While the first snowfall of the season may have come a bit earlier than anticipated, it is not likely to prevent hikers with the Mid-Hudson Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club from continuing their outdoor activities.
They will trade their hiking boots for snowshoes soon, which is nothing new for veteran hikers of the club who take part in the weekend activities and midweek hikes the Mid-Hudson Chapter has sponsored for the past five years. “We have hiking and backpacking throughout the year, and in the winter, hiking can turn into snowshoeing,” chapter Chairwoman Lalita Malik said. “There’s something for everybody of all different skill levels.”
Malik and other hiking leaders take groups of hikers to different trails across the state throughout the year, such as the Mohonk Reserve, the Appalachian Trail, Minnewaska, the grounds of the Franklin D. Roosevelt mansion, Locust Grove and many others.
Because the state provides so many places to hike, the club has never visited the same location twice for the midweek hikes, Malik said.
Malik started the midweek hikes about five years ago when Mid-Hudson Chapter members were requesting activities during the week. “We do hikes from four to five miles up to 10 miles, and we decide where we will hike and what we will do on the Monday before,” Malik said.
“In the winter, we do hikes that are shorter if it’s very cold and on flat ground so no one has to worry about slipping.”
During the summer, the midweek hikes take place on the second and fourth Thursday of every month, alternating with paddling activities held the first and third Thursdays.
In the winter, when paddling is not an option, Malik hosts midweek hikes every Thursday. She has also added an easier outing for novice hikers on the fourth Tuesday of every month.
Malik tries to keep the hikes closer to home, she said, such as sections of the Mohonk Reserve that don’t have much elevation gain or loss, but the club goes hiking all over the state.
Malik said people come from New York City and Long Island to hike in the backyard of the Hudson Valley, and the midweek hikes attract a mix of novice and experienced hikers. “We are very fortunate to be living in a hiking mecca where we can go in all different directions,” Malik said. “Most of the time I’ve found people are not necessarily fast hikers but they are strong hikers, and the main thing is we have fun. … We never leave anybody behind.”
The Adirondack Mountain Club’s Mid-Hudson Chapter ranges from Westchester to Albany, including Dutchess, Columbia, Ulster and Orange counties, Malik said.
The club invites anyone from the public to join any hiking activity or outdoor adventure and encourages newcomers to become members.
source: by Scott Cornell, Poughkeepsie Journal