Hiking Trail Conditions Forum

Mud? Ice? High water at stream crossings? This is the place to let the hiking community know what you encountered, where and when (be as precise as possible). Suggestion: Make the trail or park name your subject.

To report serious trail problems that need Trail Conference attention, go here. Problems reported here get to the maintainers fast and reliably. Problems reported on the forum below help your fellow hikers avoid problem areas until they get fixed, but not all maintainers read this regularly so also use the problem report form.

To report illegal trail use go here.

Hornbecks Creek Trail near Del. Water Gap

Does anyone know how bad the Hornbecks Creek Trail is between the Upper and Lower Indian Ladder Falls? The trail is just north of the Pocono Environmental Education Center, and the Natl. Park Service says that the section between the falls is washed out, etc. Is it impassable? Thanks.

Checking on status of this trail

We are currently working on an update to our Kittatinny Trails map set, which covers this area, and we are working with National Park Service staff to resolve various items with the map update.  The condition of the Hornbecks Creek Trail is one of those items, but we do not yet have an answer.  This middle section of the trail is still officially closed by the park, so it should be avoided until it has been reopened.

~Jeremy
TC Cartographer

Bridges and no bridges

We wanted to take the Sterling ridge trail from Long Pond Ironworks up to the Lake-to-Lake trail, but the stream just north of the ironworks was too fast-flowing to cross safely. Will the bridge that was once there ever be replaced?  This site has had no update since January 2015.  Thwarted, we drove up Sloatsburg road and parked in Ringwood Manor. We wanted to take a white trail--I think it is the Crossover--to reach the Cooper Union trail on the other side of the road. the footbridge over the brook just before the road was blocked with 2X4s nailed to the bridge and 2 traffic cones. We climbed over the barrier and the bridge seemed fine. It held up on the way back, too. I could not see why it was closed.

Status of bridges

1. The Sterling Ridge Trail/Highlands Trail bridge across the Wanaque River has been out since 2011, when Hurricane Irene swept through the area.  The Trail Conference has been working closely with NJ State Parks to replace this bridge, and due to several factors including the length of the bridge, it has been a significant undertaking.  Progress is being made, so we hope in the near future to be able to provide a better timeframe of when this bridge may be completed.

2.  The Crossover Trail bridge was closed around 2014 due to being in poor condition, and the park closed that section of trail between Sloatsburg Road and Ringwood Manor.  The park's hope was to reopen that short section once the bridge had been rebuilt, but this has not yet occurred.  Alternative ways to reach the Cooper Union Trail include the Shepherd Lake or Skylands Manor parking lots, or roadside parking along Morris Avenue at the bridge where the Crossover Trail crosses.

~Jeremy
TC Cartographer

Long Path Otisville to Wurtsboro ridge state forest

Did this stretch on Friday. The trail along bashakill was pretty dry, with great scenery. It was awesome to see spring was really kicking in. Heading northbound, almost immediately after going under 17 the trail was completely flooded out with flowing water for about 20-30 feet. Not wanting to backtrack, I took my shoes off and decided to just slop through it and it wasnt too bad. I headed up the ridge into Wurtsboro forest but had to cut it a little short halfway to Ferguson road or so, I made my way down to the railroad bed right at the major saddle in the ridge. The railbed back to the VFW was filled with quite a bit of trash unfortunately. The trail in wurstboro ridge has amazing scenery, I would recommend it highly to anyone who hasnt seen it. Everything I walked that day was very well marked, and well maintained. Whoever handles tese sections does a great job.

Suffern to Bear Mtn. Trail - Rt. 106 to Bear Mtn. Inn

4/10/2016  Last section of the trail.  Good weather, cold, breezy, sunny, with very good views of NYC and the Hudson River from top of Pyngyp.  Scutt Memorial always a pleasure to visit, still intact.  Very good views at Cats Elbow and West Mtn. Shelter.  West Mtn. Shelter was in good condition and the new roof was noticable.  One long, roller coaster boulder field.  Trail was clear, needs a little TLC on the blazes.  Birds and plants starting to appear, after this extended cold weather.

