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.

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skihiker's picture

I am the NYNJTC trails supervisor for this area. I believe that the spot near the horse trail & Schutt Rd. trail intersection is ok to camp at, though I've never seen anyone do it. Last time I checked it, there was a fire pit and a privy there. There is even a horse mounting ramp there, from when there was a crazy idea of creating a handicap horse riders campground there. No close water source, unless the drainage ditch along side the SC trail has water running from recent rain. I haven't seen anyone camp near Palenville overlook in many years. Picnic table was destroyed and burned many years ago. Fire pit is practically destroyed. No water source near there. The North/South Lake Campground is a very nice place. You would have to get a reservation, and this year they are down to 50% occupancy due to the virus. Running water and restrooms there. I imagine that you would have to walk out to the gatehouse to check in. Good luck. Cal
lancetm21's picture

Planning a multi-day hike soon and wondering what the primitive campsites on the NYNJ Trail Maps are like? Specifically the one West of Blackhead in between Blackhead and Black Dome? Also, the one East of Slide between Slide and Cornell? Thank you!!
Daniel Chazin's picture

A friend of mine, who recently visited these sites, has the following to say: The primitive sites in the col between Blackhead and Black Dome are nice and, from what I've seen, underutilized. They are dry, and they are free of trash and debris. It pays to look around, as the ones further off the trail are the nicest. Water is about 0.4 mile down the Black Dome Range Trail. There is a high-impacted set of "stealth sites" (room for 4 or 5 tents) just north of Acra Point, all with partially obstructed, but nice views of the Blackhead Range. No water is conveniently available. The sites between Cornell and Slide are similarly nice, but several are very close to the trail. However, the water source marked on the 2016 edition of the map was barely a muddy puddle and slow trickle when I was there in early August (this water source has been deleted from the current 2018 edition of the map). We chose to take our water from the spring on the back side of Slide.
lancetm21's picture

Thanks so much! Glad to hear they are in good conditions.
mitchpolack's picture

I went over to the trailhead in Pomona today and Orange and Rockland has completely taken over the parking lot and closed access to the trail. They have it marked as a construction zone but I think they might be using it as a staging ground to ferry workers up the mountain -- my backup plan was hiking up the Mountain trail at Kakiat park and I saw tracked vehicles heading up. They even bulldozed a new road with a bridge right through the Kakiat trail.

Anyways - does anyone know how I can find out if the Tux-Mt Ivy Trailhead at Diltzes Lane will be opened back up eventually? That's my favorite spot to head into the park and I'll be super bummed to have lost it permanently.

agfrank1's picture

A friend and I also tried to use the Diltzes Lane trailhead on August 26 to enter the park to do some trail maintenance. We pulled in and parked out of the way in the back of the parking lot/staging area, but an Orange & Rockland employee told us to leave. There's a sign at the parking lot/staging area directing hikers to the website for alternatives. But as best I can tell, that website only has information about the actual Palisades park along the Hudson River in the Fort Lee and Alpine area. So it's not useful for people wanting to hike in Harriman.
johndavitt's picture

Anybody know if camping on the AT in NJ is ok again ? I know it had been suspended. I'm not seeing closure list on the site. Was hoping to do a 2-3 night backpacker on NJ AT next week.
Daniel Chazin's picture

Here is the official word from Trail Conference staff: Camping is allowed, but hikers are advised to avoid shelters. As long as people are using their own tents or other alternatives, camping is perfectly fine. This webpage is the best go-to resource for COVID-related AT closures:
plippert's picture

I want to thank you for the information and encouragement. Those are some luxurious accommodations along that new stretch of trail. Beautiful terrain as well. I actually did wind up packing six liters of water down Slide Mountain into the col. Not fun. Shouldn’t the guide warn first-timers that climbing is involved? Anyway, I made it. The spring at 5.0 was dry, but the one that crosses the trail over on the Cornell side of the col was flowing. I also found water just a little way into the new stretch of trail. So, things were not as dry as I had feared.
plippert's picture

I am about to do Sections 16, 17, 18, and 19 of the Long Path. In the trail description I notice that from the low spot between Slide and Cornell Mountains at 5.0 miles of Section 18, where it says there is a spring, to the pipe spring mentioned at 8.55 miles in Section 19, all of the water sources mentioned are characterized as intermittent. At 0.5 miles of Section 19, it mentions “a small stream that often has water.” At .85 miles, a “seasonal stream.” At 4.0 miles, a “seasonal spring.” I should be passing through there Tuesday or Wednesday. Can anyone advise me on what I might find in any of these places? If these intermittent sources are dry, I would have to hike 12 miles without water. Is it a tough stretch to do? Should I consider bailing out and walking Woodland Valley Road to Phoenicia?
jmb's picture

I've never had any luck finding the supposed spring at mile 5.0, but the spring at mile 4.3 on the east side of Slide (just after going down the ladder-stairs, if you're heading northbound on the LP) almost always has water. I think I've seen it dry only once in 20 years. Fill up there!

