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.


NLSL_Conquerer's picture

I know, I was hiking along those steps, then the next day I was hiking storm king, and I saw breakneck and sugarloaf, schunemunk, etc. I was like, what next, staircases up those too? No need to drive to a view, just hike an extra few
thex's picture

Bear Mountain/Harriman State Park are not wilderness areas? Tell that to the bears, deer, snakes, coyote, fox, rats, insects, etc that call these parks home. Tell it to the people camping under the stars. Tell it to yourself when you want to get away into the forest and have it feel natural. 1. Let nature take its course. How bad could the erosion be? Its a very rocky area. 2. Encourages people to easily go places to make noise and litter where they didn't have the stamina to go before. 3. Why would that section NEED to be relocated? Maybe another thing that works for NYNJTC? 4. There are many other trails that "novice" hikers can go to within the two parks. Besides, you didn't need to be a "pro" to climb the old AT section. You just need to have a little stamina and not be lazy. 5. Why not educate people about the wildlife there and their needs? Teaching trail etiquette? How? Put up a sign? Have a little class that only senior citizens can/will go to? Get people to understand the wildlife in their WILDERNESS area and then maybe they will respect the wildlifes home, in turn, getting your proper "trail etiquette". Harriman State Park and Bear Mountain State Park are NOT amusement parks, like you are trying to make them. Think about it Georgette Weir.
hiker4414's picture

"the Bear Mountain section of the trail, used by a half-million people a year" That adds up to 1,370 people using the AT at Bear Mtn each and every day of the year. Rain, snow, whatever. On many off season weekdays you would be lucky to find 30 cars in the parking lot and I'd guess half the visitors don't hike at all. The true number of Bear Mtn AT Trail users in a year is?
Zap's picture

Hey, my name is Tim, I'm from Rochester, NY. I leave in two weeks to attempt a north to south thru hike of the Long Path. Planning on spending about 4 weeks on the trail, a few days off in NYC to rest, and heading up to VT for a north bound hike of the Long Trail. Any support you can offer about blow downs, trail closings, cheap eats, short side trips, or a place to rest in the no camping areas would be truely appreciated. Wish me luck! Tim [email protected]
srtmaintainer's picture

Tim, we need to chat on the phone. I have section hiked the LP northbound and thru hiked the Vermont Long Trail southbound. I will email you with my contact information. Andy
jmb's picture

Anyone know what's up with this MUA adjacent to the Mohonk Preserve, which is shown with campsites on the 2008 map #105? Is it still open for camping, and if so, is it still "a noisy, garbage filled rat hole with drum circles until 4am"?

That quote comes from this 2008 thread about possible closure:

This seems to be the closest thing to any official info online:

I'm considering heading there for Memorial Day weekend to do day hikes into the preserve, but if it's closed or generally crowded on weekends then I'll make other plans.

banjolady's picture

can someone please explain what these park closings will mean for us hikers? such as anthony wayne--does this mean the parking lots will be blocked off or just not maintained? at this point the south lot has never reopened from its winter closing. is there anything we can do to take care of this ourselves? are rangers being let go? inquiring minds want to know...
Georgette Weir's picture

The Trail Conference expects that the north lot at Anthony Wayne will remain accessible, though facilities (bathrooms) may be shut. At parks slated for closing where there are no facilities, such as Schunemunk and Wonder Lake, we expect that from a trail users perspective, it will be business as usual. You may want to call ahead and see if you can get a clear answer.

There may be less or no ranger presence than is typical, so now more than ever, hikers and trail volunteers will be the eyes and ears on the ground that will protect our parks. If you spot any illegal activity or other problem, contact the park offices or the Trail Conference. You can find a brochure on our website with contact info--a good thing to print out and carry with you. Click here to find it. Or submit an Illegal Activity Report online.

Report any actual closings back here. Thanks!

