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arnabbanerjee's picture

Which are the trails to view best spring wildflowers? Can anyone let me know the best ones and timings where one should go? I am expecting the flowers to be coming out from mid-april or so. Any recommendations will be very useful Thanks
gpettypoet's picture

I can answer for the New Jersey Highlands wildflower walks. If you want a prepared short wildflower walk with examples of most wildflowers in each season, try the one at Morris County Tourne Park in Mountain Lakes NJ., tended with great care by the Rockaway Valley Garden Club. The Land Conservancy also has a tended wildflower plot in back of their headquarters in Montville. If you want a hike with some wildflowers along the way, the answer is more complicated. For good early spring flowers (April 15 to May 3) try a hike from Weis Ecology Center out the W trail along Blue Mine Brook up to the old farm foundations, then back on the Green Trail to the Red Dot Trail out to the Blue Mine. Come back to Weis with a detour up the yellow Dot Trail in back of the Roomy Mine to catch a fine patch of columbine. In all seasons, the Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area in Montville white trail has very good flowers. The Ryker Lake trails are also good in early spring, but the loop around the lake is blocked by a beaver dam at the north end. Better still, sign up for one of my wildflower hikes from Weis Ecology Center. Even better, get a copy of my Hiking The Jersey Highlands; it pays special attention to wildflowers along Highlands Trails. You can order it on this website. GPetty.
docmaker's picture

Hi, I'm interested in going on a 1 night backpacking trip next weekend - I'd like to start from the AT train station north of Pawling on Saturday Morning and end back at the same spot on sunday evening (7PM) in time to take the last train back to the city. I'd like to hike about 10 miles each day and was wondering if anybody has any good hike recommendations that are not simply out and back on the AT trail. Are there any good 2 day (1 night) loop hikes i can do that start on the AT where i will still be able to get in the mileage without retracing my exact steps back to the train station on day 2? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Adam
NYCHiker's picture

Hi Adam!

I looked at doing the same thing a few months ago, but ended up going to Harriman and doing a semi-loop using the Shortline Bus. I'll defer to others more familiar with the area, but the AT at Pawling is pretty much the only trail through here with your distance requirements. You could add on some of the loops in the Pawling park or Nuclear lake (check to see if that section was reopened) to mix it up, but most of it will be AT. You could always go 20 out, then yellow blaze back to the train station. I have no idea what a taxi would be, but it's one way for you to get your 20 miles.

As for places to stay, you could go North on the AT to Ten Mile shelter (~9.6 miles from 22).

Going South, you could stay at Morgan Stewart (about 10.7 from 22).

Good luck!
docmaker's picture

Thanks for your response, NYCHiker Maybe we will look at Harriman State Park instead as a better option for next weekend. Is there camping ( at sites or shelters or backcountry options) along any long hike (20 mile -ish hike in that neck of the woods)? Maybe the suffern-bear mountain trail? Thanks! Adam
NYCHiker's picture

Glad to help. For quick weekends when I need to get out of the city and don't want to deal with renting a car, Harriman is my choice.

If you don't already have it, grab a map set for Harriman. I'd also suggest getting the Harriman Trails Guide book. It has good mileage breakdowns and trail descriptions, along with some history about the park. You can purchase both the book and the map in a combo deal through the Trail Conference.

Also, if you don't already have it, get the New York Walk Book. It is a great resource for trails in New York. It also has mileage breakdowns and general descriptions of specific trails. And all the books and maps are cheaper with a membership. If you don't have a map set yet for Harriman and are planning on going next weekend, call the office and have them ship you a map set overnight or expedited. If you are really in a pinch, you can call the EMS in SoHo or Tent and Trails down by WTC to see if they have any in stock. Paragon might also stock them, but I don't really shop there much (no NYNJTC discount). A map for Harriman is pretty much essential. There are just too many trails and intersections to go without one.

