New York Long Path

In July and August 2014, I thru-hiked the New York Long Path, a 356-mile trail that begins just across the Hudson River from New York City and ends in John Boyd Thacher state park near Altamont, NY.

Few people bother thru-hiking the Long Path (not to be confused with Vermont’s Long Trail) because it demands several extended road walks in New York’s Orange County. Also, the proximity to urban centers make it very difficult to spend every night on the trail. Of the nights I spent off the trail, two were in motels and two with generous volunteers of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference. I spent only a single night stealth camping.

If you are considering a thru-hike I would be more than willing to share any information that might be helpful. I thoroughly enjoyed the hike, though it’s not exactly a “wilderness” experience. I encountered at least one person on the trail every day and, apart from the sections that traverse the Catskill Mountains, I was never more than a short hike to the nearest town. Still, I had a blast and arrived in Altamont on the morning of my 30th birthday. I have reproduced my approximate itinerary below for anyone interested.




July 23, 2014 Fort Lee, NJ – Alpine Scout Camp* 10.65
July 24, 2014 Alpine Scout Camp* – Nyack, NY 12.5
July 25, 2014 Nyack, NY – Haverstraw, NY 9.85
July 26, 2014 Haverstraw, NY –  Harriman State Park 19.7
July 27, 2014 Harriman State Park – Central Valley, NY 13.75
July 28, 2014 Central Valley, NY – Goshen, NY 21
July 29, 2014 Goshen, NY – Greenville, NY 20.3
July 30, 2014 Greenville, NY – Wurtsboro, NY 16
July 31, 2014 Wurtsboro, NY – Sam’s Point Preserve** 17.5
August 1, 2014 Sam’s Point Preserve** – Ver Nooy Falls 22
August 2, 2014 Ver Nooy Falls – Catskills primitive campsite 15.55
August 3, 2014 Primitive campsite – Phoenicia, NY 18.7
August 4, 2014 Phoenicia, NY – Tremper Mountain Lean-to 4
August 5, 2014 Tremper Mountain Lean-to – Devil’s Kitchen Lean-to 19.33
August 6, 2014 Devil’s Kitchen Lean-to – Batavia Kill Lean-to 25.77
August 7, 2014 Batavia Kill Lean-to – Bluebird Road 20.55
August 8, 2014 Bluebird Road – West Kill Creek 24.45
August 9, 2014 West Kill Creek – Pleasant Valley stream 13.3
August 10, 2014 Pleasant Valley stream – Fox Creek 15.75
August 11, 2014 Fox Creek – Cole Hill State Forest 20
August 12, 2014 Cole Hill State Forest – Northern Terminus 15.35

* The Alpine Scout Camp is not ordinarily open to thru-hikers, but I stopped in the main office and asked very politely if I might spend the night in one of their shelters. The staff agreed to this, provided I would not interact with any of the Scouts, who were staying at another site—and after they photocopied my driver’s license—but I think this was, in part, because I told them that I was an Eagle Scout.

** Camping is prohibited in Sam’s Point Preserve, but I was too many miles off from another viable camp and decided to risk it. I found a level spot where I wouldn’t disturb the foliage and I’m pretty certain no one ever knew I was there. You’ll have to make your own call.

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