Trails Council Meeting June 3, 2010

Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 6:30pm - 9:00pm
Trails Council

New York-New Jersey Trail Conference
Trails Council
June 3, 2010 - 6:30 PM



The Trails Council is a forum for discussing trail-related projects and concerns as well as sharing information and strategies. It makes decisions concerning the adopting new trails, blazing procedures, and matters that directly affect the building and maintenance of hiking trails. Voting members are the council chair, trails chairs, supervisors, trail crew chiefs and crew leaders. Club trail representatives and visitors are welcome at these meetings, held on the first Thursday of even-numbered months. 

Please submit items at least one week before the meeting. We will try to accommodate late submissions if there is time.


Welcome                                                                                                                                            6:30

  • Introductions
  • Announcements:
    • Jules Papp - new Supervisor for Storm King S. P.
    • Joe Herrod - new Trails Chair for Catskills Region 3
    • Karen Schoof as Assistant Chair, North Jersey Trails Committee
    • Fred Stern - Corridor Manager - AT Dutchess/Putnam
    • Reminders - Awards and reports
  • Approval of minutes
  • Additions to agenda

Reports                                                                                                                                               6:45

  • Conservation and Advocacy

1.    NJ Trails Council and the RT grants - Brenda Holzinger

  • Publications

1.    New edition of Myles Harriman Trails book

  • Regional Reps

1.    NY Park Closings and EPF Funding  

Discussion:                                                                                                                                         7:00

  • Trail Design - Frank Schoof
  • Trail Construction Guidelines (continued from April meeting) - Jane Daniels

New Business                                                                                                                                     8:00                

Old Business                                                                                                                                       8:15    

  • Committee on trail use - John Mack
  • Trails Policy update - Jane Daniels
  • Manaticut Point Trail Update - Frank Schoof


Trail Approvals                                                                                                                                    8:30

  • Two AT relocations in Dutchess County and one AT side trail closing- Jim Haggett
  • Mountain Lakes Park owned by Westchester County - Jane Daniels
  • Merestead owned by Westchester County - Leigh Draper
  • Highlands Trail Relo, Bethlehem Township, NJ - Brenda Holzinger
  • Relocation of the Red Triangle Trail - Lost Brook Preserve - Peter Tilgner
  • Bearfort/Waters/Clinton relo and Blaze change - Newark Watershed - Glenn Oleksak


Sandwiches and beverages will be served.Donations are welcomed.

Directions: NY NJ Trail Conference: 156 Ramapo Valley Road (Route 202), Mahwah, NJ It is located on Route 202, near its intersection with Route 17. Coming from the south, take Route 17 to the Route 202 exit in Mahwah, and turn right at the bottom of the ramp. The Trail Conference office is the first building on the left. Coming from the north, take the New York Thruway to Exit 15A and continue south on Route 17. Take the exit for Route 202 (the second exit on Route 17), turn right at the bottom of the ramp, and cross under Route 17. The Trail Conference is the first building on the left.

Status of Minutes: 


of the


of the



June 3, 2010


1.  Trails Council Chair Jane Daniels called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m. at the Trail Conference office in Mahwah, N.J.  Present were: Jane Daniels - Chair, Leigh Draper - East Hudson Regional Representative, Larry Wheelock - West Hudson Regional Representative, Alan Abramowitz, Jill Arbuckle, Elie Bijou, Jim Canfield, Daniel D. Chazin, Chris Connolly, Walt Daniels, Jakob Franke, Andy Garrison, Suzan Gordon, Jim Haggett, Gary Haugland, Joe Herrod, Brenda Holzinger, Ron Luna, John Mack, Paul Makus, Ken Malkin, John Moran, Glenn Oleksak, Jules Papp, Sandy Parr, Frank Schoof, Ike Siskind, John Skinner, Fred Stern, Ricky Taylor, Pete Tilgner and Georgette Weir. 

2.  Announcements.  The following announcements were made: 

a.  New Appointments.  Jane Daniels welcomed Jules Papp, the new Supervisor for Storm King State Park; Joe Herrod, the new Trails Chair for Catskill Region 3; and Fred Stern, Corridor Manager - A.T., Dutchess-Putnam Counties.  She also announced that Karen Schoof has been appointed Assistant Trails Chair for North Jersey Trails.  Jane Daniels then asked everyone to introduce themselves. 

b.  Award Presentation.  Jane Daniels presented Jill Arbuckle with the Ken Lloyd Award for her work on Trail Conference trails as a member of AMC. 

c.  Award Suggestions.  Jane Daniels announced that suggestions for awards are due by July 1 and can be sent to [email protected].  She also urged everyone to submit their trail reports as soon as possible, even if not all maintainers or supervisors have yet reported.


