I am truly honored to have won a Martin A. Dale Sophomore Summer Award to support this trip. The award is given to a few Princeton sophomores each year to fund transformative, non-academic, non-working summer projects that provide opportunities for personal growth. I am very grateful to the generosity and vision of the late Martin A. Dale (Princeton Class of 1953) and his family.
About the Long Path
The Long Path is a 400-mile hiking trail in New York and New Jersey, going from the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, NJ, to Altamont, NY, near Albany. The idea of the Long Path goes back to 1931, when Vincent Schaefer first envisioned a route stretching from New York City to Whiteface Mountain in the Adirondacks. Rather than being a formal trail, though, Schaefer proposed that the Long Path be an unmarked walking route connecting a series of interesting landmarks throughout New York. Schaefer wanted hikers to use a map, a compass, and their outdoor skills to reach these points. Schaefer's plan lost momentum after World War II, until the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference took a renewed interest in the Long Path in the 1960s. They have since worked to turn it into a blazed trail stretching from New York City to the Adirondacks. Today, the Long Path remains a work in progress, ending some 30 miles short of the Blue Line (the boundary of Adirondack State Park).
About the Northville-Placid Trail
When I finish the Long Path, I will link up with the Northville-Placid Trail to reach Whiteface Mountain. The 130-mile Northville-Placid Trail, completed in 1924, is one of the oldest hiking trails in the country. It runs through Adirondack State Park, from Northville to Lake Placid.
About the 46 High Peaks
There are 46 mountains in the Adirondacks that were at one time believed to be above 4000 feet. More recent, accurate surveys have shown that some of those 46 peaks are slightly lower than 4000 feet, but the original designation of 46 high peaks remains. Robert and George Marshall and Herb Clark were the first "46ers" (people who climb all 46 high peaks); they climbed the 46 peaks between 1918 and 1925.