Know the New Hiking How-tos
National Trails Day offers a wonderful opportunity in Putnam County
Background: The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historical Preservation (OPRHP) acquired the 794-acre Wonder Lake property, once the summer home of TV star Elizabeth Montgomery, in 1998. The acquisition was land-locked, and in 2006 the state purchased an additional 100 acres, fronting on Ludingtonville Road, providing access to the now-973 acre park. I noticed the new sign and parking lot last fall, and walked up the yellow-disked trail, assuming it led to Wonder Lake. The disks eventually petered out, and after wandering around a bit, wondering where the lake was, I returned. I heard through the grapevine that the trail had been extended, and returned this winter, but again ran out of yellow disks, but did bushwhack to and across the then-frozen-solid lake, where we had our first picnic of 2009. NYNJTC East Hudson Regional Representative Christie Ferguson e-mailed me recently, informing me of a National Trails Day Trails Opening Ceremony at Wonder Lake State Park that would introduce five miles of new, recently-completed trails, built by NYNJTC volunteers, including sections of the work-in-progress PA/NJ/NY/CT Highlands Trail, and a new trail to Bare Hill, the highest point in the park.