11 Things to Know About The Long Path Hiking Trail in NY

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.

Here are the first 4 FAQs about the Long Path hiking trail in NY:

1) What is the Long Path hiking trail?Long Path Hiking Trail in NY

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:

2) How long is the Long Path hiking trail?

Long Path Hiking Trail minnewaska state park

424 miles long. There’s one main trail that takes you from point A to B and I will show you a map of it shortly, but do keep in mind that there are certain connecting trails from areas around the MAIN Long Path hike that will connect to it.

Me personally, I’ve hiked about 50 miles of this whole trail over the years.

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?

long path trail alltrails screenshot 02

Here is a link, and you can expand it to get details. Also, here is an Alltrails map of the Long Path trail.

Note: Understand that the trail markers for the Long Path are this color but on Alltrails, it will always show as red (just don’t make the mistake of following the wrong trail).

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 (but also before it starts snowing).

Here are 4 more important things to know about the Long Path hiking trail:

What I want to cover right now is specific details about this hike (some repeats I’ve already shown you) to help you better understand a few things about this hike.

It’s very important to know some of the more obvious details if you’re seriously considering doing this hike. And so, here’s a few basics:

  • It is not part of the Appalachian trail.
  • It’s intersects with parts of other popular hikes like Devils Path trail.
  • There are many connecting trails across the span of the Long Path you can use to get on it yourself.
  • The Long Path trail is marked as aqua blue. Don’t mistake that color for dark blue or light blue trails because the Long Path does cross a lot of different hiking trails.
  • Some people (like myself) have confused the Long Path with the Long Trail, 2 entirely different thru hikes.

Let me explain each part of this hike so you get a better idea:

6) The Long Path trail is over 400 miles:

Long Path Hiking Trail lake george

You can start it in New York Cit (a lot of people do it this way).

It goes over the George Washington Bridge and over to Fort Lee Historic Park.

The Long Path hike takes you over the Hudson River Valley area here.

From there it’ll turn north west to Harriman State Park and then zig zag north to Minnewaska State Park, then the Catskills, and then the greater Adirondack Mountains region and this is basically a super simplified summary of it.

Areas where you can camp or stay at a hotel nearby are available.

7) The Long Path hiking trail is not part of the Appalachian Trail:

Long Path Hiking Trail fort lee historic park

I have to keep mentioning it again and again because both of these trails are super long and some people mistake them for one another.

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.

8) The Long Path connects with the Devils Path trail (in certain parts):

Long Path Hiking Trail devils path

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 different trails and separate in parts. 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 goes east to west in the Catskills and the Long Path will be indicated by a aqua blue marker and basically takes you northward.

9) The Long Path trail is marked as the aqua color (don’t forget this):

long path trail marker example aqua

This map can be found here for more details.

Here’s an example of the trail marker indicating you’re on the long path hiking trail (the color is aqua).

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.

This picture you see here included me doing a short part of the Long Path hike, but it’s also connected to 2 other trails (a blue and red one).

Be ready to continue along the main aqua one because eventually these trails do separate from one another.

So make sure you are good at following markers so you don’t get lost in the woods.

And I shouldn’t have to say this, but if you’re not an experienced hiker or camper, doing the Long Path hike might be very dangerous for you.

Now onto the last 2 things on this post:

10) Are you someone who is prepared to hike the Long Path trail?

Long Path Hiking Trail adirondacks

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.

Another thing to consider is that there are other long hikes such as the Long Path, but that are nowhere near as long or difficult. For example, see the Highlands Trail in NJ for an example.

11) 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.

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17 thoughts on “11 Things to Know About The Long Path Hiking Trail in NY”

  1. Just a note. The blue and red sections on the map do denote each section and a fair amount for a day’s walk but there are only lean-tos at the actual beginning or end of only a few of the sections. Usually the ones that don’t end by a road.

    Reply
  2. The map that indicates about 30 alternating red and blue sections are actually indicating the suggested distances per day (leanto to leanto), not alternating colored trail blazes. I’m hoping to do this hike someday. Something about starting in NYC and ending up in the Adks is amazing to me.

    Reply
    • You’re braver than me. I like long distance hikes, but overnight camping and crazy long trails like this are beyond my crazy level (yet haha). Good luck on your future trip Matthew, would love to hear your tips when you do it.

      Reply
    • That’s awesome info Stash! I had no idea a Finger Lakes trail existed but I did Google it and it appears to be over 900 miles. I’ll check more on it and possibly do a write up as well. Thanks for sharing this.

      Reply
  3. What happened to my other comments? The blazing information is completely wrong and could confuse people. This is really irresponsible and to fail to approve the comments because they are negative just further adds to the embarrassment!

    Reply
    • Hi Ralph, so here’s a few things you need to know:

      1) Your previous comments were quite condescending and obnoxious and I don’t approve those. And also if you keep posting small comments in bulk, I see it as spam.

      2) You are welcome to correct me and I am always open to update/correct my articles, but when it’s done in a rude manner, I will still update my article, but won’t approve the comment.

      3) I checked several times on the long path hike and Devils path and yes they do intersect on about 10+ miles of it, but around the halfway point (close to Devils Tombstone campground), the trails break up. Devils Path continues west to Hunter Mountain and the Long Path hike continues north.

      Taking one small thing I potentially got wrong and making a big deal out of is not the way to get your point across.

      4) For future comments, if you want them approved, keep these above things in mind. Otherwise, don’t bother commenting.

      Reply
      • I am sorry you found my comments inappropriately worded. I will be more careful in the future. Please update your article to correct the blazing comment which could mislead people. The “official” color of the Long Path is aqua. Where the Long Path is co aligned with other trails, especially in the Catskills, there are few, if any, aqua blazes as the trail takes on the color of the existing trails. Anyone hiking the trail should plan ahead and know their route. Having a map like the NYNJTC maps is very helpful.

        Reply
  4. Footwear, as you should know, is a matter of preference. Some people would not want to hike the peaks of the Catskills without a more supportive hiking boot. Other people may be fine with trail running shoes. Hikers who are day hiking can vary their footwear depending on the terrain they are hiking.

    Reply
    • For long hikes that involve camping out, hiking boots would likely serve you better, but for people who enjoy fast paced walks/hikes, trail running shoes might do better in those situations. I personally prefer trail running shoes.

      Reply
          • The Long Path doesn’t go to Lake George, or really anywhere near it. The official end-to-end terminus according to the NYNJ trail conference is Thacher Park near Albany, NY. The LP past there is largely road walking with few camping options, at the moment the section from Northville to Thacher Park mostly exists to allow backpackers to connect the Northville-Placid Trail to the LP.

          • Hey thanks for sharing that. I know there’s many connecting trails to the Long Path and will make the updates.

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