June 9, 2014 – We woke up to a lovely day on Saturday, National Trails Day. And that wasn’t half as good as the rest of it! Over 50 people assembled at the trailhead of the brand new Palmer Hill Trail to celebrate our work and new prize. After a brief ceremony featuring remarks by Andes Town Supervisor Marty Donnelly, NYC DEP Recreation and Property Manager Charlie Laing and CMC President Rick Roberts, we had some refreshments, congratulated one another on a great partnership and its beautiful product and headed off for one of our more satisfying hikes in quite a while.
The Palmer Hill Trail consists of three segments that can be hiked in four distinct combinations, allowing hikers the options of short and easy hikes or moderately strenuous and longer hikes. The hiker can make complete routes of 1.2, 2.2, 2.7 or 3.7 miles. Each takes you through beautiful wildflower meadows that offer wide open views of the surrounding mountains and hills and of the bucolic scenery that Delaware County epitomizes. Along the way are centuries old foundations, a lovely stream and age old trees. In season, there will be blackberries and apples galore for the hungry hiker. And in winter the cross country skiing will be a dream come true.
The importance of this partnership between the DEP and the CMC is hard to overstate. With the help of the Town of Andes, we have collaborated on two new trails on DEP lands in less than a year, having opened the Shavertown Trail on August 30 of last year. Later this year we’ll open a trail on Bramley Mountain in the Town of Delhi. And there will be more to come, including one on the south side of the Ashokan Reservoir in Ulster County and, eventually, in both Greene and Sullivan Counties.
By making these properties available for public recreation, without fee or required permit, the DEP has made an important commitment to the needs of the residents of the Catskills. The benefits to the health and economies of our communities are already being felt. The CMC is thrilled to have an opportunity of this magnitude to work towards the success of our mission of promoting non-motorized outdoor recreation that is sustainable and environmentally responsible and that benefits the physical and economic health of our local communities.
The Palmer Hill Trail will be a destination for those who love the Catskills and want to experience them as never before. So come out and enjoy the views. And, if you don’t already know, see one of the finest panoramas of the Catskill High Peaks anywhere. I won’t tell you where to look for it – come find out for yourself!
See video of the opening here. Thanks to Jessica Vecchione.