New Andes trail opens; a partnership of NYC and local volunteers

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Andes — The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Catskill Mountain Club have announced a community hike to celebrate the opening of a new trail on City-owned land in Delaware County.
The trail, which was built and will be maintained by volunteers with the Catskill Mountain Club (CMC), is located on a property known as Palmer Hill, with parking available at the existing scenic overlook site on Finkle Road in the Town of Andes. Avid hikers, community members and visitors are encouraged to celebrate the opening of the trail on Saturday, June 7, which is National Trails Day. A short ceremony and group hike will be held at 2 p.m.
The 3.7-mile trail at Palmer Hill represents the second collaboration between DEP, CMC and the Town of Andes. Last year, the three worked together to blaze a 5.3-mile hiking trail that begins just off Route 30, across the street from the Shavertown boat launch site at Pepacton Reservoir. In its first year, the Shavertown Trail attracted hundreds of hikers to its scenic outlook that offers spectacular views of Pepacton Reservoir. In fact, more than 150 people signed a register at the trailhead between March and May of this year alone.
The Palmer Hill Trail is located on a portion of a 234-acre tract of land that DEP acquired in 2002 as part of its land acquisition program. The trail meanders through open meadows with beautiful views of forested lands, productive apple trees and historic stonewalls. It passes over Bryant’s Brook and also features excellent views of many of the Catskill High Peaks, including Graham, Doubletop, Balsam Lake, and Balsam and Dry Brook Ridge. Access to the trail will be free of charge and does not require a permit.

Collaborative project
“The opening of the Palmer Hill trail reflects DEP’s desire to collaborate with local groups on projects that will support the Catskills’ economy by enhancing tourism and outdoor recreation,” DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd said. “I’d like to personally thank the Catskill Mountain Club and its volunteers, whose passion for sharing the scenic beauty of the region has helped make these trails possible. I’d also like to thank the Town of Andes Supervisor Martin Donnelly for his continued support of these trails and other projects related to the city’s water supply.”
“The CMC is thrilled to open this new hiking trail in partnership with DEP,” CMC Stewardship Chairman Wendell George said. “Our ongoing efforts have resulted in new hiking opportunities near local communities that provide easy access for hikers of all abilities, and they bring much needed economic benefits to our communities. In addition to Palmer Hill, the DEP/CMC partnership plans to complete another trail in Delaware County, on Bramley Mountain in Delhi, later this year. We are pleased to have the opportunity to create new hiking options for residents and visitors to the Catskills, and we look forward to many future projects throughout the region.”

Volunteer group
Formed in 2003, The Catskill Mountain Club, Inc. is an all-volunteer group of outdoor enthusiasts interested in providing a wide variety of outdoor (non-motorized) recreational opportunities abundant in the Catskills. Its objective is to increase public awareness, appreciation and enjoyment of the region’s natural resources, public lands, and outdoor activities and to promote responsible, safe, and sustainable outdoor recreation.