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.


tree188's picture

6/22/2013 Began at the entrance to Ashland State Forest and continued to the Schoharie Reservoir by Rt. 990 and the motorcycle bar by Manorkill Falls.  The falls were impressive but I'd like to know how that wonderful shot in the trip description was taken.  The chasm and falls are deep and there is no easy access to get really good pictures. The rest of the hike was clear.  One or two spots for trail turns are easy to miss, you have to keep an eye open.  The South Mountain Road walk was pleasent.  This section was ok but other than the Falls, not too much stood out.  Curious why the original path was taken off Ashland Pinnacle & Hunterfield Mtn.  It looks like the remaining trial could possibly be reconnected to the LP between Macumber Rd. and Champlin Rd.  Maybe it's a private land access issue.... We have now fallen off the flat earth of TC's last map for the LP & Catskills.  Fortunately it didn't hurt!
srtmaintainer's picture

Champlin Road is a dead end as is Macumber. The town road in between is abandon and on private property. The owner of the private land between the two dead end roads has had people arrested for walking through his property on the old road. The trail actually use to go through another private parcel to get through. That owner closed the trail and currently we have no permission to get through that area. i was the one that came up with the idea to route the trail onto South Mountain Road. The trail was previously closed at Marv Rion Road. No reasonable road walk could be found at that location. In fact the roads take you many miles out of the way which is why we decided to abandon that route. We often check for landowner changes in that area and hope to come up with a solution in the future.   Andy Garrison - Co-Chair of the Long Path
pintoj's picture

I did the Surprise Lake Loop hike today and I think someone should take a look at the blazing along this entire loop.  In some spots it is very good but in others it is pretty poor.  In particular when coming down the steep ledge towards Green Brook it isn't obvious where the Yellow Trail continues.  I ended up going down to the brook and just going up and down it until I found the Yellow Trail again.  The second biggest problem (surprisingly) was along the short AT section of the hike.  There's a fork where it isn't obvious if the trail goes left or right (it goes left) near a boggy area and you don't see another white blaze for quite a ways.  There are other spots along the way where it is easy to miss the trail blazes but those two were the biggest problems.  I'm sure if you've hiked this before the trail might seem obvious but for a first timer it can be trying especially since this is a strenuous hike and the last thing you need is to be searching around for blazes.
Estelle's picture

Thanks John.   The Trail Supervisors for the region and for the AT have been notified.   Remember that we lost a lot of trees and they may been blaze trees, so the maintainers will need to visit their sections and check and replace blazes.   Thanks as always for your reports.  Estelle  
tree188's picture

Walked this section on Sunday June 9, 2013, happy to get in another section between the monsoons that have recently visited us. One great thing about the Catskills is the cooler weather that always seems to be 5 to 10 degrees cooler than the NYC area.  Sunday was cool, clear and a nice breeze to cool off with due to the high humidity.  Temperatures ranged from 62 in the morning to 72 at the end of the hike.  As described, this section is not used as much as other parts of the LP.  Most trails I am used to walking have developed a clear brown path, compacted from the years and number of hikers passing over its surface.  Not in this section,  this is a wild child!!!!  You really are walking through the forest and the plants.  There are many wet areas and semi-swamps to cross, be prepared.  Brother & I were fortunate that the bramble patches described in this section have not yet grown to their full height and reach.....yet.  The bigger challenge was stinging nettles all along the trail.  They were present in many areas, just enough to remind us to keep moving along, "nothing to see here". Which couldn't have been further from the truth.  The diversity of plants on this section was really really great to see.  Additionally, this is one of the few areas we have seen where the deer have not eaten all of the underbrush.  The understory plant growth was what a real forest in the northeast should look like; dense and filling different heights of the undercanopy of the larger trees.  In several areas we were treated to floor covers of Jack-in the-Pulpit plants and were generally pleased to see so many of them.  This is truly their home.  The former CCC groves of evergreen were quiet and grand, as if one is in Nature's Cathedral.  The ability of the forest to muffle sound in general was impressive.  We think also saw high bush blueberry in flower, which was a treat as we have not seen this before.  The flowers appear as a pink trumpet shaped bloom. Many more song birds were about on this trip, as well as a garter snake or two.  Bear scat was also observed at several locations along this path.  We also saw a deer at the end of our walk. The path was clear as could be in this area.  The blazes could use a little maintenance.  A few trees are blocking the trail that have fallen over and also sometimes hide the blazes when proceeding down the trail. If you want to experience a different type of walk through the woods, this is an interesting alternative.
rshiking14's picture

I was exploring this area last spring, probably one of the most serene hikes I've gone on!
tree188's picture

Hiked this section on Monday May 27, 2013.  The path is not as well used as the previous sections but is passable and well marked.  There is more under growth here (tick country) and wild columbine was present, in bloom, throughout this section.  We were also treated to an occasional Jack-In-the Pulpit, we have never seen them in the wild.  The trees here are leafed out so walking under them resulted in a nice cool temperature.  Lots of birds to be heard but they are shy, we didn't see too many.  As noted on the trail map, there is not much in the way of views on this section, although one can occasionally be rewarded with a view to the north. With only one more section to hike on the LP on Trail Conference maps, we are excitedly anticipating falling off the edge of the flat earth at the end of the next section.......
ultrarunner's picture

Is the Highlands trail still closed at the section by Monksville Reservoir?    This is the alert I read on this web site: "ALERT 3/2013: Due to construction of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline, trails crossing the construction area are closed until construction has ended in spring. This includes the Hewit-Butler / Highlands Trail and the Horse Pond Mountain / Highlands Trail near Monksville Reservoir."
HT Supervisor's picture

