Flirtation Walk (West Point)

Last updated
Trailhead at Trophy Point Flirtation Walk Sign.jpg
Trailhead at Trophy Point
Broken terrain on the trail Flirtation Walk, West Point NY June 2010.JPG
Broken terrain on the trail

Flirtation Walk is a historic rocky foot trail at the United States Military Academy. The trail follows the shoreline of the Hudson River along the western bank. The southern trailhead starts at the edge of the Lincoln Hall parking lot and winds north along the river around Gee's Point and the West Point Light. The trail turns west-northwest, passing Battery Cove, where the Great Chain was anchored during the Revolutionary War. The trail ends near the helipad of West Point's North Dock. There also is an access trail that descends steeply to the river level from Trophy Point. The trail varies in consistency from level and even to steep and rocky. By academy tradition, only cadets and their guests may use the trail. Visitors escorted by cadets should wear sturdy shoes. The 1934 film Flirtation Walk was named after the trail. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.


Stoneworks in Battery Cove Chain Battery.JPG
Stoneworks in Battery Cove

Cadets refer to it as "Flirtie Walk", or just "Flirtie". The cadet knowledge manual, known as Bugle Notes, refers to Flirtation Walk as a "scenic walk where only cadets and their escorts may go." [1] The trail was first used during the Revolutionary War to access the Great Chain that deterred British ships navigating the turn in the river. As it originally had a military application, this path was off limits to cadets until the 1840s. After the military garrison's purpose at West Point became obsolete, the trail was opened and encouraged to be used by cadets. As the academy grew in size in the mid-19th century, more visitors began to frequent the cadets. Given the limited transportation opportunities of the day and the lack of places for the young men of the academy to take their lady guests, the walk became a popular place to go. The administration of the academy allowed cadets the rare opportunity to have some privacy with their guests. [2] This policy is still traditionally held and signs are posted to keep visitors to the academy away from the trail. The signs read "Visitors must be accompanied by a cadet".

Monuments to former cadets

Because of the sentimental place in the hearts of cadets, and perhaps because of the relative amount of space available compared to the rest of the academy's grounds, Flirtation walk is home to several memorials to former cadets. Most are dedicated to cadets who died during their time at the academy. The largest and most prominent monument along the trail is Sheridan Memorial near Gee's Point that is dedicated to Richard B. Sheridan Jr, who died on the gridiron of the Yale Bowl in Oct 1931. [3]

Battle memorial engravings

Because the Mexican War was the first war where West Point graduates played a commanding role, several of its major battles are commemorated on Flirtie Walk. There is a large engraving that states "MEXICO 13,14 SEP 1847" along Howard Road leading down to North Dock. There is also a large engraving commemorating the Battle of Saratoga on the cliffside at Kosciuszko's Garden about a quarter mile south of Flirtie Walk.

Related Research Articles

United States Military Academy U.S. Armys federal service academy in West Point, New York

The United States Military Academy (USMA), also known as West Point, Army, Army West Point, The Academy, or simply The Point, is a four-year federal service academy in West Point, New York. It was originally established as a fort that sits on strategic high ground overlooking the Hudson River with a scenic view, 50 miles (80 km) north of New York City. It is the oldest of the five American service academies and educates cadets for commissioning into the United States Army.

<i>Flirtation Walk</i> 1934 film by Frank Borzage, Bobby Connelly

Flirtation Walk is a 1934 romantic musical film written by Delmer Daves and Lou Edelman, and directed by Frank Borzage. It focuses on a soldier who falls in love with a general's daughter during the general's brief stop in Hawaii but is bereft when she leaves with her father for the Philippines before their relationship can blossom. They are re-united several years later when the soldier is about to graduate from West Point and the general becomes the Academy's Commandant.

United States Coast Guard Academy U.S. Coast Guard service academy

The United States Coast Guard Academy (USCGA) is a service academy of the United States Coast Guard in New London, Connecticut. Founded in 1876, it is the smallest of the five U.S. service academies and provides education to future Coast Guard officers in one of nine major fields of study. Unlike the other service academies, the Coast Guard Academy does not require a congressional nomination for admission.

Trail Ridge Road Highway in Colorado within Rocky Mountain National Park

Trail Ridge Road is the name for a stretch of U.S. Highway 34 that traverses Rocky Mountain National Park from Estes Park, Colorado in the east to Grand Lake, Colorado in the west. The road is also known as Trail Ridge Road/Beaver Meadow National Scenic Byway.

Hudson Highlands State Park Protected area in mountains along Hudson River north of New York City

Hudson Highlands State Park is a non-contiguous state park in the U.S. state of New York, located on the east side of the Hudson River. The park runs from Peekskill in Westchester County, through Putnam County, to Beacon in Dutchess County, in the eastern section of the Hudson Highlands.

Monon Trail

The Monon Trail is a rail trail located entirely within the state of Indiana. The Monon Railroad was a popular railroad line connecting the cities of Chicago and Indianapolis, with stops at major settlements along its route. After the decline of railroad travel and the sale of the company in 1987, the portion of the line between Indianapolis and Delphi, Indiana, was abandoned.

