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  1. #1

    Default NY-Area 3-4 Day Section Hike

    Hi everyone,

    Looking for recommendations for a 3-4 day section hike in the NYC area for late June. I live in Manhattan, and would love to hike a portion of the AT that I can get to/from via public transportation of some kind.



  2. #2


    Get the Bear Mountain-Harriman trail map. Take the bus to Bear Mountain. Cross Harriman on the AT. Return on whatever route suits your fancy, or continue through Harriman south to a different bus stop. Lots of possibilities.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  3. #3
    Registered User Dirty Nails's Avatar
    Join Date
    Long Island, NY


    You could take Metro North, Harlem line (from Grand Central) to the station right on the trail. It's called...ready...Appalachian Trail station. Only weekends and holidays. Or, that line goes to Pawling daily. Hike southbound to Bear Mountain Inn and catch the buss back to the city. I believe that would be about a 40 mile hike. Need a little more? Continue hiking sobo through Harriman park, to Rte 17. That's about an additional 20 miles, I think.
    I suggest sobo because if you go nobo and miss that weekend/holiday stop, you will be stuck having to get to pawling. Also, there is a monastery a little north of the Bridge that accommodates hikers. So you could maybe get a shower and bed the night before you go home. I think the Bear Mnt. Inn is now open, you could rest/clean up there too, but more costly. The bus on Rt 17 runs several times/day. They call it a "flag stop". That means if you wave at the bus anywhere along rt 17, NYC bound, it will stop and pick you up, as long as it's a safe spot for the driver to stop. There are regular stops along rt 17 as well, they terminate at PABT.
    I have not done this yet, but I have looked at this itinerary because I plan to try it sometime.
    Consult the guide book, Metro North schedules, and Coach USA bus schedules. Also get the Ny/NoJ trail maps for Harrimen/Bear Mnt. They will show the bus stops as well as the trail west of the Hudson.

  4. #4


    I did the hike suggested by Dirty Nails but in reverse, hiking from Bear Mountain to Rt. 22/Pawling. My hike was early June '05. Hiked portions of 4 days, spent 3 nights on the Trail

    The advantage hiking northbound is that there are only 2-3 buses per day between the Bear Mountain Inn and NYC whereas there are numerous trains from Pawling. And I found Pawling was an easy hitch.

    You'll find the trail much less crowded east of the Hudson than the AT and other trails in Harriman Park. I really enjoyed that hike.

  5. #5


    thumbs up Good luck!

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    East Rockaway, NY


    There's lots of places to catch a bus or train along the western edge of Harriman: Suffern, Tuxedo, Southfields, Arden, and Harriman at least. There's Bear Mt Inn and Jones Point for buses on the eastern side. On the east side of the Hudson there's a few places you can catch a train and hike from, I believe Garrison gives you the best access to the AT. Cold Srping is best for Breakneck Ridge. Farther east (2-3 day hike) are the Metro North Pawling and AT train stations. Going west from Harriman into Jersey, you can take a bus to Greenwood Lake, there's a NJ transit train to Port Jervis that gets you not far from High Point State Park and tons of buses daily to/from NYC and the Delaware Water Gap.

  7. #7


    Great, thanks for all the tips! Ordered a copy of the NY/NJ AT guide, hopefully will arrive today so I can leaf through it this weekend.

    I have a Sunday Morning-Thursday Evening free, so thinking about doing 3-4 nights out. I like the Bear Mountain->Appalachian Trail/Pauling idea, have to look through the train/bus schedules and decide if nobo or sobo makes more sense.

    Anyone have any input on the best shelters/places to camp on the route? Or the best way to divide it up?

  8. #8


    Here's my trail journal from my 4 day, 3 night hike. When I say "4 day," it was really the equivalent of 3 days because days 1 and 4 were both short, particularly the 4th. If you hike in this direction, your itinerary will depend on the bus schedule to Bear Mountain. On the back end, trains from Pawling are pretty frequent and as I said, Pawling is an easy hitch.

    Night 1 - camped at the pavilion at Greymoor Friary
    Night 2 - RPH Shelter, a long day necessitated by getting drenched from a heavy thunderstorm
    Night 3 - Telephone Pioneers Shelter at which point you're only 3 miles from Rt. 22

    Good luck!

  9. #9


    I may as well address the camping options. If you consult the Companion and the most recent NYNJ Guidebook ( the latter of which you've ordered), you'll see that camping is allegedly forbidden except for designated sites.

    I say "allegedly" because I'm going to bring up some old discussions on these 3 threads:

    The NYNJ guides prior to the most recent one did not say anything about camping restrictions east of the Hudson, neither did the Campanion up through 2008. Only in the latest edition did this total restriction appear. I asked the simple question in the above threads: how and who brought about the decision that camping east of the Hudson was thus restricted? I requested that anyone from the ATC or NY J Trail Conference respond - was it the State of NY? Federal government? Who?

    No one responded. And that's because I believe this "restriction" (that is, east of the Hudson which is outside Harriman State Park) was editorial discretion by the NYNJ Trail Conference when they published the latest guidebook. Call it the power of the publisher; they printed it, therefore it is. Undoubtedly it reflects what the Conference deems good policy & practice, but that's not the same as a legal restriction.

    Sorry for bringing up a can of worms but I still want to know, in part because I apparently violated these "rules" when I hiked the section in November '05 and tented between shelters 3 nights. I like following the rules, if they are in effect rules.

    And if I'm wrong, if the State of NY did promulgate or issue some edict, that's fine but say so - answer the question.

  10. #10
    Registered User LIhikers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Long Island, New York


    For information about public transportation to and from trails near NYC go this page published by the NY/NJ Trail Conference.

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