TBH New York was not my favorite to section hike. Although I have only officially completed New Jersey and New York, I have hiked the AT in Georgia, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
Some parts truly suck in the rain because of the southern sections being giant slabs of granite equals a slip and slide. There was one section that I had to slide down due to the slickness and probably not even being wet would have been a tough climb down for a short girl.
Where is the love? There are no hostels in New York not that I needed one but they definitely help send a message to hikers that your wanted, loved, and being taken care of.
New York is not section hiker friendly. The shelters are so far away from one another. It was a huge challenge planning out where to sleep for the night. However, I will admit on the most recent section hike I completed there were a lot of unofficial campsites that were not marked on Awol’s Guide nor Guthooks. Unfortunately, you can’t always rely on these.
I thought Bear Mountain was going to be the best thing since sliced bread. Its accessibility by car made it less special and hiking it on a holiday week was a big no-no. The amount of people hiking the trail itself and the overwhelming number of people at top made it hard to enjoy the view. Personally, I was so mentally overstimulated by all the noises and what was happening, I just wanted to take a quick picture and find a quiet place to rest in the shade.
Lastly, some of the shelters do not have privies and I’d much rather camp at a shelter, so I could use the privy in the morning.
One thing I enjoyed about New York was their ice cream. Bellvale Farms Creamery had some of the best ice cream ever and the Appalachian Deli on the trail wasn’t so bad either.
Another favorite of mine was the blue side trail to Anthony’s Nose that view was way more enjoyable due to its inaccessibility. I would highly recommend going early in the morning because the area gets pretty packed.
The elevation and terrain were mild compared to other areas of the trail. Also I really enjoyed the ridge walks, pasture walks, and the fall colors of the leaves, which reminds me you’ll hear trains pretty often no matter where you camp.
Oh, no matter what you have to camp at the RPH shelter, which was an older cabin, but you can order take out!
I did like the diversity of the trail due to its close proximity to New York City but I didn’t like how uneducated people were. There was trash near popular spots and leftover food left all over campsites. Broken glass and bottles. People clearly didn’t know about leave no trace. Even some trail runners were asking me about the trail and I mentioned the lemon squeezer, which is practically in their background and they told me “I was using too much AT technical talk.” Like what? I guess I don’t expect everyone to be obsessed like me but I think the AT is undervalued in New York and that shows in how people are treating the environment. It’s a true shame.