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PVPatrick's picture

I am tired of hearing The Conference pushing for the bigger better bottle bill in NY. I do not support it and I've written my state reps with my opinion. I wonder how many members support this hidden tax which in my opinion will do little or nothing to reduce litter as there are millions of containers that already have deposits that are strewn along the roadsides. It is merely a political gimmick to raise revenues without actually taxing consumers as unreturned bottle deposits are kept by the state.
Walt Daniels's picture

As the person who ran the Trail Conference Litter Day for 5 years before the current bottle bill, I can assure you that the litter reduction after the bottle bill was dramatic. We would take 50-100 bags of litter off the Pine Meadow Trail before and only 1-2 bags after. Once clean there is a strong incentive to not litter, but if it is already a mess, few think twice about adding to it.

You have some of the facts wrong about who "profits" from unclaimed deposits. Currently the bottlers keep the unclaimed deposits. The BBB changes that so that state gets the unclaimed deposits and the proposal is to use that to fund the EPF which benefits all hikers with more land and stewardship of our natural areas.

One of the principal reasons for supporting the BBB is that it modernizes the law to accommodate current drinking preferences to cover non-carbonated drink containers which now are a significant part of the litter.

It should also be pointed out that it is hard to claim that it is a tax if you can legally avoid paying it by returning all the bottles you pay a deposit on. 

srtmaintainer's picture

I agree with you Walt 100%. I have worked on a highway crew for over 26 years. We see far less beer and soda containers along our highways. While some people still toss them many others collect them from the areas roadways and return them to supplement their income. If every beverage container had a deposit then the people who currently collect deposit containers along the roadways would pick up all of them to supplement their income.
PVPatrick's picture

The trails would be even cleaner if there was a deposit on dog deposits! Seriously, I agree with your "broken window" theory relating to trail trash(the stuff, not the people who leave it) however, I'll offer some other thoughts on the bill. NY's redepmtion rate is only 70%, so the effectiveness of the current law is barely passing. The state is counting on that 30% coming from our pockets which is why I called it a hidden tax or fee if you like. The additional funding for the EPF from recyclables could free up previously EPF budgeted funds to be used in the general budget. People with private trash contractors will not see any savings in costs as the truck still needs to come and pick up other recyclables. Municipalities could lose revenue in the sales of recyclable materials, but still have to maintain their recyclable pick up and handling infrastructure. Customers would need to sort bottles by type and origin to return to the purchase place since the distributors no longer profit from the nonredemptions they will be less happy to handle other stores products. Environmentally speaking, it would be more efficient to handle all recyclables at a single point of pick up, say... the curb, where the dogs are supposed to be.
daveg76's picture

I agree 110%. It is in fact money going into "someones" pocket being disguised as a bill that's "good for the environment". No one will think twice about throwng a water bottle to the side of the road or trail for 5, 10, or even 15 cents. I see more beer cans & bottles on roads and trails than water & non carbonated drink bottles as it is. It's making some politician wealthy not the environment. Reality is grim.
Paul_A's picture

As a trail maintainer on Long Island, about 50% of the garbage I pick up is water bottles. I have to think if there was a deposit on them that the amount left along my trail would go down. I believe that because there are very few cans or bottles with a deposit discarded there.
NYCHiker's picture

I was at the West Mountain shelter about a month ago for a shakedown to prep for a week long trip in Glacier's backcountry. While at the shelter, I noticed most people weren't following basic bear country procedures. It surprised me, since I've always assumed there are black bears in the park (beyond those in the zoo) and have always taken the normal precautions.

I've never seen a black bear while hiking in Harriman, but I've talked with a number of locals who have seen bears in the park. One regular told me he asked a ranger about bear activity and the ranger confirmed that the number of bear sightings has been on the rise over the last few years. Considering the number inexperienced hikers using the backcountry shelters, I'm surprised there aren't signs at the trailheads or shelters listing basic bear procedures.

It might not be a terrible idea to post something about bears, even if it's just in and around the shelters. I'd hate to see a bear habituated to humans because humans didn't hang their food or pack out their garbage. As the saying goes, a fed bear is a dead bear.
peteyd's picture

Anyone who hikes hariman knows that there are a lot of black (rat) snakes in the area, as well as northern brown water snakes, timber rattelers, and copper heads. The later two are the only that are venomous. In my own experience the number of rattelers is perhaps on the rise? I have seen more this year than the past 5 years I have been hiking. I hike with my dog and have done some research that may be helpfull to others who hike with dogs. Antivenom for rattelers is available at OCAES (845)-692-0260. If you hike with a dog, this phone number may be something you want to keep in your pack.
Doug C's picture

I've seen rattlesnakes at Harriman also. Off of 7 lakes drive, as you go up to the large lake along the creek, Lots of hikers with dogs. I won't go up there with my dog unless the weather is cooler. Thanks for the info. I'll print out and keep.
NYCHiker's picture

It looks like the phone calls worked.