Suffern to Bear Mtn. Trail - Ramapo Equine Center to Rt. 106

4/3/2016  Hiked this section of the SBM today.  What a fantastic day to go!  Snow and high winds made this section very dramatic.  The trail itself melted off the snow very quickly and was completely clear.  No ice or mud, while to each side of the trail snow covered the ground throughout the hike all day.  It looked like someone had dumped raw cotton all over the landscape.  A strange circumstance to say the least.  Trail was clear, the views were great with the cold, clear air and the constant winds.  Highest gust was about 20 mph that we measured on the trail, temp just about 35 F.  One interesting observation was the snow sticking to the trees only on the WNW side of each tree and no other part of the trunk, due to the rain last night and early this morning, and the following snow fall sticking to the water and freezing.  Made for a unique effect.

Suffern to Bear Mtn Trail- Suffern to Ramapo Equine Center

Hiked this section on Saturday March 19, 2016.  Definitly a moderate hike for difficulty for this section.  I hiked this trail 30 years ago.  It was not easy then and is still challenging now.  One long boulder field, with some good ascents/descents.    Trail was clear and marked well.  Thanks to the recent maintainers who appear to have performed alot of chainsaw maintenance on the trail.  Shelter was busy.  Lots of people camping overnight prior to the Sunday  storm.  Views south to NYC were very good, would have been great if it had been sunny and a little clearer.   Comments: 1. The Equine center is a good place to park but be prepared to encounter an aggressive german shepard the maintenance staff has on site.  The owner will leash the dog so you can get through to the trail head if you hail him.  Unfortunately the trail head's locations forces you to have to walk past this animal. 2. No comprehensive, overall trail description was found on the TC's web site.  Only a brief circuit hike for the northern end near Bear Mtn.  This trail is long enough (24-26? miles) it might be helpful to have such a description on line, like some of the other longer trails, and recommended camping sites for folks hiking the trail as through hikers.

We generally post only hike descriptions to the website

We generally post hike descriptions on the website (there are more than 35 hike descriptions for Harriman-Bear Mountain State Parks alone), but not trail descriptions (except for certain long-distance trails, such as the Long Path and the Highlands Trail).  As you indicate, there is no hike description that features the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail in its entirety -- and we generally don't put 25-mile-long hikes on the website.  However, the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail, along with all other trails in these parks, is described in detail in our Harriman Trails guidebook.

Slide Mountain

We are opening our horizons to the catskills this summer! We have plenty of experience in the southern NY/ northern NJ parks. Now from what I understand, the catskill peaks can be somewhat of a different animal. I have read about how when you get 'up there' in elevation, you tend to run into snow and ice far after its gone in the lower places.   That said, Slide mountain is on the southern end, its the highest peak and from what I have read, when approached from the west its one of the easier climbs....so we decided it would be where we break ourselves in to hiking the catskills.   My question is when can we expect to not have to use traction aid to climb it? Just how bad is the 'mud season' afterward? And finally if anyone has any tips for a catskill noob I would appreciate it! Thank you.

Some ice persists

My BF and I have done a few Catskills hikes in the last month. The ice is dwindling, but it persists in the high forests and slopes that don't see much sun. Bring microspikes. The mud also tends not to appear until at higher elevations. On our last hike, on Peekamoose Mountain, there was no mud until we passed 3500 feet. The rock ledges were for the most part dry and easy to climb, but they were exposed and on a southern slope.

Slide Mtn Hike in early March

Having experienced this area in the past in December and about this time of year, I would not go without traction.  Evergreen trees cover the trail overhead so any snow or ice underneath melts sloooowwwwly.  Additionally, the trail is very rutted from years of use, so melt water goes into the rut and refreezes in the main trail path, making it an ice rink.  My experience was to walk off trail and uses tree trunks for support.  This is by no means limited to this trail either.  Having walked the LP through this area in winter and early spring, these conditions tend to repeat themselves throughout the area.   If you are intent on going now, spend the money and get the traction gear.  You'll be happier, safer and have it for future walks.  Micro spikes or stabilicers will do the trick.  Good luck......

