For anyone looking for info on the Long Path hiking trail in NY (or planning on doing it), this post is going to help you a lot. The purpose of it to help inform you on what to expect and know about it.
- 1 Here are the first 4 FAQs about the Long Path hiking trail in NY:
- 2 Here are 4 other important things to know about the Long Path hiking trail in NY:
- 3 5) The Long Path trail is about 350+ miles:
- 4 6) The Long Path hiking trail is not part of the Appalachian Trail:
- 5 7) The Long Path is not the same as the Devils Path Trail:
- 6 8) The Long Path trail is marked as red and blue in parts (here is a map):
- 7 9) Are you someone who is prepared to hike the Long Path trail?
- 8 10) What gear should I bring on the Long Path hike?
Here are the first 4 FAQs about the Long Path hiking trail in NY:
1) What is the Long Path hiking trail?
It’s the longest trail in New York State (which does cross New Jersey). It goes through many different parks in New York (and some in New Jersey) with connecting trails.
Here are some of the areas you’ll cross while on the Long Path hiking trail:
- Fort Lee Historic Park.
- Harriman State Park.
- Lake Minnewaska and Mohonk Preserve.
- The Catskill Mountains.
- The Adirondack Mountains.
2) How long is the Long Path hiking trail?
Several 100 miles long.
3) How long does it take to hike the Long Path trail?
About 30 days for most people.
4) Where can I find a map of the Long Path Trail?
Here is a link, and you can expand it to get details.
5) When is the best time to hike the Long Path trail?
I would recommend early Spring or end of summer. It’s better to hike throughout these areas when it’s cooler.
Here are 4 other important things to know about the Long Path hiking trail in NY:
- It’s over 300 miles long.
- It is not part of the Appalachian trail.
- It’s not part of the Devils Path Trail.
- The trail is marked as blue and red in certain parts.
Let me explain each part of this hike so you get a better idea:
5) The Long Path trail is about 350+ miles:
You can start it in New York City. It goes over the George Washington Bridge and over to Fort Lee Historic Park. From there it’ll turn north west to Harriman State Park and then zig zag north to Minnewaska State Park, then the Catskills, Lake George and then the greater Adirondack Mountains region.
Areas where you can camp or stay at a hotel nearby are available.
6) The Long Path hiking trail is not part of the Appalachian Trail:
Some people, including myself when I didn’t know any better thought these 2 trails were either one or connected in some way. They are not. The Appalachian Mountain trail intersects at one point with the Long Path trail that is in Harriman State Park, but other than that, these 2 are completely away from one another.
The Long Path is basically you heading north (or south) through New York State and the Appalachian Trail is a 2,000 mile trail that starts in Maine and goes south west through to Georgia State as well as through the Blue Ridge Mountains.
7) The Long Path is not the same as the Devils Path Trail:
Years ago, when I first heard of the Devils Path trail and looked into it, I asked a local in the Catskill Mountains if they could tell me where I could find it. He asked me if I meant the Devils Path trail or the Long Path Trail and at the time, I didn’t know the difference between them.
The Devil’s Path trail intersects (in the Catskill Mountains) with the Long Path, but they are also completely different trails. The Devils Path trail is 22 miles and the Long Path is 300+ miles.
When you go on the Devils Path trail, it will be indicated by a red marker and the Long Path will be indicated by a blue marker.
8) The Long Path trail is marked as red and blue in parts (here is a map):
This map can be found here for more details but I have the screenshot here:
As you can see, certain parts of it are red and others are blue. You have to be careful when reading these trail markers because they can get confusing at parts and you may accidentally stumble in certain areas into a completely different trail. Make sure you are good at following markers so you don’t get lost in the woods.
Now onto the last 2 things on this post:
9) Are you someone who is prepared to hike the Long Path trail?
For most hikers, this trail might be a bit much (including me), but if you are someone who:
- Enjoys hiking.
- Enjoys camping.
- Enjoys overnight hikes/camping.
- Is experienced at navigation and has experience in hiking these long trails.
Then this could definitely be a fun hike for you to do. For anyone else, it might be better for you to do parts of it instead of the whole thing and the beauty of this trail is that it is totally possible for you to do that.
There are several beautiful parks and regions across this long trail that you can access and do a few miles of that are part of the Long Path hike to get some experience and off that experience build up and see if you are someone who is ready to do the whole thing in the future.
10) What gear should I bring on the Long Path hike?
As someone who has done 100’s of miles of hiking and trail running, but not the Long Path hike (yet), I can suggest a few things that should make you better prepared for this:
1) Trail running shoes are fine. I recommend the Salomon Speedcross or the recently tested Merrell Moab Speed Hiking Shoes. Regular hiking shoes are also good for this, but long distances, you want something truly reliable and these 2 shoes will suffice.
2) Camping gear (if you plan on camping that is). I personally dislike camping, but carrying a large hiking bag to fit a tent, food, pans, supplies and so forth is highly important.
3) If you plan on doing this hike day to day and staying at hotels, make absolutely sure to plan ahead in that you should have specific parts of the trail marked where you can find overnight accommodations.
4) If you do plan on going this route (the day to day, stay at a hotel at night option), then carrying a hydration backpack, small snacks and other important hiking supplies like this essential hiking gear is imperative.
5) Trekking poles. These are huge. No matter how physically fit you are, no one can hike over 300 miles with heavy gear on and expect to be healthy after that. Trekking poles will really help you balance out the stress on your knees and help you hike longer distances on the Long Path every single day. I personally use the Trailbuddy trekking poles.
6) Waterproof clothing. Most of New York’s nature is soggy, misty and it rains a lot in the mountains. I would keep waterproof gear on you so you stay dry if you have to hike in the rain.