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Backpacker Magazine – April 2008

Top 3 Trail-Building Trips

Want to boost your backcountry karma? Here are three places to hike–and give back.

by: Ann Wendland

Appalachian Trail, New York-New Jersey Trail Conference
Appalachian Trail, New York-New Jersey Trail Conference
Pacific Crest Trail, Ian Nelson/PCTA
Pacific Crest Trail, Ian Nelson/PCTA
Ice Age Trail, Robert Wojtowicz/DRR.net
Ice Age Trail, Robert Wojtowicz/DRR.net

Trails are like public radio. Access is free, but that's largely due to dedicated volunteers. Lend a hand on one of these National Scenic Trails, and you'll help keep something we all love in tip-top shape. Pulaski-swinging not your thing? You can still hit these trails for a purely recreational weekend. We won't tell.

AT | PCT | Ice Age

Appalachian Trail
Restore the AT's oldest section

A premier section of America's first National Scenic Trail snakes through New York's Bear Mountain State Park. It's the AT's most heavily trod stretch, with three million hikers pounding down it annually. Enlist for a spring overnight with the New York–New Jersey Trail Conference and stay at the organization's private camp on Lower Twin Lake. You'll reroute portions of the trail, which winds through deciduous forest to rocky outcroppings, to give damaged areas a chance to recover. You'll also build rock steps to prevent slope erosion. Alternatively, sign up for a spot on one of the crews that work five days a week from April to December. Whistle a chain-gang tune while you toil–this park narrowly missed being the site of Sing Sing Prison. nynjtc.org

The Reward
Cathryn's Tuscan Grill in Cold Spring, one block north from the Metro-North train station, serves the best calorie-restoring linguini on the Hudson. tuscangrill.com

The Way
From Palisades Parkway exit 19, take Seven Lakes Drive 3.5 miles to Bear Mountain Circle, lot 1.

AT | PCT | Ice Age



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READERS COMMENTS

andrew (bones)
Nov 08, 2010

Big Thanks to Fast Eddie for allowing me to be apart of the bear mountain project last fall. This project allowed me to hone my skills as a rock setter, and gave me insight into what rock shaping is all about. Couldn't have worked for a better crew, the leaders were on-point, never lazy, and the volunteers showed a level of pride in their work that Iv'e never seen.

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