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By William J. Kemble, Daily Freeman, link to original post

Work has been completed on a 4,500-foot section of trail named in honor of the late David Corbett on the town-owned Comeau property.

“David designed the plan for renovating the trails back in 2009, and it was … his plan and the work of a lot of other people that really brought the trails up to a high-class standard,” Councilman Ken Panza said during a Town Board meeting on Tuesday.

Corbett is credited with securing wood slabs that had been used for the Coney Island boardwalk and having them placed on the 76-acre Comeau property to keep people from walking through wetlands. In December 2011, about six months before he died, Corbett said the project had proven popular despite concerns from people who wanted to avoid putting manmade materials along the trail.

“We put in 220 feet of the now-famous Coney Island boardwalk,” he said at the time. “Despite some initial protestations, some quite loud, most people are now using it, including a number of people who originally had a problem with it and feel it is more than a worthy solution now.”

A board-approved resolution honoring Corbett credits him with creating a “model for collaboration between the town, the public and Woodstock Land Conservancy for future stewardship of the Comeau trails.”

Panza said another recent milestone on the Comeau property is the expansion of its soccer field.

“This is a project that was presented to the Town Board in … 2009, and now, almost exactly four years later, it’s done,” he said. “The soccer field has been expanded. The grass is growing. I’m not sure it’s ready to be played on yet, but this was a major project. It took a lot of time and effort by a lot of people working out the details.”

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Broadway World, link to original post

This fall, enjoy hiking, American art and fall foliage in the Great Northern Catskills of New York on the Hudson River School Art Trail, a series of 17 hiking trails that offer visitors the chance to experience the views that captivated the Hudson River School painters – and enter to win a weekend getaway in the mountains.

At each of the first nine hiking trail destinations, a special metal plaque with a rubbing medallion has been installed, allowing visitors to do a pencil rubbing as a keepsake. The Thomas Cole National Historic Site, in partnership with Olana State Historic Site, are sponsoring the Hudson River School Art Trail contest, an artistic hiking experience that follows in the footsteps of America’s premier landscape painters, and ends with the chance to win a weekend getaway to the Catskill Mountains.

How the Hudson River School Art Trail Contest Works:

Each metal plaque features a rubbing medallion with a drawing of the view in raised relief so that participants can easily capture the scene by placing a piece of paper over the design and rubbing it with pencil, crayon or charcoal. The plaques also include a QR code that can be scanned by smartphones so that visitors can “check in” and also get more information.

To participate in the Hudson River School of Art Trail Contest, simply complete the nine rubbings and present them to either the Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill, or the Olana State Historic Site in Hudson, to be automatically entered in a special grand prize drawing for a chance to win a weekend getaway to the Catskills to the Kaaterskill Mountain Club in Hunter.

The grand prize package to the Kaaterskill Mountain Club includes two nights’ accommodations at the elegant mountain resort. Blackout dates apply during holidays and festival weekends. The contest is open to entries through November 3 and the winner will be notified via email. Don’t miss your chance to explore the Catskill Region’s unparalleled outdoor recreation on the Hudson River School Art Trail.

The Hudson River School Art Trail Contest is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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To fully enjoy the sights and smells that autumn in New York has to offer, try walking or biking along a multi-use trail. Take your time as you stroll or pedal your way through a canopy of bright fall foliage, breathing in the fresh air, and drawing in the scenery around you.

Multi-use trails such as rail and canal trails, greenways and bikeways are family friendly places to walk, run, or bike. Many are along historic railways or canal corridors and are mostly flat. Many of the trails are also located near scenic rivers and streams. One thing they have in common, however, is that they all offer a view of the beautiful foliage during the fall months.

Parks & Trails New York has put together a list of Ten Terrific Trails we recommend for fall.

To find a trail near you, use TrailFinder, Parks & Trails New York’s online guide to multi-use trails across New York State at www.ptny.org/trailfinder. TrailFinder can be used to search for trails in several ways—by trail name, by trail attributes such as length, surface, allowable uses, distance from a particular location, or by browsing the interactive map.

Parks & Trails New York is New York’s leading statewide advocate for parks and trails, dedicated since 1985 to improving our health, economy, and quality of life through the use and enjoyment of green space. Find out more about Parks & Trails New York by visiting www.ptny.org and our Facebook and Twitter sites.

