by Raina Stoutenburg, AmeriCorps member of the Taconic Crew
The Taconic Crew (aka the Talus Titans) is working out of Fahnestock State Park on the Appalachian Access Trail. On that trail, there is a section that we have lovingly nicknamed “Dead Man’s Curve”.
When we first encountered this section of trail, there was nowhere to walk. On one side of the trail there was a wall of bedrock. On the other side, there was a steep drop-off. In between, there was no place to build a trail. It was deservedly named ‘Dead Man’s Curve’ and the name stuck.
After doing a lot of discovery around the bedrock, it was decided that we were going to rent a pneumatic hammer and create a trail out of the bedrock. Using the hammer was difficult. We had to hold the hammer at an angle and it was heavy. Even the strongest people had to switch off every five minutes, or so. It was fun to use though! There’s something strangely satisfying about breaking off chunks of rock using large power tools!
After almost two days of working with a pneumatic hammer, the bedrock had become a trail! There is still a steep drop-off on one side. On the other side is a wall of iron-laden bedrock. In between, there is about two feet of rock that is easy to walk on!
Dead Man’s Curve has been greatly transformed into a section of trail with a nice view and a memorable bedrock tread!