There’s something to be said about a hiking path that starts at a subway station and ends just north of the Catskills. The Long Path Trail in New York state extends itself parallel to the borders of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont. The distance in its entirety equals out to 358 miles long, being the longest hiking trail in New York State (home of the Adirondack, Catskills, and Appalachian Mountain ranges). Luckily, if you’re interested in hiking only a part of it, there are many places along those 358 miles where you can pick up the trail.  



At West 175th St. (1) subway station right near the George Washington Bridge in the heart of Manhattan begins our journey on the Long Path. The hike starts with one of the best views of the city where you can not only see the city limits but yet where you are still able to hear sirens, horns, chit chat, and that classic NYC hustle, crossing the bridge to make way toward Palisades park. It’s a perfect spot for a city goer to check out the beginning of this journey whether being in for the long haul or a short hike to feel it out.



As you continue the journey north, the path follows along the Hudson river cliffs, which direct you to Tallman Mountain State Park and eventually to Harriman State Park due west. This area is wonderful during the fall with the colors in the trees being just 30 minutes outside of the city. It's an access point on the trail without driving too far, still giving you that feeling of escaping to nature. Within Harriman there’s a 2 mile round trip hike called Long Path Summit (2) where you can actually follow signs that are a part of the Long Path Trail to that summit that then loops back to the parking lot. Within this same hike you cross paths with part of the Appalachian trail as well.



Continuing west on the journey, you’ll hike along 14 miles of rural roads making way toward the Catskills. Right as you hit the Shawangunk Mountain Range you begin to head North for the majority of your trip. The Shawangunk Mountain Range will take you right into Minnewanka State Park, which is the gateway to the Catskills and an incredible destination for swimming. Within Shawangunk there are a couple options to join in on the Long Path. One of which includes the Shawangunk Ridge Trail (3) which in total is 70 miles long, but within this trail there are different shorter hikes that intersect the Long Path. Hiking within this area offers waterfalls, incredible views, flat rock facings, and many smaller lakes that rest along the flat top of this mountain range. Make sure to bring a swimsuit if you’re hiking in the summer! Another great option for one of the shorter hikes would be hiking from Castle Point to Hamilton Point (4)—It’s about 8.6 miles in distance. There’s a small fee to park, but it’s worth the views. 



After spending some time getting to know the Shawangunk range we continue to head north into the Catskills. These north eastern mountains have over 100 peaks, between 1,500-2,000 black bears, and carry on this 1950’s aesthetic within not only the towns but the bed and breakfasts you can rest at, the local independent shops, and the signs that connect you along the way. The Long Path itself continues through the Catskills range for about 90 miles. That’s 90 miles of several stops along the way where you can pick up the path if you’re not walking it straight through. Aside from hiking routes, some towns worth checking out include Kingston, Woodstock, Delhi, Windham, Phoenicia, and Saugerties. There’s a lot to explore in the area and it’s very much worth a weekend stay if you have the time. (Check out our suggestions of places to stay at the end of your read.) Aside from the Spring and Summer months, winter in the Catskills is a whole other topic with one too many things to do. Ice climbing is a top activity in this area this time of year while hiking is a little more limiting, it’s still doable even with snow on the ground. 



A couple hikes that are easier to pick up along the Long Path in the Catskills include the upper trailhead of Kaaterskill Falls (5) (Kaaterskills High Peak via the Long Path; 12.2 miles roundtrip), the infamous Devils Path (6) (22.4 miles roundtrip) in Elka Park where you can cross the Long Path into Devils Path continued or Indian Head MT (7) (10.8 miles roundtrip). On all three of these hikes there are shorter route options at the trailheads if you are not looking to do the entire thing. Many of the trails only have street side parking without full on lots because there are just so many smaller hiking options throughout the park. Kaaterskill falls for example is great to see and there are many shorter hikes like the one that will take you from the upper falls to lower, given many stairs, it’s only 1.4 miles round trip but you would not cross the Long Path. In this area of the Catskills range there are very curvy roads and deep forests covered in old homes and the silence of nature. Aside from just the Long Path intersecting through this area of New York, you may also run into the Finger Lakes Hiking Trail (8) which could take you all the way to North Dakota. 



As soon as you’ve gotten your fair share and overall experience in this area, you’ll head out north of the Catskills park, hopefully feeling fulfilled and ready to move on to the end. The Long Path follows through to an area that is outside of the park limits and you’ll experience more destruction in nature as it is not protected in the same type of way although still magnificent. The trail begins to make greater curves leaning way of the northeast connecting us to the Schenectady/ Albany area. En route to Albany we pass through Middleburgh, New York which is home to a very early Native American travel route which then turned into an English settlers route called Vromans Nose Loop Trail (9), which also intersects with the Long Path. You can pick up this trail and just hike the loop itself which is 1.5 miles round trip. It has some very distinct views of the valley and is rich in history. The history of this timeline within the Native Americans pathway will take you straight up into Schenectady and into Saratoga where you will reach the end of the trail just north in Adirondack Park. Schenectady and Albany are home to the Mohawk Tribe of the Iroquois Nation and the Mohican. 



Just North of Middleburgh is where the Catskills range truly ends and you’re left to open fields and the Helderberg Escarpment and mountains. The Long Path continues into John Boyd State Park, up through Amsterdam and into Saratoga where you will eventually hit Great Sacandaga Lake (10). While here, you must pull out that swim suit again for a well deserved dip into this 29 mile long lake. A great place to end a journey and a great place to begin the next one into the Adirondacks. 


Ten trailheads to pick up along the Catskills Long Path
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