RPH Shelter / Parking

The RPH Shelter is listed as being open in April.  I would like to leave a car in this area for a week, starting 4/15.  Most of the road crossings have limited parking on the road shoulder.  Does anyone know if any of these parking spots are good for long term parking?  Is there a contact for the RPH caretaker / Ralph?

Responded to privately with

Responded to privately with some alternate safe parking. The shelter is now open year round. The is limited parking outside the gated road into the shelter which has not had any vandalism reports. There is no permanent caretaker, but several who monitor it frequently.

Southern Harriman Trail Report

This past weekend I hiked Harriman from the Reeves Visitor Center. I took a long loop using the Pine Meadow Trail (East), then Seven HIlls (south), the Ramapo Torne section of the HTS, then back north on the Seven Hills and back to Reeves. I'm happy to say that trail conditions were excellent. With the moderate temperatures, I found very little ice, no snow and not nearly as much mud as I would have expected. All the streams are running high and C-O-L-D right now, so take extra care when crossing, lest you get wet feet at the time of year when that is likely to ruin your hike.   I must note that twice on the Seven Hills Trail I lost the trail. My GPS track shows what appears to have been the ramblings of a drunken man in those spots. The location specifically was 7 Hills segment between Reeves Brook Trail and the HTS. The markers in a few places were indistinct or hard/impossible to see. If they're hard to follow now, with the trees bare, I imagine when the leaves sprout there will be others getting off trail as well.

7 hills between reeves brook and hts

there are  a few areas between the reeves brook and hts on the 7 hills. if you are heading north from the reeves brook trail toward pine meadow on the 7 hills it crosses the HTS by the "table rocks" and then crosses the pine meadow trail and then from the kakiat it heads up diamond mt where it crosses the HTS again near the top. my guess is that you are talking about the part where it heads up hill from the kakiat?? i  im in the park almost every day --i know it very well and still had trouble there a few weeks ago but  now its pretty easy to follow if you pay close attention.

High Mountain

The majority of the Red Trail in High Mountain is a stream/puddle. There are some dry sections but for most of hike, you have to hike off the trail alongside it.

Anthony Wayne trail in Harriman State Park

The section of the Anthony Wayne trail between 7 Lakes Dr and Rte 6 is usually wet at certain times, and today was one of them!   Much of the trail is lined with prickers.  Some wet spots were at least a few inches deep.  This section could really use some maintenance in the form of improved drainage or at least some stepping stones.

Anthony Wayne Trali is wet

The prior comment regarding the condition of the trail is totally valid. The trail for sometime has been wet in sections and there have been preliminary plans to improve the situation probably with boardwalks. However, the condition has indeed deteriorated and walking the trail is not pleasant.  It has now eroded substantially, adding to the problem, and needs at least the improvements that were suggested..  This has been added to the work list of the Trail Conferfence West Hudson South Trail Crew.  Correction will not be immediate. First, corrective action needs to be defined, possibly rerouting some sections.  We hope to at least get to clearing the prickers this spring.  Such comments on trail problems are highly appreciated. 

Finding trailhead@ state boarder HELP

Greetings!   I am new to this site, yet I am hoping to find the right place to get information on where I find the AT that crosses from the NJ stateline into NY state.  Also, map(s) that show the NY state distance to the CT boarder. I would like to complete this section in the summer, need to know as much as possible on condition of trail, water, shelter, etc.  Any info would be greatly appreciated.   Thank you kindly~   Mark

Trail Maps

The maps from NYNJ-TC are wonderful, for sure, but, unlike Atlas-type road maps, do not specify mileage distances between points.  This is regrettable as it's a main priority in outing plans.

Trail mileage on maps

I apologize for the delayed response, but I wanted to respond to your point about trail mileages.

Currently, 4 of our map sets indicate trail mileage on the map fronts:  Catskill, Harriman-Bear Mountain, South Taconic, and West Hudson.  As you mention, this feature is very useful for planning and navigating, and many people continue to praise the decision to include these mileage numbers on these maps.

As we revise other maps that do not yet have mileage numbers, we are deciding whether to add the mileages on a map-by-map basis.  Some maps with dense trail networks would be very difficult to accurately label with mileages, while others may be more doable, so we hope to be able to bring this feature to additional maps in the future.


