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.


coolhandgatsby's picture

I've seen rattlesnakes many, many times in the park. The good news is that they are very tame and it usually takes a lot just to get them rattling. The bad news is that they are very tame and you might not even know one is there until you step on one . . . which I once almost did on Panther Mtn.
Nick's picture

hi! last winter i did the stretch of russell brook road between the mud pond trail and the trout pond trail (to make a loop, starting from the trout pond trail end). i've never come from cooks falls. is this lower stretch of the old russell brook road passable (on foot, of course). also, is there available parking at that cooks falls end of the road? thanks!! (this is in the western catskills)
BrianSnat's picture

I don't believe it is. I know some people who were camping there a few weeks ago and they had to approach the area from the north.
BrianSnat's picture

OOps, I missed the "on foot" part. I'm sure it is. I was there after the road washed away and there was nothing that would keep someone from walking it. Driving is a whole 'nother matter.
Nick's picture

thanks for the replies. i did this today with a friend, and we found that russell brook road is completely passable on foot, with only one river crossing, one ditch scramble, and a few other minor rough spots. This is actually a very beautiful road. And... it's not overgrown at all, though there are a few spots with japanese knotweed invasions.

Also, for the record, at the Cooks Falls side, there is road side parking with space for maybe 4 cars. The 2005 maps do not indicate any parking, so i thought i'd mention it here.

srtmaintainer's picture

Thanks for your report Nick, this is truly what the trails condition forum was created for. Andy Garrison
Jeremy Apgar's picture


Glad to hear you enjoyed this section of Russell Brook Rd in the western Catskills.

The new 2010 edition of our 'Catskill Trails' map 144 shows this section as a dashed woods road with labels 'Road Closed' to indicate it is not drivable.  We also included a roadside parking symbol at the southern end since we learned during the production of the map that there was a spot for a few cars at this end of Russell Brook Rd, and your posting confirms this!

~Jeremy, TC cartographer

Laurie Lewis's picture

Are there any blueberries left on High Point in the Catskills, or am I too late?
thex's picture

Maybe you should pony up some money and just go to the store and buy some blueberries. Leave whats in the forests for the animals that live and rely on the blueberries. Maybe then, we won't see so many skinny deer, hungry bears going onto peoples property and instigating a bear hunt. You might tink its a small percent of blueberries being taken, but if everyone takes a handful, just think that thats a meal an animal could have relied on. Besides, I've seen people leaving with huge bags of blueberries, a couple of gallon zip locks. Tell me that doesn't affect animals. Haven't we taken enough from our forest friends? Just thing about were you are right now, no matter were it is, its lost animal habitat. STOP THE GREED!!!!
brownjoeus's picture

I was on High Point on July 13 and while they were there, they were smaller than I've ever seen up there. They are/were around though. Here in the Gunks it's like they're "predried" on the bush.
srtmaintainer's picture

I assume that you mean High Point in the Shawangunks! The answer to your question is that plenty of them can be found on the Shawangunk Ridge at this time. Andy Garrison
DoOver's picture

I was at Sam's Point yesterday. Blueberries are in! Brian
BrianSnat's picture

Occupation? That's a bit hyperbolic. In Harriman we share the trails with groups large and small and people from all walks of life. It's not like they are playing war games, they are hiking. It's little different than encountering one of those huge hiking groups we see in Harriman, only these people are wearing camouflage. Even if I considered their presence an inconvenience, these are the the men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line to defend our country. If that means that I'm inconvenienced for a few days by their presence, so be it. A few days of sacrificing my peaceful enjoyment of the trail is insignificant to the sacrifice they are willing to make.
fsteinmann's picture

I was hiking in northern Harriman on Thursday and in southern Harriman on Sunday and heard what sounded like artillery fire. I believe this had to be some sort of summer training at WP.
PVPatrick's picture

Harriman is a state park designed for peaceful recreation, not a military exercise area. As far as sacrifice, these are novice career army people voluntarily working towads commissions. Also, apparently the rules of the park do not apply as they park vehicles anywhere and walk off trail. I think the PIPC should rethink the idea before this becomes an annual event.
hiker4414's picture

It was a pleasure to meet and talk with them. I only wish we were still permitted to hike thru West Point. There used to be trails that ran all the way from Harriman to Storm King. 5 or 6 Years ago the Long Path was routed off roads and thru W. P. property, but our access was terminated after only a month or two. Does anyone know the reason?
srtmaintainer's picture

Good point about the trails that used to run on West Point land. I do imagine trails through the heart of the area where they do military maneuvers could be an issue with them. As for the LP though, it ran along the outer boundary of the military land. Maybe it's time to reopen negotiations on the LP route. On the main topic! I would be happy to see the Military hiking the Shawangunk Ridge Trail, I too would thank them for their courageous service. Andy Garrison
thegup's picture

Often when I hike the Camp Smith trail up to Anthony's Nose, I pass troops in full gear on the trail. I make way and applaud them, thank them for their service etc. It is an honor to be on the same the trail. ...
PVPatrick's picture

There were dozens of army vehicles and perhaps hundreds of army personnel all over the southern part of Harriman yesterday. They didnt appear to be carrying guns, but was a bit surreal. Anyone have any idea what was going on?
Daniel Chazin's picture

We have been advised that the West Point Military Academy has been doing some training involving long-distance hikes in Harriman. The following is the press release issued by West Point about these training exercises:


WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Palisades Interstate Park Commission and West Point have developed a world class land navigation training exercise for about 1,400 cadets that will be held in Harriman State Park from June 29 until July 13. (Training will take place in Harriman North and South.)

It is typical that military academy cadets conduct a variety of training activities annually from mid-May to early August in and around the West Point installation.

Cadet summer training is an integral part of the four-year leader development process that prepares cadets to earn their commissions as officers in the U.S. Army and become leaders of character to meet the challenges of a changing world.