Yes, the HT is still closed near the Monksville Reservoir until pipeline construction is completed. For more info follow this link:
pintoj's picture

The website (and the state website) still says: "ENTIRE AS HEWITT STATE FOREST TRAIL SYSTEM" is closed. Is that still true?  Or just select trails now are closed? I was planning on doing the state-line/surprise lake loop hike: and was wondering if that hike is now possible to do?
Daniel Chazin's picture

The State's website has been updated to read as follows:  "Quail Trail is closed. All other trails are now re-opened." 
pintoj's picture

Thanks Daniel.    I was looking at this DEP page: Which still shows it as being closed.   But this DEP page: Shows it being open as you advised.
Estelle's picture

John,   we have cleared all the trails in Abram Hewitt SF; the State apparently has not updated their info.  and I will correct our website info.   We have cleared 95% of the Terrace Pond side trails as well.  The rest will be cleared as weather permits.   State Line-Surprise Lake - Ernest Walter - AT: all cleared
pintoj's picture

Thanks Estelle.   I was looking at this page:   Maybe the website just needs a new page which lists any trails/parks that are closed and not just Sandy-related ones (we still have problems in some spots related to Irene).  It would be great if such a page were directly accessible from the "Be Informed" web page.
posnerk's picture

Section 16:  From Riggsville to Bull Run   Miles 1.7 to 2.6 (from Vernooy Falls to woodland road) -- dozens of large trees down across the trail.  Must have been a tornado, or maybe this was from Irene.  I was able to climb over and/or bushwhack around them, but these are major obstacles, as bad as I've ever seen on a hiking trail. Will need a crew with big chainsaws to clear this.  Thank you in advance to whoever goes out there and clears this.
srtmaintainer's picture

Thanks for the report!  We will work to get these blowdowns cleared. Andy Garrison, Co-Chair of the Long Path Committee.'s picture

I just thought I would mention this.  I recently met someone in the Tarrytown area that teachs at the school that stands above the Old Croton Aquiduct.  She told me that she is part of a group that wanted to close that section of the aquiduct near the school.  I hope this never comes to pass and that's why I'm bringing it up here.  Could you imagine that part being closed and having to do a detour?  Hopefully it never comes down to having to fight over public acces to that state park area.
tree188's picture

5/11/2013 Hiked this section yesterday to try to avoid the rain today......Still caught a few sprinkles towards the end of yesterday.  This section was truly magnificent.  The recent rain has caused the ground cover plants to burst out of their sleep.  The mountains are literally carpeted with flowers at this time.  We could not believe the amount and diversity of plants and flowers that are currently in bloom, non-stop from one end of this hike to the other.  To quote the Geico Gekko: "Trillium (red & WHITE), Spring beauties (multiple colors and patterns), trout lillies, false Solomon's whatever it is (slender pale yellow flower?), viburnum white flowers, purple violets (?) and yellow violets (?).  Need I say more?"  The views were great.  The only disappontment was a light haze across the valleys.  You could still see a good distance.  The views here have been well maintained and vegetation has been kept low so as to keep the views open.  Another benefit of going now is that the trees have not fully opened their leaves yet.  Some good views of adjacent mountains and areas the trail travels are to be had as one hikes the trail. An interesting feature of this circumstance is that you can see the greenery of the deciduous trees openning at the base of the mountains moving up the sides of the mountains.  Green to grey/brown and then a distinct line across the top of each peak where the evergreen trees are dominent and appear as a green/brown cap to each peak.  Batavia Kill was a pleasure to see again; running cool & clear.  Even with the more recent rain the stream was running with a good flow but not exceeding its banks.  Views both to the north of Catskills and into the Big Hollow Rd. valley were very good and interestng to observe.   Animal life was limited again.  We observed 2 garter snakes and some but not many birds.  This included a turkey vulture and possibly an immature eagle.  Based upon the bird calls we heard through the forest there are song birds in the area but not many.  One last item we have noticed throughout the Catskills is that some animal uses the trails to constantly mark its territory, not deer based upon the droppings, usually always in the middle of the trail.  It is consistent, if nothingelse, in its placement of "materials".   The trail and markings were in good shape in general.  A few signs need to be replaced as they are nearing the end of their service lives.  The Batavia shelter is in need of a major rebuilding; the floor is falling apart and portions of the roof are collapsing.   The end of this hike was somewhat a bittersweet ending on this day.  We are now leaving the main Catskills behind.  They are magnificent as well as challenging.  Rt 23 seems to mark the end of the "big stuff" on the trail.  Of additional note, I recently dug out some of my old books and found a mint copy of the Guide to the Long Path, 2nd Ed. 1987.  Didn't even know I had it.  At the time of this publication, the Rt. 23 end point was the end of the Long Path.  The trail at that time was 216 miles long.   Another great section of the Long Path, not to be missed.
Aaron Schoenberg's picture

I am leading a hike utilizing these trails from Ringwood Manor, next Saturday, May 11. Will I encounter any problems or closures due to pipe line construction?
jmartin's picture

To the best of my knowledge, the closures in Ringwood State Park are still in effect.  The pipeline crosses both the Ringwood-Ramapo and Crossver trails, so my suggestion would be to contact the park at (973) 962-7031 to get the most up to date information.  Please do me a favor and relay whatever information you find out. 


Jonathan Martin

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