Highlands Trail Reroutes
Hikers should be aware that there are a few temporary reroutes along the Highlands Trail for 2011.
First, at Schunemunk Mountain the HT is not currently accessible from Seven Springs road. Orange County is building new athletic fields and they plan to complete the project later this year.
Second, there is a long road walk in Chester, NY. The Highlands Trail Committee is working closely with the Town of Chester to move as much trail off the roads in the area as possible.
Third, the dam in Mahlon Dickerson Reservation is under construction for the next one to two years, according to the Morris County Park Commission, so the Highlands Trail has been rerouted through this area. The reroute is a combination of existing HT and HT connector trail, and some newly built trail. The map at right shows the temporary trail reroutes established by the Morris County Park Commission. The Highlands Trail is shown with gray outline as it now follows two separate temporary trails (yellow lines) in combination with a trail on the east side of Saffin Pond that typically serves as a connector trail to the parking area. Closed sections of trail are indicated by thick black dashes with small 'X' marks, with the dam itself noted by a Keep Out symbol.
Finally, efforts continue to improve the Highlands Trail route through the Clinton Wildlife Management area near Spruce Run Reservoir. The HT now lies closer to Van Syckels Road so hikers can use the road when the trail becomes overgrown in June and July. Trail maintenance is not allowed between April 15 and July 15 in this area to protect nesting birds. The Highlands Trail volunteers maintain this section of trail as quickly as possible after July 15th in order to return it to hiker-friendly condition.
All of these updates as well as section descriptions, maps and other pertinent information is available on the Highlands Trail website, which is located at www.highlands-trail.org.