Appalachian Trail Bridge and Boardwalk Opening, Swamp River, Pawling, NY

  On Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 1:00 PM a grand opening celebration will be held for the newly completed Appalachian Trail (AT) boardwalk crossing the Great Swamp in Pawling, NY.  The event will take place where the AT intersects State Route 22 near the Metro North Railroad Appalachian Trail train station, approximately two miles north of the Village of Pawling. The public is invited. Three hikes will be offered by the Mid Hudson Adirondack Mountain Club following the ceremony.  This new 1,600-foot, oak-decked boardwalk and 34-ft bridge over the Swamp River is the culmination of two and a half years of work contributed by over 75 volunteers.  The project was sponsored by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and NY-NJ Trail Conference with major funding by the Appalachian Trail Park Office of the National Park Service (NPS).  The railroad upgraded the track crossing, making it pedestrian friendly. Attending will be executives from the sponsoring organizations and elected government officials. The Appalachian Trail is one of Dutchess County’s largest parks with 30+ miles of trail within a protective corridor of 4,000+ acres of NPS-owned land.  The trail enters (from the south) Dutchess County at the north end of Fahnestock State Park and meanders through the towns of East Fishkill, Beekman, Pawling, and Dover before entering Connecticut.  Volunteers from the Dutchess/Putnam AT Management Committee, under the auspices of the NY-NJ Trail Conference, maintain the trail and oversee the AT corridor from the Bear Mountain Bridge to Connecticut. Parking can be found at turnouts on either side of Route 22, one-quarter-mile north of the site.  Come early or stay later to take a walk on the AT.   Free Guided Hikes Volunteer hike leaders from the Mid Hudson Adirondack Mountain Club will guide three hikes--two easy, one moderatly strenuous--following the opening ceremonies. 1) Appalachian Trail:  Metro-North AT Platform on Route 22 to Cat Rocks Out and Back, 7.2 miles. Leader:  Lalita Malik 845-592-0204 (H); 845-724-5786 (B). Walk the new boardwalk, climb Corbin Hill, descend  through wet meadow to West Dover Road at the largest Oak Tree on the AT, continue south on AT; side trip along the way to Telephone Pioneers Shelter and reach Cat Rocks with it’s wonderful viewpoint. Bring snack or early supper to eat. Retrace to return. 2) Appalachian Trail Route 22 through Pawling Nature Preserve. Lollipop Loop, approximately 5 miles. Leader:  Sue Mackson, 845-471-9892 or [email protected]. The trail rises through meadow, over stiles, to the Hammersley Ridge bordering the HarlemValley. We’ll enter the woodland of the Pawling Nature Preserve, meet the red trail to return, and again hit the AT southbound. 3) Appalachian Trail,  Dover Oak to Route 22, 2.4 miles. Leader:  Salley Decker 462-4206 (till 10 pm) Car pool from ceremonies toWest Dover Road. Return on the same route as hike#1 but covering only the 3.2 miles from the Dover Oak back to the site of opening ceremonies. This short route runs through meadow, wet meadow, woodland and the new boardwalk. Plan on an hour and a half walk with shuttle to retrieve cars.   NOTE: This event is part of the New York AT’s celebratory weekend.  On the previous day (Saturday, June 30, 2012), Warwick, NY is celebrating its designation as an official Appalachian Trail Community. Learn more about that event by clicking here.   Get a free map of the A.T. on your iPhone or iPad!  Simply download the free PDF Maps app onto your device (click here to visit the App Store), and once that has been installed, download the free Appalachian Trail map (click here to download the map, or navigate to the Store section, click the magnifying glass to search for 'Dutchess', and download the free map).  You can use the GPS capabilities of your device to navigate to event locations, see where you are on one of the hikes, measure distances, and much more!  Learn more about the app and our other map offerings by clicking here. 
July 1st, 2012 from  1:00 PM to  4:00 PM
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