Shawangunk Ridge Forest from Cox Road

We’ve hiked the Shawangunk Ridge Forest multiple times but never from Cox Road. Recently we would pass it and every time I would point to the parking lot for the trail. Today was finally the day to go out and hike it. The day was beautiful to bring out those shorts and give vitamin D to our white legs. When we came to the lot there was already another car there. We saw the hiker on the trail loop.

Anyway, once we parked and put on Strava, we started to hike up the trail. The path was very wet and muddy from the recent snow melt. Be sure to wear good hiking boots or waterproof shoes for this trail in the wet spring days. At first, I could not figure out how we hiked this area before but shortly after stepping on the trail, a lightbulb switch went on. We’ve hiked this path from the other side of Shawungunk Ridge Forest multiple times. We had family members and Instagram friends do it in the summer heat with us. The trail was definitely less wet and muddy then.

Wet Spring Trails

From the parking lot we followed the path straight instead of taking the path to our right. This other way is the way we came down, but if you’re looking for less of a challenge then take the right path. The straight path is a little more of a challenge but nothing too crazy. The trail up is narrow so your group will have to stay in a single line formation. Once we reached the top of the intersection with the Long Path section 13, we took a break. I ate as much sugar as I could and enjoyed the heat from the sunshine while Nihad took his videos and photos.

After our little break, which was less than a mile into our hike, we continued on the path. This section we have done countless on times but it never gets old. Every time you see something you didn’t see the previous time and the views are spectacular. The dead trees also add more character to the path and give it a different life. Since this was a short three mile loop we took our time and plenty of breaks. We saw a few more people along the trail and realized the parking lot must be getting full.

The descend down the mountain was steep and muddy in some spots. At one point I slid down a bit but saved myself. Once down the hill, you’re back in the forest instead of being on top of rocky ridges. What I love about the Shawangunk Ridge Forest is that it goes from forest to ridges, from ground to views. You know that you’ll see amazing views of the Catskill mountains as well as the surrounding Sullivan and Orange County areas. You’ll point to the rocky hill to your right and ask yourself if that’s Sam’s Point. Guess what? It is! If you’re looking for a short three mile loop with some heart pumping hills, this is it.

14 Responses

  1. You all find awesome spots on your trails. One day when I’m better I’m going to walk a trail or ride one.

  2. The changes in scenery must be nice. I am glad you were able to save yourself from sliding all the way down.

  3. What wonderful scenery – makes me want to get on a plane again and come back to the US now that Covid isn’t a gatekeeper any more.

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