Volunteers, including West Point cadets, rebuilt a washed-out section of trail on Wildcat Mountain the last weekend in October.
By Sona Mason
Our first season on the Sterling Forest State Park Backcountry Trails Project ended with volunteers completing the rehabilitation of a Hurricane Irene-devastated section of trail leading to Wildcat Mountain (photo at left). This was the last project in what was a productive and fun season at Sterling Forest. Volunteers, including three outstanding trainee members of our Conservation Corps who worked hard all season, taught other volunteers, and led trail-building outings, finished the new Doris Duke Trail and completed this big trail job.
The work can be seen–and experienced–almost immediately upon leaving the Hall Drive parking area (P2 on Sterling Forest Trails map) toward Wildcat Mountain. Note: Hikers may want to wait until after deer hunting with guns season, which begins Nov. 16 and ends Dec. 8
And a big thank-you to Bob, Lynda, Scott, Christine, David, Howard, Joanne, Joe, Rene, and West Point Cadets for their work on the Wildcat stream crossing, and to all the volunteers who made our season at Sterling Forest a success!
Congratulations to Jim Gregoire, Trail Conference Treasurer, who over the weekend completed his multi-year, 4,200-mile, Atlantic-to-Pacific section hike of our country!
Jim’s final segment covered about 350 miles, starting on the Columbia River is Pasco, WA, and finishing at Cape Disappointment where that river meets the Pacific. Jim notes that this is where Lewis and Clark spent the winter before returning to St. Louis in 1806.
In the Fall issue of the print Trail Walker, Jim said: “I developed a real love for seeing new parts of the country and meeting so many gracious, generous people along the way. Each day on the road is an adventure, full of unknowns that affect my journey. I have not encountered any problems with people or animals along the way except for a few close calls—like an up-close encounter with a grizzly in Glacier National Park and nearly stepping on roadside rattlesnakes.”
On the weekend of October 4-6, Jim celebrated completion of his hike with family, friends, and college classmates. In 2005, Jim completed his section hike of the Appalachian Trail. He became a trail maintainer in New Jersey and volunteer AT supervisor in New Jersey before joining the Trail Conference board as Treasurer. “I support the Trail Conference with my time and financial resources, because it makes the great outdoors accessible to millions of people without charge. What a great mission!”
Thank you, Jim, and congratulations!
On October 7, 1923, our predecessors at the Trail Conference celebrated completion of the first section of the Appalachian Trail, at Bear Mountain. We marked their achievement on October 6, 2013 with a commemorative hike on new, under-construction, and long-existing sections of the Trail on the Mountain. Our group had a chance to say “thank-you” in person to volunteers with the Mid Atlantic Crew of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, who were hare at work improving the trail. Continue reading
Members of our West Hudson Trail Crew take a break on rock steps they installed September 14 on the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail at Bear Mountain State Park. The steps address an erosion problem on a steep section of the trail. Volunteers pictured are, left to right: Bruce Shriver, Gay Mayer, Jim Brown, Gail Brown, John Mack, Dennis Hickey, Chris Ezzo, and Joyce Gallagher. Not in photo is Bob Fuller, who took the photo. Thanks to all!
Consider joining the crew on upcoming outings, scheduled for Saturdays, October 5, 19, and November 9. Find details on these and other group volunteer trail projects on our Trail Crew Outings calendar page.
On September 15, State Senator David Carlucci (center in white shirt and blue jeans; representing Rockland & Westchester) and the Trail Conference hosted the Second Annual Hike with Your Senator event at Harriman State Park as part of the 14th Annual Hudson River Valley Ramble. Trail Conference member and volunteer Bob Fuller (second from right) once again served as guide for the hike and staff cartographer Jeremy Apgar prepared a custom trail map for participants.
The group enjoyed a moderately strenuous 3.5-miles circular hike to beautiful views of the Hudson River valley and Hudson Highlands, and visits to the unfinished 1890 Dunderberg Spiral Railroad grades and tunnels.
They had such a good time, there is talk of a snowshoe hike come winter. Stay tuned.
This September marked the official opening of another beautiful trail in the town of Andes. The Shavertown Trail was built by the Catskill Mountain Club on land owned by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), with the assistance of the Town of Andes and support from the Trail Conference.
The Shavertown Trail offers families and novice hikers a unique opportunity in the Catskills – a spectacular view after only one moderately strenuous mile, followed by a fairly level mile and a half through beautiful rock ledges and wonderful forest to explore.
Be ready to break a sweat as you climb 520 feet in that first mile, but it is so worth it. Wander past a lovely pond, complete with pink and white water lilies in season, and enjoy the spectacular view of the Pepacton Reservoir. Visitors can walk around the pond and head back or continue on.
The next mile and a half of trail winds around craggy boulders adorned with a variety of lichens. Much of the trail before and after the pond is on an old access road which passes through some overgrown pastures filled with wildflowers. Parts of the steeper first section have stone steps to ease the climb.
The second mile and a half of trail gains just 240 feet of elevation, making it a pleasant stroll for most hikers, young and old. The trail is 5.3 miles round- trip. The Shavertown Trail begins across the street from the parking area for the DEP Shavertown Boat Launch on the Pepacton Reservoir.
Click this link to learn more about our trail program in the Catskill Mountain region.
At the Start
At the Finish
Here’s a follow-up to an earlier post about member Ken Posner’s planned attempt to set a new fastest known time on the Long Path. He did it. (Though it took more than his hoped-for 7 days.) Ken raised $10,000 for a youth program in the process.
Ken started his thru-run on the 350-mile scenic hiking trail that stretches from New York City to Albany at 7:14 am, Sunday August 25, and reached the finish on Tuesday, September 3, at 10:20 am, for a total time of 9 days 3 hours and 6 minutes. Ken wrote that of the 119 known end-to-end thru-hikers of the Long Path, the prior fastest known time was 12 days.
“Running the Long Path was an incredible adventure,” Ken commented. “I was floored by the scenic vistas as the trail wound its way through many of New York’s most beautiful state parks and preserve. I am deeply appreciative to the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference and volunteers for their meticulous work blazing, maintaining, and providing online notes for the trail. I encourage ultra-runners and thru-hikers to take a shot at setting a faster record and other people to pick one of the many beautiful sections of the Long Path for a day hike.”
Learn more about the why and wherefore of Ken’s Long Path run on our earlier post at http://blog-tw.nynjtc.org/?p=462.
Click here to learn about the Long Path.