Long Path Protection Plan Highlights Remaining Protected Corridor Gaps
The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference is excited to announce the completion of the Long Path Protection Plan (LPPP), a comprehensive portfolio of maps and project descriptions through 10 counties in New York. The LPPP covers all of the unprotected gaps that need to be protected to permanently protect the Long Path trail corridor of more than 425 miles in length, and it should help advance shared missions and open space goals with partners and ultimately help expedite the goal of creating a protected Long Path corridor from New York City to the Adirondacks.
The Long PathThe Long Path is a trail that extends nearly 360 miles as a completed trail from near the 175th Street Subway Station in New York City to John Boyd Thacher State Park near Albany, New York, the current official terminus. The trail continues northward with blazed roadwalks and some off-road sections to the Mohawk River, and then a mostly unblazed roadwalk to reach Northville in the Adirondack Park. The aqua-blazed Long Path traverses many scenic and historic regions of varied geologic setting on the west side of the Hudson River, including the Palisades, Harriman State Park, the Shawangunk Ridge, the Catskills, and the Helderberg Escarpment.
The Trail Conference has been championing the Long Path for decades and has had many success stories with corridor protection for this trail and the associated Shawangunk Ridge Trail, including acquiring more than 400 acres of land for the Long Path corridor over the past 4 years, and finally having a comprehensive protection plan will bring many benefits. Thanks to a NYS Conservation Partnership Program Conservation Catalyst Grant and support from the Land Trust Alliance, the Trail Conference and its partners now have a vision and plan for trail corridor protection along the entire trail. We look forward to using the plan to collaborate with partners throughout the state to elevate protection of the Long Path and the lands through which it passes, helping to ensure the expertise and passion of our dedicated volunteers and staff will have long-lasting effects for land conservation in New York.
The Long Path Protection Plan
A total of 54 project areas, covering 376 priority parcels, are included in the plan. Each project area includes a detailed map that highlights already-protected parklands and corridor priority parcels, along with the current route of the Long Path, other trails, and potential proposed routes where desired. To provide additional context, parking access, scenic viewpoints, other points of interest, road names, town names, park names, and waterbody names are included.
A narrative description accompanies each project area map to provide analysis of parcels for which some form of protection should be secured, ranging from direct acquisition to other easements or agreements that could provide protection for the corridor and the trail. These descriptions also detail the actions needed so that the Trail Conference and our partners can strategically prioritize protection efforts.
While this plan is focused primarily on corridor protection for trail purposes, it has the added benefit of providing a plan for wildlife habitat corridor protection and overall protection of flora and fauna in sometimes unique environments.
We have seen public support for trails grow over the last two years, and this is reflected in the outstanding numbers of Long Path thru-hiking completions and a growing, vibrant community of hikers, runners, volunteers and landowners who are supportive of the Long Path. This Long Path Protection Plan, and the momentum of protection and trail improvements it will drive, will hopefully elevate the Long Path as a premier long-distance trail that uniquely connects New York City to the Adirondacks.
Download PDFs of the complete LPPP, or individual sections and counties, in the table below:
|Complete Long Path Protection Plan|
|Individual County Downloads|
|Saratoga & Fulton Counties|
This Long Path Protection Plan came together thanks to several dedicated individuals, most notably Andy Garrison and Nick Boyle. Our land protection efforts and the development of this plan would also not have been possible without large amounts of funding support:
- The Long Path Protection Plan was supported with funding from the New York State Conservation Partnership Program (NYSCPP) and New York's Environmental Protection Fund. The NYSCPP is administered by the Land Trust Alliance, in coordination with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
- Additional funding for this plan came from the Trail Conference's donor-supported Land Acquisition and Stewardship Fund (LASF).
We hope this Long Path Protection Plan will inspire more people to join the cause to protect the important lands throughout our region!