Palisades Crew at Sterling Forest State Park

First you helped us save Sterling Forest…now help us restore its trails.

Wildcat Mtn crossing in snow


In 1998, the effort to protect Sterling Forest from development lead a coalition of over 30 organizations to purchase and permanently protect 14,500 acres of unbroken deep-forest habitat. Subsequent acquisition efforts have increased the size to nearly 22,000 acres.

Now the Trail Conference invites your participation to enhance the trail system in this special park. 

Recognizing our expertise in developing trails and volunteers, New York State Parks has asked the Trail Conference to develop an expanded corps of volunteers and to assess, inventory, design, build, and restore the trails in this forest. This crew of volunteers, who will ultimately range over Sterling Forest  and parks and NYNJTC trails in the region, is thus known as the Palisades Region Trail Crew.

In order to restore existing trails, volunteers will be trained how to identify unsustainable problem areas and how to repair trail structures. A series of both entry-level and advanced hands-on workshops will teach volunteers to layout and design sustainable user-friendly trails, and build, restore, remediate, and maintain trails. There will be opportunities and training for all levels of ability and interest. Details on how to repair and install crib wall, tread hardening by rock paving, stairs, trail bridges, drainage structures, stepping stones, and turnpikes will be taught as needed. 

(The Palisades Region Trails Project at Sterling Forest will not involve advanced rock work; training in those techniques is available at our Bear Mountain Trails Project.)

Visit our Trail U schedule to find upcoming training opportunities at Sterling Forest.

Link to Map to purchase


Come be a part of the next step of the protection of Sterling Forest…

 Trail Crew Trips 







Sidehilling Party on Sunday April the 27th  

Kick off the warm season on the next section of the Doris Duke Trail.

Enhance your trail-building skills. Sidehill is the quickest and most sustainable way to build new trail.

Good company, refreshments and an opportunity to work those winter itches out of our system.10am to 3pm.

This section of the Doris Duke trail will link up with the Allis trail, which joins up with the Appalachian trail in the north, and the Sterling Ridge Trail to the south, all the way to Ringwood State Forest in New Jersey.

Let us know you're coming, or email [email protected]


On May the 22nd, our Americorps members will join us for Thursdays through Sundays full time on the trail,  making it more acessible  for volunteers to join in trail creation four days a week, including the popular Thursday evenings ‘build trail after work’. 

Sign up on individual crew days here, or email [email protected] or contact Sona at 201-512-9348 ext. 16. 



Special Events

Saturday April the 26th Opening day at Sterling Forest Trail Restoration Project! 


Meet the press, hear about our plans for the warm season, come see our handiwork, and join us for a part history/part nature guided hike afterward.

Meet at 1pm at the Hall Drive parking, where the Townsend and Wildcat Mountain trails co-align. We will  shuttle cars at the other end of the trail for the one-way hike (under 3 miles)

RSVP here, or email  [email protected]







Hike in style, hike in costume:

Pirate Hike: Join Iron-Bob Brunner, Breaker of Pangea and crew leader of the Jolly Rovers, on June 21st for a hike through Sterling forest. Tag along in costume and attitude with our rowdy gang of buccaneers and find out what trail builders do for fun, and how they go about creating a qualiity, durable trail through Sterling Forest. RSVP here, and we will notify you of the secret meeting location.


Steampunkers hike with flair:

August at Sterling Forest: Come hike with John Leigh and our stylish group of steampunkers in your favorite steampunk gear. Imagination is the order of the day! Lunch at a beaver overlook, and walk to a view of the city in the distance. Afterward, join us for a pub commune at the Renfaire. Exact date will be disclosed soon. Sturdy footwear is a must!


We are planning some evening hikes during the week to make the most of the lovely long evenings and explore more of Sterling Forest. Details to follow soon.


Watch this space for updates.

Sterling Forest State Park

Previous Events

Saturday April the 19th

More parking at the new trailhead! The park has enlarged the trailhead parking for the Doris Duke Trail by removing a derelict building on site, and the ground needed some debris removal before the surface can be smoothed and hardened for cars.

A bunch of stalwart volunteers  (including little ones) cleared the area in no time at all. Now we will have room for more hikers to enjoy this new trail-in-progress!


Thank you everybody for the cheery smiles, amazing fast work, and good company!

Media Links


Doris Duke Parking Debris  Clean-up  April 2014