Appalachian Trail

Did you know that the Appalachian Trail is the globe’s longest hiking trail? It is a personal favorite of many hikers primarily because of the beautiful scenery you get to witness during the hike. Around three million people climb parts of the trail to see nature at its finest.

While on the trek, you will traverse the Northern Country Trail, which has stunning vistas and also get to see the picturesque Hudson Valley. Keep reading for everything you need to know about Appalachian Trail, NY, to know what to expect before you embark on this beautiful journey.


A forester named Benton MacKaye came up with the idea for the Appalachian Trail and produced its first plan.  From the maximum height throughout the Northern end towards the peak in the Southern region, the route outlined in MacKaye’s plan would link several wilderness camps and farms for city inhabitants throughout the Appalachian Mountains.

His plan’s unintentional emphasis was trekking. The head of the Palisades Park Organization suggested that a writer advertise his concept in a piece that appeared in NY’s newspaper at the beginning of the 1920s.

The trail’s initial stretch was inaugurated in October of 1923. The trail’s expansion project started gradually. A few Boy Scouts of NYC and their leaders finished a one-day hike from Maine through Georgia at the end of the 1930s. They cleaned and marked everything except 4.8 kilometers of the new course.

The ALDHA recorded and approved the successful thru-hike years later. Unfortunately, the trail suffered severe destruction due to a hurricane in 1938. Earl Shaffer the initiative a lot of publicity by releasing the first purported thru-hike publicly at the end of the 1940s.

With the help of legislators and bureaucrats, the ATC made considerable strides in safeguarding the path against construction during the 1960s. In the 1970s, a permanent track was finally designated due to the efforts of the NPS and several volunteers. The Park Service acquired almost the whole trail length by the end of the twentieth century.


Unlike other counties, 142.3m of the Appalachian Trail, NY, has minimal height variation. The trail ascends several tiny peaks below 430 meters in height. At 437 meters, Prospect Rock is the tallest peak in NY and lies just 910 meters from the boundary limit to New Jersey. The famous Bear Mountain Wildlife Park is where the trail is at its lowest, which is 38 meters. 

About The Trail

The Appalachian Trail is an excellent option for anybody wishing to go on a hiking excursion and spend some time in nature due to the multitude of access paths across its roughly 2,190-mile-long path. If you are near New York, you can stay at any eight shelters along the path. Bellvale Mountain has the Wildcat Shelter on the northern side of NY 17A.

Moreover, you will also come across the Fingerboard Shelter at Harriman Park, next to Lake Tiorati.  Harriman Park is also home to two other shelters. Even though it is away from the main trail, Western Mountain Shelter is particularly well-liked because of its breathtaking views, which offer a view of the Manhattan skyline on sunny days.

The trail features roughly 250 camping sites in total, so no matter where you start your trek, you will most likely come across a camping ground where you can fill up on water or enjoy some time camping in nature.

Staying in one of the many shelters is also a great way to meet other hikers and make new friends. If you are hiking alone, you might also get a chance to join those hikers if they are hiking in groups which will be a unique and fun experience.

 No matter where you start from, the trail is well-marked, so you won’t have to worry about getting lost or confused in the middle of hiking. If you enjoy hiking alone and want to experience a few moments in nature alone, we recommend heading there early in the day.

Some parts of the trail are dog friendly, so you can bring your four-legged friend along and have a great bonding time with them.

However, before bringing your dogs, conduct proper research on whether the section of the trail you are taking allows animals and, if yes, what rules you must follow. You will also have to travel up many stairs during your hike. Therefore, go prepared for an intense workout. However, the hike is not very difficult, so you shall be alright.


Since the trail passes through various natural habitats, you’ll see a wide range of diverse animal species while you hike. The largest kind of animal that you could encounter on the path is the American black bear. You shouldn’t be concerned, as bears are rarely seen because they usually avoid contact with humans.

To be safe, it could be a good idea to have bear canisters with food for camping and bear spray on hand. Venomous snakes like the copperhead and timber rattlesnake are among the other dangerous creatures that call the trail their home.

Elk, moose, and other large creatures are frequently seen. However, the sightings of these animals also depend on the area you are hiking in. Here is a list of a few of the smaller species of animals that reside along the Appalachian Trail:

  • Porcupine
  • Bobcat
  • Coyote
  • Beaver
  • Squirrel
  • River otter
  • Chipmunk
  • Owl
  • Hawk
  • Warblers

Important note: Do not attempt to feed or pet the wild animals along the trail since even though you might think an animal is not dangerous, it might be hostile since they are wild animals. So, maintaining a safe distance is always a good idea.

Wrapping Up

What could be more special than hiking the world’s longest trail if you enjoy hiking and want to go on a memorable trek? The Appalachian Trail, NY, offers magnificent landscapes of lakes, mountains, and lush greenery. So, what are you holding out for?

Now that you know everything there is to know about the Appalachian Trail, pack your hiking gear and head to one of the numerous trailheads located around New York.

The McClain Family

We hope we helped. Please let us know of any place that you want to know about in NYS or if we did a poor job with any part of this. Our goal is to help as many people as possible.

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