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Mud? Ice? High water at stream crossings?

This is the place to let the trail community know what you encountered, where and when (be as precise as possible). Suggestion: Make the trail or park name your subject.

To report serious trail problems that need Trail Conference attention, including illegal trail use issues, visit our Contact Us page. Problems reported through our Contact Us page get to the maintainers fast and reliably. Problems reported on the forum below may help fellow trail users avoid problem areas until they get fixed, but not all maintainers read this regularly.


 

czfahn's picture

Many thanks for reporting on the Tarrytown encroachments. The NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct are well aware of numerous encroachments, most of which happened decades ago, in Tarrytown and elsewhere. I'll forward your message to the state manager of the Aqueduct trail, in case there's been any expansion of encroachments in the area you mention, and because it's important that the state hear from the public about the issue. State Parks has long planned to "take back" the spaces that residents have moved into, partly under pressure from the Friends, but it's proving to be an extremely slow process.  There has been at least one important takeback: on the Aqueduct in Yonkers, between Lamartine Ave. and Bishop Walls Place.  Charlotte Fahn
NYHIKER60's picture

While walking on the Old Croton Aqueduct in Tarrytown today I noticed a vast amount of encroachment from the surrounding houses. The owners put up fences and gardens in some cases right up to the path leaving little room to walk.  This goes all through this section just after the school and starting a few blocks down.  There is lawn furniture and other items.  If this stays like this they may try to close the corrodor altogether.  This section should be much wider and as I said, due to the problem it is now narrower than it should be.  As a former trail monitor I can see this will be a problem in the future and the longer they are there the harder it will be to move the fences and other obstacles out. A report has been sent but I want to appraise everyone of this.
NYHIKER60's picture

There's a reason it's on again off again/off again on water purity.  I was an assistant shelter maintainer and here's why: The water supplies are downhill and if you look closely, the privies just happen to all be uphill.  When it rains hard, you guessed it, the water washes DOWNHILL right into the water supply.  Do I need to say more?  How do you think that E-coli gets in there?  Just check and tell me this setup is wrong.  A case in point is the Morgan Stewart shelter.  That' all I have to say right now.  
Nicholas.allison's picture

Hi, taking a small crew of Boy Scouts SOBO on the AT In October.  I plan to use the Shenandoah Tenting site as a midway camp.  Anyone know if the water available there needs treating? Any advice?    Thanks!! 
Walt Daniels's picture

All of the Dutchess County AT wells are tested monthly during the summer and they sometimes pass and sometimes fail e-coli tests. They are all posted as must treat. 
Michael K7's picture

Another reason to hate DuPont. There's always access from the Indian Rock Trail from the lot at Back Beach Park as well as the other trails mentioned.
thegup's picture

I hadn't hiked this track since Sandy and was dismayed to see all the hard work put into replacing the 3rd steel plate bridge a few years ago completely washed away.  I hiked it Sunday morning and juding by the number of vehicles by Hibbard and the many folks I met on my trek, it is still a very popular trail.  Are there plans to replace it?  I know it's a big effort to get the necessary materials into that area.  Recovering those steel beams and plates requires heavy duty winches and skilled operators.  As an interim solution, maybe you could build a stone stairway into the steep bank heading down to the creek that serves as the detour.  It's quite slippery and I saw a woman lose her footing and land on her back pretty hard.  Luckily she was OK. 
John Magerlein's picture

As you can imagine, our crew was very disappointed when hurricane Irene destroyed bridge 3, which we had worked so hard over several months to build. There are a number of problems on School Mountain Road including several damanged or unsafe bridges and severe erosion. The park has begun a planning process to determine what should be done with the trail. Rehabilitating it to again support bicycle, horse, and foot traffic would be very costly and difficult. We have suggested different alternatives, but we can't do major work on the trail until the park decides how to proceed. We will try to build some steps leading down the bank to our temporary bridge soon. The destruction of many bridges in parks throughout the New York/New Jersey area by recent hurricanes has led us to review our bridge policy and to look more carefully at the sites where bridges are built.
Michael K7's picture

As i was finishing my run this afternoon, i saw an ATV on the abandoned telephone line path between the R-D and Triangle trails in Tuxedo. It was long gone before i could get out my camera and take a picture, for all i know it could have been a Park Ranger, although i highly doubt that. I guess you should add this area to the list of places that need to be watched.
jbeard's picture

For years, I have noticed that blowdowns that block trails in Harriman are fairly quickly removed---I assume by TC sawyers. Today I hiked in Sterling Forest, using the Lake-to-Lake, Firetower, West Valley, and Sterling Ridge trails.  We had to walk around about 15 trees that almost completely, or completely, blocked those trails.  I last used some of the same trails about a year or two ago, and I remember having to go off the trail to get around some of the same trees then.  Is there a reason the trails in Harriman are promptly cleared, and those in Sterling Forest are left blocked? Jonathan
johnm's picture

