Shawangunk Ridge Trail Run/Hike
The Shawangunk Ridge Trail (SRT) is a 70-mile hiking trail that crosses the entire length of the Shawangunk ridgeline, from High Point State Park in New Jersey, where the SRT intersects the Appalachian Trail, all the way to the town of Rosendale, New York, where the trail ends at a restored railroad trestle high above the Rondout Creek.
Along the way, the SRT passes through rolling hills covered in hardwood forests, Southern New York’s largest wetlands, rare dwarf pine barrens, sky lakes, waterfalls, and the distinctive white quartzite conglomerate cliffs of the Shawangunk mountains, which were uplifted almost three hundred million years ago.
From vantage points in these mountains, some 2,000 feet above the Hudson Valley, you’ll experience views that cover five states and reach more than 100 miles on a clear day. Because of its scenic beauty and rare ecosystems, the Nature Conservancy has identified this ridgeline as “one of Earth’s last great places.”
We created this event to celebrate the preservation of the Shawangunk Mountains, or the “Gunks” as they are also called, and to encourage people to come out and experience the beauty of this unique ridgeline.
New York's biggest parks, the Catskills, Adirondacks, and Harriman, were created by acts of government during the 19th or early 20th century. In contrast, the Shawangunk Ridgeline has been preserved parcel by parcel, in just the last few decades, thanks to the work of the Open Space Institute, the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, the Mohonk Preserve, the Wallkill Valley Land Trust, and other private entities. The SRT was created by the Trail Conference and its volunteers, and by the Wallkill Valley Land Trust with respect to the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail and the Rosendale Trestle. Many portions of the ridgeline are yet threatened with development. We encourage you to make a voluntary donation to the Trail Conference to support future preservation activities along the Shawangunk Ridgeline.
Shawangunk Ridge Trail Run/Hike includes four separate divisions, which are designed to appeal to athletes with a range of abilities, including both hikers and runners. (All distances are approximate.)
1/2 marathon run/hike
Start: Saturday, September 17, 2016, at 10:30 AM in Peters Kill Parking Area in the Minnewaska State Park Preserve.
This route starts at the Peters Kill Parking Area in Minnewaska, follows the SRT across the Peters Kill High Area on a rugged single track trail, then descends into the Mohonk Preserve, where it crosses the Coxing Kill stream, before ascending the ridgeline again. The SRT finally links up with the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail into Rosendale, where it ends at the Trestle.
Start: Saturday, September 17, 2016, at 9:00 AM, at Sam’s Point Nature Preserve.
This route follows the SRT along a rugged single track path that passes by the Verkeederkill waterfall, and two skylakes: Mud Pond and Lake Awosting. The path then scrambles up to Castle Point and descends past Rainbow Falls, before linking up with the 1/2 marathon course in Peters Kill and continuing into Rosendale.
Start: Saturday, September 17, 2016, at 6:00 AM, in the town of Wurtsboro, NY.
The 50-mile event starts in Wurstboro and ascends the ridgeline, passing through Wurtsboro Ridge State Forest, the Roosa Gap State Forest, and the Shawangunk Ridge State Forest, before entering Sam’s Point via the steep but beautiful South Gully Trail. From there it is 30 miles (see above) to the finish in Rosendale.
Start: Friday, September 16, 2016, at 6:30 PM, at High Point State Park.
This event is designed for experienced ultra-runners with long-distance experience on single-track trails including night-running experience, and for fit hikers able to cover 25-35 miles per day. The SRT starts at an intersection with the Appalachian Trail in High Point State Park, NJ, just a few hundred yards below the 220-foot Memorial Tower situated on the highest elevation in the state. The SRT then crosses through Huckleberry Ridge State Forest and passes through the Bashakill, southern New York’s largest wetlands, and home to hundreds of species of birds. The trail next emerges into the village of Wurtsboro and ascends the ridgeline, passing through Wurtsboro, where it joins the 50-mile route.
Whichever distance you choose, you’ll be entering a magical wilderness. But, to complete the course you’ll need to move through the landscape with a spirit of endurance and self-reliance.
We designed the event to emulate the experience of 18th century New Yorkers including frontiersmen and women, explorers, hunters, Rangers, and Native Americans -- people who were hardy, fit, and self-reliant, and who could cover long distances through the wilderness without the conveniences that we today take for granted.
WARNING: This is a minimalist format event with no aid stations and no supplemental course markings. Read more...
Those who reach the start will receive a t-shirt, and those who complete their event will receive a finisher’s award. We invite you to hang out at the finish line and make new friends with people who value the beautiful wilderness of the Hudson Valley and enjoy moving through this special world.