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.


Larry Wheelock's picture

Many trails above 700 feet in the Shawangunks, Black Rock Forest, Storm King S. P and Schunemunk Mtn. S. P. remain partially blocked due to the ice storms in December and January. Contact parks directly to find out what the conditions are. Use the Find a Park feature under Go Hiking to get contact info for many parks.


LarryWheelock - N.Y. West Hudson Reg. Rep

New York - New Jersey Trail Conference

156 Ramapo Valley Road

Mahwah, NJ 07430

T 201-512-9348 X16

M 973-650-3228

srtmaintainer's picture

Hiked from Ferguson road to near route 52 today. I didn't encounter anything more than the normal after winter trail conditions. Still several inches of snow in the woods without a southern exposure though. No snow on the top of the ridge. The same for the gobbler Knob area as I walked that a few days ago. I will check Wurtsboro ridge soon.
Akriegel's picture

The steep clime up Buck Mtn on the yellow trail requires some type of ladder or steps. Even in the summer when it's relatively dry, it's treacherous @ best.
Bob's picture

In this particular trail system of 30+ miles of trail there are perhaps two or three spots that can pose a problem, especially when the rocks are wet or snow/ice covered. Buck mtn. has been this way for over fifty years or since it's inception. Ascending isn't too bad, but descending can be a bit tricky. We recently trimmed back this whole area last Fall, which tends to get overwhelmed by the sprawling Green Briar. We could possibly trim back more of this growth on the North side which might provide an optional approach, although the topography offers few other options. We will re-evaluate this when we return to improve the trail tread below this point. Norvin Green is known as a forest of rugged wilderness calibre trails that can be challenging to some.......it doesn't pretend to be a "Walk in the Park". A few years ago we rerouted the Carris Hill Trail to improve safety and we received a few comments condemming us for eliminating this former challenge......So you can't please eveyone, but We Try !
mrs.collard's picture

Man, I loved it. My German Shepherd and I did it together... tell people to quit their whining :)
foottraffic's picture

The trails in Norvin Green are pretty tame and in some sections a 'walk in the park". I think haveing the small challenges lke this section is worht keepin. Placing a structure like a ladder would pose additional challenges, mainly the monitoring of its condition and in the event it becomes unusable, what then? Close the trail.
docmaker's picture

Hi, Im interested in hiking the entire long path from George Washington Bridge up to Albany. What is the best time of year to do this hike? From reading the information on the ny-nj trail site - It seems like there are a lot of re-routes. Is it still possible to backpack the entire trail? Is the section on backpacking in the Long Path guide worth reading? Does it give you possible hiking schedule with water access and camping spots? I would like to do approx 15miles per day.. Any more info would be appreciated, Thanks, Adam
Estelle's picture

Hi Adam,  you might want to post this also under Find a Hike.  that might be the better forum for your questions on hiking the LP.   good luck!
srtmaintainer's picture

Are you going to thru-hike the trail. Either way having done the entire trail I have a world of information for you. srtmaintainer@gmail.com
Thomas's picture

Two years ago I thru-hiked the LP from the GW up to Wurtsboro using the AT route and can answer questions about that very enjoyable (and fairly easy) section.

If possible, plan to avoid tick season because although the Long Path was generally well-blazed and -maintained it does not appear to be heavily trafficked in areas so there can be high grass or close brush and I frequently had to stop several times an hour to pick off dozens of ticks despite using DEET. You might want to wear long pants and treat them as well.

Buy the LP book and study it. I found it to be extremely well-written and useful. There is also helpful information about the LP on the old NYNJTC website. For the AT section I would recommend looking at the ALDHA Companion which is available online at http://www.aldha.org/comp_pdf.htm

One problem arose when the PO in Pomona did not understand "General Delivery" and "Hold for Long Path Hiker arriving x date" and returned my food drop as undeliverable. Fortunately there was nothing unique in the package and there was a large grocery store on the way to the PO, just a short distance off the trail. There are also many places to eat in the section from GW to Wurtsboro, fast food, diners, snack bars, ice cream, coffee shops, Mexican. The only other backpack-carrying hikers I met the entire way were on the AT but you're never far from roads and houses.

