Work Set to Begin This Fall on Handicapped Accessible Trail at Bear Mountain Summit
This Fall the Trail Conference will be undertaking the construction of a 1-mile long loop trail at the summit of Bear Mountain, half of it designed to be handicapped accessible. The trail will largely be an extension of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, and is a component of the Bear Mountain Trails Restoration Project being managed and staffed by Trail Conference volunteers and staff in partnership with the National Park Service, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, and the New York State Dept. of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.
In 2006, the Trail Conference was awarded a grant of $5,000 from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to support development of the accessible trail segment. The award was made by the foundation's Quality of Life program, which seeks to improve the lives of those living with paralysis.
"Christopher and Dana were strong believers in maintaining normal family activities," said Joseph Canose, vice president, Quality of Life, Reeve Foundation, at the time the award was announced. "I'm sure they would have been delighted in helping to make the outdoors accessible to families living with paralysis."
The summit of Bear Mountain, one of our region's most frequently hiked mountains, offers stunning views of the Hudson River and Highlands. The accessible trail that is planned for the site will be a hard-packed natural surface that weaves for half a mile through oak woods, among glacially deposited boulders, and offering scenic viewpoints.
A workshop to introduce new volunteers to the project is planned for this Sunday, September 12. Work on the trail is scheduled to occur on the following two weekends. For more information and to register, go to http://www.nynjtc.org/workshop/orientation-bear-mountain-trails-project.