Major Welch Trail Gets a Facelift

New York-New Jersey Trail Conference
PC Region: 
West Hudson


Major Welch Trail access at Perkins Drive is much improved.Hikers on the popular Major Welch Trail at Bear Mountain will notice a number of trail improvements made this past fall. Teams of volunteers, staff, and trail-building professionals have addressed serious erosion problems on the trail with restoration techniques that include installing stone steps on steep grades, regrading trail surfaces, relocating a sectionof the trail, and hardening the surface of sections that are subject to water runoff in heavy rain.

From September through November, 24 new volunteers participated in an orientation and at least four Trail University workshops to become qualified to work on the project; 20 members of the Jolly Rovers volunteer technical rock work crew contributed a total of 669 hours, completing the construction of 70 stone steps as well as helping instruct seven Trail U workshops; the all-volunteer West Hudson South Trail Crew assisted on the project, as did three AmeriCorps interns led by the trail building professionals of Tahawus Trails.

Major Welch Trail volunteers. Photo by Alexandra Wren Photography.This combined workforce completed a significant portion of the much needed restoration: 135 stone steps, 550 linear feet of sidehill/treadway, 75 square feet of cribbing, and 10 square feet of stone paving. Total volunteer hours: more than 1,500. Total intern hours: 1,000.

In December, the final project of the season--improving the trail access at its crossing of Perkins Drive--was finished when trail builders installed stone steps above and below the road.