We finally decided it was time to start hiking the Long Path section 1. We were not too sure what to expect but were thrilled to get started. Since the first section of the Long Path starts in NYC, we got up early and drove down. Instead of parking somewhere in the city, we parked our car in the section two parking lot. This is located in Tallman Mountain State Park or you can just put in this coordinate in your Google Maps- 41°00’55.6″N 73°54’48.5″W.
We then ordered an Uber which took us to the George Washington Bridge. This was $21.93 but would have cost a lot more to go over the bridge. We decided to just walk over the bridge twice. Once we walked over, we went to 175th street, walked two blocks down just to be sure we start off right and were back to the bridge to start our journey.
Detour for the Long Path
Once you cross the bridge over from the city side into New Jersey, you’ll notice a detour sigh. The detour takes you up north until you’re able to jump back into the park. Once in the park, you’re walking by the Palisades Interstate Parkway and the walk is a breeze. The path is narrow but it gets wider and less noisier as you go further in. One issue you will have is not stopping and taking pictures. It’s nearly impossible to avoid the views and scenery. We also saw a bald eagle and a juvenile one who was devouring fresh fish on a tree branch.
Another thing you’ll notice on your Long Path section 1 is the fallen ruins or remains of what once existed. The Cliffdale Manor is one of them and I recommend that you take a peek at the remains. I wish I could go back in time and walk the grounds in its short glory days. I’m just glad that the Women’s Federation Monument was saved and we can look back into the past through its beautiful structure. One thing to note is that after this monument, the trail gets a little more exciting or challenging. You will have to go up some makeshift stairs, that just seem to have no end, until they do.
Overview of the First Section
The first section of the Long Path is 14.1 miles but for us it was a little over 16 miles long. We walked the George Washington Bridge twice and we continues on the path to our car after section one was completed. The trail is beautiful, pretty easy with dirt roads and rocks in between.
You will get to enjoy the different viewpoints such as the Rockefeller Lookout and the Palisades viewpoint. When you get the the Greenbrook Nature Sanctuary, the trail gets a little more difficult. The only reason I say this is because it goes up and down in some sections and you’ll need your trekking pole for support. The trail through here ends fast and once you’re past the sanctuary section you get to enjoy the remains of rock structures.
While the trail has it’s small challenges, it’s very doable. The elevation is low, the street is close by and you can’t get lost. As you leave the NJ side, make sure to take a look at the monument that separates the two states. It stands at seven feet tall, so it’s hard to miss and right before the gate entrance.