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Where should you hike today? Where is a good swimming hole? Are the Mountain Laurel out in Harriman yet?

Try searching our Hike Finder but if you don't find the perfect hike, try asking here.

 

 

dnz's picture

Planning on taking my two oldest - 10 and 8 - on a 2 or 3 day outing in august. So we are looking for a loop with sights, and as many interesting things (caves, historical, water, wildlife, etc) as poss. Challenging but not dangerous for children of their age. Live on Long Island and will travel out to the Catskills but not farther. If there are backpacking options in the Shawagunk region I'd particularly love to hear about is as they love hiking in that area.     Thanks!
Styles's picture

Hi everyone,  I'm looking for a scenic/romantic hike/trail for two near NYC (up to 200 mile radius) that's accessible by train. As of now all I can think of is Port Jarvis line to Harriman State Park or Hudson Line to Appalachian Trail/Pawling but I'm clueless as to the scenery I will encounter and most importantly can I setup a tent overnight? The difficulty isn't a major concern but would rather stay away from scrambling or lots of exposure. Instead a gradual but high elevation/summit would be great.    I need your expert advice. Any help is appreciated.    Edit: I have looked/used the Find A Hike Selector. I know buses are an option but it has to be by train (and thus is why I'm here requesting your help as is not easy lol).
Daniel Chazin's picture

I should point out that the Appalachian Trail near Pawlng is reached via Metro North's Harlem Line, not the Hudson Line.  The Hudson Line does provide access to many beautiful trails from the Cold Spring, Garrison and Breakneck Ridge (limited service) stations.
Michael K7's picture

While the areas along Metro North's Hudson Line are beautiful, camping is not allowed in those areas.
emk1219's picture

Hi Guys I'm planning to do the S-BM (suffern to 106) does anyone have the latest conditions or some advise or recommendations?   thanks 
btsullivan@post.com's picture

No, I do not.
Michael K7's picture

The only part of that trail i've been on this summer is the section between the TMI Trail and the Big Hill Shelter (at the Long Path). Other than one small blowdown that can easily be climbed over, that section is fine. Given how dry things are now, you should have no issues with any water crossings. I am familiar with the southern part of the section you are planning to hike, and my advice is to be prepared for lots of ascents/descents, some of which may require you to scramble with your hands. I would start as early as possible so you can take your time. Also, make sure to bring a camera- there will be some beautiful views along the way. Have fun!
emk1219's picture

Michael K7, We did it yesterday from Suffern to Gate Hill Rd. (13.2M) weather was as we ordered :) thanks for your heads up, we did come across some smoldering brush fire near Hawk Cliff, SPPD told us that it is under control and being monitored. Thanks 
Michael K7's picture

Glad to hear it went well, and you enjoyed it. You certainly had perfect weather for a long hike!
CThikermo's picture

Hi all,   Looking to escape the city for a few days -- planning on a two night/three day backpacking trip somewhere that's accesible by bus or train. Was thinking about traversing Harriman (Tuxedo to the Bear Mountain Inn), but curious if others have trips they'd recommend. Probably looking for 30-40 miles, somewhere that won't be horribly crowded and where we can feel like we're getting away a bit. Open to a loop or a point-to-point, assuming the start and end points are bus or train stations.    Any suggestions are appreciated!
Michael K7's picture

You will need the Sterling Forest and Harriman map sets. Day 1 -Start by taking the Shortline bus to the Park & Ride in Tuxedo (it's the stop right after the one at the Tuxedo train station). -At the Park & Ride is the trailhead for the white blazed Wildcat Mountain Trail. Hike this trail to the red blazed Furnace Loop Trail -Go east, and take Furnace Loop to the yellow blazed Indian Hill trail -Take Indian Hill north to the short unnamed Blue "connector" trail -Take the blue trail to the Appalachian Trail -Take the Appalachian Trail east until you get to the Teal blazed Long Path -Head north on the Long Path. There is a shelter about a mile after you get on the LP, but i would suggest going on for another 5 miles until you get to the Stockbridge shelter (also on the LP) Day 2 -Retrace your way south on the LP from the shelter unti you hit the yellow blazed Menomine Trail -Take the Menomine east/south to the red blazed Red Cross Trail -Take the Red Cross east until you hit the yellow blazed Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail -Take the SBM south to the Big Hill shelter (PLEASE NOTE- THIS PART OF THE ROUTE INCLUDES A DANGERUOUS DESCENT DOWN THE SOUTH SIDE OF PINGYP MOUNTAIN- DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS DESCENT IN WET CONDITIONS) Day 3 -Take the SBM south all the way to the trailhead in Suffern, where you can catch either the Shortline bus or NJ Transit train back to the city If you are planning on bringing a tent to camp in, then you can stop anywhere you like along the way to camp for the night. Be advised that park regulations require you to camp within 100 feet of a shelter area. Also, with the map sets in your hand, you will have plenty of options to modify the route If you do this during the week, you should have plenty of miles all to yourselves on the trails. I don't know how mnay people use the shelters during the week, but if you go on the weekend, expect others to be at the shelter areas. Hope this was helpful!
PVPatrick's picture