There are backcountry sites in Harriman. You must overnight in the shelter (first-come, first-served), or tent within 300 ft of the shelter. The tent sites are very clear when you get to the shelters. Stealth camping is prohibited and if caught, you'll get chased off and a hefty fine. You can have fires, but only in the fire rings in front of the shelters. A few sites have more than 1 ring, but you should only be using the one in front of the shelter for LNT purposes, You shouldn't depend on firewood being available, so bring a stove. Use only dead and down wood. Finally, you should hang all your food using appropriate bear bagging techniques (10 feet up and 10 feet away from the trunk). While there are black bears in the park, I hang my food to avoid the smaller critters that like dehydrated meals. There are plenty of good trees for hanging food near the shelters.

If you're thinking about the S-BM route, you could take T-MI from SBM to get to the Tuxedo Metro-North station and catch a train or a Shortline bus back to the city. You could also do the AT from Bear Mountain to Route 17 (bus stop in front of the old Red Apple rest stop). It's about 17-18 miles, but climbs Bear Mountain to a nice viewpoint and has a number of viewpoints in the northern half of the trail.

Because there are so many different options of trails in the park, I can't give you a bunch of specific trail recommendations for a 20 mile trip. There are so many different permutations and combinations of trails you could take here to fill out 10 mile days. My strategy is always to see how many different viewpoints or geocaches I can hit with a particular route.

Have a great hike! When you get done, write up a trip report and post a link to your pictures for us!

*Sorry this response took so long. I had a bunch of hyperlinks in my post but the spam filter didn't like them. Everything I suggested you look at for purchase can be found in the "Go Shopping" tab of this site. If you need more info on bear bagging or LNT, let me know and I'll post the appropriate links.
docmaker's picture

Hey, These were all great recommendations. We've decided to do the AT Hike from Bear Mtn (we will metro north it up there) and hike to route 17 with an overnight on the trail. And a bus back... Thanks so much for all your help! Adam
brooklynkayak's picture

"The Gunks" are also a great area to hike for those that hate dealing with a car. There are several nearby towns with bus and train service. From what I've seen, "The Gunks" are less crowded than Herriman/Bear Mountain and only approx 45 minutes further away from the city. stevie
spoonman3z's picture

Hi Everyone,

Me and 3 friends are looking to do our first overnight in the Catskills at the end of the month. We are looking for any suggestions as to which area is best for doing a short hike in (2-4 miles), setup camp for the night and then head out the next day. I know there are a million areas to do this but figured one of you might have a couple of good, secluded spots that you'd be willing to share.

One thought I had was starting at the western end of Devil's Path and then heading up to North Dome and camping somewhere in between North Dome and Sherrill (below 3500 ft). It looks secluded and the bushwacking seems like a good trade off with the relatively short distance.

Thanks,

Dan

mjfav's picture


Can anyone recommend a good 2 day backpacking trip accessible by bus/train from nyc? Anywhere from 2-8miles per day and either a loop where you can camp anywhere or some place to hike to water, lake/river/waterhole/waterfall, set up camp and hike back after the second night. If fishing is a possibility that would be an extra plus. More secluded than populated is also ideal. Of course ill take any recommendations but if the above helps formulate your response all the better.

@Dan, let me know what you end up doing and if you find a great spot, especially if lakes, big rivers, or camping at summits w/ views are involved.

@Adam, any chance you could post a review of your trip, im super interested??

@NYCHiker, thanks for wonderful tip on your fav spot. Ill definitely look into Harriman, although the camp only at shelter is kind of a damper. Part of the reason to get out of the city is to get away from people. Although hikers are usually the friendliest around :)

Thanks in advance everyone for your suggestions!

Levi
NYCHiker's picture

There are a few busses that run up to Catskills. There will be a road walk/cab ride to trail heads, but that's always an option. I have not had the opportunity to head up there yet, so I don't have much info to provide other than what's on the TC website.

As far as Harriman goes, the last time I was at there, no one was around to share the shelter or surrounding area with me.

There are plenty of shelters in Harriman where most people do not go because they are too far away from trailheads.

