Crew Starts Appalachian Trail Relocation at Bear Mountain
Text by Bob Fuller; pictures by Marty Costello, members of the Long Distance Trails Crew
After a winter of fun crew outings—including hikes, snowshoeing, and a New Year’s Eve party—the Long Distance Trails Crew (LDTC) has begun its trail-building season. On March 27, we met for the first of many weekends needed to relocate a 1/4-mile section of the Appalachian Trail (AT) at Bear Mountain. The current route leaves from Seven Lakes Drive just east of the hikers’ parking area and begins climbing up a badly eroded gully with lots of loose rocks. Just parallel to this path is the equally eroded previous route. The crew, working with all the necessary agencies, designed a new route that goes up through the nearby cliffs and will provide a much more interesting and sustainable route. Of course, building a trail up the cliffs will require “moving the mountain,” as one hiker noted while watching the work in progress.
“Moving the mountain” means building crib walls and steps to provide a graded trail as the new route climbs those cliffs, passing over and under ledges and through crevices. Building this trail will be challenging, exciting, fun, and rewarding for this crew of volunteers who come out to help with the work. Much of the construction involves moving large rocks, so we are using a high line (overhead cable system) to “fly” rocks to where they are needed. We creatively designed the trail to ensure it is not only sustainable but aesthetically pleasing as it blends into the landscape.
Many more crew videos and pictures can be found on our crew page.
We’re on the trail this weekend, April 24-26, and will have more outings throughout the season, so please join us. No experience is necessary. We provide on the job training and guarantee a fun and rewarding day for volunteers at any skill level. Contact Crew Chief Chris Reyling at 914-953-4900, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Crew Leader Bob Fuller at 732-952-2162, email@example.com for more information.