“That first hiker out here after a deep snow, maybe it’s their first time on this trail, and let’s say it’s also just starting to get dark. That’s the hiker I keep in mind when I work on marking a trail,” suggested DEC Forester Ian Dunn, as he led a crew of 8 through the process of selecting the best tree, and attaching the marker. “There’s definitely an art to it,” he acknowledged. Sighting from marker to marker, managing tricky curves in the trail, and explaining the differences between marking a trail in the wild forest versus the wilderness were all fully explained by Forester Dunn. A hands-on approach meant that elegant solutions to onsite challenges were crafted as the group worked together to mark a solid mile or so of trail.
Participants with connections to every major hiking club in the region attended this trail marking clinic and trail work day. Clipping, lopping, pruning and digging for approximately 4 miles and many more hours on the scenic Ashokan High Point trail in Olivebridge, NY, the volunteers worked side by side with Forester Dunn and CCC coordinator Heather Rolland. Over a dozen waterbars were cleared, ensuring their continued functionality and thus the prevention of erosion. Pesky and tenacious laurels were clipped back to allow comfortable passage through the beautiful forest. And breath-taking views, good food, and hiker chat (do copperhead snakes *really* smell like cucumbers?) made for an all around fabulous day in the Sundown Wild Forest.
Are you bummed that you missed out on this peach of a day? Don’t be – just join us next time! Stay tuned for upcoming adventures in volunteering! Who knows – you too could find yourself tussling with the CCC’s mascot, Peeka Mouse, over a Rogue hoe!
The Catskill Conservation Corps is at it again! This time it’s a fun-filled day on Ashokan High Point, featuring a little trail work and a lot of learning. Join NYS DEC Forester Ian Dunn as we learn and practice all there is to know about marking a trail. Forester Dunn will demonstrate and guide volunteers in proper use of trail markers. Learning to mark trails is fun and easy, but doing it correctly is key. Properly marked trails are unobtrusive to the eye and safe to travel – and in compliance with the Catskill Park State Land Master Plan.
Ashokan High Point is a gorgeous peak, filled with wildlife and wildflowers and a truly unique blueberry meadow up near the summit. Fascinating ancient rock cairns line the trail at one point, and the trail parallels Kanape Brook for the first mile or so. The views are quite spectacular, and the entire hike offers a wide variety of trail types, from woods road to single track. There are some rock scrambles and steep sections on this trail, and the total distance is approximately 8 miles. This is a fabulous hike, a heavy favorite among veteran Catskill hikers.
The CCC will provide tools for the trail maintenance we’ll be doing on our way up to the summit. We’ll focus on side clipping, waterbar clearing, and removal of any small blowdowns or debris in the trail. Come prepared to be outdoors all day, with plenty of water and a bag lunch and anything else you might need to enjoy a full day in the woods (sunscreen, bug spray, your basic day pack items, etc). We’ll also provde some light refreshments, so be sure to register so we know how much to bring!
To register, contact Heather Rolland (firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 518-628-4243) or by using the form below:
A partnership between the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation providing volunteer opportunities to the public on projects that protect natural resources and enhance outdoor recreation opportunities in the Catskill Mountains.