I did make notes about where where I camped and a couple of places to get water and could provide that info if you contact me. It would not be appropriate to post all of them in a public forum. Here's a disposable e-mail address: pundit64991@mypacks.net


Perhaps a moderator could move these Long Path posts to their own topic because I do want to hike the rest of it and would like more information about the Wurtsboro to Albany section including the best places to resupply and a decent way to walk to Albany or to public transportation near Altamont, which has VERY limited commuter bus service.

jakobfranke's picture

You definitely should get the latest version of the LP guide (5th edition) and look at the backpack section. It has a lot of useful information. There have been reroutes but they are all listed on the website at http://www.nynjtc.org/trails/longpath/index.html For backpacking the recommended route is along the LP to Harriman SP, AT to High Point NJ, and the SRT back to the LP on the Wurtsboro Ridge. The best time is any time after April (in April you may still find ice and snow in the Catskills), and before November. During that period it's the usual trade-off between black flies cool nights and hot weather and brambles, etc. If you need more info, contact the office and they can direct you to LP people who can assist you. Jakob Franke (LP chair south).
docmaker's picture

Thanks. I just ordered the book and I will let you guys know when i plan to attempt the hike. And Ill probably have more questions before i do. i love the new format of this site. Adam
Bob's picture

Just a reminder to hikers that due to Beaver activity, the Clinton West / Highlands and Buckabear Trails are closed where they cross the dam between Clinton Reservoir and Buckabear Pond. And due to this same raising of the water level, the portion of the Bearfort Waters Trail next to Buckabear Pond is impassable, unmaintained and we suggest making alternate plans before attempting a thru-hike. We expect to have a reroute of this section completed by Summer of 2009.
rousseat's picture

I just did this hike today with 2 of my friends. And we were wondering why the markers along the Bearfort Waters Trail were in the water!!! Crossing the Reservoir was also quite treacherous. We just thought this was because of the winter thaw. I was going to send a message to NY/NJ Trail Conf. reporting this but I guess they are well aware of it. Wish I looked here BEFORE we left for our hike. Thanks for posting!
Willy's picture

Curious to know if the rerouting of the flooded section of trail next to Buckabear Pond was done? I hiked this section in January 2010, while pond was frozen, and unless I missed the reroute, I had to do some mild bushwacking to continue south on the trail. The crossing of the dam was not too bad but I wonder if it is passable now with all the snow melt and recent rains. Finally, I should mention that I saw an ATV on Buckabear Pond. I think the guy riding it was quite surprised to see a hiker at that time of year. Anyway , a big thanks to the NY/NJ TC and its volunteers for keeping the trails open for folks like me.
Estelle's picture

The reroute is nearly completed, we had to stop for winter snow and rains.  The next planned work trip is April 11 to hopefully complete cutting the trail; then we'll blaze it.   You are invited to take part in this work trip,  please contact me at cnjtrails@optonline.net.     All helping hands will be greatly appreciated.    We plan to meet at 9:30 a.m.     The beaver dam right now is probably overflowing with all the rains we had, so please use care if you go that way on a hike; but this reroute will be available very soon.    thanks for your interest and for your comments.
gpettypoet's picture

The Ryker Lake Circle is blocked at the north end by a beaver dam. It is possible to cross the brook below the dam by hopping from rock to tussock between trees. But it isn't a family hike now. It is impassable at high water. We will attempt a fix this spring. George Petty hiker-poet
Larry Wheelock's picture

We've been informed that the maintenance people at BRF have been cutting some of the larger ice damaged and downed trees blocking the trails in the Consortium. They have not been cleared off the ground yet. They need help clearing the downed material.

For those who can help clear the trails:

Meet on Saturday and Sunday mornings for the next two weeks at the main gate at 9 AM. John and the crew will direct you, and/or drive you, to sections of trails to help with the clearing. They started with the main trails in the north and central parts of the forest and maybe half of them are cleared at this point.

