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dennis
03-06-2005, 07:27 AM
This spring and summer, I'd like to knock off some sections of the Long Path. Being a Catskill 35er, I have done the section through that area. Could anyone share information on the section between Harriman State Park and the 'Gunks? Any recommendations on pitfalls or other things to avoid, such as unsafe parking areas, areas that need extra water rations or the like, would be greatly appreciated. If you don't want to post on this thread, you are more than welcome to email me. TIA.

P.S. I remember many posts about the N-P Trail and the Long Trail, but don't recall ever seeing any on the Long Path here, am I correct? In other words, should I have posted this notice somewhere else?

Mark Schaefer
03-07-2005, 12:22 AM
This is the right spot for Long Path questions. The Path doesn't get as much use as the other long distance trails, but does provide some nice hikes.

I have done a few Long Path sections south of the Catskills. Many LP sections are road walks and not appealing to me. The NY/NJ Trail Conference publishes a Long Path Guide (http://www.nynjtc.org/store/nonmember/itm00033.htm) which and has trail descriptions and parking locations. A new revision was released 1/28/05.

I have hiked the section in the Shawangunks from Sam's Point to Jenny Lane. A few years back there was an alert concerning car break-ins at the Jenny Lane trailhead parking lot, however, I have not heard of any recent incidents. I have never had a problem there. The section from Jenny Lane to the Peters Kill Carriage Road is especially nice in mid to late June when the Mountain Laurel is in bloom. There is a short Long Path section from the High Point Trail junction to Mud Lake which has been closed by the land owner. There has been some discussion (http://www.nynjtc.org/news/NYS-press/3-2-2000.html) of rerouting the Long Path along the High Point trail. Then a new trail would be built down Lewis Ravine (aka Witch's Hole), and up the Vernooy Kill valley through the Lundy Estate which was acquired in 2000. The new trail would rejoin the current Long Path at Vernooy Falls. I have not seen any schedule for the trail relocation.

A section with nice views and interesting geology is on Schunemunk Mountain. There was an earlier Schunemunk thread. (http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?t=4220) I have hiked the section on the ridge top, but I have never used either of the Long Path trailheads.

Although you did not ask about them there are some nice LP sections in the Catskills that get overlooked:
Vernooy Falls to Bangle Hill.
Tremper to Silver Hollow.
The sections north of Route 23 as far as Huntersfield.Huntersfield has become one of my favorite Catskill peaks, has nice views including a sunrise view at the lean-to very near the summit.

There are no real pitfalls. The ridge tops do tend to be dry with few water sources so it is best to carry your own.

dennis
03-07-2005, 05:11 AM
Mark, thank you so much for your suggestions. It is always helpful to hear from someone who has gone through an area and can give some reflection. The section of road walks sounds less than appealing, and I certainly overlooked the section north of Windham Peak. Have you done any of the section north of the Catskills on the way to Albany? I am curious to know what that might be like. Thanks again for your help.

MattC
03-07-2005, 05:29 AM
Remember,there is also the accepted alternate route that goes back into New Jersey, hits High Point, and then goes up along the Shawangunk Ridge Trail. That route was designed to avoid the road-walking in the Orange County lowlands.

Matt

Rivet
03-07-2005, 06:38 AM
Mark, thank you so much for your suggestions. It is always helpful to hear from someone who has gone through an area and can give some reflection. The section of road walks sounds less than appealing, and I certainly overlooked the section north of Windham Peak. Have you done any of the section north of the Catskills on the way to Albany? I am curious to know what that might be like. Thanks again for your help.

I have done various sections of the Long Path north of Windham - Huntersfield mountain (several view points), MineKill Falls (nice waterfall), Vromans Nose (views of Schoharie valley), Middleburg Cliffs (cliffs overlooking village), Partridge Run (state forest - ponds), Cole Hill (state forest), Roemers High Point (forested hill with views), Thatcher Park (cliffs and waterfalls).

Mark Schaefer
03-08-2005, 01:24 AM
I have basically done the same areas that Rivet mentioned. Those are the highlights of the sections north of the Catskills. Most of the LP goes through wooded areas with just a few road walks. Vroman's Nose and the Middleburgh Cliffs are probably the best views. Parking is limited in many sections. E.g. the Middleburgh Cliff section starts in a private subdivision. A hike description on the NYNJTC site (http://www.nynjtc.org/trails/ebh/mburgh.html) recommends parking on Route 145, however, there is an Elementary School parking lot on the opposite side of Route 145 where you can park on weekends. In the more remote sections you often need to search a bit to find a wide spot on the narrow road shoulders.

