After the Storm: Volunteers Restore Access to Trails
Volunteers Rally After Storms Damage Trails
"On May 15, trails throughout the Hudson Highlands changed dramatically and, for those who love, hike, and maintain those trails, catastrophically. Like many people, my husband and I were prepared, based on forecasts and warnings, for a severe storm and resigned to losing power as usual. Instead we had 15 minutes of lightning, rain, some wind, and then assumed much ado about nothing. Boy, were we wrong. Extensive sections of trails were buried beneath uprooted and sheared trees. In almost all cases, the trees were mature, live, healthy and fully leafed hardwoods. The Appalachian Trail was especially hard hit at a time when thru-hiking activity is starting to peak. Trails were not only impassable but incredibly difficult to find, even by those of us who know them well.” --Mary Dodds, Trail Tramps Crew Chief
When trails are threatened, the Trail Conference responds. Across the region, volunteers like Mary have been making heroic efforts in a remarkably short amount of time to clear and restore trails damaged by these spring storms. We’ve gathered on-the-ground reports from Trail Conference volunteers who have been selflessly giving days at a time to clear blowdown and make sure affected trails are once again passable and safe. It’s just one more incredible way our Trail Family works hard to make connecting with nature possible for all who seek to get outside and explore.
Across the region, Trail Conference volunteers are working hard to clear and repair trails temporarily closed or damaged by several remarkably strong storms that hit our parks this spring. Here are their stories.
- East of the Hudson River: 'The Thunderstorm Did This?'
- West of the Hudson River: 'The Long Path Is a Mess'
- New Jersey: 'Sawing Up a Storm'
A Note of Gratitude
"Trail Conference sawyers are trained for this purpose—to step up and help out where and when our parks need us. It isn’t often we get hit with this kind of crazy weather. Our sawyers have gotten out in both New Jersey and New York parks and should be extremely proud of the work done. In working with park partners, our sawyers have shown the commitment we all have to our trail systems and to working with our various land managers. The Sawyer Committee appreciates this work. Our land partners are appreciative. Your work makes us all look good."
-Estelle Anderson, Chair, Trail Conference Sawyer Committee