SA 2371 (Coburn) was voted down 39-59.
Gillibrand (D-NY), Nay
Schumer (D-NY), Nay
Lautenberg (D-NJ), Nay
Menendez (D-NJ), Nay

SA 2370 (Coburn) has not been voted on as far as I can tell
NYCHiker's picture

Based on the Majority Leader's calendar, SA 2370 (Coburn) never came to the floor yesterday. If they go to a final vote on HR 3288 - THUD Appropriations, then SA 2370 will die without a vote.

For future reference, the Senate Calendar can be found at:

Just change the month/year when appropriate.
jddeller's picture

I am planning a 5 day backpacking trip in Harriman in November. I have never camped overnight in an area known to have rattle snakes. Are they a problem near the lean-tos for tenters? Are there any special precautions to take, other than just be aware?
srtmaintainer's picture

This information is straight from the NY DEC website, Timber rattlesnakes are active from late April until mid-October. I get rattle snakes in my yard and even had one in my garage. They are not at all agressive and choose to either leave or make a neat buzzing sound with their rattle.
NYCHiker's picture

In my experience, the timber rattlesnakes in the park are pretty good about letting you know you're too close. For the most part, the snakes will know you are approaching before you see them because they are so sensitive to ground vibrations. I've never had a snake problem in the shelters or tenting areas near the shelters. All of my encounters with snakes in Harriman have been during the day when they are sunning themselves on rocks or the trail. Always check your footwear before you insert your foot in the morning. You're looking not only for snakes, but any other bugs that might sting or bite.

In addition to the snakes, there are black bears in Harriman. Unfortunately, many inexperienced hikers fail to follow basic bear-country practices while in the park. Following a few simple guidelines will help keep the bears (and humans) safe. These are a few of the basic bear-country practices, per NY DEC and the US Forest Service you should consider following:
1) The only lawful places to overnight in Harriman are near the shelters. There are plenty of established tent sites near the shelters. When you get to the shelter area, find your tent site and designate it as your sleeping area. About 100 yards downwind of your sleeping area, find a spot that you can designate as your food prep area. Food and other attractants should always remain in the food prep area. Attractants include food, cooking gear, garbage, cosmetics, soap, first-aid kits and other odorous items.
2) Keep a clean and neat site. Pack out any food you might spill.
3) Do all of your food prep, cooking and eating in the food prep area. Never eat or take food or other attractants into your tent.
4) When finished with dinner, strain any food solids out of your dishwater and pack them out with your garbage. Scatter grey water over a wide area away from your sleeping area and water sources.
5) Pack out all garbage and trash. Never bury garbage; bears will find it and dig it up, and you’ll be teaching them camp sites are a good place to look for food. Don’t burn garbage or leftovers; a campfire is not hot enough to completely incinerate the remains, and the smell is very attractive to bears.
6) Hang food and other attractants from a tree limb at least 10-15 feet off the ground, 4-5 feet from the tree trunk and 50-100 yards downwind of your sleeping area (if possible).
7) Never leave food or other attractants unattended, even for a few minutes, unless they are in a bear resistant container or food hang. It’s an open invitation for everything from ground squirrels, birds and even bears to stop by and make off with the loot. This also means not hiding or stashing your pack full of food near the main trail while you take a side trail.
8) I don't recommend sleeping in the clothes you ate dinner in, especially if you've spilled or you're cooking something odorous. I take a weight penalty and bring along a set of thermals I wear only for sleeping. I normally take time after dinner to wash the sweat and smells from my face and hands. It also helps keep my bag smelling better longer.

tree6hugger's picture

Does anybody have any information about a cave or a mine shaft opening that is visible on a hillside about 100 yards west of the Devils Path in the West Kill wilderness area approximately one mile south of the Spruceton trailhead? There is a stone cairn beside the trail marking the spot from which this feature is visible.
NYCHiker's picture

Has the TC taken a position on New York's Ballot Proposal 1?

Here's the text:

Amendment to section 1 of article 14 of the Constitution, in relation to the use of certain forest preserve lands by National Grid to construct a 46 kV power line along State Route 56 in St. Lawrence County. The proposed amendment would authorize the Legislature to convey up to six acres of forest preserve land along State Route 56 in St. Lawrence County to National Grid for construction of a power line. In exchange, National Grid would convey to the State at least 10 acres of forest land in St. Lawrence County, to be incorporated into the forest preserve. The land to be conveyed by National Grid to the State must be at least equal in value to the land conveyed to National Grid by the State. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?


