EH-RTC August 8, 2016

Monday, August 8, 2016 - 5:45pm - 8:30pm
East Hudson Regional Trails Council

Goals for meeting:

  • Review and discuss Trail Standards Policy and procedure
  • Approve trails and trail updates
  • Set dates for fall workshops 

Networking and Noshing - 5:45

Welcome – Jane Daniels – 6:15


   Approval of minutes of February and April meetings see  and  


Awards - what are they and who are they for?

Reports from Trail Conference Headquarters 7:15

  • Policy Council - John Magerlein and Fred Stern
  • Plan and Budget with plans for LTCs to meet with Hank individually

Reports from the Region – 7:40

  • Taconic Americorps projects -  Hank Osborn
  • Workshops in EH-RTC - results of ones in the spring and what will we offer in the fall 
  • Work trips/projects 
  • What's Available - Dave Margulis
  • What is working and not working with these meetings? - discussion


Trail updates and approvals – 7:55

  • Fahnestock State Park - John Magerlein 
  • Teatown Lake Reservation trail changes - Leigh Draper and Mary Dodds
  • FDR State Park - Trails to Baldwin Road
  • Ward Pound Ridge - Geof Connor - Covered Bridge Trail

Round Robin Information Share – 8:15

Thinking ahead - photos of projects - example RPH Cabin’s annual work trip

Adjourn 8:30

Marilyn Blaho, Tom Buckley, Daniel Chazin, Jane Daniels, Walt Daniels, Salley Decker, Mary Dodds, Leigh Draper, Dave Dvorsky, Gary Haugland, John Leigh, John Magerlein, David Margulis, Ron Rosen, Andrew Seirup, Connie Stern, Fred Stern, Matt Symons, Bob Ward.
Status of Minutes: 

Jane Daniels called the meeting to order at 6:30pm.

Welcome, Introductions and Announcements

Jane thanked Connie Stern for providing and setting up refreshments.

Attendees introduced themselves.

Minutes of February and April 2016, were approved.

Jane announced that Leigh Draper has stepped down from the Policy Council.  Fred Stern was unanimously elected to serve in her place.

Matt Symons, NYC Park Administrator for Northeast Queens, was welcomed.  He commented that he wished he had more trail maintainers for his region.

News from HQ:

NY Hiking Club has dissolved and has designated a portion of its treasury ($1000) to the EH-RTC. Its use is to be determined.

Breakneck Ridge John Leigh reported that 42,000 hikers are projected to visit Breakneck Ridge by the end of the year. The steward season has been extended until November.  While groups have been solicited for volunteer work, John observes that they are not following through.  He asked that if we knew of groups who would assist with maintenance we should notify him. A workshop for volunteers was held, with 22 participants, and he is waiting to see if they appear when needed.

Discussion of parking problems at Breakneck and Little Stoney Point lots revealed traffic and congestion are out of hand. 

Awards Jane Daniels as a member of the Awards Committee, asked for nominations for awards to people who have contributed greatly to the Trail Conference. Board members are not eligible. Awards will be presented on Saturday, November 5 to volunteers. Location and more information will come.

What's AvailableAids to trail supervisors and their maintainers are available if needed:

  1. Generator
  2.  Grip Hoist
  3. Maps
  4. Heavy duty canopy for outdoor events

Report from Tech.Committee - After the meeting, the new website look is available for viewing. New content will include bios of staff, board and trail leadership with photos. New sections on training and reporting are expected to be much easier to fill in and send through.

Trail Design Standards Fred Stern presented newTrail Design Standards draft developed by the Policy Council, asking that standards be reviewed and comments be forwarded. egarding regular trail standards, it was noted that Breakneck, due to steep grade and surface is in a category by itself, off the chart of standards.

The report lists examples of typical characteristics trails will be classified by supervisors.Their input is requested. ATC models for terminology as well as NYNJTC standards were used to draw up this report. Comments on the draft are due by October 1.

Publications: Daniel Chazin reported that map updates for Harriman,Kittatiny and Sterling Forest are coming up and that new Westchester maps are due next Spring.

Reports from the Region

Workshops for Fall: AT trail monitor workshop might be planned for Fall before hunting season and after vegetation decreases. Rose Bonnano nd Fred Stern will give Maintenance 101 outreach classes at John Jay High School in Katonah, NY. Leigh Draper would like to have a trail layout and design workshop

The Trail Conference will attend the Yorktown Street Fair in October. 

Andrew Sierup's roving trail crew has done three projects this year: Mills Norrie State Park, Camp Smith Trail, and South Taconics (Robert Brook Trail).

Question was raised about removing Trump's name from the state park. Any action will take place after the election.


Trail Updates:

  1. Fahnestock Hubbard Loop trail open, reported by John Magerlein and approved.
  2. Fahnestock Highlands Trail proposed to go through Fahnestock and DEP territory has not yet been approved by the park. Gary Haughland is working on its development.
  3. Americorps is also working on an extension of the Highlands Trail near Hubbard Lodge. Hank Osborn not present to comment.
  4. WPRR covered bridge trail,Geoff Connor, about 1 mile through very scenic land, was approved.
  5. Vernal Pond Trail in O'Donohue Preserve approved (0.3 mile)
  6. FDR State Park trail under construction was approved.
  7. Teatown Hidden Valley trail rerouting changes reported by Leigh Draper. Leigh plans to use new and old sections for trail layout design class in the Fall.

Round Robin

  1. Graffitti problem, most evident on Breakneck where unfortunately in the places most difficult to access. Product called Elephant Snot has been used via backpack, with forced water combined with it to loosen paint. However, the outfit can cost $700 plus a water supply is necessary.  Suggestions were made that water could be carried by volunteers or perhaps ask Camp Smith helicopter to participate. Matt Symons stated his area had experience with Elephant Snot (costa $88/gallon) and stopped using it.  They now use another product "Kick  Further discussion needed.
  2. Bridge over Hunter Brook, in Woodlands Legacy Fields Park in Yorktown was burned out, ¾ of remains usable for rebuilding, town will provide rest of materials.

Whats Working, whats not?

Leigh Draper suggested that the gathering before meetings provides a very useful exchange of information among participants and might be incorporated as a section of meeting as breakout group discussion if supervisors have questions or information to share. Mary Dodds said those discussion are part of ongoing education. John Leigh said that for the Nov. 5 symposium this concept could be added especially since regional councils will be meeting together.  He has attended other regional meetings and found that EH has very good attendance and good meetings, but each region has its own style. Jane added that it is important for attendees to take something useful away from each meeting. Jane will send out meeting announcement 1 month ahead, then 1 week ahead to give time for contributions to be added to agenda.

Discussion of meeting scheduling, whether every other month is adequate. Also that during winter, the Feb. Webinar worked very well.  Fred Stern suggested that in the new TC website there should be an actual photo sharing area.  Jane emphasized that all photos should show safety practices in use.

Salley Decker presented a new magazine called Senior Hiking which has been produced by her acquaintances, which might be of interest to the group.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 pm.

Submitted by

Marilyn Blaho