Kay Cynamon doesn’t exactly see the “work” in all of the volunteer work she’s done for the Trail Conference. “I just like loping around outside,” says the Manhattan-based physician, who’s been a Trail Conference member for over 20 years. “If I can be helpful and it serves a purpose to carry a GPS, that’s even better.”
Over the last two years, Cynamon and her GPS hiked and recorded the locations of more than 100 miles of marked trails in the South Taconic Mountains; thanks to her efforts, hikers can soon own the latest, greatest edition of the Trail Conference’s South Taconic Trails map. “The hiking itself is not hard,” Cynamon says. “The only hard thing for me is travleing 100-150 miles to get there!” (She’s looking forward to the day cars drive themselves, she explains.)
Cynamon began volunteering in the South Taconic region as an accidental maintainer. About 15 years ago, she took a hike up Alander Mountain through overgrown trails. She wrote to the Trail Conference about the problem, and received a response asking if she’d like to help fix the situation by becoming a maintainer. “I figured since I’d mouthed off I should say yes,” Cynamon recalls. “Gradually, I adopted about six miles of trails up there, which is kind of ridiculous for a volunteer,” she laughs.
Off the trails, Cynamon served as the South Taconic map’s project manager and researcher. “I get so much enjoyment out of hiking and being outdoors, and everything about it,” Cynamon says. “The opportunity to give back so other people can enjoy these trails makes me very happy.”
You’ll be able to find that enthusiasm in her next project with the Publications Committee: a trails guidebook to Morris County, NJ.
The South Taconic Trails map is now available for pre-order.
If you’re inspired by Kay’s story and would like to become a trail maintainer or volunteer with our Publications Committee on projects involving maps and books printed by the Trail Conference, get in touch!