~Jeremy
TC Cartographer

AT maps

the TC maps (availible on this site) Sterling Forest, Harriman State Park, and East Hudson will collectivley offer greatly detailed maps of the AT in NY. Where the East Hudson map leaves off, you can download maps covering the rest of the AT here for free as well. Someone who is a bit more internet savvy could probably put in some nice links to these pages.

Maps You'll Need

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy sells a map set that will cover the entire hike. It also comes with a guidebook that is a great reference. The NYNJTC Sterling Forest map shows the AT from the NY/NJ state line to Harriman State Park. The AT is accessible via the blue blazed State Line Trail which you get right before the state line on road 511. When i did this section, i took an NJT bus from Port Authority, and asked the driver to let me off at the state line. The trailhead is right across the road from a small marina. There is one shelter in this section, the Wildcat Shelter, and when i was there (about 18 months ago!) it was in great shape, with a privy and bearbox to store food.  For the rest of your journey on the AT to the CT border, you should refer to the ATC maps and guidebook. You can also check out whiteblaze.net for conditions on the AT. Please note that Harriman is often very dry in the summer months, so you will have to plan your water refills carefully, and don't rely on finding running streams that are marked on the map, as many of them dry out over summer. Good luck!

Closed roads in Harriman Park

The roads are to be reopened April 1st, conditions allowing. 

Closed roads

Thanks for the reminder.  Closed to motor vehicles but a great opportunity for biking and running!

Is Route 106 Open Yet?

I was thinking of starting a hike this weekend from the lot adjacent to Island Pond Road. Can someone tell me if the stretch of 106 from Rt 17 is open yet or when it might reopen? Thanks.

Harriman trails February 17--wet

Hiked a loop from Johnsontown Rd. Circle, using Blue Disc, White Cross, Victory and White Bar. Lots of running water and only a little ice. Finally could not go north on the Victory when we encountered a stream 10 feet wide, running fast.

Yes, I hiked that day too.

Yes, I hiked that day too.  It was my first hike since I cracked my tailbone on the Hillburn-Torne-Sebago Trail on a patch of ice under a coating of snow earlier in January.  Water was high everywhere that day.  Stoney Brook was really ripping.  I took the Kakiat Trail from Tuxedo train station to Stoney Brook Trail (Via fallen tree where the bridge used to be) to Pine MEadow Trail and out to the SLoatsburg train Station.  A moderate hike to regain my former level of conditioning.  IT was a cold and grey day but so good to be out on the trails.

Stone Memorial Shelter

The SM shelter needs some repairs to the floor. There is a section with weak/loose boards, with one broken piece and a small hole. Anyone planning to use this shelter should be cautious, as it feels like the floor could give way in that spot if enough weight is placed on it. The TC has been notified, and has passed the info on to the appropriate Park Dept.

Harriman trails Sunday February 7

  I hiked a loop from Lake Skannatati parking, using the ASB, LP, White Bar and Dunning. About half the time the trail was dry and clear, most of the rest of the time it was packed snow. Stream crossings—lots of water is flowing—were tricky. Some rocks and logs were icy.

Hook mountain/long path loop trail in West Nyack

Planning an early morning hike this Saturday Feb 6 up Hook Mtn.. the loop trail. Anyone know trail conditions/probably the snow will melt away next couple of days. Also wondering if that lower parking lot is open.

Trail conditions

hey thinking of hiking deep hollow around to Claudius smith den tomorrow, anyone know now conditions? Good for snow shoes possibly?

Microspikes. We.. were in

Microspikes. We.. were in that area on Wednesday and everything was mushy but nothing that deep. Conditions are very changeable it was a little icier today further south at reeves meadow

AT near Arden Valley Road

I'm curious what the current conditions are on the AT near Arden Valley Road in Harrmiman. Any thoughts on microspikes versus snowshoes this weekend?

Trail Conditions from the GW to Nyack on the Long Path?