LarryWheelock - N.Y. West Hudson Reg. Rep

New York - New Jersey Trail Conference

156 Ramapo Valley Road

Mahwah, NJ 07430

T 201-512-9348 X16

M 973-650-3228

btsullivan@post.com's picture

Poets Walk Walked: Parking Area to “Summer House” and back Date Hiked: March 20, 2009, Evening Conditions: The trails and carriageways are in good shape – Some areas of mud. Special Required Equipment: Camera, water, map. Comments: The official name of this site is Poets' Walk Romantic Landscape Park. As you might guess from the name, this property was landscaped to show off its Hudson Valley views. It's an ideal spot for a sunset stroll for individuals who just got out of work. Great and interesting views of the Hudson River. Rhine cliff bridge and the Catskills. Went out for dinner in Kinston, NY after the walk.
Estelle's picture

A word of caution for those hiking Pequannock Watershed and parking along Clinton Road, or at any of the parking areas for the Watershed.  Two kayakers returned to their car to find the passenger window smashed, and a wallet and cell phone stolen.    Please take all your valuables with you, please lock your car.    This is a fairly remote area with very minimal police patrol and delayed police response. 

PVPatrick's picture

The story reported on this site about the trail running races to be held on May 9, 2009 should be modified to say that the race courses involve Bear Mt and Harriman State Parks and that there will be runners on the course from 5am until 6pm. http://www2.thenorthface.com/endurancechallenge/races/2008/bmn_registrat...
Georgette Weir's picture

This has been changed. Thank you.
NYCHiker's picture

Looks like there was a brush fire on the 9th. Just over 100 acres burned.

mengber@nyc.rr.com's picture

Starting from about .6 miles from the Johnsontown Rd. trailhead and extending to Almost Perpendicular, someone has torn off at least 5 or 6 of the plastic trail markers (and dropped them trailside) and carved away some of the painted blazes. It's still possible to follow the trail, however. Who would do such a thing?
banjolady's picture

i noticed this as well. the blazes seemed ok further along the trail though. there was also a huge pile of litter so i am thinking perhaps same people are responsible (or irresponsible)....
kellyr's picture

I was just about to email the NYNJTC about the blue discs gone missing. Last weekend I was on this trail for the first time and did indeed get lost. (and we did had a map) It took us off trail for a good 20 minutes until we retraced my steps and discovered the discs on the ground near a tree. Soon after all was well and we enjoyed lunch at Almost Perpendicular. Can someone re-mark this trail? First time Harriman hikers could get really lost. Thank you!
srtmaintainer's picture

A large forest fire is burning on the Shawangunk Ridge in the Wurtsboro Ridge State Forest. http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090419/NEWS/904... The Shawangunk Ridge trail from the VFW to Ferguson road near Summitville is closed, this incudes the Long Path from shawanga Lodge road to Ferguson road.
srtmaintainer's picture

Jakob Franke just stepped out of the woods about twenty minutes ago. He has installed new trail markers on the trail as the old ones got melted by the fire. Jakob reports the trail is very passable and easy to follow.
mbspecs@aol.com's picture

On Saturday April 25 Malcolm Spector and Toby Golick re-flagged the newly constructed section of trail that takes the trail off the gas pipeline. The trail has been open for almost a year and is now on the TC maps, but has not yet been blazed. I know that the park has taken to printing up custom blazes to use and I wonder if the delay is in waiting for these blazes. The rest of the trail badly needs reblazing as well.
Estelle's picture

Thanks for your comments, I have sent this on to the Trail Supervisor for Wawayanda.   And thanks for re-flagging!
Estelle's picture

A reminder:  the folks at NJ Endangered Species are requesting hikers DO NOT enter ANY mines or caves.  This is to prevent the further spread of the white-nose syndrome fungus that is killing NJ bats.  This will apply in NY also.    The caves in Hibernia are closed, Roomy Mine is closed.

