October 15, 2022 – Pine Bush, NY
Size: Roughly 3.5 miles
Max elevation: 1,791 ft.– complete elevation achieve roughly 550 ft.
Route sort: Circuit
Free map: Shawangunk Ridge Path Map – 2016
Purchase Map (Paper & Avenza): Shawangunk Trails Map 106B – 2019
Trailhead parking: Cox Highway Parking Space – 336 Cox Rd, Pine Bush, NY 12566
Gravel parking zone for about 15 automobiles – No restrooms on website
Shawangunk Ridge State Forest is a Carry-in/Carry-out space
The 1,411-acre Shawangunk Ridge State Forest is a part of an interconnected and preserved hall of land that stretches south from Ulster County, via Sullivan County and into Orange County, NY. It’s a part of the northern part of the Shawangunk Mountain vary often called the Shawangunk Ridge.
Pronounced shuh-WAN-gunk, or SHON-gum by locals, “The Gunks” are recognized extensively for his or her dramatic cliffs and landscapes, dwarf pine barren forests, “ice caves”, and traditional mountaineering.
Within the 12 months 2000, the Shawangunk Ridge State Forest was created via a partnership between New York State, Open House Institute (OSI), Belief for Public Land (TPL) and others.
The Open House Institute bought a number of main parcels alongside the Shawangunk Ridge and transferred them to the New York State Division of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to be held and managed as state forests.
Subsequent acquisitions over time have considerably expanded the chain of state forests, together with the Shawangunk Ridge, Roosa Hole, Wurtsboro, and Huckleberry Ridge State Forests.
A 1.8-mile part of the co-aligned Shawangunk Ridge Path and the Lengthy Path passes via Shawangunk Ridge State Forest. To the south the path continues on into Roosa Hole State Forest. To the north the path continues onto personal land and finally onto Minnewaska State Park to the north of Route 52.
The 1.2-mile part of the co-aligned SRT and Lengthy Path traversed on this hike, present spectacular views of the encircling valley, extending all the best way to the Catskills.
Beginning in 2015, the NY-NJ Path Convention created 4 miles of latest trails in Shawangunk Ridge State Forest, connecting the Lengthy Path (and SRT) to parking areas, making loop hikes potential.
October is leaf peeping season and The Gunks are nothing in need of spectacular throughout that point. That’s most likely the busiest time of the 12 months in that space. The extra well-known spots like Minnewaska State Park, together with the Sam’s Level Space and the Mohonk Protect, can get extraordinarily crowded throughout that point, particularly on weekends. I made a decision to strive a much less standard part of the ridge, or so I assumed. We arrived on the parking space on Cox Highway at 10am on a Saturday morning and the 15-car gravel lot was practically full. By the point that we completed the hike, the lot was jammed and there was an extended line of automobiles parked alongside the facet of Cox Highway. My recommendation is to get there early or go to on a weekday. You also needs to again your automobile into one of many parking spots, making it so much simpler to exit. You’ll be glad you probably did.
Whereas researching this hike, I couldn’t discover a lot info on-line and figured that this was a lesser trafficked space and presumably a hidden gem. Though the small lot was practically full after we arrived (10am), I used to be shocked on the finish of our hike after I noticed how jammed the parking zone was, making it troublesome to again out and depart.
I might recommend doing this hike clockwise as the general public we encountered have been stepping into the other way. By going clockwise, it’s a shorter distance to the ridge and after reaching the highpoint, you should have virtually steady views in entrance of you as you descend.
This reasonable loop is among the higher hikes that I’ve achieved on the subject of the all-around mountaineering expertise. It has views and very scenic panorama alongside the ridge and slightly below it. It must be skilled to be really appreciated.
From the kiosk on the parking space, head uphill on the Pink Path, which follows a woods street. Virtually instantly, a wood publish marks a department of the path that goes to the suitable. This will probably be your return route, however for now, proceed forward on the woods street, following the pink blazes.
In 0.4 mile, you’ll cross a stream on massive stepping stones. Quickly, the Pink Path begins to climb extra steeply and narrows to a footpath.
After passing cliffs on the suitable and going via an attention-grabbing passage between rocks, you’ll attain a junction with the Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path on the crest of the ridge. Flip proper onto the Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path, which you’ll be following for the subsequent 1.2 miles.
The ridge that you simply’re following was burned in a forest fireplace in Could 2015. Low vegetation was destroyed within the fireplace, and plenty of small bushes have been burned, however the trunks of bigger bushes remained unscathed. The vegetation has begun to regenerate, however many small lifeless bushes scarred by the hearth can nonetheless be seen.
Quickly, you’ll come to a broad west-facing viewpoint from open slabs of Shawangunk conglomerate rock. The path strikes to the east facet of the ridge, shifts again to the west facet, then returns to the east facet. You’ll discover some fascinating rock formations on the east facet of the ridge, with the path in locations working close to the sting of steep 30-foot-high cliffs.
The path begins a gradual climb to the excessive level on the ridge (1,791 ft). Simply past, there’s a panoramic north-facing view over Bear Hill. The path now begins to descend over slabs of conglomerate rock dotted with pitch pines, with views of the Catskill Mountains to the northwest. As you strategy the bottom of the descent, there are panoramic west-facing views.
After pausing to admire the spectacular views, observe the path because it bears proper and heads into the woods. In a brief distance, you’ll come to a junction with the northern leg of the Pink Path. Flip proper, leaving the Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path, and start as soon as once more to observe the pink blazes.
You’ll quickly emerge into an space with dramatic cliffs and overhanging rocks on the suitable. You’re now instantly paralleling the route you adopted alongside the open slabs of conglomerate rock, however you’re following the cliffs that help these open rock slabs. In the direction of the tip of this part, the path has been routed via a slender passage, with cliffs on one facet and large boulders on the opposite.
On the finish of this spectacular part, the path turns left and begins to descend. It quickly joins a woods street, which it follows all the best way again to a junction with the opposite department of the Pink Path. Flip left at this junction and proceed for a brief distance to the parking space the place the hike started.
I might extremely suggest this hike to all. It covers a particularly scenic space with implausible views and large rock formations. The paths are properly marked and simple to observe. The decrease areas on the Pink Path have good tree cowl, however the ridge is usually uncovered. This hike is finest achieved throughout the Fall foliage season for the array of colours on show, however I’m positive that it’s stunning in any season. I like to recommend doing the loop clockwise so the views are in entrance of you as you descend the ridge versus them being at your again as you ascend. This seems to be a preferred mountaineering spot so both get there early or strive visiting on a weekday.
Implausible views alongside the ridge, attention-grabbing rock formations, properly marked trails, scenic panorama.
Attracts crowds, Pink Path is usually a little swampy after rainfall.
Take a hike!