Shawangunk Ridge State Forest Loop from Cox Highway Trailhead

October 15, 2022 – Pine Bush, NY

Issue: Average

Size: Roughly 3.5 miles

Max elevation: 1,791 ft.– whole elevation acquire roughly 550 ft.

Route kind: Circuit

Free map: Shawangunk Ridge State Forest Trail Map – 2021

Free map: Shawangunk Ridge Trail Map – 2016

Purchase Map (Paper & Avenza): Shawangunk Trails Map 106B – 2019

Trailhead parking: Cox Highway Parking Space – 336 Cox Rd, Pine Bush, NY 12566

Gravel parking zone for about 15 automobiles – No restrooms on web site

Shawangunk Ridge State Forest is a Carry-in/Carry-out space


Overview:

The 1,411-acre Shawangunk Ridge State Forest is a part of an interconnected and preserved hall of land that stretches south from Ulster County, by means of Sullivan County and into Orange County, NY. It’s a part of the northern part of the Shawangunk Mountain vary often called the Shawangunk Ridge.

Shawangunk Ridge State Forest as viewed from Bear Hill Nature Preserve - October 2016

Shawangunk Ridge State Forest as considered from Bear Hill Nature Protect – October 2016

Pronounced shuh-WAN-gunk, or SHON-gum by locals, “The Gunks” are identified broadly for his or her dramatic cliffs and landscapes, dwarf pine barren forests, “ice caves”, and basic mountaineering.

Bear Hill Nature Preserve as viewed from Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Bear Hill Nature Protect as considered from Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest


Historical past:

Within the yr 2000, the Shawangunk Ridge State Forest was created by means of a partnership between New York State, Open House Institute (OSI), Belief for Public Land (TPL) and others.

The Open House Institute bought a number of main parcels alongside the Shawangunk Ridge and transferred them to the New York State Division of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to be held and managed as state forests.

Subsequent acquisitions over time have considerably expanded the chain of state forests, together with the Shawangunk Ridge, Roosa Hole, Wurtsboro, and Huckleberry Ridge State Forests.


Trails Overview:

A 1.8-mile part of the co-aligned Shawangunk Ridge Path and the Lengthy Path passes by means of Shawangunk Ridge State Forest. To the south the path continues on into Roosa Hole State Forest. To the north the path continues onto non-public land and ultimately onto Minnewaska State Park to the north of Route 52.

The 1.2-mile part of the co-aligned SRT and Lengthy Path traversed on this hike, present spectacular views of the encircling valley, extending all the best way to the Catskills.

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Beginning in 2015, the NY-NJ Path Convention created 4 miles of recent trails in Shawangunk Ridge State Forest, connecting the Lengthy Path (and SRT) to parking areas, making loop hikes doable.


Hike Overview:

October is leaf peeping season and The Gunks are nothing wanting spectacular throughout that point. That’s in all probability the busiest time of the yr in that space. The extra well-known spots like Minnewaska State Park, together with the Sam’s Level Space and the Mohonk Protect, can get extraordinarily crowded throughout that point, particularly on weekends. I made a decision to strive a much less common part of the ridge, or so I believed. We arrived on the parking space on Cox Highway at 10am on a Saturday morning and the 15-car gravel lot was practically full. By the point that we completed the hike, the lot was jammed and there was a protracted line of automobiles parked alongside the aspect of Cox Highway. My recommendation is to get there early or go to on a weekday. You must also again your automobile into one of many parking spots, making it quite a bit simpler to exit. You’ll be glad you probably did.

Cox Road Parking Area – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Cox Highway Parking Space – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Whereas researching this hike, I couldn’t discover a lot data on-line and figured that this was a lesser trafficked space and presumably a hidden gem. Though the small lot was practically full once we arrived (10am), I used to be shocked on the finish of our hike after I noticed how jammed the parking zone was, making it troublesome to again out and go away.

I might recommend doing this hike clockwise as most people we encountered have been stepping into the wrong way. By going clockwise, it’s a shorter distance to the ridge and after reaching the highpoint, you should have virtually steady views in entrance of you as you descend.