These closings are until further notice.      Thanks for cooperating and caring about the bats.



skabass1's picture

While hiking in fahnestock state park on the Yellow Trail parallel south to the 301 going north toward Hidden Lake the trail is supposed to boarder the lake to the south and connect with the blue trail. The lake here has flooded the trail and has made it very difficult to cross. We backtracked south on the yellow trail to meet a red trail going south which also connects to the blue trail we were trying to get to. I know its confusing.....
Christie DeBoer's picture

Yes, it is confusing, and beaver activity is the reasoning for the flooding. I will let the volunteer maintainer and Trail Supervisor for the area know about your experience. They are aware of the problem, and have tried some remediation in the past (relocate the trail) but the beavers work faster. Thank you for the report.
kraan2's picture

All this talk about beaver flooding in NY and NJ reminds me of the beginning of Krakauer's book Into the Wild. He describes the Alaskans who found the young man's body as carrying dynamite on their ATVs wherever they go because beaver flooding on backroads/trails is so common in Alaska. When they come to an impassable flooded stretch of road/trail, they find the beaver dam, blow it up, wait for the water to drain off the road/trail, and go on their merry way!
Estelle's picture

Hi Folks, thanks for your comments.    The area Trail Supervisor will be notified and hopefully this will get corrected very soon...  at least when this rain stops!
trailgal's picture

In response to the notifications of the missing blazes along the Blue Disc Trail in Southern Harriman State Park, I just want to let everyone know that I am aware of it and in the process of replacing not only the vandalized blazes, but all the blazes on that trail with a correct sized (2" X 3") metal blaze. However, it is slow going because of the rain. Thanks for keeping the Trail Conference informed of any trail issues. Kathy Goldman, Blue Disc Trail Maintainer
TheBobR@optonline.net's picture

I'm planning to backpack from Wawayanda to High Point this weekend. With all the recent rainfall and the forecast of more into the weekend, I'm concerned about the puncheon sections being passable. Any current information on this area?
Christie DeBoer's picture

The section of Three Lakes Trail, from 301 to Sunk Mine Road, is closed. Due to beaver activity and heavy rains, the trail is not passible, and will remain closed until park management decides otherwise.

yankee.clipper's picture

The trail is actually officially closed between Sunk Mine Road and the AT crossing (not Rt. 301). The closing is posted with signs and yellow hazard tape. The ranger said that the closing was due to high water released from John Allen Pond, in an attempt to stabilize water levels there. As an alternate, you can use the AT from Sunk Mine Road, but because of the high water conditions, the stream crossing just north of here may be a problem. A safe and dry alternate is to go north on the gated mine road just east of the bridge (dotted black line on the TC map) and about a five minute walk east of the 3 Lakes Trail. This road will join the 3 Lakes Trail near the junction with the Old Mine Railroad Trail. This is in the closed section, but it is well north of the problem area. The above information was based on personal observation on June 19. Ed Goldstein
Estelle's picture

The trail head for the Mine Trail/Wyanokie Circular (yellow & red) is permanently closed by the landowner. This trail head is on Snake Den Rd, near the Weis Ecology Center parking lot. We will be posting signs and blocking access at both ends of the private property.  Please plan your hikes to enter and exit the forest trails at other locations. Either using the HewittButler/Mine Trail (blue and yellow) via the Otterhole Trail (green) from the Weis Parking Lot; or use the Highlands Trail from Westbrook Rd/Townsend Rd to the new Roomy Mine Trail extension to access other trails.  We will be creating links / detours very shortly, but ask your cooperation now in avoiding this trail head. 

