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.)
Continue reading “Tramping along the Shawangunk Ridge Trail”
The 2nd edition of the SRT Run/Hike took place along the Shawangunk Ridge Trail (SRT) in New York’s Hudson Valley commencing Friday, September 18 at 6:35 PM and ending Saturday September 19, 2015 at 11:30 PM. The event attracted participants from New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Missouri, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, and California. 82 racers started out in four divisions ranging from 20 to 74 miles, ready to experience the beauty, ruggedness, and diversity of the Shawangunk Mountains. 73 made it to the finish line for an overall completion rate of 89%. A new record of 22 hours 2 minutes was set for the full 74-mile SRT. There were no reported injuries.
For the organizers, the event started many months ago. For 2015 we changed the format, increasing the number of divisions from three to four and holding them all on the same day. We also moved the last five miles of the course off paved roads and onto an unmaintained trail in the Mohonk Preserve. We spent the months leading up to the event obtaining six different permits, developing detailed safety plans, recruiting volunteers, and hoping people would sign up for an event that provides adventure but not support.
Continue reading “SRT 2015 — Race Director’s Report”