You mentioned fishing. I'd strongly suggest getting a fishing license for NY. I don't remember what they are this year, but it's cheaper than having DEC or a ranger come up on you and write you a ticket. While I've never seen a ranger in the backcountry in Harriman, I wouldn't take the risk.

Good luck and enjoy your hike!
ciphersankofa's picture

I'm looking for a fantastic trail for me and a companion to hike this Saturday, at most 2 hours away from the Albany area, but ideally closer. We're both beginners. Any suggestions? Thanks so much in advance for any comments.
Georgette Weir's picture

How far do you want to hike? If just a few miles, but with wonderful views, there are some excellent choices in Dutchess County. Poet's Walk is a favorite for many people--an easy walk of just a few miles with views of the Hudson River. Or Stissing Mountain, not very long, but more strenuous--a fire tower at the top that offers great, 360-degree views, is also good-and is in the northern part of the county. John Thacher State Park is closer to you. I've never been there, but hear it's beautiful. You can get more information on these parks elsewhere on this website--Look at the Find Parks feature under Go Hiking. There are also excellent hikes at Minnewaska State Park and Mohonk Preserve in the Shawangunks--a little further drive for you, but I think still within 2 hours. A few hikes are described in detail in the Find Hikes feature (you can search by park name). Up in Columbia County, Olana is supposed to offer several miles of easy to moderate walking. Again, not a place I've been to, but one on my list of future destinations. Hope this helps. Let us know where you ended up.
docmaker's picture

Hello All, Last weekend, after contemplating an overnight trip on the AT from Pawling to Route 17 via public transport, Katie and I decided to rent a car instead and head down to the Pine Barrens in Batsto NJ where the weather reports were much more favorable. We parked at the Batsto Visitor's center at Wharton State Park (about a 2 hr ride from BK) and hiked out 5 miles to the Mullica River Primitive Campground. We set our packs at the site right at the bank of the river and proceeded to hike an additional 5 miles following the mullica north and around a short loop towards the lower valley forge campground and ending back at our campsite where we had left our gear just in time for dinner - (the trails here are all very well marked and you can grab a map at the Batsto center before you take off). http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/wharton.html There was an out house and a water pump at the Mullica River site and although it was a really windy day there were some other backpackers and canoeists that joined us at the campground. There were even some very seasoned campers who were roasting two whole chickens over a fire. Bravo for hiking in with those chickens! Everyone was very quiet and we had an extremely peaceful rest! The next morning we had a hearty breakfast of brown sugar oatmeal and sidled up our packs and headed north along the mullica towards Atsion and then veered off again towards lower valley campground but this time instead of swinging back to the mullica, we took the pink batona trail back south to Batsto. In its entirety the Batona trail is a 50 mile long path and we only did about 7 or 8 miles of it. I would love to do the whole thing sometime, even though its sometimes easy to lose the marker (at some point we missed a turn off but ran into to some mountain bikers who helped us get back on track)...What a great trip - i highly recommend it. Very flat and sandy - like hiking on the beach but with tons of tall pines all around. There is a similar route suggested in the 50 hikes in NJ book... Also, for your general enjoyment - here is a link to a funny silent film that we made while on the trip...have fun in the pines! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx4V6uYavmE Adam PS. This weekend we are planning a trip to Harriman. We've got our maps and we're thinking about a short hike into a shelter on friday evening and then a hike to another shelter for saturday, then hike back to our car on sunday. Anybody know of a big ol' loop that might work for us?
Paul_A's picture

It's hard to recommend a hike not knowing how many miles you want to do each day but here's one that my wife and I have done. Park at the Elk Pen parking area Friday night and hike north on the Appalachian Trail to the Fingerboard Shelter. Next day start out going north on the A.T. to the first road crossing. Go left at the road and pick-up the Long Path north to Turkey Hill Lake. There pick up the trail that goes east toward the Popelopen Gorge. If my memory is right it's blazed red. Take that to the Popelopen Gourge Trail and continue east until you come out near the Bear Mountain traffic circle. Then walk south across the picnic ground and parking field at Bear Mountain State park to where a trail ( 1776?) goes under route 9W. Now follow your map to the West Mountain shelter. The next day take the Appalachian Trail southbound back to the Elk Pen Parking area. This is all from memory so make sure to check your maps before hand.
hikinglou's picture