This reasonable loop is without doubt one of the higher hikes that I’ve finished in the case of the all-around mountain climbing expertise. It has views and intensely scenic panorama alongside the ridge and just under it. It must be skilled to be really appreciated.

Shawangunk Ridge State Forest Loop from Cox Road Trailhead

Shawangunk Ridge State Forest Loop from Cox Highway Trailhead

elevation profile - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest Loop

elevation profile – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest Loop


The Hike:

From the kiosk on the parking space, head uphill on the Pink Path, which follows a woods street. Virtually instantly, a picket submit marks a department of the path that goes to the precise. This will likely be your return route, however for now, proceed forward on the woods street, following the crimson blazes.

Cox Road Parking Area - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Cox Highway Parking Space – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

In 0.4 mile, you’ll cross a stream on massive stepping stones. Quickly, the Pink Path begins to climb extra steeply and narrows to a footpath.

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

After passing cliffs on the precise and going by means of an fascinating passage between rocks, you’ll attain a junction with the Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path on the crest of the ridge. Flip proper onto the Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path, which you’ll be following for the subsequent 1.2 miles.

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

The ridge that you just’re following was burned in a forest fireplace in Could 2015. Low vegetation was destroyed within the fireplace, and lots of small bushes have been burned, however the trunks of bigger bushes remained unscathed. The vegetation has begun to regenerate, however many small useless bushes scarred by the fireplace can nonetheless be seen.

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Quickly, you’ll come to a broad west-facing viewpoint from open slabs of Shawangunk conglomerate rock. The path strikes to the east aspect of the ridge, shifts again to the west aspect, then returns to the east aspect. You’ll discover some fascinating rock formations on the east aspect of the ridge, with the path in locations working close to the sting of steep 30-foot-high cliffs.

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

The path begins a gradual climb to the excessive level on the ridge (1,791 toes). Simply past, there’s a panoramic north-facing view over Bear Hill. The path now begins to descend over slabs of conglomerate rock dotted with pitch pines, with views of the Catskill Mountains to the northwest. As you strategy the bottom of the descent, there are panoramic west-facing views.

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

After pausing to admire the spectacular views, observe the path because it bears proper and heads into the woods. In a brief distance, you’ll come to a junction with the northern leg of the Pink Path. Flip proper, leaving the Lengthy Path/Shawangunk Ridge Path, and start as soon as once more to observe the crimson blazes.

Turn right on Red Trail

Flip proper on Pink Path

You’ll quickly emerge into an space with dramatic cliffs and overhanging rocks on the precise. You’re now immediately paralleling the route you adopted alongside the open slabs of conglomerate rock, however you’re following the cliffs that help these open rock slabs. In the direction of the tip of this part, the path has been routed by means of a slim passage, with cliffs on one aspect and big boulders on the opposite.

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

On the finish of this spectacular part, the path turns left and begins to descend. It quickly joins a woods street, which it follows all the best way again to a junction with the opposite department of the Pink Path. Flip left at this junction and proceed for a brief distance to the parking space the place the hike started.

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Red Trail - Shawangunk Ridge State Forest

Pink Path – Shawangunk Ridge State Forest


Evaluation:

I might extremely suggest this hike to all. It covers a particularly scenic space with improbable views and big rock formations. The paths are properly marked and simple to observe. The decrease areas on the Pink Path have good tree cowl, however the ridge is usually uncovered. This hike is finest finished throughout the Fall foliage season for the array of colours on show, however I’m positive that it’s lovely in any season. I like to recommend doing the loop clockwise so the views are in entrance of you as you descend the ridge versus them being at your again as you ascend. This seems to be a preferred mountain climbing spot so both get there early or strive visiting on a weekday.

Professionals:

Implausible views alongside the ridge, fascinating rock formations, properly marked trails, scenic panorama.

Cons:

Attracts crowds, Pink Path could be a little swampy after rainfall.


Take a hike!

Shawangunk Ridge State Forest Loop from Cox Road Trailhead

Shawangunk Ridge State Forest Loop from Cox Highway Trailhead


Sources: