Trail Conditions Forum

Mud? Ice? High water at stream crossings?

This is the place to let the trail 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, including illegal trail use issues, visit our Contact Us page. Problems reported through our Contact Us page get to the maintainers fast and reliably. Problems reported on the forum below may help fellow trail users avoid problem areas until they get fixed, but not all maintainers read this regularly.


banjolady's picture

yes i think you may be right about that. some amc members are trying to find out exactly what will be the policies around this camp and whether our happy days of enjoying the area are now over.  what we have heard so far is that AMC leaders leading day hikes for dues paying AMC members are not allowed to swim at the camp or even stop for lunch without a reservation with the boston AMC HQ. not only that but members are being asked to contribute volunteer labor to the camp at work parties.... members have yet to get a definitive written statement from the NY chapter leaders regarding these policies. there was a tour of the camp for AMC leaders a week or so ago and one of the attendees reported that the AMC has leased the entire lakeshore and will build a trail all around the lake with "backcountry" campsites. right now they are doing all they can to get the camp ready for opening day july 1. hopefully we will still have access to other areas of the lake not in the actual camp until they get this trail done which may take a while. so even if you bring your high limit credit card it may not work if you have not made an advance reservation with AMC Boston corporate HQ!!!  not sure what any of us can do about this until we get clear statements of facts regarding the policies...
PVPatrick's picture

40 year lease. AMC pays $10k per year. Tax payers footed the bill($500,000) for a new water system.  Rentals run from $18 to $400 per night. AMC paid $1.5 million to ugrade buildings and grounds. Over 40 years even the cost of the water upgrades won't be covered by the annual fee to the park. I wonder if there was competitive bidding on this,or just a gift to the AMC?
matthewcat's picture

Is there a way to report trails that are not shown on current maps to be shown on the next updated map set?   Across the street from the Echo Lake Office is a woods road which is not shown on the North Jersey Map set.   Also, in Back Beach Park (Wanaque), there is a maze of trails, maybe a map insert could be included in the next version since there are trails running within 50 feet of each other.
Jeremy Apgar's picture

Posting here is one way to report map items like this, or on the other applicable pages on our site (for instance, the North Jersey map set product page or Pequannock Watershed park page).

In general, our maps attempt to show all routes on the ground, including unmaintained woods roads and trail.  As Estelle alludes to below, we do work closely with park managers and others to review whether any routes should not be shown.  So I have made note of this for us to consider with the next map update.

For Back Beach Park, which only includes one officially marked trail that connects to Ramapo Mountain State Forest, there isn't quite enough justification to produce a special inset map for the maze of unmarked trails and social paths.

Thank you for the suggestions, and certainly feel free to provide input about the maps in the future!

TC Cartographer

Estelle's picture

The unmarked trail is not a maintained trail nor is a Trail Conference Trail.   Our maps do show dotted lines for unmarked trails or woods roads that are near our marked trails.  This trail should not be shown as it does not connect to any of our trails and in some places abuts private property.  Also, a City of Newark permit would be required to access that property.  There are miles of marked trails available for the public to hike.    I can't answer about Back Beach, but again, posting many dotted lines would serve to only confuse a hiker who will then call for help to find their way back.  We generally show marked and maintained trails.  It's important that hikers be kept on marked trails.  If you like exploring these, suggest you carry a compass and a flash light and have an appropriate permit if on Newark property. Estelle Anderson  co-chair Central North Jersey Trails 
Michael K7's picture

Hiked the Long Path from Mt Ivy to Dunning Trail/Bald Rocks yesterday, and over all the trail is in great shape. However there is MAJOR construction going on at the point where the LP crosses a gas pipeline in Cheesecote Mt Town Park. I was barely able to cross the construction zone, and if they add the next section of pipe (a large green pipe or tube), passing at that point will not be feasble. I don't how much time passes before they bury the pipe sections after they are added, but while the pipe is above ground, a detour will be necessary. Perhaps the TC can find out how long this construction is expected to last, how long it wil affect this crossing, and put up a warning on the trail alerts page. I would hate to see someone's hike get ruined because they were unaware of this construction and any necessary detours.
jakobfranke's picture

  Thanks for the heads up. Notes have been posted in Trail Alerts and in Section 5 of the online Long Path Guide. Jakob
Michael K7's picture

Thanks for the quick updates. Hopefully it won't be too long before they get this section of pipe connected and buried, so normal crossing can resume.
ianhoch's picture

I submitted a trail problem report #11355 on 4/25/2016 but I am unaware of its status. In any case, on 4/24/2016 I observed that bridge / dam over Third River (in Clarks Pond Park) is closed, rupturing the Lenape Trail. (Clark's Pond Park is located in Bloomfield, after turning off of Clair Street, the trail is routed through Clarks Pond Park, over Third River to Bessida Street.) Status and/or recommended alternatives would both be appreciated.
slabelson's picture

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.
Jeremy Apgar's picture

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.

TC Cartographer

jbeard's picture

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.
Jeremy Apgar's picture

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.

TC Cartographer

Schwinn1979's picture

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.
tree188's picture

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.
tree188's picture

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.
tree188's picture

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.
Daniel Chazin's picture

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.
Schwinn1979's picture

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 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.
triangle man's picture

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.