Normally when hiking I don't need a guide but was looking to explore the old Sunk Mine in Cold Spring, since it's pretty extensive i'd like to make it home for dinner and was wondering if there was anyone who knew of someone who knows the location to the entrances and would not mind going in for a 3 hour tour? Thanks! Hikinglou
PVPatrick's picture

The mine, which is actually in the town of Putnam Valley, is officially closed with signs posted to keep out. The opening to the mine is easily found but the unmaintained trail used to access the mine from Sunk Mine Road is now closed for wildlife rehabilitation(bobcat dens are nearby I believe). As far as I know, there is only one opening and can be easily located using trail conference map 103 East Hudson Trails. If you need further information, feel free to email me at pvpatrick@yahoo.com.
Walt Daniels's picture

If you find the main deep pit, continue up the hill along the ridge and you will find more. Continuing further you will find some old white blazes and eventually reach the unmarked woods road that runs past the Hamilton mine (on the map) and reaches the blue 3-Lakes Trail.
jmb's picture

Hoping to get out to the Gunks this weekend and I've been enjoying perusing the new 2008 mapset. Map 104 is particularly exciting, lots of new land acquisitions & great to see the Long Path restored at Verkeeder Kills Falls and the new proposed routes.

The back of the map mentions that camping is now allowed in the DEC parcel north of Minnewaska's High Point -- has anyone here done this? I'm hoping to park at Berme Road Park in Ellenville and hike in on the Smiley Carriageway, and do day hikes from there. There aren't any "Keep Out"s on the map, but does anyone know any other compications? Thanks in advance, jmb

jakobfranke's picture

I don't know of anybody who camped at the DEC parcel you are referring to, but camping is allowed on all DEC land, as long as you stay away 150 ft from roads, springs, streams, etc. Minnewaska and Sams Point are not DEC lands, but most of the ridge south of Rte 52 is DEC land. You need officially a permit to hike south of Smiley CW and west of High Point CW, I believe. Have fun, Jakob
Daniel Chazin's picture

While camping is legal on the entire DEC parcel, as a practical matter, much of the parcel has rather steep terrain, and there are few good places to camp.  Several years ago, I camped with a friend on the very narrow sliver of the DEC land between the stream and the DEC land boundary at the extreme eastern end of the parcel.  Here, the land is flat, and there is a very nice place to camp.

 Also, when we were there a few years ago, signs indicated that overnight parking was not permitted at the Berme Road Park.  We did park there overnight and did not get a ticket, but I wouldn't want to do this again without checking first with the local authorities.

mvg68's picture

Are you talking about Peekamoose field and trail on Peekamoose Rd. (Rte 42)?
jmb's picture

Thanks for the tips, both of you. I spoke with Michelle at the Village of Ellenville and was informed there's no regulation against parking overnight at Berme Road Park, but it's "at your own risk." I'll let you know how it goes.
Doug C's picture

Great article online and in print. Good coverage for the Trail Conference. http://travel.nytimes.com/2009/05/08/travel/escapes/08njhike.html?scp=1&...
d.honeywell's picture

Hello all! Although an experienced hiker, the Catskill area is new to me. I have some friends coming in and I would like to find a location to hike to for some back country camping. Since we only have three days at our disposal, I was wondering if anybody knew of a good place within a day's hike to camp in proximity to a waterfall. Ideally, I would like to guide my friends to a pretty place with water where we could spend a full day hanging out. One day's hike (with time to set up camp and hide food from bears) back and forth would be fine for us. Any suggestions? Thank you all in advance.
mitrich's picture