Take Your Bike - Rochester available at www.footprintpress.com

Take Your Bike – Rochester available at http://www.footprintpress.com

Erie Canalway Trail – Between Albany and Buffalo more than 270 miles of Erie Canalway Trail provide the opportunity to experience quaint towns and a bounty of fall color along the state’s historic New York State Canal System.  The longest continuous stretch of trail begins in Lockport, about 10 miles east of Buffalo, and continues 100 miles to Lyons along the Erie Canal in western New York.  Other long stretches can be found in the 36-mile Old Erie Canal State Park between Dewitt and Rome in central New York and the more than 40 miles of trail between Little Falls and Amsterdam in eastern New York. When completed, the Erie Canalway Trail will provide 365 miles of multi-use trails along the canal, making it the longest intra-state trail in the country.

Genesee Valley Greenway
- In western New York, the Genesee Valley Greenway’s well-known “tunnel of green” turns to red and yellow as more than 60 miles of trail follows the Genesee River and the abandoned Genesee Valley Canal through woodlands, farmlands, and historic villages from Rochester to near the Pennsylvania border.  Within Letchworth State Park, the Genesee Valley Greenway affords sweeping views of the famous gorge and waterfalls of the “Grand Canyon of the East.”

Take Your Bike - Finger Lakes available at www.footprintpress.com

Take Your Bike – Finger Lakes available at http://www.footprintpress.com

Catharine Valley Trail – The hillsides resplendent with autumn color above Seneca Lake are a perfect backdrop to begin a visit to the Catharine Valley Trail in Watkins Glen.   The 10-mile trail follows abandoned railroad and canal towpath corridors through the 900-acre Queen Catharine Marsh, historic villages, and a heavily wooded, glacially carved valley Located in the heart of the Finger Lakes.

Pat McGee Trail – In the western Southern Tier, the relatively rural 12-mile Pat McGee Trail offers the opportunity to experience the colors of fall while passing through woods, wetlands, and open fields filled with rich a variety of plants, trees, and wildlife.

Cato-Fairhaven Trail – Ponds, wetlands, and old farm buildings add to the rural and agricultural charm of the 14-mile Cato-Fairhaven Trail.  Dense stands of sumac, beech, maple, and aspen trees provide plenty of fall color along this corridor near the shores of Lake Ontario in Central New York.

TOBIE Trail
 
– What better place to experience autumn color than in the Adirondacks.  There are plenty of opportunities to be surrounded by the best of fall foliage from this 12-mile trail that connects the five mountain communities that give the trail its name – Thendara, Old Forge, Big Moose, Inlet, and Eagle Bay.

Catskill Scenic Trail
– The Catskill Scenic Trail follows the route of the former Ulster and Delaware railroad. Young and old will find this an easy and enjoyable route through the foothills of the Catskills.  The trail parallels the West Branch of the Delaware River for the entire route and offers many delightful fishing spots.

Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park:  Drink in breathtaking views of the Hudson Valley fully decked out in autumn color from more than 200 feet above the middle of the river on the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world.  The Walkway is the center piece of a 3.6-mile loop that links riverside parks, cultural attractions and historic points of interest on both the Poughkeepsie and Highland waterfronts.

North County Trailway  Following the bed of the former Putnam Division of the New York Central Railroad, this paved trail winds more than 22 miles through the woodlands, parks, and suburbs of Westchester County.  Historic rail stations and a beautiful bridge across the New Croton Reservoir add to the appeal of the route.

Bethpage Bikeway – The 6.5–mile Bethpage Bikeway links Long Island’s Bethpage State Park with the South Shore at Massapequa.  From the Park, the trail passes through a mature forest cover along the Bethpage State Parkway before entering the mixed evergreens and deciduous forests of the Massapequa County Park and Preserve.  The park’s ponds, wetlands, and Massapequa Lake and Creek can all be experienced from the trail.

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On September 4th at 11:00am the Developers of the Williams Lake Project will open their 1.5 mile section of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail for public access with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The Honorable Maurice Hinchey, Congressman Chris Gibson, Senator John Bonacic, Supervisor Jeanne Walsh and County executive Mike Hein and many others have been invited to participate in this historic occasion. All are welcome to attend and light refreshments will be served following the ceremony.