Curecanti National Recreation Area

Curecanti National Recreation Area is a National Park Service unit located on the Gunnison River in western Colorado. Established in 1965, Curecanti is responsible for developing and managing recreational facilities on three reservoirs, Blue Mesa Reservoir, Morrow Point Reservoir and Crystal Reservoir, constructed on the upper Gunnison River in the 1960s by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to better utilize the vital waters of the Colorado River and its major tributaries. A popular destination for boating and fishing, Curecanti offers visitors two marinas, traditional and group campgrounds, hiking trails, boat launches, and boat-in campsites. The state's premiere lake trout and Kokanee salmon fisheries, Curecanti is a popular destination for boating and fishing, and is also a popular area for ice-fishing in the winter months.

Hudson Highlands Mountains on either side of the Hudson River roughly 60 mi (100 km) north of New York City

The Hudson Highlands are mountains on both sides of the Hudson River in New York state lying primarily in Putnam County on its east bank and Orange County on its west. They continue somewhat to the south in Westchester County and Rockland County, respectively.

Trophy Point

Trophy Point is a scenic overlook of the Hudson River Valley located at West Point, New York. It has been the subject of numerous works of art since the early 19th century. Trophy Point is the location of Battle Monument, one of the largest columns of granite in the world. Designed by architect Stanford White and dedicated in 1897, Trophy Point was formerly the site of West Point graduation ceremonies before the class sizes became larger in the mid-twentieth century.

Beacon Mountain

Beacon Mountain, locally Mount Beacon, is the highest peak of Hudson Highlands, located south of City of Beacon, New York, in the Town of Fishkill. Its two summits rise above the Hudson River behind the city and can easily be seen from Newburgh across the river and many other places in the region. The more accessible northern peak, at 1,531 feet above sea level, has a complex of radio antennas on its summit; the 1,610-foot southern summit has a fire lookout tower.


Popolopen is the name of several related landmarks mainly within the Hudson Highlands of Orange County, New York. These include a mountain, Popolopen Torne—or simply "The Torne", and a short and steep-sided nearby valley officially called Hell Hole, but often Popolopen Gorge. Popolopen Creek runs through this valley. The Popolopen Bridge spans its mouth at the Hudson River and is crossed by Route 9W. Popolopen Lake feeds the headwaters of its namesake creek. Despite local usage, the United States Board on Geographical Names recognizes only the lake, creek and bridge as bearing the name "Popolopen."

Richard Woodward Colcock was the second Superintendent of the South Carolina Military Academy from 1844 through 1852.

Brace Mountain

Brace Mountain is the peak of a ridge in the southern Taconic Mountains, near the tripoint of the U.S. states of New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Its 2,311-foot (704 m) main summit is located in New York; it is the highest point in that state's Dutchess County.

Collier Memorial State Park

Collier Memorial State Park is a state park in southern Oregon. The park is operated and maintained by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. It is located on U.S. Highway 97, approximately 30 miles (48 km) north of Klamath Falls and 105 miles (169 km) south of Bend. The park covers 146 acres (59 ha) along the Williamson River.

United States Military Academy grounds and facilities United States historic place

The United States Military Academy and grounds were declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960 due to the Revolutionary War history and the age and historic significance of the Academy itself. The majority of the buildings in the central cadet area are historic.

The history of the United States Military Academy can be traced to fortifications constructed on the West Point of the Hudson River during the American Revolutionary War in 1778. Following the war, President Thomas Jefferson signed legislation establishing the United States Military Academy (USMA) on the site in 1802. In 1817 the Academy was transformed by the appointment of Sylvanus Thayer who drastically reformed the curriculum.

Constitution Island Island on the Hudson river opposite West Point

Constitution Island is located on the east side of the Hudson River directly opposite the U.S. Military Academy Reservation and is connected to the east shore by Constitution Marsh.

The Plain (West Point)

The Plain is the parade field at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. The flat terrain of the Plain is in contrast to the varied and hilly terrain of the remainder of the campus. The Plain rises approximately 150 feet (45 m) above the Hudson River and has been the site of the longest continually occupied U.S. Army garrison in America since 1778. In its early years, the entire academy was located on the Plain and it was used for varying activities ranging from drill and mounted cavalry maneuvers to an encampment site for summer training to a sports venue. Currently, the Plain refers to just the parade field where cadets perform ceremonial parades.

Memorial bench

A memorial bench or memorial seat is a piece of furniture which commemorates a person who has died. Memorial benches are typically made of wood, but can also be made of metal, stone, or synthetic materials. Typically memorial benches are placed in public places but are often also placed in domestic gardens.


  1. "Information for New Cadets and Parents, Class of 2011" (PDF). United States Military Academy. p. 26. Retrieved 2010-06-05.
  2. Lopez, Kathryn. "Interrogatory: interview with the author of Last in Their Class: Custer, Pickett and the Goats of West Point". National Review Online. Archived from the original on 2011-06-16. Retrieved 2010-06-05.
  3. Bernstein, Mark (19 September 2001). Football: the Ivy League origins of an American obsession. ISBN   0812236270 . Retrieved 2010-06-05.