The posting  July 18 was a good note and a good question.  It is correct that marked trails in Harriman and Bear Mountain Park  are all maintained by the Trail Conference saw crews.  In Sterling Forest, the Trail Conference has not adopted all of the trails for various reasons, among them, boring and gravelled road (FIre Tower Connector), trails on eroded woods road that we are unable to improve to satisfactory condition (in this writer's opinion), example: Lake-to Lake Trail, and some other trails due to planned future multiuse designation . In addition to the two examples, we do not maintain FIretower or West Valley Trails.  As for Sterling Ridge Trail, we cleared many trees late last year (in snow), but possibly not all of them.  We have no later reports and concede that there may currently be some blockages on Sterling Ridge Trail.  We would be pleased to receive reports of tree blockage there or anywhere else, with approximate locations.  We can forward to the park any reports for trails that we do not maintain; cooperation is typically excellent.  One other consideration, though realizing that the subject posting seemed clearly to relate to significant blockages, we sometimes leave in place trees that are not difficult to get around on foot but may block ATVs, or that are low, lying on the ground and acting as water dams..  Thank you for the report.
hiker4414's picture

If the park police and rangers seem disinterested it is because they are not being pressed for enforcement. The request for enforcement should be coming from the Trail Conference. Recently there were ATV tracks ripped down to bare soil on the west side of the Minsi Swamp outlet and bushwhacking up towards the water tower on the ridge. There was no prior woods roads past the old aquaduct and the newly disturbed ground is I believe how invasive plants get there foothold in a new area. With all we have been hearing about the effort to control invasives, the Trail Conference should be taking preventive steps and asking for enforcement.
Georgette Weir's picture

The Trail Conference staff and lead volunteers are very aware of the use of illegal off-road vehicles in Harriman and other parks. Unfortunately, our parks are woefully underfunded--including for enforcement--and that is not a problem that will be addressed overnight. The public needs to back us up when we urge our public officials to make parks funding a priority. Only then can more rangers can be hired and be better trained.

In the meantime, we continue to urge hikers and other park users to document as best they can the where and when of illegal trail uses. In particular, document where ATVs are coming from. Do not confront ATV users. Take pictures and videos if possible. Report your observations  at http://www.nynjtc.org/webform/illegal-usage-problem-report. Help compile the evidence needed to make the case for funding enforcement.

Then, when budget season comes around, write letters to your public officials in support of adequate funding for parks. 

PVPatrick's picture

I, the public, back you in your efforts to make park funding a priority; but, with all due respect, the evidence is as clear as the tire tracks.  I dont think a large funding initiative is necessary.  A focused temporary effort to round up the few persons involved would send a clear message to others thinking its ok to ride the parks because nobody will stop them.  The park enforcement  already has ATVs, why not use them to round up those rascals.
hiker4414's picture

Georgette, additional funding for our Parks would be lovely. But please don’t continue to duck the issue. The average pay of a PIPC ranger is about $60,000 a year which comes to about $260 a working day. Even at overtime rates, the cost of two rangers would be about $800 for a full working day or $8,000 for 10 full days devoted to enforcement. Truly a drop in the bucket. I know all of the full time rangers working in Harriman and some of the seasonal rangers too. They are professionals. They are also much smarter than the 16 year olds and 26 year olds riding ATVs. It is unkind of you to suggest additional funding is needed so they can be better trained.
PVPatrick's picture

Well said.  Am holding my 25 year old  membership renewal to the NYNJTC to hear some real action points.  Tired of hearing about the expensive new "headquarters".  Get back to basics!
hiker4414's picture

Your second reply below on the Wildcat Ridge trash issue is on the mark and what members espect from the TC. Can we get a similar response to the issue of ATVs in Harriman? They were out again this weekend and this time one entered a wetland area and came close to a rare plant species found in only very small populations.
Estelle's picture

would you contact me directly at [email protected]  and give me some specifics as to locations of ATV activity.   I'll find out which Trail chair/Trail Supervisor handles the region - they will know who to contact at PIPC for enforcement.   thanks 
hiker4414's picture

Estelle, why not go straight to PIPC Executive Director Jim Hall and David Barone, General Park Manager. Wouldn't they be the ones to allocate ranger and police resources? Wouldn't they be best for making ATV enforcement a priority? They did meet with the NYNJTC Trails Access Committee recently. Why not ask for an email address where reports and photos can be sent? Why not enlist the aid of the hiking public? As noted by members posting below, ATVs are in Harriman on a regular basis and the rangers already know where. 

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