From at a kiosk at the northwest corner of the parking area, follow the aqua-blazed Long Path along the north shore of Lake Skannatati on a rocky footpath through a mountain laurel thicket. In half a mile, the trail bends away from the lake, crosses Pine Swamp Brook, and soon passes a huge rock ledge on the right. About 1.3 miles from the start, you’ll climb to a junction with the yellow-...
From at a kiosk at the northwest corner of the parking area, follow the aqua-blazed Long Path along the north shore of Lake Skannatati on a rocky footpath through a mountain laurel thicket. In half a mile, the trail bends away from the lake, crosses Pine Swamp Brook, and soon passes a huge rock ledge on the right. About 1.3 miles from the start, you’ll climb to a junction with the yellow-blazed Dunning Trail (laid out in 1933 by Dr. James M. Dunning, a volunteer with the Appalachian Mountain Club).
Bear left and follow the joint Long Path and Dunning Trail, which briefly run together. When the trails diverge, take the left fork and continue to follow the yellow blazes of the Dunning Trail, which descends through laurel along a wide woods road.
At the base of the descent, you’ll notice stone foundations on both sides of the trail. These are remnants of the village built in the late 1800s to house workers at the adjacent Hogencamp Mine, which was active from 1870 to 1885. According to historian James M. Ransom, there were once 20 houses, several barns, a school and a store in this location.
After crossing a brook, you will observe a stone platform to the left. It was built out of tailings (pieces of rock discarded during the mining process). Piles of tailings may be found throughout this mining site. A short distance beyond, you’ll notice a vertical mine shaft, about 25 feet in diameter, on the right side of the trail. A cast-iron pipe protrudes from the shaft, which is filled with water. Use extreme caution when approaching this open shaft! On the opposite side of the trail, iron rods may be seen protruding from a crumbling concrete base (now covered with grass), with a stone-lined well, three feet in diameter, beyond.
There are many other interesting remnants of mining activity in the area. Those who wish to explore the area more extensively should consult Iron Mine Trails by Edward Lenik (now available from the Trail Conference as an e-book).
Continue south along the Dunning Trail, passing a swamp on the left. The trail soon curves to the right. One section of the old grassy road followed by the trail has been extensively built up using mine tailings. A section of this road was once known as the “Crooked Road,” as it follows many curves around the hills in an attempt to keep the road as level as possible. The lake visible on the left is Little Long Pond.
After a mile on the Dunning Trail, you’ll come to a large bare, rocky area, known as “Bowling Rocks” for the boulders that dot the bare rock. The trail continues through a rather open area, with views to the left over the ridge to the south.
About 0.4 mile from Bowling Rocks, after a short climb, you’ll reach a junction with the red-dot-on-white-blazed Ramapo-Dunderberg (R-D) Trail. (This junction, which is on the crest of a ridge, is easily missed. If you find yourself beginning a long, steady descent, you’ve gone too far and should return to the highest point, where the junction is located.) Turn right and follow the red-dot-on-white blazes northward. You are now at about the halfway point of the hike.
The area just north of the junction was scarred by a forest fire in 2001. It has now started to regenerate, with many large evergreen trees having grown in the interim, but a number of burnt tree trunks are still visible.
A short distance ahead, the R-D Trail crosses a huge open rock surface, known as the Whaleback. Just beyond, look for a plaque on a boulder to the right of the trail. It was placed in memory of George E. Goldthwaite, a member of the Fresh Air Club of New York, who was reputed to have hiked the entire 21-mile R-D Trail in less than five hours – quite a feat for hiking this steep, rocky trail!
The trail now steeply descends a rock face to cross a stream on a log bridge, and it climbs to a junction with the blue-blazed Lichen Trail (which begins on the left). A short distance beyond, the R-D Trail passes beneath a large overhanging rock, known as “Ship Rock” for its resemblance to the prow of a ship.
The trail continues ahead to climb Hogencamp Mountain. The bare rock summit of this 1,353-foot mountain – one of the highest spots in Harriman State Park – affords a wide panorama of the surrounding area. The tower visible straight ahead in the distance is a microwave relay tower for AT&T, located near Gate Hill Road. The trail makes a sharp left turn here and begins a steady descent, soon passing through a young hemlock forest.
At the base of the descent, you’ll reach “Times Square,” marked by a fireplace next to a huge boulder. It was so named because it is located at the junction of three trails and serves as a popular meeting place for hikers. Turn right here and follow the Arden-Surebridge (A-SB) Trail, marked by inverted-red-triangle-on-white blazes (to be distinguished from the red-dot-on-white blazes of the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail). The A-SB Trail briefly runs together with the Long Path, but almost immediately bears left and begins a steady descent on an old mining road. In half a mile, it reaches the northern end of the yellow-blazed Dunning Trail, where it crosses a stream below an attractive cascade.