EDIT: It appears the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) is urging its members to vote YES on 1.

ecsammym's picture

Planning a mid-winter midnight campfire with kids in Ringwood. Not an overnight, just a late night in and out hike with hot choc, smores etc. Want to make sure I know the rules and can find a great spot with just enough adventure. What's my best source for info and guidance? Thanks in advance for any help.'s picture

Happy Thanksgiving. BT's picture

The following states do not allow hunting on Sunday: PA, NJ, and MA. Can any one add to the list???
Estelle's picture

NJ permits Sunday bow hunting ONLY in Wildlife Management Areas.  Wear blaze orange... or don't hike during bow season in a WMA in NJ.'s picture

How much usage does this site get??
srtmaintainer's picture

Hey BT, This site seems to have died down since the end of summer. People are still learing about it, I guess. Andy
ahl124's picture

Can anyone let me know where the best places to ski are? The only one I can come up with Blue Mountain Lakes Area.
PVPatrick's picture

In NY: Fahnestock State Park, MInnewaska SP.'s picture

Try Mohonk, Minnawaska SP, North/South Lake
Arden2010's picture

What's up;

I was wondering what happens to the log books found in some of the shelters. When they fill up, do the trail maintainers take them home to review, send them in to NYNJTC (or other trail organization), or just toss them out. I thought it would be interesting if someone would scan them, and put them up on a website. Maybe even re-type them, if they are mostly legible. This might be something I would be interested in doing, if there is any interest.


Estelle's picture

Hi, I agree with you that they are interesting, especially when we find a post from someone we know.   I'll find out from TC Office who replaces these, what happens, and if there is interest in scanning and posting.        Please email me at so I have your email information and name to pass on; or to give you an answer.  


banjolady's picture

today Sunday 3/28 near LP/St johns church:

i LOST 1 pair of black diamond trekking poles about 430pm. my blue subaru was parked in front of the barn where the pot luck was held and i left the poles near the car. i came out and they were gone

i FOUND 1 pair of leki trekking poles about 130pm near the path across from st johns church that heads into the long path.

contact me directly if you have either lost the lekis or found the black diamonds!  thanks susan's picture

planning a hike in the catskills, any problems parking at trailhead accesses for surgarloaf (mink road) thx
srtmaintainer's picture

I have never had a problem in that area. If you are only doing Sugarloaf you may want to park on Dale Lane. The state has a parking area at the Th for Sugarloaf Mountain, also you can do a loop hike over Sugarloaf from that parking lot. Andy
Kent's picture

On Saturday, May 22, we lost two green Oasis Kwencher canteens on top of Mt. Taurus. They are no longer made so we would love to have them back if anyone found them.
weather220's picture

As part of the new America's Great Outdoors project, the Department of Interior has a great website to solicit public ideas on conservation and outdoor recreation. Voice your support for designating the Long Path as a National Scenic Trail: There are some other worthwhile ideas here worth supporting as well.
stacycat's picture

Last Thrursday, 6/17/10, I was hiking along the Victory Trail when I came upon what looked like a newly constructed roof frame for a cabin. A little further north on the trail I came upon another one. Both of them had "Camp Runamuck" written on them. Further north, at the Lily-pad cove at the north end of the lake, there was a stack of large wooden planks, all fresh cut. Does anyone know anything about this? My worst fear concerning this is that they are constructing cabins along there on Lake Skenanto.
stacycat's picture

Yesterday, July 15, I hiked along the Victory Trail, and everything that I was concerned about had been taken out, and that includes the stack of planks, and the two wooden frames that appeared to me to be roof frames for possible cabins. Apparently these were all left over from the Runamuck Race and happily were cleared away. I am so happy that my knee-jerk suspicions were wrong, and that there is no construction going on there. However, there are still large swaths cleared away along the sides of the Victory Trail that have also been covered in large gravel to keep plants from growing there. If that is the extent of it, I'll breathe a sigh of relief, but also wish that the power company would be a little less heavy-handed.
banjolady's picture

stacy raised an interesting question on our group discussion board. another participant mentioned the RUNAMUCK race. apparently this is a race allowed by PIPC that not only puts markers up but creates mudpits... so what's wrong with this picture??? anyone from PIPC reading this??apparently june 19 was the NY runamuck race held starting at sebago beach going around lk skenonto on the victory trail....

kaylen's picture

It would be nice if there were a more detailed map of much used hiking areas such as the AT in Bear Mt., as is done with orienteering maps with a scale of 1:15000 or even 1:10000 which include details such as streams, cliff faces, more detailed contour depictions etc. There are many mappers in the area especially from Orienteering Unlimited in Somers, NY and the Hudson Valley Orienteering club. These could be used for educational purposes as well as engendering a greater appreciation of the terrain and its interesting geologic history.
Jeremy Apgar's picture

Thanks for your comments, kaylen!

