Trail Improvements Ahead—Thanks to Our Supporters!

September 09, 2019
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference


Trail Improvements Ahead—Thanks to Our Supporters!
Spider Hill House at the Trails For People Exhibit on the Appalachian Trail at Bear Mountain. Photo by Amber Ray.


As a nonprofit, the work we do is only made possible through the support of donors who believe in the power of connecting people with nature.

Our gratitude goes to the following sponsors who are allowing our programs to thrive—and with their funds, are making a positive impact on the trails and parks that need our care.

Catskill Stewards

The Catskill 3500 Club has made a $5,000 gift to support our Steward Program in the Catskills. Since 2013, the Trail Conference has been committed to educating and assisting the public in the safe, enjoyable, and responsible use of hiking trails through this program, making a positive impact on the user experience and in the protection of the land.

Harriman Trails

The Edward B. Whitney Fund of the New York Community Trust and the Peter Dilullo Family support our efforts to build and rehabilitate eroded and worn-out sections of the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail and Kakiat, Triangle, and Tuxedo-Mt. Ivy trails in Harriman State Park. These trails connect with long-distance trail systems including the Appalachian Trail, the Long Path, the Highlands Trail, and the new Empire State Trail.

Highlands Trail

The New Jersey Highlands Council awarded a contract to the Trail Conference to provide digital mapping and to create a trail and roadside signage system for the New Jersey portion of the Highlands Trail. The project is expected to be finished by early 2021. This project will create one consistent Highlands Trail map from end-to-end that will be published as a digital, interactive map available on the free Avenza Maps mobile app. Users will be able to download the map for use in areas with poor or no cell service. Additional trail blazes will help clarify the route, and road crossing signs will assist hikers along the way. Roadside signage will also direct users to trailheads along the route. Promotional maps and materials will be created and available for viewing at established kiosks. The Highlands Council resolution specifies that the project is expected to be completed for an amount not to exceed $29,755.

In order to promote and build on the work of the Highlands Trail mapping and signage project, Peter Kellogg has donated $30,000 to help elevate the status of the Highlands Trail as a long-distance destination. Kellogg’s donation is intended to help us promote and facilitate thru-hiking the Highlands Trail by creating an enhanced end-to-end guide with maps and amenity descriptions. It will also support efforts to secure permission for campsites along the trail in New Jersey state parks and raise general awareness of this incredible resource.

Spider Hill House on the Appalachian Trail at Bear Mountain

A grant of $10,000 from the Mary W. Harriman Foundation will be used to help plan the rehabilitation of the historic Spider Hill House on the Appalachian Trail at Bear Mountain State Park. Our goal is to repurpose this abandoned building as a new focal point and education center for the large and diverse crowds of visitors to Bear Mountain.

In phase two of the ongoing Spider Hill House Adaptive Reuse Project, the Trail Conference will stabilize and rehabilitate the deteriorating Spider Hill House on the A.T. at Bear Mountain State Park and develop interpretative signage for proposed exhibition space inside. We were awarded a $23,000 grant from the Outdoor Foundation to continue this work in improving the user experience along the Appalachian Trail at Bear Mountain.