Just beyond the stream crossing, you’ll notice a large rectangular cut in the hillside to the left of the trail. This excavation is part of the Pine Swamp Mine, another mining venture in the area, which was opened about 1830 and was worked intermittently until 1880. As you continue along the trail, several other excavations and open pits (now filled with water) may also be seen. One interesting feature, visible in the second excavation, is a long, round depression in the rock – the mark left by the drill bit used to excavate the mine.
After passing these mine openings, the trail bears right and descends into the woods. Soon, you’ll pass a stone wall and several stone foundations to the left of the trail. These are remnants of the village that once housed the workers at the nearby mine.
The A-SB Trail now passes by the northern end of the Pine Swamp and begins an ascent to a shoulder of Pine Swamp Mountain. After passing a junction with the Red Cross Trail, the A-SB Trail descends to the parking area at Lake Skannatati, where the hike began. Along the way, Lake Askoti may be seen through the trees on the left.Publication: Submitted by Daniel Chazin on 02/28/2002 updated/verified on 03/01/2016
This hike leads to interesting remnants of old iron mines and climbs to viewpoints from open rocks.
Whether you are going for a day hike or backpacking overnight, it is good practice to carry what we call The Hiking Essentials. These essentials will help you enjoy your outing more and will provide basic safety gear if needed. There may also be more essentials, depending on the season and your needs.
Hiking Shoes or Boots
Water - Two quarts per person is recommended in every season. Keep in mind that fluid loss is heightened in winter as well as summer. Don't put yourself in the position of having to end your hike early because you have run out of water.
Map - Know where you are and where you are going. Many of our hiking areas feature interconnecting network of trails. Use a waterproof/tear-resistant Tyvek Trail Conference map if available or enclose your map in a Ziplock plastic bag. If you have a mobile device, download Avenza’s free PDF Maps app and grab some GPS-enhanced Trail Conference maps (a backup Tyvek or paper version of the map is good to have just in case your batteries die or you don't have service). Check out some map-reading basics here.
Food - Snacks/lunch will keep you going as you burn energy walking or climbing. Nuts, seeds, and chocolate are favorites on the trail.
Sunscreen and insect repellent
Rain Gear and Extra Clothing - Rain happens. So does cold. Be prepared for changing weather. Avoid cotton--it traps water against your skin and is slow to dry. If you are wearing wet cotton and must return to your starting point, you risk getting chills that may lead to a dangerous hypothermia. Choose synthetic shirts, sweaters and/or vests and dress in layers for easy on and off.
Compass - A simple compass is all you need to orient you and your map to magnetic north.
Light - A flashlight or small, lightweight headlamp will be welcome gear if you find yourself still on the trail when darkness falls. Check the batteries before you start out and have extras in your pack.
First Aid Kit - Keep it simple, compact, and weatherproof. Know how to use the basic components.
Firestarter and Matches - In an emergency, you may need to keep yourself or someone else warm until help arrives. A firestarter (this could be as simple as leftover birthday candles that are kept inside a waterproof container) and matches (again, make sure to keep them in a waterproof container) could save a life.
Knife or Multi-tool - You may need to cut a piece of moleskin to put over a blister, repair a piece of broken equipment, or solve some other unexpected problem.
Emergency Numbers - Know the emergency numbers for the area you're going to and realize that in many locations--especially mountainous ones, your phone will not get reception.
Common Sense - Pay attention to your environment, your energy, and the condition of your companions. Has the weather turned rainy? Is daylight fading? Did you drink all your water? Did your companion fail to bring rain gear? Are you getting tired? Keep in mind that until you turn around you are (typically) only half-way to completing your hike--you must still get back to where you started from! (Exceptions are loop hikes.)
Check the weather forecast before you head out. Know the rules and regulations of the area.
The Leave No Trace Seven Principles
- Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you'll visit.
- Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
- Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
- Visit in small groups when possible. Consider splitting larger groups into smaller groups.
- Repackage food to minimize waste.
- Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.
- Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
- Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
- Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.
- In popular areas:
- Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
- Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
- Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.
- In pristine areas:
- Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
- Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.
- Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter.
- Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
- Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
- To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.
- Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
- Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
- Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
- Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.
- Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
- Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
- Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
- Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.
- Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
- Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
- Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
- Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
- Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.
- Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
- Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
- Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
- Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
- Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.
The Trail Conference is a 2015 Leave No Trace partner.
(c) Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: www.LNT.org.