Distance: 2 miles
The Thirteen Bridges hike is a beautiful horseshoe-shaped trail that brings hikers over thirteen old carriage road bridges that pass above Gory Brook. It’s an easy trail with a short elevation gain halfway through that climbs up the ridge that parallels the lower part of the old carriage road.
Since there are no roads accessing the trail directly, it can most easily be accessed by taking the Old Sleepy Hollow Road Trail to the Eagle Hill Trail, and following that to its terminus. The Thirteen Bridges Trail will begin just to the right from there. Similarly, you can easily extend miles by accessing a number of other trails in the park and making extra loops out of them to see more of the preserve.
Thirteen Bridges Trail Description
The Thirteen Bridges Trail begins as it crosses under Highway 117. As it emerges on the other side and heads deeper into the woods away from the highway, the road noise gradually fades away, leaving the sound of the peaceful Gory Brook as it trickles and tumbles over the terrain. As you pass over the first two bridges, more birds and sounds produced from the brook become more audible as the highway fades in the background. It’s also here that you’ll pass the connecting trail for the aqueduct trail paralleling nearby.
Continuing ahead, more bird calls can be heard above the plodding brook as you cross more of the old bridges, the trail constantly snaking and zigzagging in pursuit of Gory Brook. As you near the north end of the trail, where the creek becomes rockier, you’ll pass an old carriage road junction where the trail will start to make a couple of small climbs. As you ascend the brief climb, a waterfall provides a wonderful distraction before the trail climbs up the hill and wraps around the ridgeline to begin heading south again.
Passing a rural neighborhood, follow the trail southward, as you reach a junction for the Pocantico River Trail. Continue straight ahead as the trail works its way up to the top of the ridge, periodically overlooking the lower part of the trail and the thirteen bridges directly west. You’ll soon reach one more bridge in the form of a highway crossing to close out the loop.
From Sleepy Hollow, New York, head north on Broadway for 1.7 miles, and at Highway 117 (Phelps Way), turn right onto the freeway. Turn right into the Rockefeller State Park Preserve after 1.4 miles, and park in the main parking area on the right. Take the Old Sleepy Hollow Road Trail west to the Eagle Hill Trail, and access the Thirteen Bridges Trail at the latter’s terminus. Likewise, check out the park’s map to make your own route to optionally add more miles!