Shawangunk Ridge Trail

Sullivan County, NY


US 287 west over the Tappan Zee bridge; US 87 north to exit 16 to pick up the Quickway (Route 17, future US 86) heading west;  get off at exit 113 for Route 209 north;  drive into the center of Wurtsboro; turn right onto Sullivan Avenue and head east onto Route 117; follow out of town and then head uphill for a short distance onto the first part of a horseshoe bend, turn left onto the short VFW Road; drive down the road to VFW Post 47 and park just beyond it alongside the path. 


Shawangunk Ridge Trail

1980s  --  the trail conceived as an alternate route to the Long Path because so much of that path traveled on roadways.

1989  --  the National Park Service's Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance Program funded a feasibility study for the proposed trail.

1992  --  more than 100 volunteers from the NY-NJ Trail Conference constructed most of the new trail.  The trail travels 28.6 miles north from High Point State Park in Sussex County, New Jersey north to its intersection with the Long Path north of Wurtsboro, Sullivan County, New York.


With money from the Environmental Protection Fund, New York State purchased 510 acres of undeveloped forest located on the Shawangunk Ridge from the Fini Brothers Partnership for $826,000. DEC will manage the property as a reforestation area, which can be used for hunting, hiking, bird watching, nature study and sustainable forestry. The state will pay local taxes on the property.

The purchase includes part of the Shawangunk Ridge Trail, a hiking trail more than 30 miles long that traverses the geologically unique ridge. The trail contains several scenic vantage points as it connects public lands from the western base of the ridge at Bashakill Wildlife Management Area to Minnewaska State Park and the Mohonk Preserve along the northeast corner of the ridge. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has identified the ridge as one of the country's "last great places" in recognition of its unique ecosystem and rare, endangered species habitat.



8/21/04.  Third day of a four day vacation in the area.  The thoughts of my son were: lots of puddles and lots of garbage.  I don't know when the park authorities will fully realize that a park open to cars is an invitation for dumping (regardless of how many signs say No Dumping.)  All natural areas and parks  have to have gates and other barriers to cars and trucks.  If not, our trails will be forever subject to massive and frequent dumpings. 

It had rained earlier in the day and there were massive puddles of water on the trails.  Some of them were the size of small ponds and this made it difficult to get passed the edges of the puddles as they reached the edge of the woods alongside the trail. 

On a nice day, the trail would be fairly easy to walk.  We did not go far because of the many puddles, but the area we did cover was a little boring as there were no openings or fields along the way.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney. 

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
* = 8/21/04, date plant found in bloom   

Acer pensylvanicum (goose-foot maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya glabra (pignut hickory)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Populus deltoides (cottonwood)
Populus grandidentata ((big-tooth aspen)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)

Shrubs and sub-shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cornus amomum (swamp dogwood)
Corylus sp. (hazel)
Gaultheria procumbens (checkerberry)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Salix sp. (willow)
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)

Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (porcelainberry)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Sicyos angulatus (one-seeded cucumber)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis aestivalis (summer grape)

Acalypha sp. (three-seeded mercury)
Achillea millefolium (common yarrow) *
Actaea alba (white baneberry)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) *
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut) *
Anemone virginiana (thimbleweed)
Apocynum androsaemifolium (spreading dogbane)
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp)
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Asclepias viridiflora (green milkweed)  ?
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster) *
Bidens frondosa (beggar ticks) *
Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed) *
Cichorium intybus (chicory) *
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)
Collinsonia canadensis (horsebalm) *
Commelina communis (Asiatic dayflower) *
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) *
Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset) *
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot) *
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod) *
Fragaria virginiana (wild strawberry)
Galium aparine (cleavers)
Galium circaezens (wild licorice)
Geranium sibiricum (Siberian geranium) *
Geranium sp. (geranium)
Geum canadense (white avens)
Glechoma hederacea (gill over the ground)
Hemerocallis fulva (tawny day lily)
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed) *
Lactuca canadensis (wild lettuce)
Lepidium virginicum (poor man's pepper)
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco) *
Lycopus sp. (bugleweed) *
Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) *
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower) 
Medicago lupulina (black medick) *
Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot) *
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) *
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed) *
Pilea pumila (clearweed)
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose knotweed) *
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed) *
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed)
Potentilla argentea (silvery cinquefoil) *
Potentilla canadensis (dwarf cinquefoil)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil) *
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal) *
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Saponaria vulgaris (bouncing bet) *
Silene vulgaris (bladder campion) *
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal)
Solidago bicolor (silverrod) *
Solidago caesia (blue-stem goldenrod)
Solidago gigantea (late goldenrod) *
Solidago odora (sweet goldenrod) *
Solidago rugosa (rough-stemmed goldenrod) *
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion) *
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadowrue)
Trifolium hybridum (alsike clover) *
Trifolium pratense (red clover) *
Tussilago farfara (colt's foot)
Uvularia perfoliata (perfoliate-leaved bellwort)
Viola spp. (violet)

Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Carex laxiflora type (loose-flowered type sedge)
Scirpus atrovirens

Digitaria sp. (crab grass)
Echinochloa sp. (barnyard grass)
Leersia virginica (white grass)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)

Ferns and fern allies:
Equisetum arvense (field horsetail)
Lycopodium lucidulum (shining clubmoss)
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Botrychium sp. (rattlesnake fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)