The Six Mile Run Reservoir Site has been in the NJ State Park system for quite a while. Six Mile is unique among state parks in New Jersey for its foliage and small hardwoods. This growth is the visible result of the "old field succession" about which we learned in high school biology. Six Mile was taken over by The State of New Jersey about 40 years ago, so that part of the land taken out of cultivation has growth of about 40 years, where as most state parks are much older and no longer show this sort of foliage. It is unique and makes Six Mile a worthy peer of Worthington, Stokes, Ringwood, etc. Six Mile is actually maintained by JORBA, the Jersey Off Road Bicycle Association. They have done a terrific job in building and maintaining trails. The trails are very good, and sort of intimate. Here is a link to the latest and unofficial map of Six Mile: http://www.mtbnj.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=2321&d=1231955131 There is parking off of Rte 27 near the Soccer fields across from Hidden Lakes; also off of Jacques Lane up from Canal Road; and at the old D&R Canal State Park office on Canal Rd near Blackwells Mills Rd. Please come and put your feet to the ground.
jpylka's picture

Just a minor correction: If you're looking for this one on a map this is Not the town of Franklin which is in North Jersey and has some nice trails in the vicinity, but Franklin Township in Central NJ. Alas Franklin is one of those multply used names for townships in the state. Look up Blackwells Mills on your road map and you'll almost be there...
nycgarden's picture

Has anyone done this route recently. Is it doable in one day?
srtmaintainer's picture

Where in Bear Mountain are you talking about. The LP is about 42.5 miles to calls Hollow road at the edge of Harriman State Park. If you hiked (Jogged) for 12 hours without stopping at all you would need to average over 3.5 miles per hour. Can you do that? It is not the Catskills but it isn't all easy either. I did hike the entire LP in sections with my son a few years ago. We did Fort Lee to Nyack (23 miles) in 1 day.
nycgarden's picture

That's good to know. I think Nyack sounds about right. Is there a camping spot in Blauvelt State Park or Rockland State Park or anywhere in the range of 12-20 miles? Probably not. My guide book is in the mail. I was looking for a day trip, with train or bus return. A camp night is fine too, to make it to Bear Mountain Bridge, cross over to Metro North on the east side.
btsullivan@post.com's picture

I am going to be in the Lake George area next week. Does any one want to join me on a hike up this mountain. BT Week of July 12 to 16.
Nick's picture

Hi everyone! I am interested in hiking up the (relatively) new South Gully trail up to Sams Point. The trail map indicates some road-side parking near the trailhead. Is there enough space for two cars here? I've hiked in the area many times, but have never driven on that stretch of 52, so don't have a picture of the trailhead in my head. thanks!! nick
srtmaintainer's picture

Nick, Many cars will fit on the wide shoulder at the trail head on 52. If you are coming up from Ellenville the trail head is across the road from a couple of houses just after you pass over South Gully on a bridge. The wide shoulder that is best to park on is on the trail head side. The South Gully Trail is part of the Long Path and blazed with Aqua blazes. You will also notice that beyond the houses the Long Path heads south on a dirt road. You will need to either climb over or walk around a roadside guide rail to start on the South Gully Trail. Andy Garrison
Nick's picture

hi andy!

i just did the gully on a hike yesterday (saturday). the gully trail is really amazing, i highly recommend it to everyone. it has fared well in all the recent deluges. thanks to everyone for doing such a great job on it. i am such a big hemlock fan :)

here are some pictures of the 8-hour hike i took (some of it, not the gully part, with a friend). you'll find pictures from almost all of my hikes at the same site:

http://picasaweb.google.com/moosevan/SouthGullyAndSamSPoint

nick

srtmaintainer's picture

You are very welcome Nick, it is great to hear that you and your friend enjoyed your hike. Saturday was a good choice too, right between all the rain. Have you ever hiked the Ridge from 52 south to Wurtsboro? If not I suggest that you try it. Andy
Nick's picture

yes, i have hiked most, but not quite all, of the SRT. i have not yet done the section from huckleberry up to basha kill. i recently saw a beautiful eastern corn snake on the stretch just before 52 (this section is really great!).

by the way, do you know anything about the Hickok Brook multiple use area, near barryville? (20 miles up the delaware from port jervis, and right near where i live!). there are some old overgrown DEC-blazed trails there. was curious of their history.

