By Sona Mason, West Hudson Program Coordinator
The cool, crisp, sunny afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 8, saw 25 people from all walks of life hiking the newly completed section of the Doris Duke Trail in Sterling Forest State Park. This trail, commissioned by New York State Parks in 2013 and built by volunteers of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, now links up with two of the oldest trails in the region: the Allis Trail and the Appalachian Trail.
En route, the Trail Conference’s West Hudson Program Coordinator Sona Mason, West Hudson South Trails Chair John Mack, and volunteer Janet Setter explained how trails are built and maintained and detailed why the land over which they cross must be conserved and protected. From the Doris Duke, the group continued south on the Allis Trail along the Sterling Ridge, which offers spectacular views across the valley—some of which may be marred by the rooftops of the Genting Group’s proposed $1.5 billion Sterling Forest Resort casino, if it is approved. Friends of Sterling Forest leader Doc Bayne also supplied a wealth of natural and local history along the way, creating a three-hour journey of discovery for all.
Participants included members of the Friends of Sterling Forest, the Trail Conference, the No Tuxedo Casino group, local residents, and hikers.