Friday, April 29, 2011

Finger Lakes Trails in the Western Catskills


The Finger Lakes Trail crosses New York State from the Pennsylvania border in Allegany State Park, in the west, to the Long Path hiking trail at Denning lean-to in the Western Catskills. The main trail is currently 552.8 miles; the major branch trails total 239.6 miles. Future developments are planned that will replace some parts of the trail that are on roads with off-road trail, and that will extend some branch trails. The trail is accessible to both long-distance and day hikers. A Map Buyers Guide describing all maps published is available from the Finger Lakes Trail Conference Service Center PO Box 18048 Rochester NY 14618-0048.


In Delaware County the trail runs from approximately the northwest corner, from Chenango County near Otsego County, across the southern part of the county to the western corner of Ulster County. From that point it continues to join up with the Long Path not far from Slide Mountain. Much of the trail is still on public roads, though many of those roads are rather scenic. Most of the trail off roads on state land. Negotiations are underway with the DEC and other groups to get more of the trail off-road.


The terrain is hilly to mountainous, ranging between 1000 and 3500 feet above sea level; most of the trail off roads runs through forest, alternating between hardwoods and conifers. Delaware County’s trails are in sections M26 through M31. Trail condition reports are posted on the FLTC’s website – check it before you go out hiking. Much of the hiking in our area has heavy growth due to infrequent tail maintenance, so it is important to dress appropriately.


The Finger Lakes Trail Association is looking for trail sponsors. As of Winter 2010, there is a 2.3 mile section of the Campbell Mountain Trail between Campbell Mt. Road and NY 206 on Map M30. Additionally there is 3.2 miles of the Mary Smith Trail that begins at Holiday and Berry Brook Road and ends at Mary Smith Hill Road that is available for adoption. This is a rugged section of the trail that offer big rewards for a new sponsor. You can contact Steve Catherman, Vice President of Trail Maintenance at stevec@roadrunner.com.

1 comment:

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