nick

srtmaintainer's picture

Nick, I do not know anything about the Hickok Brook multiple use area. What did you want to know about it? Click on this link and you should get a map of that area and the trails. http://www.spatialwebhost.com/arcgisoutput/_ags_map9490c76325644f03a58b4...
nycgarden's picture

I'm looking to make a day hike out of a train ride to Garrison. I was thinking of the Arden Point/Marcia mile Blue-Red-White loop. But it seems kind of short. How long would it take to climb up to Sugarloaf Hill and back? I'd like to do both if they're doable under 6 or 7 hours. Thanks!
PVPatrick's picture

You could walk up and back from the Garrison station to Sugarloaf in about 2 hours easily without stopping, getting lost, etc.
nycgarden's picture

Thanks, very useful!
miharbio's picture

Hello, I am looking to bring a few inexperienced friends on a hiking/camping trip. Basically I'd like to have the group hike for most of the day and camp at our final destination. I'm looking for at least two to three miles and it would be great if the hike back to the car the next day was a different trail. There seems to be a great number of trails to chose from, but I'm not sure if we'll be able to set up camp on all of them, can anyone provide some information as to how that works? Thank you
NYCHiker's picture

Where region are you looking at? New York? New Jersey?

Since you are looking for a backcountry trip, I'll assume you know how to purify water and that your group has adequate gear. Remember that this is still black bear country, so hang your food, cookware and toiletries before you go to bed.

Before knowing exactly what you're looking for, I'm guessing that you'll end up in Harriman State Park, about an hour north of the city. In that case, you'll need to buy the Harriman/Bear Mountain map set. You can purchase them on this website, or from a local outfitter (EMS, Paragon, Campmor, etc.). You'd also be well advised to purchase the Harriman Trails book as it provides a wealth of knowledge and history on the trails in Harriman. I don't see the book available on the TC website at the moment, but most of the local outfitters should have it. It's by Myles.

There are a number of loop hikes that would fit your description. Let us know what area or park you're looking at and I'm sure we can be of better help.
miharbio's picture

Well we all live in the northern jersey area so anything up to say 2hrs (longer if its really worth it) would be great. Well water purification shouldn't be a problem (we would probably just boil it). As for gear I'm not really sure what would qualify as adequate. The last time I did such a hike was two summers ago in Yellowstone. We had some canned food and power snacks, a small propane stove, a tent, sleeping bags, some flashlights, small tools, rope, and I can't remember much else at the moment. That was a 6 mile hike from the car and then back the next day. I wouldn't really call myself an experienced hiker either, but I'll have a leg up on some of my company. Is there anything else specific that I need to be carrying? The only trails I've come accross online were on the appalachian, or catskills, but I am not very clear on whether camping is allowed on all trails or not. Thanks for the help.
NYCHiker's picture

Regardless of where you go, you should at least have the 10 essentials, including a map and compass. For a checklist of items you might consider, go to the REI website, then to expert advice, then to backpacking. You should also have enough rope to hang your food, cookware, and toiletries. Be sure to treat any water you get from streams or lakes in this area. If you have specific gear questions, let us know.

Regarding Slide Mtn (Catskills) v. Harriman, I'd suggest Harriman. The Catskills are gorgeous, but based on the skill level of your party and distances requested, you might want to try something a little closer and a little less rugged.

You can backpack and camp in Harriman without a permit. Camping is allowed ONLY at the shelters, or in a tent near the shelter. Stealth camping is forbidden and could result in a hefty fine. If you want a fire, you can have one in New York (unlike New Jersey). Fires should be built small and in existing fire rings at the shelters. Use only downed and dead wood. During the summer months, don't expect to find much wood around; bring a stove to cook on.

As far as where to go, you have a few options based on your requirements of a 2-3 mile hike in. On the western side of the park, you could try Dutch Doctor (around 18T571400 4561050). For your mileages, I'd park at the Tuxedo MetroNorth station (it should be free to park there on weekends). You could then take the TMI trail past Claudius Smith Den to the shelter, then hike down White Bar to Kakiat and check out the view from the top of Almost Perpendicular. That last climb is challenging with full packs on since it's more of a scramble, but there's a nice reward on top.

