big Hill Shelter - Photo by Daniel Chazin Hikers at the Big Hill Shelter - Photo by Daniel Chazin

This lollipop-loop hike passes the ruins of the ORAK mansion and a fire tower and climbs to the Big Hill Shelter.

41.229741, -74.060438

From the parking area, walk west along Route 106 for 300 feet, crossing over Minisceongo Creek. Turn left at the gated paved road and proceed uphill on the road, following the yellow blazes of the Suffern-Bear Mountain (S-BM) Trail. You will be following the S-BM Trail for the next two miles – all the way to the Big Hill Shelter.

In a short distance, the S-BM Trail bears left onto a...

Prepare For Your Hike

Let's Go

Trip Reports

rate experience
November 22, 2021
Fire tower CLOSED
Hiked up to the tower on 11/21/21 and was very disappointed to find a new, permanent chain link fence and locked gate with a sign "Authorized Personnel Only" I wonder what the plans are for the tower? Will it be re-opened? Still a very interesting and beautiful hike, as always :)
January 02, 2019
day trip with 8 yr old
did this trail new years day 2019, 8 yr old handled 5 mile RT just fine, took total of 4 hrs, which included stop at the ruins, climbing the fire tower, which was open and in good shape, long lunch at the shelter, change of clothes for my son after getting wet in stream crossing, lots of prior rain so stream was running a bit wet. because of the previous rain trail was very muddy, recommend proper boots not sneakers or trail shoes. SBM trail intersects other roads/trails so referred to my map a few times, best to just follow orange blaze all the way to/from, orange SBM trail is well marked can be done in 3 hrs, but recommend stopping for firetower and shelter and make it a 4 hr trip shelter would make for a good overnight trip, if shelter is occupied couple good spots with fire pits nearby to set up a tent,
August 09, 2018
At the top of the fire tower now. No hornets, bees, or any sort of stinging beasts. The boards are also very solid, too. Kudos to whoever is keeping this fire tower in tip top shape.
Log in or register to post comments