Events in Great Barrington

Check out all the great happenings coming up in Great Barrington, MA in July!Trail Signs 006

Appalachian Trail Conversation with Jennifer Pharr Davis
Tuesday  July 2  6 pm  Mason Library
In 2011, Jennifer became the overall record holder on the Appalachian Trail. By hiking 2,181 miles in 46 days, an average of 47 miles per day, she became the first female to ever set that mark. Jennifer will speak about the many challenges and lessons that present themselves along the trail, and will be signing her new book: Called Again.

Appalachian Trail Family Movie
Tuesday July 9 6:15 pm Mason Library
Come to this family event for a short talk and National Geographic movie to learn about the Appalachian Trail. Make your own gorp trail mix and then relax and learn about the wilderness connected by the AT, our nation’s longest National Park.  Then think about joining in on the SAT July 13th   AT Hike & Picnic at Beartown Sate Forest!
Drop in–no Registration required. Good for ages 7 & up.

Special GB Trails Meeting: Nature’s Notebook/ Phenology & Citizen Science (link:
Wednesday July 10 3pm Mason Library
Learn from Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s (ATC) Shawn Garred about Nature’s Notebook, a national, online program where amateur and professional naturalists regularly record observations of plants and animals to generate long-term data sets used for scientific discovery and decision-making. Whether you’re an amateur or professional naturalist you can participate in ATC’s national, online program, Nature’s Notebook: Observe plants and animals to generate long-term phenology datasets for scientific discovery. Natural Resource Stewardship Organizations can learn how to start a Phenology Trail! A phenology trail is a network of Nature’s Notebook observation sites. Linked together, these sites provide the participant with places to visit, enjoy nature, collect data, and learn about supporting organizations. To register:

Appalachian Trail Hike & Picnic
Saturday   July 13   2pm – 6:30pm  FREE (Bring your own picnic!)
2pm Hike, 5pm picnic
Discover or rediscover the Appalachian Trail (AT). Come celebrate Beartown State Forest and Great Barrington’s connection with the AT. Join DCR MassPark staff and Great Barrington Trails and Greenways partners on a moderate 3.2 mile-long hike around Benedict Pond Loop Trail and north along the AT to the Ledges for a beautiful vista. Meet at the day-use parking lot near the boat ramp on Benedict Pond Road, Monterey. Directions (link: After the hike join for a community picnic; bring a picnic for yourself, and some extra food to feed an AT thru hiker. Campfire provided. In the event of rain or significant weather the hike is cancelled. Sponsored by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and GB Trails. For more information call Beartown State Forest headquarters: (413) 528-0904. Registration Required! For hike, picnic or both, email:

Help Build a Bridge for the Appalachian Trail!
Saturday July 27 Tuesday July 30th
Don’t miss this great chance to volunteer with the MA AT Committee and work on the Sheffield Bridge Project. Replace the longest AT footbridge in Massachusetts with a new one.  Much to carry in, on short, flat hike! To help, contact Cosmo Catalano: For more AT Volunteer information go to

Troutville Traildays

Post by Rebecca Kyle of James River High School Buchanan, Virginia
Leaf No Trace Craft Time
Leaf No Trace Craft Time
Principle #6
Principle #6
T-Shirt Designs
T-Shirt Designs

The Troutville Trail Days celebration came at the perfect time this year. There was a little bit of apprehension because of the weather forecast, but the rain stayed away and it turned out to be a beautiful day.  Following a long week of testing students were able to learn about the history and importance of the Appalachian Trail in the days leading up to the community festivities.  In groups of two or three students created posters depicting the 7 principles of Leave No Trace.   Their creative works were displayed at the Troutville town park during the trail days events and students volunteered to help teach the principles they learned to younger children.  We encouraged participants to create their very own “Leaf” no Trace signs with images of leaf prints. Another great addition to the trail days were the t-shirts.  Middle and high school students competed to enter the best design.  First, second, and third place winners all came from James River High School!



Contact: Katie-Palmer House                                   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tel: 845.832.6111

Harpers Ferry, WV (June 06, 2013) – The Harlem Valley Appalachian Trail Community is a new distinction for the two Towns of Dover and Pawling, New York.  The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), along with the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference (NY-NJTC) invites the public to attend the official Appalachian Trail Community™ designation on June 15, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. The two communities, sharing the name the Harlem Valley A.T. Community, will hold a ceremony at the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) Boardwalk on Route 22.This event is free and open to the public.