We do offer a detailed inset map of the Bear Mtn area in the Harriman Trails map set, but this mainly shows additional trail features, park buildings, etc. and does not include the details you mention like cliff faces.  Our trail maps are focused on the trails and are not necessarily geared toward orienteering uses.  In certain cases, we may try to include details that may be helpful for orienteering purposes, but as you mention, there are often maps available that provide that level of detail, and this is not something that we are trying to accomplish with our trail maps.  We certainly commend those that make orienteering maps as we realize the amount of effort that goes into mapping the fine details of the terrain.

~Jeremy, TC cartographer

thetentman's picture

The Barefoot Sisters, Isis and jackrabbit aka Lucy and Susan Letcher will be appearing at the Campmor Retail Store in Paramus NJ on Tuesday August 3rd at 7PM. They will be promoting their latest book 'Walking Home' about their flip flop hike of the Appalachian Trail. Their first book, "Southbound' was a huge success and is still selling briskly. Rumor has it that they will be performing their song 'Dig A Hole' which is about the trials and tribulations of taking a dump in all 14 states. Hopefully Campmor will record the stinky duet and put it on YOU TUBE for all to enjoy. If you have not read either book I urge you to pick up a copy and give it a read soon. They are fine writers with a keen eye for detail and a writing style that will keep you interested from the first step until the last. Of course their will be copies there for sale and autographs available. For directions to the Store you may call 201 445 5000. It is located at 810 State Route 17 North in Paramus NJ 07652. Hope to see you there.
carladac's picture

Hello, In regards to my university researches, I need to see whether walkers from every corner of the world are that different. Would you mind to tell me how do you prepare your walking trip? You will find the two questions in this link: The french word "AUTRE" simply means "OTHER" ANSWER. Thank you!'s picture

No Hunting on Sundays Maine Massachusetts Connecticut New Jersey Pennsylvania except in licensed hunting preserves Maryland Virginia except in licensed shooting preserves North Carolina Here is a list of states where there is no hunting on Sundays, with excepts. It was compiled in Fall 2009. Still wear orange.
banjolady's picture

last saturday i encountered 2 bow hunters in harriman. they were dressed in camp and one had a big crossbow. they denied hunting on park property near ladentown on the gas line behind kruckers, said they were hunting on private property. they did not like that i took their picture.  spoke to park police and they said they took it very seriously and would come and speak with them. anyone else see hunters around harriman?
Michael K7's picture

Haven't seen any hunters so far, but i applaud you for doing the right thing.
Dave A's picture

Is the parking lot at the end of Sunnyside Rd in Fishkill closed seasonally or permanently? Went there Sat 11/20 and gate to parking was closed and locked. has no closure info on this parking area and there were no notices at the two kiosks near the trailhead. Thanks.
DonRecklies's picture

This is rather far off-topic! In an enigmatic (to me) dedication to his book "Forest and Thicket", John Andrew Eastman refers to Faythe M. Butler and Jack Olsen, saying, "They made trails." Can anyone shed some light on who these people are? A google search came up with nothing. Perhaps the trails they made were not even hiking trails... Just curious. Don Recklies
Michael K7's picture

Do we have an ETA for the new Sterling map set? I want to order some maps, and would like to order them all together, but not if the Sterling set is going to keep being delayed. It was originally supposed to be ready in Feb- any updates? Thanks.
Jeremy Apgar's picture

Hi Michael!The Sterling Trails map is currently at the printer and we anticipate having it available in the next 1-2 weeks.  You can find out more information about the map by clicking here: can also leave your e-mail address and we'll send you an e-mail as soon as the maps are available for purchases.  If interested, you can sign-up for this e-mail notification here: for your interest!~Jeremy, TC cartographer
Michael K7's picture

Thank you Jeremy!
MiltBarnes's picture

  I just happened across a new website that I found interesting and useful. allows you to set up a profile (one for free) with your own weather specifications for an activity and the site will alert you when those weather conditions will be ideal for a selected location.  Now I just have to wait for Joe to tell me when to go hiking!
denali2001's picture

Anybody know where it comes from?  Most geographical names in the region come from Dutch or Native American, but Popolopen Tourne is neither.  It sounds more like Swedish.  I'm curious to know the origin of the namesake if anybody has a clue, as there is nothng on the internet.  Thanks.
PVPatrick's picture

I found an old NY times article on the history of the area and it mentions the creek containing the "hell hole" as being named Sankapagh around the time of Hudson's exploration.