30-40 miles you could cross Harriman and back again. You wont have the feeling of getting away a bit unfortunately as this is the high(hordes of hikers) season. Pack in, pack out, leave no trace.
ashavulsky's picture

Hi Folks, I'm travelling from Manhattan to the Catskills for some backpacking.  I'd like to keep the drive time within 2 hours or 2.5 hours from Manhattan.  I am asking for your experience and expertise; where would you drive, park, enter, and backpack/camp in the Catskills?   (this is VERY much appreciated)   1. We would like to be able to camp along a body of water so we can swim (campsite would be great, if not, we'd be 150 ft away from the water, of course.   2. We would like to be near a decent trail for a hike.   3. Lastly, this will be primitive camping.  Our gratitude for any thoughts,expertise, experience you offer.   Have a great summer!  
BrianSnat's picture

If you want to invlove a swim,  the Overlook Mountain Trail to Echo Lake is an option.  Park either on the Woodstock end, or north at the Devils Path traihead at Prediger Rd and take the Devils Path to the Overlook. If it's not too dry, the Neversink River has a few small holes that you can splash around in. Not actual swimming but some are 4-5 feet deep. Starting from parking at the end of Denning Rd. Head down to the Neversink. There is an unmarked  but distinct trail that follows its length with numerous good campsites along the way, some legal and some illegal.  You can complete the trip with a loop over Slide Mtn or an out and back to Cornell and Wittenberg Mtns, or Table and Peekamoose Mtns..
thegup's picture

I am looking for circular 4-6 mile hikes in Harriman that are not to strenuous or rocky (woods roads would be fine) and have access to water for my dogs.  My arthritic knees are bad so hikes with steep downhill sections are no longer an option.  Any ideas would be appreciated.   Thx
Daniel Chazin's picture

If you go to the Hikes Database on the website (click on "Go Hiking," then "Find a Hike"), you can sort the hikes by difficulty by clicking on that word at the top of the column.  There are 5 hikes in Harriman-Bear Mountain State Parks that are rated as "easy" or "easy-to-moderate." 
outrageousxolii's picture

I am planning on backpacking on the Devil's Path for 2 nights and 3 days in July and I have a few questions. -First, is it necessary to purchase bear cans for this trip or will it suffice to hang our food in a tree without a bear canister? -Also, I read that there is limited parking on Prediger road so I was wondering if anyone could recommend alternative parking in the event that there is no available parking at the trailhead. And is the parking area on Spruceton road at the end of the trail also limited?  -Finally, I read that the western end of the trail on Westkill Mountain is not well maintained. Can anyone give me further details on this? Will it be in our best interest to hike this part of the trail or is it going to be difficult to follow?   Thank you!
Daniel Chazin's picture

In answer to your questions: (1) Bears are not as prevalent in the Catskills as they are in the High Peaks area of the Adirondacks.  The use of bear cans is not required in the Catskills, and it should suffice if you properly suspend your food off the ground at a sufficient height that it cannot be reached by bears. (2) The DEC recently constructed a new parking lot at the end of Prediger Road, replacing the limited roadside parking that formerly was the only parking available there.  I don't think that you'll have a problem finding a parking space. The parking area at the western terminus of the Devil's Path on Spruceton Road is not all that large, but it is not heavily used, and I don't think you'll have a problem parking there, either.  (3)  While the western end of the Devil's Path on West Kill Mountain is not as heavily used as the remainder of the trail, it is maintained and can easily be followed by a hiker.  I know someone who recently hiked this trail section and was able fo follow it without difficulty.
outrageousxolii's picture

That is very helpful, thank you so much!
JBitancor's picture

Hi everyone! I am looking for destinations where I could camp overnight and hike a few miles (10-15 miles) on Saturdays and Sundays. I am new to backpacking and would appreciate your help. I live in Somerset (Central NJ) and would not mind driving 1-2 hours to NY, NJ and PA areas. I recently did a short AT hike from Delaware Water Gap to Worthington State Forest ( Dunnfield Creek, Sunfish pond and Catfish fire tower). I have yet to develop my hiking endurance so I am bent at the moment to 5-6 miles per day with overnight. Thanks a lot for your inputs. JB