A Victory for the Long Path: Schoharie Section of Trail Permanently Protected

March 08, 2019
Andy Garrison
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference

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A Victory for the Long Path: Schoharie Section of Trail Permanently Protected
Long Path blaze. Photo by Heather Darley

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Another mile of the Long Path has been permanently preserved, thanks to the efforts of Trail Conference volunteers and staff.

This mostly forested, 149-acre parcel is located in the Town of Blenheim, Schoharie County, in New York. The parcel is adjacent to Burnt-Rossman Hills State Forest, located 35 miles northwest of the Catskill Park by trail. Future plans are to transfer this parcel to New York State as an addition to the attached state forest. (Find a larger version of the newly protected parcel here.)

This project began when I drove up to Schoharie County to attend the annual meeting of the Long Path North Hiking Club, which manages the Long Path from the Catskills to north of the Mohawk River in Schoharie, Albany, and Schenectady counties. As chair of both the Long Path and the Conservation committees, I arrived early to check out some things along the trail. To my surprise, I found a realtor sign advertising that a private property providing nearly a mile of Long Path access was for sale. This became an urgent situation. If a private sale were to occur, we faced the possibility of losing the trail easement, potentially being forced to move almost a mile of the Long Path onto paved highway. A plan was quickly developed for the Trail Conference to purchase the property, not only protecting the Long Path but also conserving a beautiful section of forest in the process.

The Trail Conference has been actively purchasing land for the protection of trails for 80 years, since 1939. Nearly 50 years ago, George Zoebelein became the first trail supervisor of sections 1 through 4 of the Long Path; he and Win Perry began working to protect the trail soon after it was built in that area. (George was a very busy guy; in addition to his Long Path contributions, he was also Trail Conference president for 7 years, Publications Chairman for many years, and was the initial force behind the Metro-North train stop for the Appalachian Trail in Pawling, N.Y.) The Trail Conference’s commitment to both building and protecting the Long Path and our other long-distance trails has always been at the core of what we do.

Our long-distance trails are increasingly pressured with development and, unfortunately, it’s a race to preserve them. We would like to get even more vigorous with permanently protecting our long-distance trails—and you can help. These days, we purchase trail lands with funds from the Trail Conference’s Land Acquisition and Stewardship Fund (LASF). It’s a revolving, donor-supported fund. When we sell land we have purchased to the state for permanent protection, the proceeds are returned to the fund. We work with other land conservation partners whenever possible, allowing us to stretch our funds and preserve more trail miles.

Be a part of this conservation legacy by making a donation to our Land Acquisition and Stewardship Fund. Go to nynjtc.org/donate, and in the Special Instructions box, write “For LASF.” Help protect the land you love today!

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