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Taconic Crew 2014 Work Log
Volunteer in the beautiful Hudson Highlands with the Taconic Crew to build and repair trails in Fahnestock, Hudson Highlands State Parks, and the Breakneck Ridge area.
The Taconic Crew constructs new trails and rehabilitates eroded and damaged trails. We need your help with a variety of tasks, such as: side-hilling, quarrying stone, creating crushed stone (with mash and sledge hammers), building crib walls, setting rock steps, and reestablishing vegetation.
Crew Update- End of season for 2014 AmeriCorps
It’s been a successful six months for the Taconic Crew, completing four separate trails in this time. The connector trail out of Canopus Lake, Fahnestock State Park saw us tackle many different elements to trail building from side-hilling to trail design. With the guidance from our field manager, Erik Mickleson we learned the necessary skills and techniques that enabled us to build a beautiful, sustainable, trail. As we moved around the park and started work on the approved hiking loop for day hikers, we would class ourselves as quite knowledgeable in the field of trail building. Many hours have been spent debating the best techniques to move a rock no more than twenty feet, how we envisioned a section of trail or where we should disburse excess dirt. We had many opportunities to teach and guide what we had learned with over 200 volunteers who came and spent their weekends out on the trails with us. We steamed through sections of trail and even more so with our volunteers. Along the Redoubt Trail we completed over four hundred feet of trail in two days, full-speed ahead.
This season has been an amazing opportunity to learn and grow as a trail builder with an amazing crew who has made every step of this season enjoyable. I will truly miss working with everyone at the trail conference and our lakeside home for the last six months.
Crew Update- Wilkinson
The Taconic Crew has been working on creating knicks and drainage structures along the Wilkinson trail. With minimal rain this summer it has left the trail dry with sand like texture. It has been difficult to dig into the trail when creating these knicks and getting the correct grade, but as the Taconic Crews motto goes, “challenge accepted”. With five remaining structures from thirty plus, we have blazed through yet another project, just in time for the end of the season.
Trail Crew leader, Kevin Stamey and member, Zak Parkin are working on drainage structures.
We still need your help though! Come join us for our final week with the Taconics.
See Link below to sign up.
A busy week in which we saw the Taconics Crew move to the Wilkinson Trail off of 9D. We had volunteers from Marist college in Poughkeepsie come for the morning to volunteer with us to help prevent further erosion. Matt, who's face you may recognise from the foot of Breakneck, a trail steward, also spent a couple of hours working with us.
Trail Crew leader Kevin Stamey and Trail Steward Matt get to work on building a channel for the water to flow off of.
Marist College volunteers are creating a knick in the trail to drain rain water
We will be out on the trails for another three weeks so we hope to see you out there. See the links to our trail crew schedule for further information.
With the completion of the redoubt trail complete the Taconic crew moved back to Fahnestock, Capopus beach to complete tread work on the Appalachian Way.
The new loop will be built for day hikers and for Appalachian Trail south bound hikers, giving them access to the new co session stand that has been built.
We've had to define the tread by clearing debris and leaves off the trail. with little side hilling and no other tread work to be done we estimate another day or two before we move over to another project, the wilkinson trail that needs some urgent maintenance.
There is time to come and volunteer with the Taconic Crew (Talus Titans) for the day.
See link below to register and give back to the trails you enjoy:
As the Taconic Crew moves onto a new project, The North Redout, we are saddened at the loss of one of our crew members, Raina Stoutenberg. We want to wish her all the best in starting her new teaching job and hope she comes back out to volunteer with us before the season ends. It’s been a pleasure having you part of the Talus Titans and your presence on the trails will be missed.
But the Talus Titans march on with tasks at hand. This week we had groups of volunteers help with the start and finish of our new project, The North Redout, building a connector trail from the newly built car parking lot off of Snake Hill Road.
We blazed through a couple of hundred feet of sidehilling in two days and by the third we were naturalizing and finalizing parts of the trail.
If you are thinking this was a missed opportunity, (which it wasn’t), we are back at Fahnestock, continuing with a new loop that is being built for day hikes around Canopus Lake.
So come and grab your boots and join us Friday through Monday.
See the sign up link below to get involved.
Last week was the volunteer appreciation barbeque, which saw past volunteers and NYNJ Trail Conference members enjoy burgers and dogs on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.
It was also an opportunity for us to show off our completed trail and talk through the different variables and obstacles that the Taconic Crew has faced during the last couple of months.
Volunteers and Trail Crew Members enjoying the BBQ hosted by the Taconic Crew
Next week though will see Talus Titans move to a new location, starting on a new project off of Snake Hill Road. As we come to a close working out of Canopus Beach it has been a challenging and enlightening experience.
There are still many volunteer opporunities available if you are thinking of how to contribute. No prior experiences is required just a willingness to listen and to learn.
Register on the link below:
We are almost done with the connector trail and spent most of the past week working on our stone staircase. More rocks have been quarried and dragged. We have also set some of our steps and should be finishing the staircase this coming week! If you are interested in learning to make a stone staircase, come out and volunteer! We will be on the Appalachian Access Trail at Fahnestock State Park Thursday-Monday from 8:30am-5:00pm, so we would love to have you come on out!
