Text by Andrea Minoff and Bob Fuller, members of the Long Distance Trails Crew. Photos by Andrea Minoff.
Members of the Long Distance Trails Crew (LDTC) took advantage of the lovely weather on Sunday, May 3 to refresh and realign over 100 blazes on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) in Harriman-Bear Mountain State Parks. The work was done on the A.T. from Seven Lakes Drive up to the intersection with the Timp Torn Trail on the northeast side of West Mountain. The relocation of the trail here was one of the first projects of the LDTC, and we wanted to see how the trail construction was holding up, look for problem areas, and improve the existing blazing. Bob Fuller, the new maintainer for that section of the trail, was joined by crew members Chris Reyling, Bob Chapel, and Andrea Minoff. The group refreshed or removed existing blazes and painted bright new ones where needed to help make the trail easier to follow. This included moving forest debris (e.g branches, logs) to more clearly delineate the trail where it was evident that hikers were wandering onto older paths or making new ones of their own.
This was the first blazing trip for Bob on his newly assigned trail section. The first time out reblazing is always an all-day affair, resulting in a trail that may not be perfectly blazed, but is generally much improved and takes on the “personality” of the maintainer. The blazing and trail delineation will continue to improve with each subsequent maintenance trip.
While not an official outing of the LDTC, this trip was a “busman’s holiday” for the crew members who came out to assist one of their own on a beautiful day. Many of the crew members are also trail maintainers and sawyers.
Our crew will be working throughout the spring, summer, and fall seasons, with our biggest project being a relocation of the A.T. on the southwest shoulder of Bear Mountain. 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.