New race series along New York’s Long Path helps to highlight and support the work of the Trail Conference
By Kenneth Posner, Long Path Race Series Founder
The Long Path Race Series is designed to promote this magnificent trail and the good work of the Trail Conference and its volunteers and to encourage further land and trail stewardship.
First conceived by the Trail Conference in the 1930s, the Long Path has been developed and blazed over the years and today is maintained by volunteers for whom it is a labor of love. The Long Path is not as well-known as other long distance trails such as Vermont’s Long Trail, the Pacific Coast Trail, or the Appalachian Trail, and it deserves a higher profile. The Long Path links New York City with the Helderberg Escarpment west of Albany, and along its meandering 350-mile length, passes through some of New York’s most spectacular natural areas, including the Hudson Palisades, Harriman State Park, the Shawangunk Mountains, and the Catskills. Hike or run along the Long Path, and you’re in for a distinctive, beautiful, rugged, and amazing experience.
For 2015, the series will include six races, beginning with Rock The River on May 3. Organized by the Palisades Park Conservancy, this event benefits the Trail Conference, the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, and the trails. It features 5k and half-marathon road races and a 6k trail race suitable for walkers as well as runners. Early-bird pricing ends April 1; registration is open through race day. Proceeds benefit the work of the Trail Conference in the Palisades.
The series also includes the SRT Run/Hike, which gives participants a chance to run or hike the entire 74-mile Shawangunk Ridge Trail from High Point State Park in New Jersey all the way to the town of Rosendale, New York (or you can opt for shorter 50, 32, or 20-mile distances).
Persons who register for the series will accumulate points for each event they complete. (It’s not required to participate in all six). Those who accrue the highest point totals will be recognized as “disciples of the Long Brown Path.” There is a nominal $15 registration fee to participate in the series (this helps offset administrative costs) which is separate from the registration fees for each of the six series events.
Of note, nature lovers should not worry that the Long Path will soon be overridden by hordes of crazed trail runners. In developing trail events, we work closely with the parks and preserves to ensure that we are not causing congestion, damaging trails or ecologically sensitive areas, or hogging the limited supply of parking spots. As long as we’re all courteous, there should be plenty of room for both hikers and runners out there. (Let’s all work together to keep out the ATVs.) Register for the Long Path Series for a year of fun and excitement!