Lenape Ridge/Minisink Trail Loop

Overview

This loop hike follows the Lenape Ridge just outside of Port Jervis, NY, with interesting vegetation and panoramic views

Details
Time:
2.5 hours
Difficulty:
Moderate
Length:
5 miles
Route Type:
Circuit
Dogs:
Allowed on leash
Features:
Views, Public Transportation
Maps/Books
Web Map:

Map:

Lenape Ridge/Minisink Trail map (available online at www.nynjtc.org/trails/newtrails/srt.html)


Publication
First Published:
08/03/2007
Submitter:
Daniel Chazin
Trail Conference volunteers maintain trails in this park.
Trailhead GPS Coordinates
41.357919,-74.668965
Driving Directions

Take N.J. Route 17 North to the New York State Thruway (I-87). Proceed north on the Thruway to Exit 16 and take N.Y. Route 17 West to Exit 121W (I-84/Port Jervis). Continue on I-84 West to Exit 1 (U.S. 6). Turn left at the bottom of the ramp and continue to the second traffic light. Turn sharply right onto Minisink Avenue and continue for 0.5 mile to the white-blazed trailhead on the left (the road changes its name to Old Greenville Turnpike after 0.3 mile; the trail enters the woods on the left just beyond 18 Old Greenville Turnpike).

Train

Take the Metro-North Port Jervis Line to the Port Jervis station.  From the station, take the Delaware River Heritage Trail (www.minisink.org/trail.html) for about two miles to the Route 6 bridge over the Neversink River. Near a DRHT historic sign on the west bank of the river, look for three white blazes on a telephone pole, indicating the trailhead of the Lenape Ridge Trail. Follow the trail across the bridge, then turn left onto Minisink Avenue; the trail follows this road for about half a mile until it enters the woods on the left.

Description

The trails followed on this hike are situated on land acquired by the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference and were blazed in early 2007 by volunteers. It is anticipated that these trails will be extended in the near future to link with the Shawangunk Ridge Trail, thus making possible a hike along the ridge all the way from Port Jervis to the Mohonk Preserve. Click here to download a map of this trail loop.

From the trailhead, head north on a woods road, following the white blazes of the Lenape Ridge Trail. In a few hundred feet, as the road curves to the right, the white blazes turn sharply right. Follow the Lenape Ridge Trail which climbs on a footpath, passing through an attractive forest of deciduous trees and white pines, with an understory of blueberries and ferns.

In another few minutes, you’ll reach a fork where the red-blazed Minisink Trail goes off to the left. This red-blazed trail will be your return route, but for now, bear right and continue ahead on the white-blazed trail. Soon, the trail begins to climb on switchbacks towards the ridge, then levels off just below the ridge. Here, the forest is composed of deciduous trees and hemlocks, with a number of sprouts of American chestnut. Although decimated by the chestnut blight over a century ago, chestnut seedlings still sprout from the roots of trees that have been killed by the blight and often reach a height of about 20 feet before succumbing to this disease.

After crossing two woods roads, the trail reaches the crest of the ridge in a dense hemlock grove. It continues to head north along the ridge and soon emerges onto an open area with rock outcrops. The outcrops along the ridge are formed of shale, a relatively soft and crumbly rock, which has been uplifted and slanted at sharp angles.

In about a quarter of a mile, you’ll reach a panoramic viewpoint over the Shawangunk Ridge. The High Point Monument (which marks the highest point in the state of New Jersey) is visible to the right, and you can see (and, unfortunately, hear) the traffic as it makes its way up the ridge on Interstate Route 84. You’ll want to stop here to take in the view.

Continue north along the ridge and, in another half a mile, you’ll reach another viewpoint, this one marked by pitch pines and cedars. There is a third broad viewpoint another quarter of a mile along the ridge. From here, you can look down through the trees at Heinlein Pond. Just past this viewpoint, the trail goes through a thick hemlock forest.

After following an open section of the ridge (with views to the east blocked by trees), the trail turns sharply right and descends slightly. Soon, the trail briefly joins a woods road which comes up from the left, then turns left, leaving the road.

In another quarter of a mile, you’ll reach a junction where the red-blazed Minisink Trail joins from the left. Continue ahead, now following both white and red blazes, and you’ll emerge onto a power line clearing, which affords a broad west-facing view over tranquil farmland.

After taking in the view, retrace your steps back to the trail junction and turn right to proceed south on the red-blazed Minisink Trail. You’re now following the western side of the ridge and paralleling the Metro-North Port Jervis Line, which is visible periodically immediately to the west (right). Unlike the trail along the eastern side of the ridge, which is nearly level, the trail along the western face features a number of rather steep ups and downs.

The Minisink Trail descends rather steeply through a hemlock grove, passes an attractive stand of rhododendron at the base of the descent, then climbs again to emerge onto an exposed section of the ridge, with west-facing views. The trail next descends through a dense understory of blueberry and continues through a hemlock grove.

Upon reaching an outcrop of massive boulders, the trail turns right and descends steeply along the boulders. After a short level stretch, the trail again begins to climb, with a short side trail leading out towards the railroad tracks to the right. Soon, the trail begins to run along the side of a hill. It then parallels a steep escarpment to the right and passes some more rock outcrops to the left.

