Hike Recommendations

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Phil McLewin's picture

Check out these three new hikes recently added by a new [volunteer] Hike Writer, Daniela Wagstaff.  She likes moderate to strenuous hikes around 10 miles in length.  These involve travel to either the Catskills or the Southern Taconics Region and require five to eight hours each on the trails.  Based on her descriptions, the rewards are spectacular.


North-South Lake/Escarpment Trail Loop Hike

10 miles/7.5 hours/Catskills Region


South Taconic Tri-State Hike

11 miles/6 hours/Southern Taconics Region


Bash Bish Falls – Sunset Rock – Prospect Hill via the northern section of the South Taconic Trail

8 miles/5 hours/Southern Taconics Region


If you want to share a favorite hike by having it published on the authoritative NY-NJ Trail Conference web site, link here for the procedure, information required and submission form.


In the meantime let Daniela know what you think – and how you experienced the hike -- by posting comments on her hike pages [linked above].


Phil McLewin

Coordinator for Public Hike Submissions

New York-New Jersey Trail Conference



Paul_A's picture

This past weekend my wife and I did an out and back hike of the Long Path, northbound from New Jersey's High Point State Park. We got about a mile past Greenville Turnpike. Not only was the weather perfect, but the trail is really pleasant there. We didn't see any people once outside the park but we did see a number of deer. This is a hike I highly recommend!!!!
majeedrahman@hotmail.com's picture

majeed-ur-rahman I want to go to Catskills for a day hike from nyc. I don't want to stay overnight and want to make it a day trip. I use the public transport for the outdoors. Any suggestions, please?
BrianSnat's picture

The loop around North Lake along the Escarpment trail makes a very nice day hike.

You can start at the parking at Schutt Rd and go south on the Escarpment (blue blazes) an stay on it all the way as it turns east around the lake and then norrth. Depending on how far you want to walk, you can end your trip on North Lake Rd and take a road walk back to your car, or continue to either the Rock Shelter trail (yellow blazes) and take that back to your car, or visit the gorgeous view at North Point, then return via Mary's Glen Trail (red blazes) then turn right on the Rock Shelter Trail and take that back to your car.


Bring your camera. There are so many outstanding viewpoints along the way, that you will take a lot of pictures.

As far as public transportation to the area, I can't help you there, but it is a very popular destination, so there must be something available. Take a look at the website for the North/South Lake campground and see if there is any mention of public transportation to the area.

JROGG's picture

Be prepared! We just did it (2 people) from Denning Road with the intention of going straight through to Terrace Mtn lean-to. There's two difficult spots going down Slide and Cornell. Both need a rope to do them safely. We ran into a problem with attempted bushwack around the Cornell crevice. Bad choice. Lost hiker, Ranger searches, the works. Stay on the trail! Bring that rope, 50 ft ought to do it. Lower your packs down first. Lesson learned aside from the obvious of don't separate; shouting and a whistle does not carry the distance you think in the rain in the forest. When everything is soaked the sound waves are actually absorbed. Conflicts with the old adage of sound carrying better in humid air. True, but is actually muffled by everthing else. We were 100 ft apart and could'nt hear whilstles or shouts. Be safe, the rangers were amazing but you are very far from help up there. Good luck
srtmaintainer's picture

We too had an adventure with the same starting point (Denning Road) and destination (Terrace Mountain). My son 11 at the time and I encountered waist deep snow on the back side of slide. Beyond that the trail was packed ice with the exception of the south facing cliffs on Cornell. It took us a while getting off Slide and getting up Cornell. After enjoying the view we began to descend the extremely icy trail off of Cornell. We had to lower our packs over a ledge that had a huge ice flow in the crevice. I then wrapped the rope around something secure "Can't remember what" and held both sides of the rope while I went over the cliff a bit off the trail. I secured the rope at the bottom and then brought my son down. At this point it was beginning to get dark so we began to look for a place to camp as we slowly continued on. We wound up leveling off and packing down snow to set the tent up on Cornell. After setting the tent up we ate our dinner as it got dark. Once in the tent, warm and dry, it began to sleet out. It sleeted for a while that night but we stayed warm and dry. We hiked out the next morning over the ice in the pouring rain. This trip was part of our Long Path adventure and it was a great experience. My advice is hope for the best but be prepared for the worst and you too will be guaranteed a fun trip. Andy Garrison
JROGG's picture

