By Jordan Foxler, AmeriCorps member of the Taconic Crew
The weekend is over, I know, and it’s only a Tuesday. But it’s never too early to start thinking about planning your Saturday and Sunday.
If you’re heading out on the trails in the East Hudson region, you may come across the Taconic Crew. On Sept. 20, we were busy hosting volunteers from Marist College. They came in abundance—30-plus volunteers!—who gave their morning to help preserve the Wilkinson Trail in Hudson Highlands State Park from further water erosion.
We focused on creating knicks, effective drains that are constructed into existing trails. For a knick to be effective, the trail tread must have lower ground next to it, so the water has a place to go. A knick is a shaved down semicircle about 3 meters (10 feet) long that is outsloped about 15 percent in the center. Knicks are smooth and subtle and should be unnoticeable to users. A lot of work has to be done with the 36 knicks that have been marked along the trail, but the volunteers were up for the task.
The morning started with a safety talk, then we made our way up the steep and eroded trail, which has been subjected to the elements over the years. Twenty minutes later we were catching our breath and splitting into groups to get to work. I led a group of seven, splitting them up to tackle two knicks that had been marked. Within the hour, we were one knick down and moving on to the next. For students who had never done trail building before, they took to it with ease, enjoying kicking up and moving dirt to create the right grade. Midday quickly rolled around, and it was time for our volunteers to head back to campus in Poughkeepsie. The successful morning saw eight knicks built and many hours saved with the fantastic help from Marist College.
We’re halfway there, with plenty of work yet to be done. If you’d like to join us, check out the Taconic Crew page for our Trail U workshop schedule and work trip dates.
Hope to see you on the trails.