|New York City skyline as seen from Black Mountain on the Appalachian Trail|
Crossing into New York from New Jersey, the Fifty Trail continues to follow the Appalachian Trail for its 90 mile traverse of the Empire State. First up is one of the most unexpectedly demanding sections of the whole trail, along the ridge of Bellvale Mountain above Greenwood Lake. The difficulty is caused by small steep climbs and descents, each just a few tens of feet, so not showing on the elevation profile. But they are incessant and grueling. Be prepared to slow your pace.
Highlights of the New York section are numerous, including the oldest section of the Appalachian Trail, opened on October 7, 1923 from Bear Mountain to Harriman State Park. Bear Mountain Park itself has several distinctions. The trail passes through a zoo and reaches the lowest elevation of the AT's 2000 mile meanderings.
|Fingerboard Shelter, on the oldest section of the Appalachian Trail, built in 1928|
From Bear Mountain the trail crosses the Hudson River on the Bear Mountain Bridge. Built *after* the Appalachian Trail was opened, in 1924, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time.
The crossing into Connecticut actually happens twice, as the trail returns to New York at Schaghticoke Mountain. For purposes of defining this segment, the route ends at the Hoyt Road parking area at the first crossing into Connecticut.
MAPS and TRAIL GUIDES:
HEART OF THE TRAIL:
Arden Valley Road next to the New York Thruway to Nuclear Lake (58 miles)