3.  Minutes.  The minutes of the Trails Council meeting of April 3, 2010 were approved as submitted.


4.  Reports.  The following reports were presented:

a.  Report of Conservation and Advocacy Committee.  Brenda Holzinger reported that the Trail Conference has applied for two Recreational Trails Grants from the State of New Jersey, and she indicated that there was a strong possibility that we would receive these grants.  She also commented that there is still a large amount that needs to be spent on motorized vehicle trails, and she stated that federal funding for foot trails in New Jersey may be in jeopardy if the funds dedicated to motorized vehicle trails cannot be spent. 

b.  Report of Publications Committee.  John Mack distributed postcards that announce the publication of the new edition of the Harriman Trails guidebook, which should be available in August.  It was also announced that, since the last Trails Council meeting, the new digital edition of the Catskill Trails map set has been printed and is now available.  Finally, Jane Daniels pointed out that web pages have been created that provide additional information on some of our publications. 

c.  Report of West Hudson Regional Representative.  Larry Wheelock reported that funding was found to keep all parks in New York open, but he noted that the funds were taken from the Environmental Protection Fund, which is supposed to be used to purchase land.  Georgette Weir stated that $17.5 million remains in the New York State budget for land acquisition.  Larry Wheelock also reported that the Final Trails Plan for Minnewaska State Park Preserve was issued yesterday, and he stated that some, but not all, of our concerns have been addressed in this plan. 

Larry Wheelock reported that, in New Jersey, a gas pipeline across the northern section of the state is being expanded, and he stated that this will have a significant impact on some environmentally sensitive areas.  He also commented that approvals for this expanded gas pipeline were obtained secretly.  Larry Wheelock also reported that PSE&G has decided not to build the western portion of their new power line through New Jersey at this time, although they will be constructing the eastern portion.  He also pointed out that while, as a whole, our trails suffered relatively little damage this winter, a storm in Tenafly inflicted significant damage on trails in the Tenafly Nature Center/Lost Brook Preserve. 

Finally, Larry Wheelock reminded members of the Trails Council that the official opening of the new section of the A.T. up the east face of Bear Mountain will take place this coming Saturday, June 5th, beginning at 10:00 a.m.  Jane Daniels requested that everyone show up wearing Trail Conference Volunteer t-shirts.  Larry Wheelock also pointed out that volunteers are needed to help restore the old A.T. to its original condition. 

d.  Report of East Hudson Regional Representative.  Leigh Draper reported that many volunteers are working on trails in the East Hudson area, and she noted that several corporate groups are interested in working on one-day trail projects in the area.

          5.  Trail Design.  Frank Schoof reported on a course entitled "Natural Trails by Design" that was recently offered by Troy Scott Parker to several key Trail Conference staff and volunteers.  He explained that the course noted that, traditionally, trail design is often approached as a collection of inflexible standards, and that trails are "too efficient," unsustainable and require frequent maintenance.  He pointed out that Parker favors "peaks and dips" in lieu of waterbars, and also advocates the use of a flexible system and unifying approach to trail design.  Discussion and comments followed, and it was suggested that seminars on Parker's recommended techniques be offered to those interested.


6.  Trail Construction Guidelines.  Jane Daniels showed the Trails Council a presentation of proposed trail construction guidelines for various types of hiking trails.  She stated that the Board has been urging the Trails Council to adopt trail standards. Daniel Chazin commented that Board decisions in this area were arrived at rather hastily based on recommendations of a consultant who stressed the importance of qualitative standards, and he also noted that the Board is currently reconsidering its position on this issue.  It was noted, however, that trail guidelines are often requested by park managers.  There was discussion of the purposes of this data, and it was noted that it could be used to provide information to our partners, to assess Trail Conference trails (for financial purposes and for trail management), and to create a trail inventory.  It was agreed that data would be collected for each segment of each trail, and a number of factors were listed, including elevation changes, treadway characteristics, junctions, grades, landowners, vegetation and structures.


After discussion, it was agreed that Jane Daniels would send the material from her PowerPoint presentation to Trails Council members prior to the August Trails Council meeting, and that everyone would be asked to comment on the guidelines prior to the meeting.


7.  Report of Committee on Trail Use.  John Mack reported that this committee is considering the appropriate position that the Trail Conference should be taking on multi-use trails.  He stated that the committee believes that the Trail Conference is a hiking trail organization that advocates for hiking trails, and he also stated that the committee has proposed a moratorium on the adoption by the Trail Conference of multi-use trails until the matter is resolved.  He noted that he has discussed the matter with the management of Harriman-Bear Mountain State Parks, and that they have agreed that no new multi-use trails will be established in the park. 

