We recently ran an article on some great snowshoe trails in New England. But the rest of the Northeast also offers up some exceptional places for snowshoeing. So let’s spread the love and take a look at some great places for snowshoeing in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. (FYI – Any backcountry travel in winter presents very real dangers. Do your research, make sure you’re prepared, and don’t end up dead.)
ALGONQUIN PEAK, NEW YORK
At 5,114 feet, Algonquin is the second-tallest mountain in New York (behind Mount Marcy). This 8-mile roundtrip hike starts off gently enough, but it grows steeper until you reach a very steep ascent that takes you above tree line. It’s demanding, and you’ll be completely exposed to the elements near the summit (so be prepared), but you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular, 360-degree view.
SLIDE APPROACH UP WILMINGTON PEAK, NEW YORK
Honestly, this is one trail you might be better off staying away from in winter. Definitely don’t climb it with children, if you’re out of shape, or if you’re uncomfortable with slide climbing and exposure. Footing is challenging and unstable, and there’s always an avalanche danger. But . . . with good judgment and backcountry experience, the Slide Approach up Wilmington Peak (4.7 miles roundtrip) makes for one hell of an adventure. (For a safer trip up Wilmington Peak, try the Cooper Kiln Pond Approach.)
SLIDE MOUNTAIN WILDERNESS, NEW YORK
With more than 47,000 acres, the Slide Mountain Wilderness is the largest wilderness area in the Catskills. You can access the area’s remote interior using one of the many trails that wind through this forest. Or, if you feel like striking off on your own, the Slide Mountain Wilderness also has an expansive trailless area that really takes you into the wilderness. To enjoy a peak that has inspired poets, climb Slide Mountain, the tallest peak in the Catskills.
What it looks like trying to snowshoe up New York’s Wright Peak and then Algonquin Peak in “less-than-ideal” conditions.
RAMAPO MOUNTAIN STATE FOREST, NEW JERSEY
With rugged terrain and elevation jumping from 200 to 1,100 feet, Ramapo Mountain State Forest offers some challenging trails close to New York City. The forest has 9 trails, ranging from 1 mile in length to nearly 10 miles, and all but one of them is rated “difficult” by the New Jersey Parks and Forest Service. Some of the trails offer a view of the New York City skyline.
GOLDEN EAGLE TRAIL, PENNSYLVANIA
This roughly 9-mile circuit trail features rugged terrain, interesting rock formations and remnants of old logging camps. It also features wonderful views of the Pine Creek Valley. Also nearby is the 3-mile, out-and-back Bob Webber Trail, a strenuous short hike with great views from the top of the south mountain of Wolf Run.
RICKETTS GLEN STATE PARK, PENNSYLVANIA
One of the most beautiful places in Pennsylvania, Ricketts Glen State Park is home to 22 named waterfalls – including 94-foot Ganoga Falls – that look downright magical when they freeze in winter. The park is also home to old growth timber, 245-acre Lake Jean, and a diverse collection of wildlife. Hike the Falls Trail System to explore the Glens, home to free-flowing waterfalls cascading through rock-strewn clefts in the hillside.