Trail Extension to Help Ease Congestion at Popular Neversink
Over recent years, the Neversink River Unique Area in Rock Hill, N.Y, has become increasingly popular as trail users discover the beautiful falls throughout the gorge.
As a result, the most frequently used trailhead off Katrina Falls Road is continuously overburdened with close to 100 cars on a busy weekend day. To draw users to other parking, Trail Conference volunteers have been working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to build a new section of trail connecting the Blue Trail East to the Skinner Road parking area. The goal is to provide a blue-blazed trail that extends the length of the gorge.
Work on the Blue Trail East extension began in December 2020. Volunteer leader Andy Garrison and DEC Forester Evan Masten mapped out and flagged the intended route in accordance with the Unit Management Plan for the area. However, the project has several unique circumstances that make this trail extension something of a challenge.
Crews must walk approximately 4 miles into the worksite carrying heavy tools such as chainsaws, rock bars, and pick mattocks. Additionally, certain aspects of the project can only take place between November and March to avoid disturbing sensitive habitats.
Despite these limitations, Volunteer Trail Supervisor Lou Baldanza has successfully organized a number of work trips. Crews of volunteers have cleared the trail corridor of vegetation, removed all blowdowns that fell in the intended route of the trail, and determined the scope of the remaining work. Although much of the work is completed, the last phase of the project will prove to be the most challenging due to terrain that will require a great deal of rock work and trail grading.
Work on the Blue Trail East extension is intended to pick up again this November; that said, no completion date has been set at this time. We’ll keep you updated on the project in Trail Walker and at nynjtc.org.
Thank you to DEC Forester Evan Masten and Trail Conference volunteers Lou Baldanza, Andy Garrison, Don Cohen, Myra Gatchalian, Craig Jauvtis, Lorraine Geraghty, Nancy Bachana, Sandra Galindo Baldanza, and Tom Devine for all their work on this project!