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