By Bob Fuller, member of the Long Distance Trails Crew
The Long Distance Trails Crew is proud to announce the completion of the Appalachian Trail relocation on West Mountain in Harriman State Park. The project began last fall and was completed over the Oct. 3-5 weekend by the all-volunteer crew, which builds and sustains long-distance trails like the AT throughout the Hudson Valley. Blazing of the new route and closing off of the old trail will take place in the next two weeks.
The former route was a severely eroded, straight up-and-down section of the Appalachian Trail that created hazardous footing for the thousands of people who hike this portion of the AT each year. Led by Crew Chief Chris Reyling and Crew Leader Erik Garnjost, the LDTC has built a more sustainable route ascending the mountain more diagonally, which allows for easier hiking. Durable features, such as rock cribbing and steps, have been built into the trail, adding to the beauty of the hike and ensuring this portion of the trail will last for decades.
The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference will celebrate the AT relocation with a ribbon cutting on Saturday, Oct. 18, following the 2014 Annual Meeting and Volunteer Recognition Ceremony. Join Trail Conference volunteers and hikers promptly at 1:30 p.m. at the southern parking lot at the Anthony Wayne Recreation Area in Harriman State Park for a walk to the site. The LDTC will lead hikers up the old trail to the top of the relocation for the ribbon cutting. The guided hike will then continue along the beautiful new AT path back to the parking area. (The total loop hike will be 2.5 miles.) A longer guided return hike (3.5 miles total), which will showcase the work of both the LDTC and the West Hudson South volunteer trail crews, will also be offered.
For more information about the ribbon-cutting hike, contact LDTC member Bob Fuller: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info on what the LDTC is up to, check out the crew page. New volunteers interested in trail building are always welcome on work trips.