By Andrew Seirup, East Hudson Trail Chair, and Hank Osborn, East Hudson Program Coordinator
In the most northern reaches of The Trail Conference’s East Hudson Region lie the South Taconic trails. The trail network extends into Connecticut and Massachusetts, but the most southern section is still in the northeast corner of Dutchess County. However, in New York the trail ends, leaving a five-mile gap to Rudd Pond, a state park in Millerton, NY, managed by the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.
Recent land acquisitions have made it possible to extend the trail to Rudd Pond, the natural starting point for the trail. The Trail Conference is hard at work on this extension, a route that requires building about five miles of brand new trail through open woods, hemlock groves, waterfalls, and rock ledges with open views.
The construction phase of this project began in 2014 and will hopefully be completed by the end of 2015. Work will range from cutting and clearing with loppers and hand saws to heavier work like digging side hills and treadway smoothing–and we need your help!
No previous experience is required, training is provided, and there is plenty of work for all abilities. For all trail-building trips, please bring work gloves, water, lunch, and friends. Wear sturdy shoes and appropriate clothing for the weather. Tools are provided.
Our next work trip is this weekend, May 16-17, with overnight camping available Saturday night. For more info or to sign up, visit our South Taconic Trail Extension page.
Volunteers don’t have to become members of the Trail Conference to participate, however, membership is encouraged: it lets you enjoy benefits such as discounts on Trail Conference publications, as well as discounts with our retail partners.
And don’t forget: Our brand new South Taconic Trails map, with more than 100 miles of marked trails, trail mileage numbers, and the latest trail changes, is available now. You can also grab digital copies of the map today through the Avenza PDF Maps app.