Rock Walls, Tent Sites, RPH Shelter and No More Staples-New York AT Sections are Done!

On Sunday 2/26/2017 I was accompanied by my son, Mike, as we finished the last 2.7 miles of New York Appalachian Trail Section #6. I had to do the stretch from Long Hill Road to Miller Hill Road at the Taconic State Parkway overpass as the last time I was on Section #6 I cut my head and needed six staples in my scalp. This forced us to cut our hike short on that date. The weather was beautiful and, after parking at the small Long Hill Road parking area, we headed northbound into the woods.

We were soon surrounded by the largest stacked farmers rock wall I have ever seen on the AT. It was hundreds of feet in a huge rectangle, or at least two plus sides of the rectangle.

A couple of minutes later we saw signs for the Shenandoah Tenting Area which is located to the left (from our NOBO direction) off the AT on a blue side trail about a tenth of a mile.

There was water standing in the middle of the side trail, probably from the violent storm last night. As we walked a short distance by staying to the dry area next to the trail, we saw another sign to the left to enter the actual tent site area.

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The tent site area had a boarded up cabin/garage storage type building with a nearby grassy field which had a picnic table. Also nearby was a small, closed building which may have had a shower inside it at one time. There was a plastic drum mounted along the edge of the roof on brackets which were fastened to the outside wall of the building. There was a small sign on this building with an arrow showing the direction of the privy which was located a short walk from the corner of the tent grassy area.

A sign next to the privy’s door recognized this privy as the Boy Scouts of America Eagle Project of Jaymie Young, Troop 82, LaGrangeville, NY in October 1996.

There was a nearby hand pump for water but any water from this source is non-potable. This water contains microbial contamination and needs to be boiled before drinking.

I made a couple of videos of this site but haven’t quite mastered how to insert videos into this blog.

We walked the short distance back to rejoin the AT northbound and, after walking atop some puncheon boardwalk, we came to a very solidly built wooden bridge over a small stream.

There were two plaques mounted on the bridge to recognize the volunteers who built this bridge. Donations were made by LL Bean, utility poles from Central Hudson, cash from the Adirondack Hiking Club and many individual volunteers are named on the plaque. The other plaque dedicates this bridge in the memory of Eagle Scout Seth B. Lyon who passed away in 2010.

The mileage sign below is located at the junction of the AT with the very short side trail leading to the RPH Shelter. No chance of heading in the wrong direction after leaving this shelter.

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The RPH Shelter, which stands for Ralph’s Peak Hikers’ Cabin, is a masonry walled building which is a huge step up from the typical AT shelter.

There were six bunks inside, some of which had foam sleeping mats on the bunks. There was a hanging scale fastened to one of the top bunks in order that hikers could weigh their gear I presume. There was a table underneath a bulletin board. There were stackable plastic chairs which could be used inside or out where the picnic tables were located. There was a blue tarp hung to help block out the weather as needed on the end of the building opposite the door.

There is a working hand pump for water but there is a caution sign warning that any water used from this source had to be treated before consumption. The pump, which was in working order when I tested it, was located next to the shelter.

Mike noticed that there were two welcome mats. The one for the front entrance (in the photo on the  left below) was spelled differently than the one for the rear exit by the blue tarp (in the photo on the right below). Can you see the difference? I initially missed this but Mike has sharp eyes.

 

The privy for the RPH shelter is actually located along the AT just north of the side trail to the shelter. It can be seen from where the AT crosses Hortonville Road just a short distance away. It was funny that the privy had a  Fallout Shelter civil defense sign on the inside of the door and a thank you engraved plaque on the inside to recognize the efforts of the volunteers in July 2003-2004 who built the privy. There is some humorous words engraved into the plaque. The privy was clean and there was even toilet paper available.

Credit should be given to the person or persons responsible for the upkeep of the shelter and privy. They are doing a wonderful job.

Girl Scouts had installed birdhouses on trees near this shelter. The one on the left was installed by Girl Scout Troop 10280 in April 2015. I liked their troop’s name which is “Heart of the Hudson”.

Mike filmed me as I walked across the last footbridge over a small stream before we walked up a short hill towards Miller Hill Road. There were some helpful wooden steps set into the hill to make the hiking easier up onto the road. This is the northern end of New York State AT Section #6.

I am thankful to have finally finished all sections in New York. I have now hiked a total of 98.9 miles on the AT (89.8 in New York (finished) and 9.1 in New Jersey). Next up will be the five sections remaining in New Jersey.

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