The planning for the opening of the Rail Trail has been ongoing for more than two years now. The Williams Lake Project’s developers have been working collaboratively with the Wallkill Valley Land Trust and the Open Space Institute to create a permanent public easement for the rail trail through the more than 779 acres of lands owned by the development company. The trail will open under a temporary easement that will become permanent once the Williams Lake Project developers receive approval for their master plan by the Rosendale Town Board.

As with everyone else in Rosendale and the surrounding area, the Williams Lake Project’s developers are excited about opening this beautiful section of trail. The connection through the Williams Lake area north of the trestle will allow the general public, from as far south as Gardiner, to travel all the way to the city of Kingston for the first time since the rails came up on the former Wallkill Valley Rail Road line in the early 1980′s.

“Connecting the Williams Lake Rail Trail to the greater rail trail network has been a priority for us from Day One. We are thrilled to provide public access to the beautiful historic resources on the property and to take an important step forward in creating a connection between the Resort and Main Street Rosendale”, stated Tim Allred, Project Manager of the Williams Lake Project.

This historic event is one more critical step forward in creating a county wide system of interconnected trails and trail systems that will soon become the envy of New York State.

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DEP, Catskill Mountain Club open hiking trail at Pepacton

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By Ralph Ferrusi, Poughkeepsie Journal , link to original post WITH PHOTOS

Hike name: A good day on 3,847-foot Table, the 11th-highest peak in the Catskills.
Location: Ulster County, Southern Catskills, west of the Ashokan Reservoir.
Length: 7.8 miles round-trip
Rating: Usually a bit tougher than you remember.
Dogs: A toss-up for Fido: a lot of good walking, but probably a bit too long.

Map(s): Peter W. Kick’s 2002 Catskill Mountain Guide, Map 1: Catskill Forest Preserve (East). New York-New Jersey Trail Conference 1998 Catskill Trails mapset, Map 43, Southern Catskills.

Features: Pretty much a Catskill Classic: short enough not to be a killer, long enough to be a decent workout, with some varied terrain, a lean-to and a couple of good views along the way.

Watch out for: The Denning trailhead is, arguably, the most complicated trailhead to get to in the Catskills from our area. We went through Winisook on the way in, and Peekamoose Road on the way back, and both drives seemed to take forever.

And, as I’ve already said (and will say again), for some reason this hike always seems to be tougher than your memory serves you.

Background: My AT (Hikes of the Week 08/13-27/’09, 09/17/’09)/Catskills hiking buddy Pete Ricci was up from Texas, and he and I and Ralph III got our heads together to pick out a Catskill peak or two. It didn’t take long to agree on Table; it’d been a while since each of us had tackled it, but we all agreed that it had been a bit tougher than our collective memories had served us. For whatever reasons, I did not recall the ups and downs on the way, but Pete and Ralph III did. The last time I climbed Table was with Mark Hudson during his Winter Peaks quest (HOTW 03/13/’08), and I recall a long, long snowshoe trudge through fairly deep unbroken snow, and most likely because of this I had a mental block about the ups and downs along the way. We had planned to go the extra mile and a half round trip to bag Peekamoose, but by the time we finally got to Table, Mark said, “Let’s not turn (this) into a death march,” and we bailed.

Speaking of Peekamoose, there are several Catskill peaks that are pretty much always done in pairs — pretty much mentioned in the same breath: Friday and Balsam Cap, Bearpen and Vly, Rocky and Lone, maybe Wittenberg and Cornell. Peekamoose and Table are just about always paired, but Peekamoose has worked its way out of the equation the last couple of times I nailed Table from Denning …

Hike description: The 1.2 miles along the Phonecia-East Branch Trail is always pretty much a cruise on the way in, when you’re fresh and eager, but inevitably seems to double in length on the way out. The Denning Brook “flood plain” has a brand-new super-bridge over Deer Shanty Brook and a reassuring hand cable along the Dreaded Double Log over the Neversink. Sure ’nuff, the trail kicks up on the far side, with an in-your-face boulder field, then a long ramp up to a ridge, with a viewpoint just before it levels out: for about 75 feet, before it abruptly plunges. Then climbs, then drops, then begins the long steady grind to the summit. The 3,500-feet sign is a blessing and a curse: you finally have written assurance of progress; you have about 38 stories of climbing left to go … Good news was the cairn marking the top arrived more quickly than expected. Three summit photos, then about-face to Denning.

