In years gone by, I’d think nothing of thru-running the entire 70-mile Shawangunk Ridge Trail (SRT), most recently in 2015, when it took me around 24 hours. This year, however, still recovering from a sore ankle tendon, it would have to be a slower execution, and accordingly I drew up plans to thru-hike 40 miles of the trail over a two-day period. This is the stretch of trail I’m responsible for as a volunteer supervisor with the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, where I work with a crew of twelve other volunteers to keep the trail marked and passable. This hike would be an opportunity to inspect conditions and see what work was needed.
The exotic beauty of the Shawangunk mountains never fails to amaze me — the gritty white conglomerate and dreamy pine barrens so different from other New York landscapes. Each trip brings fresh discoveries, and familiar sights are revealed in new ways. Here are some photos and observations. I hope they inspire you to come experience the trail for yourself….
(The Shawangunk Ridge trail connects the Appalachian Trail in High Point State Park, New Jersey, with the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail in Rosendale, New York. For thirty miles, the SRT is co-aligned with the Long Path, New York’s signature long distance trail.)