A little further, there's often a small flow of water that crosses the trail just before the climb up Cornell. I guess it would be around mile 5.5. Coordinates would be around 42.00255, -74.36723.

At around 42.00971, -74.33396 there's a barely-visible unmarked path leading south from the trail, just before you cross a small rocky stream. This might be the seasonal stream mentioned at mile 0.85 of section 19. If the stream is dry at the trail crossing, you can sometimes find water by heading south on this path a very short distance. There's some good camping up there too.

That's the last water I know of before the reliable pipe spring on the way down to Phoenicia.

So yes, the trail from Wittenberg to Phoenicia is dry, but there is a fair amount of spectacular scenery and it would be a shame to miss it! I'd suggest camping between Slide & Cornell (only allowed in designated spots, but they'll probably be empty on Tuesday or Wednesday.) Hopefully camp close enough to one of the springs that you can fill up with a whole day's worth of water for the next day's hike. Bring some extra bottles or a water bladder. The next day, start as early as you can, when it's still cool. If you find more water, great, if not, you shouldn't have a problem making it to the next spring before evening. (The camping around there is not great though! Steep and buggy.)

Good luck & enjoy!

Daniel Chazin's picture

I can't comment on the availability of water in this section, but I can say that this is one of the most beautiful sections of the Long Path in the Catskills and should not be missed. The initial ascent from Woodland Valley is on the Cornell-Wittenberg-Slide Trail, which is steep and eroded, but once you reach the new trail section, you'll be hiking on a well-graded trail constructed to the highest trail standards. I would think that you should be able to take along sufficient water for this section of the hike.
plippert's picture

I just got my copy of the Long Path Guide 1997 print edition. The section numbers and divisions seem different. I guess this is because the trail has changed in 23 years. Is there a key to these differences, IOW, something to translate? How do I know when I can trust the trail descriptions and when I can’t?
Daniel Chazin's picture

The 1997 hard-copy edition of the Long Path Guide is outdated. The current, up-to-date version of the Guide is available online. There is no key to correlate the two documents. You should rely on the online version of the Guide. You can trust the trail descriptions in the 1997 hard-copy Guide only if you have compared them to the online version of the Guide and find that they are still accurate.
plippert's picture

One of my greatest backpacking frustrations is getting to a shelter or back country camping area at the end of a day hiking, only to find that there is no water available. I’d like to do some sections of the Long Path this summer, and I wonder if there is a reference source on where water is available along the trail.
Jeremy Apgar's picture

Hello! There is an active Facebook "Friends of the Long Path" group where hikers share trail conditions, ask questions, and generally talk about the Long Path: That is currently the best resource available at the moment for this kind of information, and someone actually just asked a question 2 days ago bout water sources along the Shawangunk Ridge. Hope that helps! ~Jeremy, Trail Conference cartographer
plippert's picture

Unfortunately, I am not on Facebook. This sounds like a great group. Maybe I can participate through a more tech-savvy friend. Thank you for the suggestion.
jmb's picture

Sigh... we used to have a vibrant trail conditions forum here on, before the great web redesign. It's unfortunate that these new forums have been made so difficult to use that the de-facto source for up-to-date info has fallen to Facebook, which has a history of privacy abuses and a lot of political baggage. Anyway, rant over, I hiked some of the Long Path last year and all of it some years back. Water availability changes with the weather, but if you have questions about specific sections I'm happy to offer what insight I have.
Michael K7's picture

There is construction on Mountain Road as you cross the stream heading to Diltz's Lane to get to the parking area trailhead for the TMI Trail. It was passable when I went last week, but there is a temporary traffic light allowing one-way traffic at a time. If planning to go to this parking area, prepare for possible delays.
spidey3's picture

I was wondering who is officially responsible for trail maintenance along the Briarcliff-Peekskill Trailway, especially the segment from Colabaugh Pond Road north to Blue Mountain Reservation. It's a Westchester County Park, but I don't think I've ever seen anyone from the county doing any maintenance. We live in the area, and use the trail regularly. As far as we know, it's mostly local residents who use the trail who do the maintenance. For instance, today, as a family project, my son and I replaced a plank bridge over a small stream. The old planks were rotten, and had become dangerous. We wonder, is there a dedicated crew, part of NYNJTC that cares for the trailway? If so, how can we get involved? If not, how do we form such a group? Josh Diamond