8.  Trails Policy Update.  This item was postponed to a future meeting. 

9.  Trail Approvals.  The following new trails and reroutes were presented: 

a.   Manaticut Point Trail.  Frank Schoof showed to the Trails Council a map of the newly built Manaticut Point Trail (originally approved by the Trails Council as the Manaticut Loop Trail).  He noted that a short portion of the loop follows the paved Crescent Drive because there are wetlands that preclude connecting both ends of the trail with a footpath through the woods. 

b.   A.T. in Dutchess County.  Jim Haggett explained a proposal by the Dutchess-Putnam A.T. Management Committee to abandon the half-mile-long Hosner Mountain Loop Trail.  He noted that this trail, which is the old A.T. route lower on the mountain, is very little used.  He also explained a proposed reroute at Nuclear Lake that would provide a pleasant view of a stream and lengthen the trail by about 750 feet.  Finally, he reviewed a proposal to move the crossing of the Swamp River to a location, 93 feet south of the existing crossing, where the river is much narrower.  He noted that the current bridge, which is 25 years old, is nearing the end of its useful life.  It was also pointed out that these relocations require the approval of the National Park Service, which would have to first conduct an environmental assessment. 

After discussion, it was moved, seconded and unanimously carried that all three of these proposals by the Dutchess-Putnam A.T. Management Committee be approved by the Trails Council. 

c.  Mountain Lakes Park.  Jane Daniels explained a proposal for the Trail Conference to adopt the 10 miles of trails in Mountain Lakes Park in Westchester County.  She noted that we have been requested to adopt these trails by the park manager, that these trails are currently maintained by the county (although not well), and that all the trails are hiking-only.  It was suggested that the Trail Conference request payment by Westchester County for the maintenance of these trails, but this suggestion was not accepted by the Trails Council.  Jane Daniels noted that since the Trail Conference does not currently maintain any trails in this park, the current Trails Policy requires that the adoption of these trails be approved by the Board. 

d.  Merestead.  Leigh Draper explained a proposal for the Trail Conference to adopt the two miles of hiking-only trails in Merestead, a Westchester County park.  She noted that the trails were built in 2003 but have been poorly maintained since then.  She also pointed out that the county has requested the Trail Conference to adopt these trails and that Merestead provided the Trail Conference with indoor space at the park to conduct a trail maintenance workshop.  As a result of this workshop, she pointed out, one of the park's trails has been completely cleared.  She also noted that there are four other parks nearby.  Jane Daniels commentted that since the Trail Conference does not currently maintain any trails in this park, the current Trails Policy requires that the adoption of these trails be approved by the Board. 

After discussion, it was moved, seconded and unanimously carried that the Trails Council recommend to the Board the adoption by the Trail Conference of the 10 miles  of trails in Mountain Lakes Park and the two miles of trails in Merestead in Westchester County. 

e.  Highlands Trail in Bethlehem Township, N.J.   Brenda Holzinger and Glenn Oleksak explained a proposal to relocate a section of the Highlands Trail in Bethlehem Township, N.J. from a muddy power line onto a wooded parcel that will soon be acquired by the township.  It was noted that noted that since the Trail Conference does not currently maintain any trails on land owned by the municipality, the current Trails Policy requires that this relocation be approved by the Board. After a brief discussion, it was moved, seconded and unanimously carried that the Trails Council recommend to the Board that this relocation be approved. 

f.  Red Triangle Trail in Lost Brook Preserve/Tenafly Nature Center Pete Tilgner explained that, due to recent storm damage in the Lost Brook Preserve/Tenafly Nature Center, he is proposing two relocations of the Red Triangle Trail to avoid fallen trees.  He noted that Trails Council approval is being sought for these relatively minor relocations because they will show on the map.  After a brief discussion, it was moved, seconded and unanimously carried that these relocations be approved by the Trails Council. 

g.  Extension of Bearfort Waters-Clinton Trail in Pequannock Watershed.  Glenn Oleksak explained that the Trails Council had previously approved the relocation of the Highlands Trail to a new route along the western shore of Buckabear Pond due to the abandonment of the crossing of the beaver dam at the southern end of the pond.  He noted that this abandonment would sever the white-blazed Clinton West Trail into two disconnected segments, and he proposed that the section of the Clinton West Trail that runs along the west side of the Clinton Reservoir and extends to parking area P9 on Paradise Road be instead blazed yellow as an extension of the Bearfort Waters-Clinton Trail.  After a brief discussion, it was moved, seconded and unanimously carried that this proposal be accepted by the Trails Council. 

10.  The meeting was adjourned at 9:23 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,



Daniel D. Chazin