The Appalachian Trail is a rugged “super trail” that is the longest continuously marked footpath in the United States that is limited to use by pedestrians. It stretches from Katahdin, Maine to Springer Mountain, Georgia. The Trail consists of approximately 2,180 miles through 14 states. The Trail is part of the National Park System and is managed through a unique partnership between the National Park Service, United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, a number of State agencies, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and 31 trail maintaining clubs.
In Orange County, the Trail generally traverses in an easterly direction entering the County from the south in the Town of Warwick at the New Jersey border, west of Greenwood Lake in the vicinity of Bellvale Mountain. Utilizing a combination of public and private lands; the Trail moves through the Town of Warwick in a northeasterly direction. Just short of the Town of Chester the Trail moves east where it enters Sterling Forest and Harriman State Park through a small portion of the Town of Monroe into the Town of Tuxedo.
The Appalachian Trail continues in a westerly and northwesterly direction within Harriman State Park as it enters the Town / Village of Woodbury, eventually leaving Orange County and entering Rockland County. Within Rockland County, the Trail enters Bear Mountain State Park and traverses in a northwesterly direction where it reenters Orange County and utilizes the Bear Mountain Bridge to continue on into Putnam County. View an Appalachian Trail Interactive Map.
Appalachian Trail Community
In June 2012, the Town of Warwick was designated an Appalachian Trail Community, the first in New York State. In being designated a Trail community, the Town has codified protection of the trail with its Zoning Law. The Town has identified the Trail as a “Designated Protection Area’ in the Zoning Law, which requires authorization by the Planning Board in order to change land contours, remove natural vegetation or erect structures within designated areas.
Additionally, a 100-foot setback is required from the centerline of the Appalachian Trail. The Trail is also listed within the Conservation “CO” District which recognizes the environmental sensitivity of certain geographic features which includes the Appalachian Trail.