Hi, I am thinking of doing a jog/hike from the GW bridge to Nyack this Sunday, 1/31/16. Does anyone know how things look on the trail right now? Icy? Muddy? Ok? Any info is appreciated. Thanks, DT

Cascade Lake Parking

Does anyone know if the parking area for Cascade Lake Park (Warwick NY just over the NJ border) gets plowed in the winter? Thanks.

snowmobiling on lake welch drive

does anyone know how much snow there needs to be before the snowmobiles start using lake welch drive?

Icy conditions

Yesterday I was on the HTS (Hillburn-Torne-Sebago) trail, heading north, and between the Racoon Brook Hills Trail and the gasline cut.  At a point where the trail descends into a birch forest, I slipped on ice that was under the thin layer of snow and slammed down on the base of my spine.  I slipped again later at another similar point of sloped and hidden ice.  I should have been wearing traction aids but neglected to bring them as I didn't realize that there would be many places on the trail that were quite icy.  Just be forewarned.  It's time to start carrying microspikes or stabilicers in the pack.

its tricky because until

its tricky because until today there was ice only sporadically on the trails and wearing traction aids could be more annoying than helpful. after today all bets are off--may need snowshoes!!

spring weather- NJ AT section

Planning a short trip from the Water Gap to High point SP for the spring. I'm wondering when the best time to plan would be regarding weather. I'd like to be over 40 degrees over night and have the foliage begining to grow in to block some wind. I understand the weather is a moving target but I can't find historical averages for specific times of the year to plan when to go. I'm thinking early April?? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

spring Weather - AT

This part of NJ doesn't really get foliage cover until we are into May.     I agree, AccuWeather is good for giving some long range forecasts.  Probably best to check as it gets closer to the time you want to hike.  Depending on the rest of this winter, early April could still find snow on the trails at the Gap and up at High Point.      good luck!

spring weather

I personally like Accuweather - it will give you historical averages for any city you ask (high-low avg temps, ect) As far as the foliage Im not really sure.

acquiring open space on harriman land

someone told me they heard that harriman park was going to be expanded into the NW part of the park near mt aramah. i looked around and could not find any info on this. has anyone heard this??? my friend said it was in the orange county paper a few weeks ago but i couldnt find it...thanks

SRT- Jenny Lane Minnewaska to Chapel in Mohonk Preserve

12/20/2015 Trail was clear and easy to follow.  About 25 people were met on this section, over the day's trip, enjoying the lack of snow and cooler weather.  Nicest part are the ledges on both sides of Peter's Kill & Falls in Minnewaska State Park.  The trail in the Mohonk Preserve has some great views to the north of the Catskill Mountains, now that all the tree leaves are down.   The only annoyance is the $12 per person fee to walk through Mohonk Preserve.  Seems a bit expensive and excessive, compared to the fees the Palisades Interstate Park Commission charges to park and gain access to Minnewaska.  Probably will not go here again at this price.

Route 106

What are the plans for Route 106 this winter? Any closings - if so, where, dates? Are any of the parking areas on TC Map 118 effected?

Route 106 is closed for the winter.

I called the park police today to ask about Route 106, they told be that "the park section" was closed on 12/1.

Winter closure of 106, reply to question

Available information is that the park expects to close the section of 106 that is a park Road. Whether or not it will be closed on Dec 1 as with other selected park roads as in past years or possibly delayed until first snow fall or freeze, I have not learned.  When closed we can expect it to be closed from just west of the Kanawauke Lake parking lot to Rt. 17 with two possible exceptions: Possibly the road will be open from Rt. 17 to the small pull-off for the Parker Cabin Hollow Trail, and also possibly the Ramapo RIver Access (between the Ramapo RIver and Thruway Crossing of 106 just east of Rt. 17) may be kept open, though it would not be priority for immediate attention.   Though the Kanawauke lot is expected to be available, note that no official or maintained trails are available from that lot except if one walks westerly on the road to the various trail crossings.  Walking the road when there is limited travel is not a bad experience (minor useage occurs as needed for a few residences and possible need for camp access.) 

No parking sign at Arden Point trailhead

The trailhead at Arden Point on Lower Station Road (right by the Garrison train station) has parking for about two cars.  On Monday I went there to take a hike and there is a No Parking Anytime sign posted now.  Does the TC know why that sign has been posted there and what our alternatives are other than paying to park at the station lot?