My favorite shelter is Bald Rocks (near 18T572800 4566170). You can park on 106 at the RD intersection, then have a nice hike up and on the ridgeline. A unique formation called the Lemon Squeezer isn't too far away from there, and there's a reliable water source near the shelter.

Another option is closer to Bear Mountain in the northern section of the park. You'd park at the Anthony Wayne Recreation Area, hike along the ridge of West Mountain to the West Mountain shelter (near 18T583000 4570700). My only hesitation in recommending this shelter is the lack of reliable water sources close to the shelter. There's usually a small stream at the southern base of the mountain, but that trail has scrambles and is straight elevation gain/loss. If you decide on West Mountain, bring plenty of water for the hike in, cooking and the hike out. On clear nights, you can see the lights of the Manhattan skyline from the shelter. If you head past the shelter toward the Timp, it might be a little tough on the less experienced members of your group; it's a pretty rugged area with lots of ups and downs.

There are about 10 shelters in the park, so I won't go into all of them, but I think this should give you a decent start on trip planning. Generally speaking, the shelters on the east side of the park tend to be drier than those on the west. The shelters on the west are reputed to be less busy than those in the east, but at this time of year, they can all be busy.

If you decide on Harriman, get a map set. Once you've had a good look at the maps, I'd be happy to answer and other questions you may have on the park.

Obviously, there is no trash service at the shelters, so pack out your garbage. There's no toilet facilities either, so bring TP and a trowel so you can dig catholes for your waste.
miharbio's picture

This is great information, especially about the campfires. I think we'll be okay on gear, I'll probably need to pick up a stove though. I'll look at all of the trails you mentioned and let you know if I have any more questions. Thanks again, this is a great help.
NYCHiker's picture

No problem. If you are in Northern NJ and are looking for a stove, check out Campmor in Paramus. By becoming a NYNJTC member, you can get 10% off almost everything in the store. Plus, most of the people working there know what they are talking about when it comes to gear.

For stoves, if you already have a pot and are looking for something cheap, simple and light to boil water, it's hard to beat MSR's Pocket Rocket. It's a canister-type stove (so not great in freezing temps). Looks like Campmor has them for about $35 at the moment. It can be a stable stove, so long as it used on level ground and isn't overloaded. At the very least, I'd steer clear of white gas stoves for warm-weather cooking--canister stoves are easier to use for less experienced hikers.

Good luck and have a great hike!
miharbio's picture

I'm a little more familiar with the site now, and can see that there are an abundance of trials to hike. But I don't think you can set up camp on most of these trails, or am I mistaken? Is there a backcountry specific list anywhere? Also just a small change from my earlier reply; the closer the better. Do you think Slide Mountain would be a good idea?
mvg68's picture

Slide Mt. is a great hike! You can camp anywhere in the Catskill State Forest Preserve as long as you are 150 feet from a road, trail or water. There is an elevation restriction also for different times of the year so since Slide is the highest peak in the Catskills (4000+ feet) you may want to check the NYS DEC website.
miharbio's picture

Is there a possibility of there being some good back country trails closer than catskills. Some of the group are not too keen on the 3hr drive.
NYCHiker's picture

Harriman should be closer to you than the Catskills. Use Harriman, NY or Tuxedo Park, NY for driving directions. If you aren't interested in Harriman, let me know and I can try to think of something else for you. The Delaware Water Gap on the NJ/PA border offers wonder views of the Gap, but you'd need to be hiking the AT for 3 days (2 nights) to legally use the backcountry shelters in the Recreation Area. Plus, no fires because you're in NJ.

There's also the AT that runs along the NY/NJ border. There are a number of shelters along the way, but I have no first-hand knowledge for you. I'm guessing you'd be looking in Wawayanda SP, but I don't know much about that area. It's still NJ, so no fires. The Trail Conference sells the North Jersey Trails map set that would cover that area.