Pawling, New York (July 2, 2012) – The newly completed AppalachianTrail (A.T.) boardwalk spanning the Great Swamp in Pawling, NY had its grand opening at 1 p.m. on July 1, 2012 at the Trail crossing of State Route 22. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) and New York-New Jersey Trail Conference (NYNJTC) coordinated and completed the project with was funded primarily by the Appalachian Trail Park Office of the National Park Service.
The 1,600-foot, oak-decked boardwalk includes a 34-foot bridge and crosses the length of the A.T. across the Great Swamp. More than 75 volunteers spent two and a half years constructing the route, some coming from as far away as Italy and Great Britain. The majority of volunteers were from the NYNJTC and the ATC's Mid-Atlantic Trail Crew.
“The boardwalk completed in Pawling, New York is a prime example of the Appalachian Trail's historic legacy of volunteerism,” said Mark Wenger, executive director of the ATC. “The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is grateful for all their hard work and their continued commitment to preserving and protecting the A.T.”
Crossing the Great Swamp was originally not a problem for hikers, but frequent severe storm events over the past decade—along with a dam constructed by a family of beavers—created many problems. Raised water levels interfered with traditional trail-maintenance techniques, and a temporary solution was improvised using cinder blocks, wood pallets and planks until the boardwalk's completion.
The Dutchess/Putnam Appalachian Trail Management Committee, a part of the NYNJTC, coordinated construction efforts and the boardwalk's grand opening. Events included a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a walkalong the new route. The event was part of New York's A.T. celebratory weekend, which included the designation of Warwick, NY as an official Appalachian Trail Community™ on the previous day.
Conservation leaders in attendance included Mark Wenger,executive director of the ATC, Karen Lutz, Mid-Atlantic regional director for the ATC and Pam Underhill, superintendent of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. Federal officials and executives from other sponsoring organizations also attended.
About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy's mission is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information visitwww.appalachiantrail.org.
Contact: Javier Folgar
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: (304) 535-2200 ext. 117
Email: [email protected]