Free Catskills Hiking Program on Sunday, February 8

10620371_745724175495954_7927043099924632836_oOffering a mix of free programs and workshops about hiking, trail skills and more every month, the Trail Conference’s Second Sundays at Spillian series continues this February with an interactive discussion about safe and environmentally sustainable hiking in the Catskills.   This event will be held at Spillian on Sunday, February 8th and begins at 1pm.

Using the principals of HikeSafe and Leave No Trace, presenters Heather Rolland, Will Soter, John Leigh and Forest Ranger Joesph Bink will be going over the dos and don’ts of hiking and discussing how to make sure your trip in the backcountry of the Catskills is as safe and as sustainable as possible.

HikeSafe, along with the Hiker Responsibility Code, was developed as a joint program between the White Mountain National Forest and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department to create and develop a Mountain Safety Education Program. While originally designed to educate those hiking throughout New Hampshire about the steps they must take in order to be prepared before entering the forest, the HikeSafe program has expanded to include other areas, including the Catskills. The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics teaches people of all ages how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly, and is the most widely accepted outdoor ethics program used on public lands.

This workshop will focus on applying HikeSafe and Leave No Trace principals to your hikes, walks, excursions and climbs in the Catskills. You’ll learn how to be safe on your hike and how to ensure your hike doesn’t degrade any of our natural resources.

This event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served. Please register on the Trail Conference’s event page so organizers can maintain a headcount for the day.

About the Presenters:

Will SoterWill Soter is the Trail Conference’s Trails Chair for the southern Catskills, CEO and Lead Guide of Upstate Adventure Guides,  and a registered New York State  Guide.  Will has years of experience exploring and hiking throughout the Catskills and as a guide, he strives to provide a superior level of wilderness guidance, while maximizing the visitor’s experience.

Heather RollandHeather Rolland is an avid Catskills hiker, the Trail Conference’s Catskills Program Coordinator, a member of the Board of Directors of the Catskill 3500 Club and is currently working on her Catskills All Trails Patch.

John LeighJohn Leigh is the Trail Conference’s Volunteer Coordinator and a certified Leave No Trace instructor.  He has hiked throughout New York and New Jersey, including many of the trails of the Catskills. John  has taught backpacking, wilderness survival, and camping in New Hampshire, and sailing and canoeing on Chesapeake Bay.

Joseph Bink is a New York State Forest Ranger in the Catskills.  He will be sharing his insights on the HikeSafe and LNT guidelines.  He will also provide information on staying safe, having fun, and knowing the regulations in the Catskill Park and Forest Preserve.

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