Andy, You're certainly more daring than I. My question is how to do it from the other directioln. I'm 54 and not as limber as I used to be. How do you climb up those tough spots from the other way even with a rope? I'm not a rock climber. Jeff Roggenburg
srtmaintainer's picture

For us the cliffs did not seem very big, the ice was the problem. I have found hand / foot holds and knobs to grab on all these cliffs that the trails cross. Slide-Cornell-Wittenberg is very popular and highly used trail I would bet someone else could advise you. I have only been across Cornell that one time, it is a lot different when covered with snow and ice. I found the cliffs on the Devil's Path to be much larger.
kjsinnyc's picture

Greetings all. A friend and I are planning an overnight trip for this weekend.

Saturday morning: start from trailhead on Co. Rd. 47, hike east up to summit of Slide Mountain, lunch, continue east to col between Slide and Cornell. Find spot to camp.

Sunday: continue up to Cornell, then to Wittenberg, then continue east down to Woodland Valley campground.

My questions: Is this reasonable for a two-day trip for two hikers who are fit but not terribly experienced? What are the ladders like down the eastern side of Slide? What are the 15- and 35-foot drops like? Difficult? Let packs down via rope and then scramble down after? What about the Cornell v-shaped notch?

Also, do you think on a beautiful weekend, as it seems this will be, that we'll be overwhelmed with people? Able to find a camping spot on the col between Slide and Cornell? If the camping spots are filled, how difficult will it be to bushwack to a reasonable spot to camp? Should we think of another, easier route altogether?

Thank you, and sorry for all the questions! But I'm grateful for this forum, and hope someone may have some advice. All best, Ken

BrianSnat's picture

It's definitely do-able for an over nighter. Personally I'd reverse it and start at Woodland Valley. That way you are going up the steep, eastern face of Slide, which I think is easier and safer than going down it.

The trail between the road and Slide is usually packed with hikers, as is the summit on a nice day. Actually the best view from Slide is at the spring just below the summit on the eastern slope. Once you go over the summit the crowds thin out considerably, though you probably won't be alone on Wittenberg.

I don't recall any ladders or 15 or 35 ft drops on the eastern slope of Slide and I've done it half a dozen times (though not in the past 10 years or so). It is steep but no worse than most Catskill summit trails (but as I stated I'd rather go up it with a pack than down it).

I've never encountered more than maybe 3 other groups camped in the Cornell/Slide col. Even if it is crowded (which is unlikely) you should be able to scout around off trail until you find a suitable spot to make camp.

Water may be an issue this time of year. There is a wet area in the col in rainy seasons where the water is deep enough to filter but in the summer it is pretty dry.

The spring on the eastern slope of Slide has always been pretty reliable though. Last time I was there it was late summer and there was a drought and it was still running. You might want to tank up there.

kjsinnyc's picture

Thank you very much, Brian! I'd rather do what you suggest--start in the east--too, but I'm limited by the hospitality of the people giving us a ride in their car. I'll see what I can do--I'd rather climb up with a pack, too. Thanks for all other advice, too. Much obliged! Ken
BrianSnat's picture

It's a great trip, I think you'll enjoy it.
kjsinnyc's picture

Thanks again, Brian, for your advice. We did indeed start from Woodland Valley and hiked west over Wittenberg, Cornell, and Slide. Camped in a designated spot between Cornell and Slide. No problems at all, except for what I thought was a mistake on the new NY/NJ TC map--a missing water source that caused an hour's delay when we were sorely in need of water as the sun was setting. That was a little dicey. You never realize how much you want water than when you really need it. Other than that, an uneventful trip. The scrambles up Cornell weren't that bad; Slide somehow felt worse, but maybe because it was day two. Thanks again!
WillWeb's picture

