TRAIL ALERT 4/29/16: Sam's Point and Minnewaska sections are closed until further notice due to a wildfire.
The Shawangunk Ridge Trail (SRT - blue blazes) starts at the Appalachian Trail in High Point State Park in New Jersey and heads north along the southern Shawangunks, then northeast through Sam's Point Preserve, Minnewaska State Park and the Mohonk Preserve in New York. It generally follows the spectacular Shawangunk Ridge, occasionally using local roads and abandoned rail beds.
In about 12 miles the SRT joins the Long Path in the town of Greenville, and it is co-aligned with the LP for the next 34 miles. After crossing Route 211 and going over Gobblers Knob, the trail descends to the Basha Kill Wildlife Management Area. The Basha Kill is an extensive wetland offering many opportunities for bird watching and other wildlife viewing. North of the Basha Kill, the SRT passes through the Village of Wurtsboro and then ascends the Wurtsboro Ridge.
The next 10 miles along the ridgetop are among the most spectacular in New York State with the open views of the Catskills looming in the distance, and views all the way back to High Point. Once the trail crosses Route 52, it ascends to Sam's Point Preserve and continues to Verkeerder Kill Falls, Minnewaska State Park and the Mohonk Preserve on its way north and east. The Long Path leaves the SRT in Minnewaska, and the SRT is then co-aligned with existing trails through Minnewaska and Mohonk. The trail is currently blazed to Mountain Rest Road near the main entrance to Mohonk Mountain House, from where one can follow local roads to the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail and the Rosendale Trestle.
The SRT was initiated by the Trail Conference in 1989 and continues to be a work in progress. The Trail Conference and its partners work to protect a ridge-length trail corridor and connect the trail to other trails along the way.
The Trail Conference is pleased to offer hikers free maps of the SRT via download to your computer. These maps have been fully revised to reflect many minor and some major changes. Four separate maps cover the current existing trail; each prints on an 8.5 x11-inch page. These maps complement the detailed description of the southern SRT found in The Long Path Guide.
The SRT also serves as an alternative route on the Long Path for the hiker who wishes to avoid the lowlands of Orange County. Upon reaching the intersection with the Appalachian Trail in Harriman Park, the hiker follows the AT south to High Point State Park in New Jersey, then goes north on the SRT to meet the Long Path in Greenville.