Exploring the Long Path from Manhattan to Albany County

- The Long Path trail begins at the 175th Street Station in Washington Heights and snakes its way through New York State for 358 miles before ending near Albany. After leaving Washington Heights, the trail goes over the George Washington Bridge and makes its way into New Jersey for a few miles.

I met Ed Goodell and Ken Posner at State Line Lookout. Biking, hiking or just taking in the view, this is just one of the many beautiful spots along the Long Path, which was created in the 1930s. Ed is the executive director of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference. Ken is a board member.

Ed explained that the trail was named after a column in the New York Post called the Long Brown Path. He said that at the time, the path went from landmark to landmark but didn't have a marked trail. Then in the 1960s, the Trail Conference started to create a trail.

The Long Path is New York's greatest trail. Even when the trail crosses private land, you'll know you're on the Long Path by following the blue markers, called "blazes."

The trail is maintained by more than 250 volunteers, like Ken, who do things like cut back vegetation. Ken has seen a lot along the way. Ken holds the world record for hiking the entire thing. And although he has a 9-to-5 job in finance, he still found time to write a book about it. Here are his trail highlights. Minnewaska State Park and Sam's Point Preserve have parking areas and easier parts of the trail. He said the Catskills are wonderful but more rugged and remote, so the trail is more adventurous there.

The Trail Conference works to alleviate threats from development and advocates for natural wilderness. So whether you experience the trail as a through hiker or a section hiker, take advantage of this hidden gem that is closer than you think.

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