New here. My wife and I are planning to hike the AT between High Point and Wayawanda next weekend. We have the 2007 AT map and the 1991 Guide. Are we restricted to camping at the shelters or are there other places we can set up our tent along the way? What are conditions like at the shelters? Any other issues we should know about? Thanks, Will
srtmaintainer's picture

I backpacked that section of the AT with my son in 2005, he was ten. When we hiked it was very hot and humid, yet the backpacking went rather easy. This area in our opinion was mostly easy with a few moderate spots. The boardwalk is awesome and so was the homemade ice cream at the farm stand next to the trail at route 94. I think you will find your hike very enjoyable through this area, unless of course it's a difficult hike you're looking for. Andy Garrison
Gene Giordano's picture

Happy to hear you will be hiking this section, which I am sure you will find very interesting and full of variety. Camping is restricted to shelter sites with the exception that arrangements can be made with the town of Unionville NY to camp in their town park. As you know from your guide book the shelters are a good hike away from each other but certainly doable for most seasoned backpackers in a day's hike. All of our shelter sites are nice with ample room for setting up a tent nearby. Your tent should be within view of the shelter, it does not need to be set up right next to it. Please be sure to use the bear boxes near the shelters as bears are very active in this area. Your food should be secure, we have not had any problems. Be sure to keep all foods away from your tent. Cook and eat away from your tent. All shelter sites have privies. No fires are permitted. Water will be scarce between High Point and Pochuck. Be sure to fill up with water at the Pochuck water source which will be marked and is a faucet on the back of a house. I would recommend filtering all water taken from streams and ponds. A water faucet is also available near the Wawyayanda shelter, past shelter follow signs to park office and faucet is on the maintenance building. It will be about a half mile hike total there and back to the shelter. Enjoy!
WillWeb's picture

Thanks, Gene. We were thinking of leaving our car at Wawayanda and getting a shuttle to High Point. WhiteBlaze has a posting from a couple years ago about not being allowed to leave a car in the park, and another of a car being vandalized at the Warwick Turnpike parking lot. Any suggestions on where to leave the car, or for a good shuttle?
Gene Giordano's picture

There is an AT overnight parking area at Wawayanda State Park. You will need to go into the park office to register and let them know you are leaving the car. The parking area is near the office, they will tell you where to park. Many people leave their cars on Warwick Turnpike with no problems, certainly vandalization is possible but it is not the norm anywhere along the NJAT. I definitely recommend leaving the car in the AT overnight lot within the park. There is also an overnight lot at High Point. Can't recommend a shuttle service. Gene Giordano NJAT Management Committee, Chair
Michael K7's picture

Is anyone familiar with the Shortline bus that goes on Route 17 through Arden and Harriman?
I was thinking of doing a hike that started at Bear Mountain and ended in Arden, but i cannot find specific info on that stop. THe Shortline site is of no help.
Specifically, i'm looking for the evening schedule (if there is one) that will get me from Arden to Grand Central. Also, does anyone know if there is a "marked" bus stop at Arden, or is it a guessing game figuring out where the bus is going to stop?
Thanks for any help!
scope's picture

I would imagine that any bus shown in the timetable as calling at Harriman RR station would call at Arden a few minutes later. I have got off the bus at Arden several times but never on. There is no marked stop - the bus stops (at least going north) at the junction with Arden Valley road. I quite often do a day hike across the park from Manitou Metro-North station to Tuxedo at weekends. Tuxedo is a bit further than Arden but the route is not as hilly so may not take too much longer. The route via 1777-RedX-beech-LP-Lake Sebago-Tuxedo Mt Ivy gets me to Tuxedo in time for the 1840 train to Hoboken. Further than Arden but at least you have somewhere more comfortable and reliable at the end of the trip.

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