Long Path section 13 is supposed to be easy because we know the trail and have done it a few times, in sections. We got up, drove down the hill, crossed over, and were greeted by a “Road Closed” sign. They closed off Ferguson Road to do some street work. This added on some extra time because we had to drive back towards the town and then up Mamakating Road to Shawanga Lodge Road. Hoping the other side of Ferguson RD would be open but alas, it was closed. Once we got to Roosa Gap state forest parking lot at the Fire Tower, we walked as fast as we could up the hill. Instead of going right on the Long Path trail, we had to go back left across the Fire Tower to the beginning of the section. This is a nice, rocky downhill which means it’s an even nicer uphill. Doing this part of the section added an extra mile to our hike but it was worth it.
Flying through the ‘Gunks
This Long Path section 13 we have done multiple times at different spots. The South Gully Footpath we’ve only done once, last summer with Nihad’s cousins. It was their first big hike but in the end they were extremely proud of themselves for doing 15 miles! We haven’t hiked with them since but hopefully we do another hike soon. After the Fire Tower the path is beautiful with views to your left and dwarf pine trees everywhere you look. I’m not 100% sure but I believe that NYNJTC updated the John Hennessey sign, which was a nice surprise. As you continue the trail, there are two nice down hills that take you though a large rocky section. There is even traces of the old carriage road here as you cross over to the next section of the trail. Every time we do this section I forget how long the hill is to the rock and intersection to red trail. The hill is not steep it’s just slowly creeps at you as you start breathing heavier and louder.
Once we reached the rock and red path intersection, we took a little break and ate our snacks. The path afterwords is rocky and in some sections very narrow. After a while, you go down the steep and rocky path and follow the Old Route 52 trail. This is an old road so you’ll see a lot of trash and car parts along the way. We have done this section a bunch of times but it was a nice section and break for the legs. After a while, you cross over the street and follow the South Gully trail. This trail is a beast! The incline just keeps going and going! If you want a workout, by all means, do this trail!
Ending at Sam’s Point
Halfway through the trail we stumbled on snow and ice! Even though it was a beautiful and sunny day, there was still plenty of snow. After completing this section, you cross over the street and continue the South Gully footpath. More uphills later, and you’re finally at Sam’s Point where Long Path Section 13 ends. We actually stumbled on Andy Garrison and Tom Walsh here last year, when Tom was completing the Long Path. After taking our pictures we headed back the way we came from since we didn’t have a ride. Overall, this section was great and I know we’ll be doing it over again.