The LP is usually easy to follow in these sections. Some of the sections from Route 23 to Huntersfield become a bit overgrown in late summer. Sometimes you have to search a bit for the blazes amidst the brambles and undergrowth. It is also a good idea to wear long pants for protection from the nettles and blackberry thorns. Other areas pass through open Norway spruce and red pine reforestation areas which are a welcome relief from the scratchy and thicker hardwood scrub areas. I especially like the upper west slope of Pisgah which was the site of a 19th century hotel with a summit observation tower. Little remains other than the foundation of a well and a southern access road (not part of the LP). These tall reforestation areas remind me of the pillared aisles of a cathedral.

dennis
03-08-2005, 05:24 AM
Rivet - Thanks for the listing of the high points (no pun intended). Sounds like the originators of this trail knew their geography and didn't just make it a long, boring affair. I think this area you describe will have much appeal, probably much more than the area closer to the NYC.

Mark - Again my appreciation for all the details you point out. It's been a while since I've hiked the Catskills, and I nearly forgot the pleasant experiences with the nettles. (Hiking too often in VT and NH, one forgets these painful details.) I am especially grateful for the parking suggestion at the elementary school. All to often, guide books fail to point these tidbits out.

Matt - The section to which you refer must be in the official guide book. I must have overlooked it in my eagerness to study the "accepted" trail. I've ordered the lastest revision of the guide book. When it comes, I will certainly give it a much closer look. Road walks are O.K. for exercise, but the scenery of the woods is balm for the soul.

Many thanks again to you all for your kind and thoughtful replies. I look forward to an enjoyable and successful hiking season this summer.

ken
03-08-2005, 11:03 AM
I have done various sections of the Long Path north of Windham - Huntersfield mountain (several view points), MineKill Falls (nice waterfall), Vromans Nose (views of Schoharie valley), Middleburg Cliffs (cliffs overlooking village), Partridge Run (state forest - ponds), Cole Hill (state forest), Roemers High Point (forested hill with views), Thatcher Park (cliffs and waterfalls).sounds like you should file for "the long path northern excursion" patch & certificate - it is for doing the sections from schoharie reservoir to altamont - i got the flyer from the trail register on vromans nose last summer - i hiked the 80 mile section in november & december - i got the patch and certificate and found out that i was the first to file for it.

For details:
contact the Long Path North Hiking Club at PO Box 855 Schoharie, NY 12157. Long Path North Excursion Chair is: Mark Traver at (518) 295-8039.

dennis
03-09-2005, 05:53 AM
Ken - awesome tip. thanx for the info. plan to finish segments in the Catskills, then will look to this section next.

snowshoe
03-09-2005, 05:39 PM
The Shawangunk ridge trail is a better choice than the the Long Path through Orange county. I have done most sections of the Shawangunk ridge tr and it is a very nice. You will get more in the way of views and be in the mountains more. It startes were the Appalachain trail and Monument trails meet up. The SRT follows the monument trail along the ridge. There are execellent view of the Catskills, Poconos and the Kittatinny Valley as well as the NJ HIghlands. You will go through a white Atlantic cedar swamp. Then the trail leaves the monument trail and follows another ridge into NY state. There was a stretch of rd walk but that has recently been rerouted back into the woods on newly purchased land. Another great section is the stretch on the Wurtsboro ridge and the strtech between Shin Hollow rd and Guymard tpk.

dennis
03-11-2005, 05:03 AM
Snowshoe - After the previous suggestions of others, I went back and reviewed my older copy of the guide book. They were right about the SRT, and your post certainly reinforces it. There's no doubt I will skip the road walk thru Orange Cnty. (Sounds like good winter hiking simply for the exercise.) What intrigues me most is your mention of the cedar swamp. I have not seen one since childhood. It was somewhere in NW CT, but I don't recall the exact location. It was breath taking. I miss it, and now really look forward to that rewarding exeperience again. Thanks so much for the tip. See you at the top.