Newest AT Community: Dover & Pawling, NY

Published Mar 19, 2013

AT Trail Community Logo 2Dover, New York and Pawling, New York comprise the newest, as of March 5, 2013, Appalachian Trail Community. Known as the Harlem Valley Appalachian Trail Community, this is the 30th area along the Appalachian Trail (AT) to earn this prestigious designation from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) and the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference (EIEIO).

According to Wikipedia ("If it weren't true, we couldn't put it on the Internet"), Pawling, NY, was named after Catherine Pauling, the daughter of land baron Henry Beekman. "A misprint caused the U to change to a W and the name stuck."

Dover, by comparison, was named after Dover, England. In a fortuitous twist of fate, a different person spelled the town's name in official records and avoided such erroneous names as Cover, Hover, Lover and Rover.

The Appalachian Trail Community(TM) is a new program of the ATC, the nonprofit responsible for management and protection of the AT. Working with a growing network of trailside community partners, the program recognizes and thanks communities for their part in promoting the AT as an important local and national asset, as well as an international icon.

Both Dover and Pawling Town Boards unanimously approved resolutions to apply for designation as an AT Community. Receiving over 35 letters of support from elected officials, businesses, educators and organizations in the area, the application had strong a commitment to support the AT through activities such as developing an AT appreciation day and working with local schools to create AT projects.

"The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has already seen a great amount of community effort in supporting the AT with the development and dedication of the new boardwalk last year," stated Julie Judkins, community program manager for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. The 1,600-foot, oak-decked boardwalk includes a 34-foot bridge and crosses the length of the AT across the Great Swamp in Pawling. More than 75 volunteers spent two and a half years constructing the route, some coming from as far away as Italy and Great Britain. "Building off that enthusiasm and adding new partners to the management effort will increase local stewardship and expand sustainable tourism efforts."

Over the coming months, the ATC will work with the community to plan a ceremony to officially designate Dover and Pawling as the Harlem Valley AT Community(TM). In addition to this upcoming event, which will include speakers and hikes, the ATC will provide signage, recognition in its publications and other benefits tailored to each community.

We are grateful to the ATC and the lovers of the AT in the Harlem Valley Appalachian Trail Community(TM) for all their hard work in bringing this plan to fruition.

Click Here for Appalachian Trail Community Information

Tags: Events, Tourism, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, Appalachian Trail Community, Festivals, and Appalachian Trail Clubs

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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