Know the New Hiking How-tos
Long-Distance Trails Memorial Fund Challenge Doubles Your Support for the Long Path/SRT
The Long-Distance Trails Memorial Fund, in honor of Trail Conference volunteer Jakob Franke, will support building, maintaining, and protecting the Long Path and SRT.
The Trail Conference and our longtime volunteer and supporter Malcolm Spector have come together to honor the memory of our beloved Long Path Trail Chair Jakob Franke and his immense contributions to the Long Path and Shawangunk Ridge Trail (SRT). The newly created Long-Distance Trails Memorial Fund is dedicated to conserving land and creating green corridors for these spectacular trails. For a limited time only, contributions of $500 or more to the fund or parks that host the Long Path/Shawangunk Ridge Trail will be matched dollar-for-dollar, thanks to Spector’s generous gift. The match will cap at the first $10,000 in eligible donations.
Through the Long-Distance Trails Memorial Fund, Spector aims to help preserve the Trail Conference’s legacy of conservation and recognize the work of his late friend. Jakob, a tireless volunteer and remarkable leader who dedicated himself to the Trail Conference’s mission for the better part of a quarter century, died on Nov. 10. He was 75.
“I have so many memories of Jakob Franke,” Spector says. “I see Jakob with loppers in his hands, patiently cutting back the ever-encroaching brush. I see him bushwhacking with a map and compass, putting up flags for a potential new trail. I see Jakob standing in front of a large map and leading discussions with his followers.
“So many people turned out to work on the Long Path in the Gunks because of Jakob,” Spector recalls. “We shared his vision of the trail. We learned from him. We worked harder and longer because of his strength. He not only created and improved hundreds of miles of trail; he led and nurtured two generations of volunteer trail workers. We will never forget him.”
Help continue the work of Jakob and all volunteers who build, maintain, and protect the Long Path and SRT with your gift today. Simply visit our Long-Distance Trails Memorial Fund page or call Trail Conference Headquarters (201.512. 9348) to make a donation. Your gift of $500 or more to the fund, or designated for work in your favorite park that the Long Path/SRT run through, will be automatically doubled during our challenge match (ending after the first $10,000 is received). As a thank you for your gift of $500 or more, you’ll receive your choice of Trail Conference-branded gear or a map. Of course, your donation of any amount to preserving our long-distance trails is appreciated!
“Long-distance trails like the Long Path occupy a special place in our vision of the outdoors,” says Spector. “While not all of us will leave Port Jervis or the George Washington Bridge and follow those aqua blazes all the way through the Catskills, the Long Path is a metaphor for our long journey to protect and enjoy the outdoors.”
Help preserve that vision by donating to the Long-Distance Trails Memorial Fund today.