Larry Wheelock's picture

Am working on getting specifics from park managers. Are hikers allowed in the parks? Are trail maintainers free to maintain and will they be covered by workman's comp? Waiting for answers.

coolhandgatsby's picture

I like the idea of park rangers checking in on some of the shelters, but I don't think that will happen anytime soon. A few years ago I spent four days backpacking through the park. I stopped at the Lake Welch Beach area and spoke to a couple of rangers telling them I was going to spend the night at the Big Hill Shelter and they had no idea what I was talking about, or even where the Big Hill Shelter was. Perhaps the trail conference can put some time into placing posts inside the lean-to's about Leave No Trace and the dangers of leaving food and garbage out to attract bear. If not, maybe I'll take the initiative and spend a couple bucks on plastic sleeves and thumbtacks and do it myself.
coolhandgatsby's picture

I've done extensive hiking in Harriman State Park for the past ten years and often stay overnight. I'm becoming increasingly worried about the full 30 gallon bags of garbage and empty liquor bottles I'm finding at the lean-to's. I've seen this at the Tom Jones shelter most recently, and other shelters around the park. Of the bear encounters that I've read about in the area, the bear seem to be becoming comfortable with a human presence and often stand their ground or flank hikers who continue along the trail. Bear population in the area has been increasing, areas around the park are densely populated, and if "Leave No Trace" is contunually ignored and the shelters remain baited with garbage then a bad bear encounter is inevitable.
sslogger366's picture

This is definitely not good and shows a lack of respect for others as well as the environment. Years ago I ran into the "party shelter" crowd and just set camp as far from them as possible. I'm planning to do some hiking up around West Mountain...have there been any bear sitings in the Northern section of Harriman State Park?
PVPatrick's picture

I had several bear encounters last season around doodletown. I was at West Mt shelter today and there are bags full of garbage shoved into one of the fireplaces (as well as the leaky roof with the plastic over it) and new fireplaces being built around the shelter. I wish that the park rangers could make a sweep of the shelters on weekends to disuade those less civilized folks.
Michael K7's picture

I don't think the problem is with most of the people hiking. It's the "other" people who decide to use the shelters/trails as their party zone that cause the problem. How to enforce the LNT principals is a tough question, one for which i don't have an answer. But i agree with you, it's only a matter of time before we're going to have a bad incident involving a bear. I was hoping to never need to carry bear spray for simple hikes in Harriman; unfortunately if this continues, it may become a necessity.
Paul_A's picture

The only solution I can think of for this problem is to do away with the shelters. Maybe replace each shelter with 4 tent platforms. Then it won't be as convenient for the party people but hikers would have a place to set up their tent.
coolhandgatsby's picture

This is a good idea, but the trail shelters have alot of history behind them and I don't think that it would be economically feasible, nor sensitive to local history, to dismantle them. It seems impossible to police this situation. I am beginning to believe that it is not worth the risk to camp in a spot that is being baited for bear and I have begun camping in sites that were established long ago . . . marked by old fire rings. It may not be "legal" to do this, but when practicing LNT, I think using these long lost old sites is definitely the better option. A bear canister tossed a hundred yards from my site and I'm alone and safe. Recently heard coyotes at night!!!'s picture

I am not a teenager but, not far off. I like to section hike in parts of the AT not usually in Harriman. I agree that theese people need to be dealt with. I am the type that hikes in alone or with a friend. I always have liquor, carried in a platypus blader and if the hike is that short I may bring a few beers. Such was the case the other weekend I hiked in with my cousin, and we brough our assorted "party items". I definately have to say though we packed out far more then our 2 reusable platypuses and the 6 beers we brought. We left with probably three times that in garbage as we knew the hike to the train station wasn't far. You can not blame all of us who come for the weekend and have some fun, at least some of us are responsible.
Georgette Weir's picture


See the news item here.

Michael K7's picture

Huge thanks to Roland for his effort!!!
Michael K7's picture

I spent the day hiking in Beacon Mountain and Fishkill today, and if you're planning on hiking the Fishkill Ridge trail, be warned that there is a major tree blockage. If you're headed north on the trail from the Wilkinson, the blockage is about 100 meters from the "top", before the trail makes the sharp left. The only way i could get past it was by climbing over it. I will submit a report and photos to the conference, and hopefully they can have a chainsaw crew get up there soon. Sorry, i don't know how to upload an image here, but i put one up on the Facebook group.