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Backpacker Magazine – May 2011

Rip & Go: Long Path Loop - Harriman State Park, NY

Enjoy soaring views from open ridges on this easy-access overnight.

by: Casey Lyons and Laura Binks

Baring it all: This fire-cleansed ridge yields catskill views at mile 1.6. (Photo by Catherine Brooks)
Baring it all: This fire-cleansed ridge yields catskill views at mile 1.6. (Photo by Catherine Brooks)
Lemon Squeezer: The park's 100-foot-long faux slot canyon (Photo by Catherine Brooks)
Lemon Squeezer: The park's 100-foot-long faux slot canyon (Photo by Catherine Brooks)

trip iconTAKE IT WITH YOU
Download a printable version of this entire trip right here.

Do it
Secluded trails winding through mixed forest. Fifty-mile views from rock domes. With charms like these—and the proximity to New York City—you’d expect to share every step, but this 18-mile overnighter sticks to the park’s quietest corner. From the parking lot (1) off Orange County Road 106, follow the red-blazed Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail on the ridge of Black Rock Mountain. Stay straight (2) and take in views of lakes shining like drops of mercury on a leafy background. At mile 1.8, turn left (north) onto blue-blazed Lichen Trail (3) and descend to the Long Path (4). At a four-way junction (5), head straight on the red-blazed Arden-Surebridge Trail for a short detour to the Lemon Squeezer (“See This,” next page).

Return to the junction and head north on the Long Path. Contour around Surebridge Mountain and past the shelter (6). Stay on the Long Path for a mile-long, low-country stretch in the shadow of 1,378-foot Fingerboard Mountain, then cross Arden Valley Road (7). Bear left (8) and climb steeply up 1,319-foot Stockbridge Mountain—its three-mile-long ridge reveals vistas of Bear Mountain (east), the Catskills (northwest), and West Point (north). After Hippo Rock, turn right onto yellow-blazed Menomine Trail and descend to Lake Nawahunta. Cross Seven Lakes Drive (9), skirt Silver Mine Lake, then ascend along Bockey Swamp Brook to the William Brien Memorial Shelter (10) in a hollow.

Next day, take the Red Cross Trail through a broad swath of lowland forest—one of the park’s least-visited areas. Stay right at the Y-intersection (11), and left to cross Tiorati Brook. Go straight in .6 mile, leaving the Red Cross Trail (12), toward Lake Askoti. Cross Seven Lakes Drive (13), and bend around Lake Skannatati on the Long Path. Turn left at the T-intersection, then left onto the Dunning Trail (yellow blazes). In .4 mile, continue straight to the Bald Rocks Shelter, then return via the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail.


Trip Planner

Get there
From Manhattan, take I-95 west to exit 74 onto the Palisades Pkwy. In 27 miles, take exit 14 and turn left onto CR 98. Take the second exit at the traffic circle onto Orange CR 106 west. Park in a mile.

Gear up
Eastern Mountain Sports, 66 Rockland Plaza, NY 59, Nanuet, NY. (845) 623-5282; ems.com

Map
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference Harriman-Bear Mountain Trails Maps ($10, nynjtc.org)

Trip data
backpacker.com/hikes/17301





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Reader Rating: -

READERS COMMENTS

Star Star Star Star Star
peterg
Feb 22, 2014

The only correction to this...instead of doubling back to the Long Path via the ASB, continue through the Lemon Squeezer along the AT (white verticle blaze). Take in a gentle climb to a very serene, scenic grassy mountaintop. continue AT throgh the valley to the point where it crosses the Long Path, further north. Eliminating the LP at the ASB eliminates a lowloand route that is marshy, off camber less scenery (imo) and prone to being wet. Much more scenic change to the route. Otherwise 2 day route is spot - on!

Star Star Star Star Star
Kate
Apr 19, 2013

Not sure what happened to the stars...meant to give it 4!

Star Star
Kate
Apr 19, 2013

Did this backpack with some additional trails on 4/15-16 2013 (approximately 15 miles on day one, and 12 on day 2. Spent the night at the Brien Memorial Shelter, as advised. Did not find water there and had to backtrack to fill up for the evening. One other hiker at shelter. Overall, a beautiful hike, a beautiful park, and a great overnight.

Bernie
Oct 10, 2012

Did this backpack last weekend (10/06 - 10/07/2012). Was pretty challenging hike though shouldn't be difficult for anyone in halfway decent shape. We definitely needed almost all of both days of the weekend to complete it. Lots of nice views and varied terrain. Stayed at the indicated shelter where there was a water source.

Anonymous
Jul 01, 2011

Just did this trail and it was amazing great for beginners and novice. I didn't sleep over because I did it on a weekday but will continue again during the weekend. Thanks

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