It’s time to recognize those living and deceased who have made a significant contribution towards the Appalachian Trail. This year will be the seventh year of the Appalachian Trail Museum Society’s Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame. Submit your nomination for the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Class of 2017 between now and Tuesday, February 28th.
Nominees Must Have Made a Significant Contribution to the Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian Trial Museum Society’s president, Larry Luxenberg, states that
Nominees should be people who have made a significant positive contribution to the Appalachian Trail and who have unselfishly devoted their time, energy and resources toward making the Appalachian Trail a national treasure.
Nominations are being accepted to serve as a volunteer on the Stewardship Council of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is accepting letters of interest from people wishing to volunteer to serve on the ATC Stewardship Council. The Stewardship Council is a committee serving the ATC Board of Directors, and helps develop policy and take other initiatives on behalf of Trail Stewardship in several areas: Trail and Camping Management, Youth and Diversity Engagement, Agency and Club Partnerships, and Landscape Protection. See this link for biographical information about current Stewardship Council members (scroll to the bottom of the link).
Council membership is a wonderful opportunity for dedicated advocates of the Appalachian Trail to become integrally involved in Trail management. A two-year commitment to volunteer service, including occasional time committed to travel to Harpers Ferry (twice-annually) and phone conferences (typically, monthly), is required.
Congratulations to the Cumberland Valley Appalachian Trail Club on celebrating their 25th anniversary! Over 40 members and friends gathered for a celebratory dinner on Friday, September 23rd at the Holly Inn in Mount Holly Springs, PA.
The CVATC Celebrates 25 Years
The Club was founded in 1991 to construct a new footpath on the A.T. in the Cumberland Valley. The trail through the valley had followed roads, but the Club founders envisioned a true trail for the Valley’s section. The CVATC now maintains 17 miles of the A.T. in Cumberland County, PA.
Jim Foster, Immediate past President of CVATC, spoke at the anniversary event and reflected on the contentious beginning. Not all residents in the Valley were happy with the idea of rerouting the trail. The two opposing groups were the PRO-TRAIL and the Citizens Against The New Trail.
The Appalachian Trail is hard but nothing like climbing Mt. Everest. One tent maker started by creating tents for extreme mountain climbers, and now they are bringing their work to the Appalachian Trail.
SlingFin is a small outdoor company in Berkeley, California. They’ve been making tents since 2010 (though their crew has a deep history in the outdoor industry). What gives their tents their high-end value is their patented web truss design, making them extremely durable. SlingFin founder, Martin Zemitis, says they are the strongest in the world.
“We are known for making the strongest tents for their weight in the world … on the mountain, our goal is to always be the last tent standing in the storm.” – Zemitis
Now, SlingFin hopes to enter the Appalachian Trail market with a new line of super strong and lightweight backpacking tents.
SlingFin Adapts for the Appalachian Trail
In 2015, SlingFin adapted their unique designs and patented technology to bring us a line of light-weight backpacking tents perfect for the Appalachian Trail. The 2Lite and 2Lite Trek are a super durable and livable 2-person tent, yet they are still lightweight and packable. The CrossBow 2 is a backpacking tent for all seasons.
The Appalachian Trail is in easy reach of almost everyone on the East Coast, including New Yorkers.
Did you know that you can get from Grand Central Station to the A.T. in just under 2 hours?
In comparison to Grand Central Station, the Appalachian Trail train station looks like something out of a children’s movie. The platform is less than 20 feet long.
The platform is an ideal launching pad for the trail. The hiking is flat around the station and there are overnight hiking shelters less than five miles away in each direction.
Where is the Appalachian Trail train station?
Image by Daniel Case
If you’re familiar with the trail, the station is on the New York section of the trail. It’s close to Pawling Nature Preserve and really close to the border with Connecticut. The trail itself crosses the track just south of the station.
For those of you who are more familiar with New York than the trail, the station is near Pawling and Dover Plains, on the Metro-North Railroad Harlem Line.
Metro-North is a super-busy rail line that connects New York City and its northern suburbs up in New York and Connecticut. That’s part of what makes this station so delightfully different.
Using the Appalachian Trail train station
The station has a schedule that fits its small size and remote location.
Trains only stop at the station on weekends and holidays, which makes it perfect for day-hikers.
Even on those weekends and holidays, trains stop here only four times. The two northbound trains in the morning drop the hikers off on the trail, and two southbound trains in the evening bring the hikers back to the city.
Trains leave Grand Central at 9:47 and arrive in Southeast at 11:20. From there you change to the Shuttle to Wassaic, which leaves at 11:24 and arrives at the Appalachian Trail station at 11:41.
The round trip from Grand Central costs about $30.
History of the station
The station dates to 1991 and its creation was the idea of a couple of hikers:
George Zoebelein, an accountant in New York City, who was an avid hiker who served with Appalachian Trail Conferences in both New York and New Jersey.
Howard R. Permut, who was Metro-North’s vice president for planning and development.
In the early years of the station there was a wedding on the platform. The couple went hiking immediately afterwards.
The book describes Earl as one of the three most important people in the history of the Appalachian Trail:
“He ranks with those other legendary trail personages: Benton MacKaye and Myron Avery. MacKaye gave birth to the concept; Avery took the concept and built a trail from it; and Shaffer demonstrated the potential of the finished product.”
The biography covers Earl’s two most famous hikes: the first in 1948 and then his repeat journey 50 years later as the oldest-ever thru-hiker. It also touches on his support for Native American and environmental causes.
The book is published by the Appalachian Trail Museum and written by by David Donaldson and Maurice J. Forrester. Money from the book will go to help support the museum.
This weekend, August 3rd, there’s going to be a series of events at the museum to mark the book’s launch and also the 66th anniversary of Earl Shaffer’s first thru-hike.
David Donaldson is giving a talk about Shaffer on Sunday, August 3rd, at the museum. The museum also plans on unveiling a new exhibit showcasing gear used by Earl Shaffer.
Last month, we talked about the new Walk in the Woods movie featuring Robert Redford that’s coming out later this year.
Well, there’s another Appalachian Trail movie due out this year. This one takes a very different look at the trail!
Beacon Point is a horror movie about a group of hikers who set out for 10 days on the Appalachian Trail. The group hikes deep into the Great Smoky Mountains, and soon realize they are lost. Things start to go from bad to worse and they stumble across an ancient secret, the shadow people. Apparently the story is based on Cherokee legends from the Great Smokies.