The Long Path is a 358-mile trail that stretches from Upper Manhattan to just outside Albany, New York. The section that traverses the Mine Kill State Park features lush and beautiful terrain and the amenities available in the park for those hiking through. Leashed pups are welcome on the trail, and they'll find this to be a pawtastic adventure, too.
Shortly after entering the park on the trail, hikers will see a small side trail leading from a parking lot to Mine Kill Falls, an 80-foot terraced waterfall that is jaw-dropping during the spring and after a rain. Platforms above the falls provide a unique experience of them, as the Mine Kill Creek courses through a narrow gorge and flows over the top.
Back on the Long Path and headed north, you'll climb to higher ground and be treated to views of the Blenheim-Gilboa Reservoir which provides lots of water-based recreation as well as sightings of the critters living near or in the water. The Long Path frequently intersects with the other 8 miles of trails in the park, so the possibilities for exciting side trips can be irresistible. Picnic areas and a concession stand can help stave off your hunger pangs.
As you walk along this trail, you'll see ravines covered in moss, pine trees and hemlock, as well as the wildlife that inhabit the forest, including many birds, large and small mammals, and reptiles. This is a veritable sensory smorgasbord for your pooch, with so much to see, hear and smell. Be sure you cast an eye to the sky from time to time to catch a view of a bald eagle or red-tailed hawk floating on the thermals above or nesting high in a tall pine. The trail surface is mostly packed dirt or gravel, with occasional tracts of open, grassy field and smooth rock, but very little to trip you up. The views from the highest elevations are pawtastic, and worth the gradual climb. In winter, the trail and park are open until sunset, and snow cover makes for furbulous cross-country skiing and snowshoeing with you furry bestie by your side.
This section of the Long Path is quiet and serene, away from highways and civilization and bursting with natural beauty in its mountains and waterways!
Black bears, snakes and coyotes are frequently sighted while on the trail. Respect their space and keep your distance, while maintaining a firm grip on your pup's leash.