***Click Here for a map of the revised trail system*** 

BrianSnat's picture

Terrible news. It was just a matter of time though. "Keep not standing fixed and rooted, briskly venture, briskly roam" - Goethe
PVPatrick's picture

I don't see mention of this here, but this trail has significant beaver induced flooding north of Mystic Swamp, just west of the P7 parking area in Sterling Forest requiring challenging bushwacking to circumvent.
johnm's picture

Thanks for the advisory. The Sterling Valley Loop Trail is not maintained by the Trail Conference. In Sterling Forest State Park about half the trails are taken care of by the Park, and the other approximate half by the Trail Conference. We work closely together. My examination of the flooded location on July 4th, this being during a very rainy season, revealed that passage on foot was possible (keeping the feet dry), with a bit of hopping. Some one had placed a board across the middle of the flooded width, on top of two concrete blocks. A step from water edge to the board was possible, and on the farther side dry land could be reached by a hop to a stone and then to the waters edge. At this particular location and day, the beaver dam adjacent to the flooded path was found breached for about a two foot length. Under the circumstances of all the rain, I suspect that the flooding would have been about the same whether or not the dam was breached- the difference being that the dam would be full, the water higher upstream of the trail, and the water flow about the same. Beaver problems are increasing. The Parks do not typically breach beaver ponds, and even if they were breached the beavers would repair them. A solution is to move the beavers to another location, but that is not commonly done. In dryer times the trail will likely not be flooded: the water level on the opposite side is below trail level (until the beavers become more ambitious downstream). This specific flooding problem is known to the Park. The trail in this area is actually not on park property but the owner allows the trail to cross. There is some consideration of a Scout group building a bridge, but nothing is settled.
joannnnnne's picture

Does anyone know if the trail to Stony Kill Falls, in Minnewaska State Park, is open? It closed last year due to fire. Also, does anyone know anything about the condition of the trail going from Stony Kill Falls to Lake Awosting? It's listed as unmaintained, and I read somewhere that it was rocky and difficult. But I wonder if it's still doable, if one is a moderately-skilled hiker.
dsuttr's picture

.Major bulldozing is destroying this fragile area. does anyone know when the telephone line construction will be completed and are there plans to repair the muddy roads caused by this extensive destruction?
PVPatrick's picture

I have no information on what is going on there, but I did notice that there was absolutely no protection for the lake, and wetlands to the north that feed it, from erosion from the road which comes within a few feet of the lake in places, no silt fence, hay bales, nothing. The potential for damage to the lake is great and certainly could be mitigated with a little protection. Many of the harriman lakes(see Silvermine and Kanawauke lakes) are in an advanced state of eutrophication, why is Skenonto not being protected?
PVPatrick's picture

I spoke with a park maintenance spokeswoman who advised that the road is being modified to make it easier for the various utilities that use it for access. Supposedly, the DEC has been involved and has approved the project engineering, etc. and that not to worry, next spring, the road will naturally be recovered, and any damage to the lake will be minimal. Additionally, the park spokeswoman also mentioned that they are lowering the level of many of the lakes now by one foot in preparation for expected heavy rains this hurricane season to avoid flooding the Ramapo river. The irony of these two park actions is not lost on me for one.
Estelle's picture

The bridge replacement is complete - Clinton Rd is open!

Clinton Rd in West Milford NJ is temporarily closed to through traffic.  The bridge over Mossman's Brook will be replaced within the next couple months.  Parking at P3 is accessible from the South only.  Parking at P4 is accessible from the North only for Two Brooks Trail and Highlands Trail heading north.   For Clinton West and the Highlands Trail South of the bridge, access Clinton Rd from the South only. (you will have to drive past the barricades in both instances) The bridge can be crossed by foot until it's removal.  Then it will have to be rock hopping across the brook until November.  We'll try to find a good crossing point for hikers. West Milford DPW has posted detour signs.

slinkygirl816's picture

Just did this short hike on Saturday. The reservoir/creek was quite high and came up onto the trail a few times, but nothing impassable. The path was quite muddy though, so just be aware.
jmb's picture

Passed this dry spring 19 Sept 2009; it's just south of the shelter (at the intersection of the AT and Menomine Trail) on a very short light-blue-blazed side trail.  Nothing but a few muddy leaves.  Water available from brooks north and south of shelter on the Menomine Trail.