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By Julia Reischel, Watershed Post, link to original post

If you drive around the Pepacton Reservoir in Delaware County, you quickly notice that there aren’t many places to hike or stroll. That means that the grand vista of miles of New York City’s drinking water is often hidden from view. (Or only glimpsed through the window of a passing car.)

This Friday, that’s going to change with the opening of the new Shavertown Trail in the Catskills town of Andes. The brainchild of a determined Andes resident and Catskill Mountain Club board member named Ann Roberti, the Shavertown trail is a 5.3-mile jaunt that begins near the water and then climbs a ridge to sweeping views of the water. The whole trail is on NYC Department of Environmental Protection land.

This is a step forward for the DEP, which historically had forbidden most public access to its large landholdings around the reservoirs. In recent years, the DEP has opened many of its lands and waters. But working with local groups — in this case, the Catskill Mountain Club, the town of Andes, Andes Works, and the New York New Jersey Trail Conference — to plan a trail on DEP land is a big new step.

Thanks to Roberti, the Shavertown trail isn’t the only new hiking trail in Andes. Last year, she helped create the Andes Rail Trail, a 2-mile hike on an old railroad right-of-way that begins just outside of town. This year, Roberti led the community in landscaping the entrance to the rail trail and in expanding it another two miles with the Bullet Hole Spur.

We asked Roberti to tell us more about the improvements to the rail trail. Here’s what she sent us:

Rail trail entryway

The Common Ground Garden Club a local club for garden enthusiasts with a commitment to supporting the community, took on landscaping the entryway to the Andes Rail Trail as this year’s community project. Mel Bellar, of the CGCC and owner of Zone4 Landscapes, designed a beautiful pergola, bench and gate for the entryway, as well as native plantings for around the structure and the start of the trail. Members of the garden club, along with volunteers and donations from members of Andes Works!, the Catskill Mountain Club and several Andes citizens, made Mel’s design a reality. They also created beautiful planting beds by the pergola and gate, as well as around the kiosk that was created last year with a grant from Parks & Trails NY to provide a trail map and railroad history.

[The weekend of August 2 to 4], club members planted native shrubs and perennials that will make the entryway beautiful and inviting for years to come. Commenting on the project, Mel Bellar said: “It is a very exciting project and it is going to be beautiful. It is so thrilling to see how many people are already using the trail and to see the whole project taking shape.”

The citizens of Andes and the many other trail users are so grateful to the Common Ground Garden Club and the other contributors to this terrific project.

Bullet Hole Spur hiking trail

The Andes Rail Trail is now complete with the opening of the Bullet Hole Spur addition to the hiking trail. This extension to the rail trail adds an additional 2 miles, bringing the option of the total walk to 3.9 miles round trip. The Spur climbs Hemlock Knoll, the ridge above the rail bed, taking hikers through mature hardwood forest, open woodlands covered in ferns and princess pine, magnificent rock outcroppings, an old pine plantation and hemlocks towering above the Bullet Hole Creek. It is really a beautiful trail, giving the hiker a bit of many different Catskills environments. The Spur is more strenuous than the flat railbed, climbing 250 feet in a half mile, but switchbacks and stone steps help out. The steep sections are followed by relatively flat areas so you get a nice break after working a little harder. The trail has been getting a lot of use by Andes residents and visitors who have been delighted with all that this relatively short trail has to offer.

People ask when the trail will be extended to the Pepacton, and the answer is “it won’t be”. The old railbed now passes through active dairy and beef cattle farms as well as through other properties that are not conducive to a public footpath. While it would be lovely to have a longer trail, it is just not feasible for the old Delaware and Northern railbed which was decommissioned 88 years ago and has been used for other things since then.

Hiking in Andes

Celebrate the grand opening of the Shavertown Trail this Friday, August 30, at noon, at the Shavertown Bridge Boat Launch, just off Route 30 on the north side of Shavertown Bridge in Andes. Two-mile hike to follow. If you can’t make Friday, the Catskill Mountain Club is leading a guided hike of the new trail on October 8, 2013.

To hike the Andes Rail Trail, head to 266 Depot St., Andes.

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