Ribbon-Cutting to Celebrate New Multi-Use Hutchinson Trail in Sterling Forest

March 13, 2017
Sona Mason
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference

Title

Ribbon-Cutting to Celebrate New Multi-Use Hutchinson Trail in Sterling Forest
The Hutchinson-Red Back Trail in Sterling Forest State Park. Photo by Erik Mickelson.

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The Trail Conference is pleased to announce the official opening of a new, single-track, multi-use trail at Sterling Forest State Park on Saturday, March 25, at 11 a.m.

The 3.5-mile Hutchinson Trail heads southward at the Caretaker parking lot off of Long Meadow Road, where the ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place, through a beautiful hemlock forest. It joins up with the Red Back Trail, passing by the Red Back mine and smoker, remnants of the early days of iron mining at Sterling Forest. The southern terminus is at the South Gate Road parking lot, near the junction of Buttonwood Drive.

Former Sterling Forest park manager Jeffrey Hutchinson, after whom the new trail is named, will cut the ribbon. It was his wish to open up this area of the park to a diverse group of users for non-motorized travel, including hikers, equestrians, and mountain bikers.

The trail is a joint project of the Trail Conference, Sterling Forest, and New York State Parks under the overview of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in Albany. Thousands of hours of labor have gone into the building of this trail by the Trail Conference’s Palisades Crew, alongside many local hiking and mountain-biking volunteers, who often worked long into the winter, after most trail crews had packed their tools away for the season.

The trail has been designed to incorporate a pleasing sense of flow, with speed controls and good sight lines for harmonious use. An eastern loop, the Eagle Mountain section, is currently under development. Once completed, it will join with the Hutchinson Trail to create a 7-mile loop.  

Please join us for a hike/ride on the new trail after the ceremony. Wear comfortable shoes, dress for the weather, and bring water and a lunch.

Directions: 1 mile north of the Sterling Forest Visitor Center on Long Meadow Rd (Rt.84), just beyond the mulch operation. Balloons and crew banners will mark the entrance. GPS co-ords: N 41.20663, W 74.23965.

Work in Progress

Please note that the Red Back Trail is currently open to foot traffic only. A few steep sections still need to be remediated before the trail can be considered safe for horseback riding and mountain biking. Everyone is welcome to help us restore these sections of the trail, as well as build the multi-use Eagle Mountain Trail. No experience is necessary! We’ll teach you everything you need to know to help build sustainable trails for generations to enjoy. Email volunteers@nynjtc.org or call 201.512.9348 for more info.

Comment: Please be relevant, civil, non-commercial.

WawayandaEast's picture

I was shocked to see a trail named after a living person, as the trail conference does not name trails after living people.
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HikeNBike's picture

I just wanted to say that I'm very thankful for the cooperation amongst the hiking and mountain bikers to make this trail a reality. I can't wait to explore more of this area on foot or bicycle!
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johnm's picture

The comment was "I was shocked to see a trail named after a living person, as the trail conference does not name trails after living people." The name of the trail was defined by the park. Although the NY State documents discourage the naming of trails after living people, the park in this instance applied through the system and obtained permission to do so in this extraordinary instance. Speaking for my experience with Sterling Forest State Park, I am pleased to see Jeff Hutchinson, park manager for many years, highly knowledgeable, devoted, effective, open to suggestions (not always agreeing as could be expected) and extremely cooperate with we at the Trail Conference, so honored. John Mack
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missmoon's picture

It opened in March and is not listed Sterling's online map?? I can't find a description of the hike on this web site and it does not come up in a search. It is not listed in the alphabetical list of hikes. Not helpful.
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