After about two miles of hiking along the western side of the ridge, the trail joins a woods road for a short distance, then bears left and continues on a footpath. A quarter mile beyond, you’ll reach the junction where the red trail ends. Turn right and follow the white-blazed Lenape Ridge Trail back to the trailhead.

Comment: Please be relevant, civil, non-commercial.

Similar to others

I hiked the first half of this trail, and returned the same way due to time constrictions.  Nice views, lovely path.  Thanks to all who helped make it available.  Parking is tight, as mentioned.

A friend and I went hiking 

A friend and I went hiking  on this trail Sun 2/17/13. We took the Lenape Ridge trail (W) to where it meets Minisink trail round trip -about 6 miles. It was beautiful and not too  hard. I found it pretty easy to follow and a great workout. We did not venture around the west part of the mountain trail due to the Wind. It was 32 degrees with a wind chill of 0. I look forward to going back an completing the loop. I parked on lime kiln and old greenville trp- minisink corner, plenty of room. :)

Nice Hike Careful About Parking

Took the two boys to the trail for the first time as it is close to our house.  It is Christmas eve and I needed to get boys out of Moms hair.  We have hiked all  of the Appalachian Trail in NYNJ and this is a really good hike.  The views are nice and there are many greatbreak spots.  We even saw a train from above and it really excited my son Nick who has autism and does not speak.  The red trail is a little more difficult and I think it would be challenging if a person were to go against the conferences loop route.  We plan on doing the red trail outt to ro ute 6 with Mom dropping and picking us up at both ends.  The trail was very well marked and did remind us of the AT.  The problem we had was parking.  My car would have totally blocked the entrance so we parked at a pullout across the street.  When we arrived back there was a note informing us that we had parked on private property an next time would be towed.  There was also a sign that was not there before stating the same.  It may have been the children's books in the backseat or pity for the Jets tire cover or most likely holiday spirit but I will not be parking ther again.  Overall it really is a good hike and about two miles to the intersection.  thanks Flippertree for Autism

parking

Glad to hear you enjoyed the hike. Parking is indeed a bit tricky in that location, but there is no problem parking at the trail entrance. It is not posted and no traffic is supposed to go there.

I have often parked at the nearby corner of the Old Greenville Turnpike and Lime Kiln Road. There is room for a few cars in that location

Delightful Walk!

My son, daughter and I hiked the trail today (December 30, 2011).  It was a lovely walk with amazing views.  We didn't quite go all the way to the point where the white blazed trail meets the red one.   Instead, after Heinlein Pond, we followed the atv road to the west-facing side and enjoyed the spectacular views from a large rock outcroping.  We then doubled back to the white blazed trail and hiked out the same way we went in.  We truly enjoyed all of the different species of mosses and club mosses.  The small ponds were lovely.  Thanks to all of the folks who maintain the trail.   Our afternoon was a true delight!

Scenic, but difficult to follow as described.

Admitting first that I am a novice hiker, I would like to comment on this loop.

First, parking at the trailhead is severely limited. I have a Honda Civic, and it barely squeezed into the small trail opening so it was off of the road. If the "P" symbol on the map refers to some other nearby parking area, it should be described in the driving directions.

Once on the trail, I found the Lenape Ridge Trail to be inadequately blazed in places, compared to other local hikes that I enjoy. Frequently when we were at one blaze, we had to wander a bit in several different directions before the next blaze came into view. To be clear in what I am saying, there were many blazes from which it was not possible to see the next blaze, not because our view was temporarily obstructed by foliage or something, but because it was simply too far away or around a turn. There are also blazes for what appears to be a third trail (white cross on a red background), which is not mentioned in the description of the route. When we reached the point where the Lenape Ridge and Minisink trails diverge at the southern end of the loop, we chose to follow the loop in the opposite direction from how it is described (i. e. clockwise), because the Minisink Trail appeared to be more clearly blazed.

When we reached the northern end of the loop, where the two trails converge, we chose to continue east- and northward, following the white blazes, with the Metro-North tracks occasionally visible on our left. The last white blaze we were able to find was close to the tracks, just beyond a deep ravine with a stream at the bottom. According to the map whose link appears above, we were at the westernmost corner of the Huckleberry State Forest. We spent about a half an hour looking for the next white blaze, before we finally gave up and turned around.

If the Lenape Ridge Trail ends at the edge of the State Forest, then the last blaze should have the traditional "V" shape. It would also be helpful to include on the map the portion of the trail which extends beyond the north end of the loop, for people who would like to lengthen their hike by a couple of miles. If the trail continues into the State Forest, it needs to be blazed more thoroughly beyond the ravine.

This is an enjoyable hike with several beautiful views, but I found it difficult to follow as described.

Barbara P.

Scenic Lenape Ridge Trail

We will forward the comments to the maintainer(s). The white blazes with blue and red crosses are the results of mild vanadalism: somebody has (neatly) painted these crosses in our white blazes. I was early this spring on the trail and thought then that the number of blazes was adequate.

The fact that there is not an end-of-trail blaze near Huckleberry Ridge State forest is an oversight, and we will correct it. Sorry for the inconvenience. The plan was to extend the trail to the SRT, but the forest managers blocked this plan for the time being. We will also update our online SRT map to reflect the current route of the Lenape Ridge Trail.

 I'm glad to hear you think it's a beautiful hike.

 Thanks for the comments, Jakob Franke