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Archive for the ‘Shawangunks’ Category

For a strenuous 5.6-mile loop hike, try the Shaupeneak Ridge Cooperative Recreation Area in the Shawangunk Mountains in Ulster County NY. Click here for details.

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American hikers are goal driven. It’s evident in the thousands each year who start a trek on the Appalachian Trail with the intent of walking 2,200 miles to a mountaintop in MGary Fallesen at the high point of Tompkins County, NY.aine. It’s evident in the 1,600 people attempting to reach the highest point of each state in the US – members of the Highpointers Club. And, in the hundreds of people who have become 46ers by hiking to the 46 highest peaks in New York State’s Adirondack Mountains. If you’re a kindred spirit and enjoy hiking with a goal – become a 62er by hiking to the highest point in each county of New York State.

Gary Fallesen, the former outdoor writer for Rochester’s Democrat and Chronicle newspaper, earned his a Summit Club patch and wants to recruit others to join his quest. His guidebook Peak Experience–Hiking the Highest Summits of New York, County by County shows would-be 62ers how, with detailed maps, descriptions, and an account of what you might see on the way to each summit.

In Monroe County, the highest point is not Pinnacle Hill, as most people guess. It’s a place called Hopper Hills in the southwest corner of the county. At 1,026-feet-high, it ranks as the 51st highest point of all 62 county high points. Another near-by high point that often gets guessed incorrectly is in Ontario County. Most people think it’s the jump-off on Gannett Hill in Ontario County Park. The jump-off is easy to reach and offers a spectacular view of West Hollow valley, but it is not the high point of Ontario County. That distinction belongs to Frost Hill off Gulick Road.

The highest point in New York State is Mt Marcy, towering 5,344 feet in Essex County in Adirondack State Park. Within New York State is New York City, one of the most densely populated and built-up cityscapes in the world. There is a natural high point in each of New York City’s 6 boroughs and even one on Long Island. They’re at street corners, cemeteries, and parks. This is where you’ll find the lowest high point in New York State. At only 220 feet above sea level, in Green-Wood Cemetery, is the high point of the BorouPeak Experiencesgh of Kings.Between these extremes are 60 other high points to explore. You’ll find wilderness areas and mountain peaks with spectacular vistas such as Lyon Mountain in Clinton County, Alander Mountain in Columbia County and Snowy Mountain in Hamilton County. Some high points, such as Bearpen Mountain at the top of Delaware County, require a bushwhack. Or, ride a chairlift to the top of Virgil Mountain, the summit of Cortland County. Enjoy visiting Harris Hill, the glider capital of America and high point of Chemung County.At the western end of the state you’ll meet “Spotty” the cow, king of Bunker Hill, the high point of Niagara County. Then head east and climb a fire tower atop Hunter Mountain, the high point in Greene County. Each of the 62 county experiences will be different and each will be memorable.Join the summit-obsessed, traveling trails and back roads in search of one county high point after another. Order a copy of Peak Experiences today. What a great way to discover New York! (visit www.footprintpress.com or call 1-800-431-1579.)

Stumble it!

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by Andrea Minoff , Poughkeepsie Journal, link to original post

A new trail opened recently in the northernmost part of Minnewaska State Park will provide part of the long-sought green link connecting the Shawangunks to the Catskills. The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference joined with the Minnewaska State Park Preserve and the Mid-Hudson Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club to celebrate the opening of the Mine Hole Trail.

This 3.5-mile trail linking the Berrypicker Trail to Berme Road is a new part of the Long Path, which connects many of New York’s parks, preserves and state forest lands for 346 miles from the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge to Altamont, near Albany. Government and park officials and Trail Conference volunteers who planned and built the trail connection spoke at a ceremony held on June 2 at Soyuzivka, the Ukranian Heritage Foundation Center on Foordmore Road in Kerhonkson, followed by a ribbon cutting at the beginning of the newly opened trail on Berme Road. The Long Path is maintained by 74 New York-New Jersey Trail Conference volunteers and member groups. The local chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club has volunteered to maintain the new trail.

Trail description: The Long Path will follow its current course through Sam’s Point Preserve to, heading northbound, the Verkeerder Kill Falls area (private land). There, instead of continuing on along the Scenic Trail past Mud Pond, Lake Awosting and along the Rainbow Falls Trail, Jenny Lane, and Old Minnewaska Trail to Rt. 44/55, the Long Path will turn north to co-align with the High Point Trail, continue on the Berrypicker Trail in Minnewaska, follow Smiley Carriage Road for a short distance, then turn onto the new Mine Hole Trail to Berme Road in Wawarsing.

