The Trail Conference joined regional partners, member clubs, and outdoor gear manufacturers and suppliers this past Saturday, May 10, at our retail partner Kenco Outfitters (bring your Trail Conference membership card for discounts) in Kingston for their 4th annual TrailFest. This festival has become the unofficial kickoff of the summertime hiking season in the Catskill Mountains.
Along with a large group of nonprofit organizations that support the Catskills, the Trail Conference offered visitors to TrailFest information on volunteer opportunities, upcoming Trail University workshops (including our Introduction to Trail Maintenance in Haines Falls on May 17th), Catskill Mountains trails, and our maps. We showcased our newly updated brochures and maps for the Fire Towers of the Catskill Park.
Our booth was staffed by Will Soter, our Southern Catskills Co-Chair (volunteer, standing in photo); Doug Senterman, our Catskills Lean-to Chair (volunteer, sitting in photo); and Jeff Senterman, our Senior Program Coordinator (staff, taking the photo). We congratulated Kenco on their new expansion and introduced many new visitors to the trails, lean-tos and recreational opportunities of the Catskills with our neighboring groups that included the Catskill Center, Catskill Mountain Club, Rip Van Winkle Hikers, Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership, and the Catskill 3500 Club.
Thunderstorms that threatened to dampen the event thankfully held off until the late afternoon, and we all enjoyed one of the first warm and sunny days of the spring hiking season.
The following day, our Southern Catskills Co-Chairs and Trail Conference staff met up at Spillian in Fleischmanns, which has offered trails on their property as sites for several of our trail workshops. We scouted the trails to determine what work is needed for two upcoming workshops: Introduction to Trail Maintenance on Saturday, May 31, and Introduction to Trail Building, on Sunday, June 1.
These workshops, along with future ones, will restore a series of old carriage roads and build new trail connections between them to create a new trail network in Fleischmanns that will be open to the public.