Trail Conference Awarded EPF Grants to Improve the Trail Experience at Bear Mountain & John Boyd Thacher State Parks
$64,000 in grants from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund will support the planning of rehabilitation and construction projects
The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference has received two planning grants from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund through the Regional Economic Development Council awards. Nearly $48,000 has been granted to the Trail Conference for the completion of the Trails for People project on Bear Mountain in Rockland County, which includes plans for rehabilitating a historic structure, upgrading the remaining sections of the Bear Mountain trail network, and building a connector trail between Suffern-Bear Mountain and the Appalachian trails. The Trail Conference was awarded another EPF grant of $17,000 to create a plan that would rehabiliate overused trail sections in John Boyd Thacher State Park in Albany County.
The Trail Conference, in partnership with the National Park Service, the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, recently completed the Trails for People interpretive exhibit at Bear Mountain State Park. The award from the EPF will allow the Trail Conference to begin planning the final phase of this project by rehabilitating the Spider Hill House as an education facility and completing an upgrade of the trail systems within the park. This includes constructing a connector trail that creates an easy loop between the Suffern-Bear Mountain and Appalachian trails to enhance the visitor trail experience at the base of the mountain, adjacent to the Bear Mountain Inn.
“The Palisades Interstate Park Commission is thrilled to continue its long-standing relationship with the Trail Conference to advance the public’s hiking experience in Bear Mountain and Harriman State Parks,” said Robert Kuhn, Deputy General Manager of the Palisades Region. “There is no more dedicated partner than the Trail Conference, and their expertise, investment, and volunteerism continue to benefit park users in many positive ways. This grant project will be another great enhancement to the trail system in the parks.”
The Trail Conference will use the second grant to create a layout and design plan to build and rehabilitate sections of the highly popular trail network in John Boyd Thacher State Park. High priority projects in need of attention include the historic Indian Ladder Trail, used by the Mohawk Iroquois Indians to reach Henry Hudson’s trading post, and the Tory Cave Trail, which will improve visitor experience and enjoyment at this spectacular site.
“We are very excited to partner with the Trail Conference to restore and improve the trails at Thacher Park, one of the most beloved destinations for a hike in the Capital District," said Alane Ball Chinian, Regional Parks Director of the Saratoga-Capital District Region. "The trails are getting a lot of use, especially with all the new attractions coming to Thacher Park, so it is a perfect time to plan for trail improvements to accommodate everyone and preserve the environment.”