There will be a Volunteer Appreciation Barbecue on Saturday, August 23rd. Please visit http://www.nynjtc.org/event/east-hudson-volunteer-appreciation-picinc for more information and to RSVP. We hope to see many of you there!
As we head into the final week or two of the connector trail, we are facing one final hurdle in the form of building a staircase. It is no easy undertaking with having to quarry and move rocks of such mass that we use a grip hoist to drag it to location.
Some of the rocks we pulled required to be split. In the picture below you can see Crew leader Kevin Stamey and Raina Stoutenburg using wedges that are drilled into place and then are struck continuously until the rock is split, hopefully, cleanly down the middle.
This final project is a great learning experience for anybody who wants to learn the fundimentals of staircase building.
Come get your hands dirty for the day. The Taconic Crew will be working out of Canopus Beach, Fanestock State park, Friday through Monday at 0900 - 1700.
This week the Talus Titans have been hard at work beautifying sections of trail in preparation of the completion of the access trail. We have been taking our time in replanting plants and growth in order to naturalize the mess we have made. The Titans have also been doing touch ups along the trail in order for it to be perfect for you hikers to walk.
Section of trail that have been completed and gone through the beautifcation.
We are still in need of your help!! With a few weeks remaining on this section of trail before we move to a reroute that has been planned, come and help put some finishing touches to the trail.
August 23rd we will be having a volunteer recognition BBQ to say thanks to all the hard work you guys have done for us.
To all the amazing volunteers who have come out to volunteer with us in the Taconic's, we will be holding a thank you BBQ later next month. Don't worry. You still have time to come and volunteer on a weekend with us.
Another week of trail building has gone by... We had volunteers from Mashable, come up from the city to spend the day with us to complete a final section to lay more gravel.
The lively bunch of volunteers was in no rush to complete the days task but by lunch we had already completed the final section of trail that had to be covered.
Happy Thursday Y’all, as you are all coming to the end of your week the Taconic Crew are just starting theirs. The week started with us visiting the trail stewards out of Breakneck, we came to show our support for the work they do in helping us recruit volunteers.
This week saw the much awaited volunteer group, World Missionary Society Church of God. Their casual arrival with big smiles and enthusiastic greetings ensured the day begun and continued in a spirited manner.
The bucket brigade assembled in no time at all and we were all set to lay mineral and gravel on our ‘Roman Road’. The continuous singing and laughter throughout the day made the unbearable mundane task of passing buckets back and forth more than enjoyable. Their infectious enthusiasm was noted by passing hikers that would feel, if not hear the merry atmosphere around Canopus Lake that afternoon.
Before we knew it, 160 feet of trail had been covered and all went better than expected with three passes on the trail.
Today we saw the real leader qualities of the Taconics Crew, professionally organize and execute today’s goals, of course with the tremendous help and push from our volunteers. We have seen a dramatic change in this section of trail. From when we first defined the trail, to side hilling, lead by our side hill messiah, crushing, tamping and finally getting a layer of surfacing. It has been a gratifying experience for myself and the other members of Taconics to hands on witness the transformation of trail before our eyes.
Before and after shots of our 'Roman Road'
So if you are as curious as we were and want to be part of ongoing project that you can have a personal impact on, come join the Talus Titans at Canopus Beach Friday through to Monday.
The sun is shining and the sky is blue, why don’t you come and join the Taconic Crew.
We’ve blazed through another section of trail this week; we widened the tread by another foot, drilling into the bedrock, used the tamper on the ‘Roman Road’ and de-duffed and created tread in our last section of trail. Many thanks yet again to our volunteers who came out and showed us some great work, keep it up!
Taconic Crew with our volunteer tim, hard at work, drilling into bedrock to widen the tread.
Zak Parkin and Jordan Foxler, cut through a fallen tree over the new trail.
L and Dave, two of our volunteers are helping in our last section of trail.
It has been another successful week out of Fahnestock, State Park, with some beautiful trail being created. Many thanks to the volunteers who came out and crushed some rock, side hilled and got stuck into the nit and grit of it all.
But don’t feel like it was a missed opportunity, Friday 27th June up until Monday 30th, we will be back same time same place. So if you feel like you want to get your hands dirty and build some beautiful trail, come on through.
A big thank you to our volunteers who came out this week, the progression we have made has been amazing.
SO… what are you doing this weekend? Can’t decide what to do? Want to get outside and work on some trails, I thought so too. Volunteer with the Taconic Crew out of Canopus Lake in Fahnestock Memorial State Park.
We have nearly completed 200ft of ‘Roman Road’, made possible by our volunteers who love to crush rock, and made headway through ‘Dead Man’s Curve’. Our next section of trail is challenging, set on the lakeside with a beautiful view, but don’t take my word for it. Come and check it out for yourself.
Taconic Crew member, Jordan Foxler drilling into bed rock to create a walk through.
Our crew leader, Kevin Stamey and our wonderful volunteer L., contrasting the beginning of the ‘Roman Road’.
The Taconic Crew, constructing a rock wall.
The Taconic Crew Leaders, from left to right: Jordan Foxler, Zak Parkin, Raina Stoutenburg, Kevin Stamey.
In order to restore existing trails, volunteers will learn how to identify unsustainable problem areas and how and when to repair trail structures. A series of both entry-level and advanced hands-on workshops will teach volunteers how to layout and design sustainable user-friendly trails, and how to 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.