The Long Path was the vision of Vincent J. Schaefer of Schenectady, NY
Vincent J. Schaefer proposed that New York establish its own "Long Path" similar to the Long Trail in Vermont. Unlike the Long Trail, he saw the Long Path as an unmarked route meandering from the George Washington Bridge to Whiteface Mountain in the Adirondacks, connecting together a series of landmarks. The name of the trail came from Walt Whitman's poem Song of the Open Road: "There lies before me a long brown path, leading wherever I choose". See http://www.nynjtc.org/document/long-brown-path
Beginning in the 1960's the New York - New Jersey Trail Conference took that vision a step further by creating a blazed hiking trail along Schaefer's route. Today the Long Path is a hiking trail extending from the 175th Street Subway Station in NYC, north to John Boyd Thacher Park near Albany. Future plans are to extend the trail to the Mohawk River and eventually into the Adirondacks.
From the sound of commuter traffic leaving Manhattan to the song of the white throated sparrow, the Long Path travels the length of New York. It links together suburban backyards with wilderness areas, pre-Revolutionary iron mines and fast food restaurants. From the Piermont Marsh at sea level to the summit of Slide Mountain over 4100 feet higher, the Long Path presents challenging climbs interspersed with gentle walks. Although every effort is made to keep the trail off roads, the Long Path frequently travels through small towns, giving the hiker a taste of life in New York.