From Berme Road, it is a two-mile road walk as the route follows Port Ben Road, crosses Route 209 and continues on Lundy Road to Vernooy State Forest. One last regulatory hurdle remains to be crossed in order to blaze a route for the Long Path through that forest and the adjacent Sundown Wild Forest.

Once the Department of Environmental Conservation completes the Unit Management Plans for these two state forests, the trail will follow the west bank of the Vernooy Kill to Vernooy Falls, to rejoin the current route. Until that time, the trail will follow Rogue Harbor Road to Upper Cherrytown Road, part of the current route from the Shawangunks to the Catskills.

For more information, contact Larry Wheelock at the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, wheelock@nynjtc.org or 201-512-9348.

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The Great Gunks: World Class Rock Climbing On The East Coast

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Little Stony Kill Falls

The Open Space Institute announced today the acquisition of a stunning 233-acre parcel that protects one of the last major waterfalls in private ownership in the Shawangunks, known locally as Little Stony Kill Falls or Nonkanawha Falls.

The property also provides land for new trailheads that will service thousands of acres at the Minnewaska State Park Preserve.

The parcel was acquired by the Open Space Conservancy, OSI’s land acquisition affiliate, from the Ukrainian National Association (UNA), a Ukrainian fraternal organization which since 1953 has operated a center known as Soyuzivka Heritage Center on approximately 130 acres of land it is retaining in the town of Kerhonkson, Ulster County.

The center caters to the rich ethnic traditions and unique customs of the Ukrainian people. For almost 60 years guests have enjoyed the scenic lands just acquired by OSI, which include a rushing mountain stream known as the Little Stony Kill, the 75-foot-tall Nonkanawha Falls, hiking trails and extensive views of the Catskills and Shawangunk Mountains.

“The transfer of these scenic lands to the Open Space Institute neatly fulfills the common goals of two very diverse organizations,” said Stefan Kaczaraj, president of UNA. “From Open Space’s point of view, this environmentally sensitive tract will be preserved in perpetuity for the benefit of the general public and passive recreational opportunities will be expanded.

“At the same time, Soyuzivka will continue its 60-year legacy of preserving Ukrainian heritage and customs on its remaining 130-plus acres and our guests will continue to enjoy the hiking trails and these stunning lands as they did in the past.”

Over the past quarter-century OSI has acquired and protected over 27,000 acres of land on and around the Shawangunk Ridge, stretching from the town of Rosendale, in Ulster County, south to Port Jervis and the New Jersey border.

The lands acquired from UNA will be conveyed to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) as an addition to the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. OSI and its partners have added over 12,000 acres to Minnewaska over the past two decades, making it—at more than 22,000 acres of forested lands and lakes—the largest park preserve in New York State.

“The Open Space Institute has been a wonderful partner for years,” said OPRHP Commissioner Rose Harvey. “The lands that OSI has added to Minnewaska over the years have greatly enhanced visitors’ experience at the Preserve. The acquisition of the spectacular UNA property adds another chapter to the partnership.”

The newly acquired lands protect some of the most scenic and remote portions of the Shawangunk Ridge. OSI has accumulated thousands of acres of wilderness lands on the western side of the ridge, including lands in the remote Witch’s Hole and Mine Hole Hollow. The lands also include the Little Stony Kill stream, which meanders through miles of bedrock and pitch pines.

“Today’s acquisition protects a significant swath of the western escarpment of the Shawangunk Ridge,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s president and CEO. “It furthers OSI’s long-term commitment to the preservation of the Shawangunk Ridge and the trails, carriage roads, streams, lakes and stunning vistas that make this one of New York’s most cherished places.”

Lands previously acquired by OSI in the vicinity of the UNA lands include a 1,366-acre tract acquired from another Ukrainian national association, the Shevchenko Scientific Society and other lands owned by local landowners.

The Open Space Institute protects scenic, natural, and historic landscapes to ensure public enjoyment, conserve habitats, and sustain community character. OSI achieves its goals through land acquisition, conservation easements, regional loan programs, fiscal sponsorship, creative partnerships, and analytical research. OSI has protected more than 110,000 acres in New York State. Through its Northern Forest Protection Fund and Conservation Finance Program, OSI has assisted in the protection of an additional 1.8 million acres in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina and Georgia. Please visit www.osiny.org for more information.

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Where to Go Ice Climbing and Winter Hiking in the Gunks of New York

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Blazing Trails with Gabe Chapin – use of prescribed fires

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