July 1, 2014
ADK and Trails
When they think about the Adirondack Mountain Club, most people probably think about hiking. Members soon learn that ADK is about much more than that. Advocacy and education have become increasingly important on the ADK agenda. But even if we just look at trails, ADK is more than people going out for a walk in the woods. Those trails are always needing work, and ADK plays a major role in trail building and maintenance throughout the state.
A quick look at the adk.org website reveals a category called “Stewardship” (this is the “S” in “ADK CARES” that you will read about later in this issue). The “Volunteer Trail Schedule” that you will find there gives you an idea of ADK’s level of involvement with trail work. Maybe it will also inspire you to join one of the single or multi-day work projects listed there. For energetic youth, there are 5-day projects - reserved for 14-17 year olds. Don’t overlook the workshops and special events such as National Trails Day and the occasional “work weekends.”
Another approach to getting involved with trails is through a Backcountry Stewardship Program. These are managed through Stewardship Agreements with the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC).They include the longstanding “Adopt-a-leanto” program, and the Trail Steward program. The latter has adopters doing critical maintenance on sections of trails throughout the Forest Preserve.
Trail work with the best views is undoubtedly with the Summit Steward Program. Their focus is on educating trail users about fragile summit environments.
Finally, there is the ADK Professional Trail Crew. This group has become widely known for their expertise in trail construction. The work they do, using mainly native materials and hand labor, receives critical annual support from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund. They have also become leaders in training volunteer trail workers. The Laurentian Chapter also has several active trails initiatives, where new volunteers are always welcome. Notable among these are the Red Sandstone Trail in Hannawa Falls and Potsdam, and the Stone Valley Trails in Colton. ADK is not only about trails; but if you have an interest in giving back to the trails you have come to enjoy, ADK can help you find a way.
Jul 1, 2014: ADK and Trails