The Appalachian Trail that winds through New York is not as secluded as most other states along the way. But, it is more wooded and removed from civilization than one might expect considering its proximity to one of the world’s largest population centers. The A.T. passes 30 miles to the north of New York City and on a clear day you can see the glimmer of the Big Apple on the horizon. Elevation changes are generally moderate for the thru-hiker in New York. The path can vary from the relatively flat and gentle trail to short, steep rocky climbs. Water filtration is most likely needed during most of the 88 miles through the Empire State as natural water sources can be scarce and sometimes polluted.
New York holds on to the very first section of the A.T. to be completed in 1923 – a portion of the trail traveling through Harriman-Bear Mountain State Park. This section receives many visitors during the year. NY also holds the record of the lowest point along the 14 states near Bear Mountain Bridge – elevation: 124 feet. At this point on the trail the path leads directly through the Trailside Museum and Zoo! I will share some insights into the zoo in an upcoming blog. I love zoos so this will be a real treat for me. There are eight trail shelters located along the path of white blazes, although the West Mountain Shelter is located off the main A.T. It is still a very popular shelter among thru-hikers because of the special view on clear days including the skyline of Manhattan.
A few aspects of New York that will add to my adventure are: seeing and walking over Prospect Rock (the highest point in NY at 1,433 feet), watching the cascades at Fitzgerald Falls, crossing the Hudson River on the Bear Mountain Bridge, wiggling through the Lemon Squeezer (check out my post on this cool rock formation called “Tight Fit” – see link below) , and sitting on the bench of the only train station along the A.T. (more on the Metro-North Railroad’s Harlem Line in an upcoming blog).
Great additional information:
Photo of Fitzgerald Falls http://gonehikin.blogspot.com/2012/05/appalachian-trail-ny-eastern-pinnacles.html
- Tight Fit (hikeitforward.wordpress.com)