Looking for Bugs on the New Doris Duke Trail

By Sona Mason, West Hudson Program Coordinator

Instead of bugs finding us, we went in search of them!

On Sunday July 13, trail builders and amateur naturalists Peter Dolan and Tina McGill led an interactive walk through Sterling Forest State Park, exhibiting another aspect of life on the trails: bugs.

dragonflyAmong the beetles, butterflies, hoppers and ants encountered en route along the new Doris Duke Trail, being built by our Palisades Trail Crew, we caught and released a beautiful skimmer dragonfly (Family: Libellulidae, pictured here), with its characteristic black banded wings.

Our walk leaders–Peter, a Trail Conference staff member, and Tina, an AmeriCorps member of this year’s Palisades Trail Crew–also pointed out characteristics of sustainable trail building as we walked.

Coming up this weekend, on Saturday, July 26, is the crew’s first workshop this season, Armoring A Stream Crossing. This is a new topic at Trail-U, and will offer participants an in-depth practicum on how to create safe and stable crossings of  intermittent streams utilizing materials local to the site.  Please join us and sign up here.

More Trail U courses are planned for August and September.

Right now, volunteers are enjoying installing drainage structures, turnpikes, and placing the occasional stone step where necessary. With about 2 miles of trail completed since the project began in 2013, everyone is invited to come and see the progress made, as well give back to their community out in the beautiful forest. We’ll be proud to give you a personalized tour of what we’ve been up to!

Check out our crew outings here, or email palisadestrailcrew@nynjtc.org, or contact Sona Mason at 201-512-9348 ext. 16.


About Trail Walker

Since 1920, the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference has partnered with parks to create, protect, and promote a network of more than 2,100 miles of public trails in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region. The Trail Conference organizes volunteer service projects that keep these trails open, safe, and enjoyable for the public. We publish maps and books that guide public use of these trails. The Trail Conference is a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization with a membership of 10,000 individuals and 100 clubs with a combined membership of 100,000 active, outdoor-loving people.
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