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Wednesday, June 20, 2018
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A Trail Runs Through It - Hike & Lecture by Dick Stapleton

Date: 5/20/2017
Time: 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: Route 55 Trail Head AT

 Harlem Valley AT Community & Oblong Land Conservancy with co-hosts Naromi Land Trust & Dutchess Land Conservancy would like to invite you to join Dick Stapleton on a walk through his former family homestead, stretching from Sherman, CT, to Wingdale, NY, and observe the succession from farmlands to woodlands. Dick will reminisce about the decision to sell the homestead to the National Park Service to reroute the Appalachian Trail through the farm.  This hike will take place this Saturday, May 20th from 10:00 - 12:00 PM.

Participants include Ron Rosen, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, who will describe the challenges faced by NPS in rerouting many of the 2180 miles of Trail, and Jim Nordgren, JN Land Trust Services, who will point out the changing habitats.

Dick Stapleton
"My father began acquiring land in 1933, ultimately piecing together 11 parcels totaling some 160 acres. The barns, which he designed, were built in 1946...
I was an only child; the farmer next door had seven kids and a hired hand - many hands to lighten the work. I became the "hired hand" at a very early age. By high school, I was the de facto farmer, and could not wait to leave.
That said, and this is a mystery I am still trying to resolve, I have for decades been drawn back to this land... And I have walked this trail every year for at least the past quarter century....

First, look at the edges of fields and former pastures and see how the forest isreclaiming its natural domain.... Look too at the understory: there are many places where you can no longer go off-trail because there is an impenetrable wall of non-native shrubs and bushes. ... Look, and this is a tease, for what is no longer here - the valuable chestnut trees, lost to blight in the early 1900s, and the beautiful umbrella-crowned elms, wiped out by the Dutch Elm Disease, also accidentally imported (from Asia). And look for signs of other invaders: the woolly adelgid, which threatens hemlocks, and the ash borer, which is chewing its way north from New Jersey."


Meet at the AT parking lot on Rt 55, Sherman CT, east of Hoyt Road. 

Appalachian Trail Parking

Oblong Land Conservancy - i

Limited to 35. Rain or shine.  Hiking boots are recommended, and protection against ticks is critical.

Hiking options:

The southbound hike, from the Rt 55 parking lot, Sherman to Leather Hill, Wingdale, will take about two hours.  For a shorter hike, turn back to Rt 55 or leave a second car at Hoyt Road. To continue to Duell Hollow, leave a second car at Duell Hollow Road at the Trail crossing, or across from the driveway at 212 Duell Hollow Road, just south of Leather Hill.

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