Open / Closed in the Park:
See the Parkway Police Twitter feed for updates.
|Allison Park: Open daylight hours.|
|Alpine Boat Basin: Gas dock open Weds. & Thu. 9 AM – 4:30 PM, Fri. to Sun. 9 AM – 5:30 PM. Closed Mon. & Tues. Gas dock is inaccessible at low spring tides (around new & full moons). 201-321-9055.|
|Alpine Picnic Area: Open daylight hours. Kearney House open most weekend and holiday afternoons.|
|Englewood Boat Basin: Please contact J.M. Englewood Marina: 201-568-1328.|
|Englewood Picnic Area: Open daylight hours. Snack Shack closed for season.|
|Fort Lee Historic Park: Grounds open daylight hours. Metered parking (year-round, click here for rates). Visitor Center open Weds. to Sun., 10 AM – 4:45 PM. 201-461-1776.|
|Greenbrook Sanctuary: Open daylight hours, membership required. 201-784-0484.|
|Hazard’s Ramp: Open daylight hours.|
|Henry Hudson Drive: Open daylight hours|
|Palisades Interstate Parkway in New Jersey: Open 24 hrs.|
|Park Headquarters: Administrative offices open Mon. to Fri., 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM except New Jersey State holidays. 201-768-1360. Parkway Police desk staffed at all times: 201-768-6001. Click here for Court information.
|Ross Dock Picnic Area: Open daylight hours.|
|State Line Lookout: Grounds open daylight hours. Lookout Inn open 9:30 AM – 5 PM. 201-750-0465.|
|Trails: Open daylight hours.|
|Undercliff Picnic Area: Open daylight hours.|
Sidebar last updated:
October 24, 2016.
The information posted here is subject to change without notice.
State Line Lookout is a scenic overlook on the Palisades with a refreshment stand and gift shop. It is situated at the highest point on the Palisades Cliffs (elevation 527 ft.), about half a mile south of the New Jersey-New York state line. The area is open every day during daylight hours. There is no fee for parking.
GPS: 40.989108, -73.906678
State Line Lookout office (at Lookout Inn): 201-750-0465
State Line Lookout has its own unnumbered exit from the Palisades Interstate Parkway in Alpine, New Jersey, about 2 miles north of Exit 2 (directions, including directions for cyclists or those coming by public transportation). Access to the Lookout is also available for pedestrians and cyclists from Old Route 9W, a 1.5 mile section of concrete highway closed to traffic.
The area provides access to some of the best hiking in the New Jersey Palisades, as well as over five miles of cross-country ski trails. An accessible overlook is also provided, and restrooms are available (Port-A-Johns are available for when the refreshment stand is closed).
For current hours of operation at State Line Lookout, please check the sidebar >
- Click to download the “Peanut Leap Cascade” (moderate, about 2.5 mi., 2 hrs. round-trip) and “Giant Stairs” (challenging, about 4 mi., 3 hrs. round-trip) hike descriptions, both of which begin and end at State Line Lookout, keyed to a map and including tips for hikers.
Lookout Inn, built in 1937 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), is a refreshment stand and gift shop at State Line Lookout, offering a lunch and snack menu as well as a wide variety of books, gifts, and other items. Books include titles on outdoor activities, nature, and history, with an emphasis on the Hudson River Valley. It is open from 9:30 AM to 5 PM every day except Good Friday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. The building is wheelchair accessible.
Click to download Lookout Inn’s menu.
A note on winter use: State Line Lookout and Lookout Inn may be closed during a significant weather event. When a barrier has been put in place by the Parkway Police on any roadway, including the access road to the Lookout area, the roadway beyond that barrier is to be considered closed for all use. Those going beyond such a barrier are subject to prosecution. The State Line area will be plowed and open for cross-country skiing after the Parkway and other critical park roads have been completely cleared and deemed safe by the Parkway Police. Visitors can expect the area to be open for skiing within 24 hours of the end of a typical storm event.
From the State Line Lookout brochure:
Over 500 feet above the Hudson River, State Line Lookout sits atop the highest point on the New Jersey Palisades. The rock of the Palisades, called diabase, was formed underground by volcanic activity 200 million years ago. Processes of erosion, including the glaciers of the Ice Ages, then uncovered the eastern edge of the buried diabase and shaped it into cliffs. (The name “Palisades” is from the resemblance of the vertical columns of diabase to a palisade-type fence made of upright posts.)
In 1937, the Works Progress Administration (WPA), one of the “New Deal” agencies of the Great Depression, began construction of a stone refreshment stand at State Line Lookout; the stand opened the following year. (Typical menu items for park refreshment stands at that time included “Hamburger Steak” or “Italian Spaghetti & Meat Sauce” for 35¢, “Corn Beef & Cabbage” or “Spring Lamb” for 50¢ — and beer.) Originally open-air, the building was later enclosed by windows. For many years, water was brought here by truck; in 1980 a well was drilled through hundreds of feet of dense diabase rock beneath the stand. Closed while America fought in World War Two (1942–45), Lookout Inn, with its incomparable views, has remained in operation every year since. Today, along with a tasty snack and lunch menu and friendly service, the Inn offers books about the nature and history of the Hudson River Valley, gifts and souvenirs, travel information — and in winter, a pair of crackling fireplaces.
Lookout Inn is open year-round — parking is free.
In 1806 Jack Earnest, a New Jersey slave who had been able to purchase his own freedom, bought five acres of land near here. So began “Skunk Hollow” (probably named for the skunk cabbage that thrives in the area), a settlement of free black families that lived on top of the “Closter Mountain” through the nineteenth century. Today, a church begun in Skunk Hollow still worships in nearby Sparkill, New York, while remnants of the settlement here can be found in the impressive stone walls that crisscross the ski trails west of the Lookout.
“Traversing the Summit”
In horse-and-wagon days, a road called “the Boulevard” ran north–south along the summit of the Palisades. This dirt road was lined by cliff-top estates and it connected with rugged roads on which farm goods were taken to docks on the river below. In 1926, a concrete-paved highway replaced the Boulevard; this became U.S. Route 9W. The park operated a filling station at the Lookout and a policeman controlled a traffic light here on nice weekend days to help people cross the busy highway to the viewpoints. With the construction of the Palisades Interstate Parkway in the 1950s, Route 9W was shifted to the west. Part of the 1926 highway is still used as the entrance road to the Lookout from the Parkway; north of the Lookout, the old highway is now closed to traffic and enjoyed by pedestrians and cyclists.
- Learn more about the history of the State Line area in “Welcome to Lookout Inn” and “Hidden on the Mountain.”
- Learn more about the New Deal agencies that worked in the Lookout area in “Alphabet Soup.”
- Click to download a map of the ski trails.
Virtual Tour of State Line Lookout