“The Harlem Valley portion of the A.T. is a microcosm of the A.T.’s enigmatic beauty,” said Katie Palmer-House, Town of Dover Town Clerk, “from its pristine vista to the delicate yet resilient flora of the valley bottom. If you get to visit the A.T. just once in your lifetime, the Harlem Valley A.T. segment is a jewel in the A.T. crown.”

Ned Sullivan, President of Scenic Hudson said, “Dover and Pawling deserve great credit for their cross-border collaboration to win this honor.   They are clearly taking the high road – transcending partisanship and territoriality to support one of this nation’s great recreational resources – the Appalachian Trail.” And collaboration is indeed what it took to receive this distinction.

The Appalachian Trail Community™ is a program of the ATC, the nonprofit responsible for the management and protection of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Working with a growing network of trailside community partners, the program recognizes and thanks communities for their part in promoting the A.T. as an important local and national asset as well as an international icon. “The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is proud to celebrate and partner with communities that are helping to protect and promote the Appalachian Trail,” said Julie Judkins, Resource Program Manager for the ATC.

Stancy DuHamel co-chaired the working group responsible for the application, which has representatives from both town governments, four public and private schools and businesses, local and regional organizations.  “A strong team came together, working countless hours over the last year, showing a collective enthusiasm for the project.”

Becky Thornton, President of Dutchess Land Conservancy (DLC), noted the importance of protecting the assets provided by the A.T., “These Towns have demonstrated their commitment to protecting the Trail and its surrounding viewshed as an important natural resource, as an asset that contributes to the community’s sense of place and scenic landscape, and as a backbone for future linkages to other trail networks in the community.  For many years, DLC and partners have been working to protect the land along Trail, and we are proud to have actively supported this well-deserved designation.”

“Growing up in the Hudson Valley, I have a deep love and respect for the beauty of our landscape and rich history that surrounds us.  This partnership between Dover and Pawling to promote and preserve our section of the Appalachian Trail with its official designation will only serve to benefit our area in the years to come.  I am proud of the cooperation this represents and the extraordinary efforts of my constituents to collaborate and gain this recognition,” said Congressman Chris Gibson (NY-19), who will speak at the event on the 15th.

“This designation will bring even greater recreation opportunities to for both residents and tourists alike, enhancing our ability to promote Dutchess County as a world class destination for outdoor and heritage enthusiasts”, said County Executive Marc Molinaro, who contributed one of the over 30 Letters of Support that were submitted with application.

Honored guests and speakers at this event will include U.S. Congressman Chris Gibson, Wendy Janssen, Superintendent of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail; Mark Wenger, Executive Director/CEO of the ATC; Karen Lutz, Regional Director of the ATC; Ryan Courtien, Town of Dover Supervisor; Dave Kelly, Town of Pawling Supervisor; Mary Kay Vrba, Executive Director of Dutchess County Tourism; Edward Goodell, Executive Director of the NY-NJTC, and Karin Roux, Dutchess Land Conservancy Senior Land Projects Manager.

“This program has already initiated connections with an expanded network of organizations and citizens of these two Harlem Valley towns and is poised to engender even greater connections between the hiking and conservation communities and the two towns,” stated Ron Rosen representative of the NY-NJTC.

The event will begin at noon at the A.T. Boardwalk in Pawling, NY, and will feature music from Jay Erickson of Red Rooster, Interpretative Hikes, and “Trails to Every Classroom” (TTEC) activities for kids, youth and families. Exhibitors will set up at 2pm, and will feature displays from partners such as DLC, Crown Maple, Mid-Hudson Trout Unlimited and Friends of the Great Swamp (FrOGS).

Dover Knolls enjoys being a neighbor to the Trail as well, and “…believes it is a tremendous asset for redeveloping the abandoned state property,” stated Kathleen Schibanoff of Dover Knolls Development Co. II, LLC.  The company is looking forward to creating a new economy based on the region’s natural beauty and attractions.

 “Metro-North Railroad congratulates Pawling and Dover Plains on being named an Appalachian Trail Community,” said Railroad President Howard Permut. “The railroad has long supported the hiking community and in 1990 built a station on the Harlem Line were the tracks transect the Appalachian Trail in Dutchess County, NY. We also provide rail access to hiking trails at Breakneck Ridge in Hudson Highlands State Park. These hiking stops make it possible for someone who lives in New York City to be in the wilderness, on the Appalachian Trail, in under two hours.”

New York State Senator Terry Gipson noted the shared values of Dover and Pawling.  “These towns have interwoven within their comprehensive plans the Appalachian Trail corridor and its many contributions to the region’s environment and identity. Dover and Pawling each value the Trail as an economic asset as well as a vital piece of a larger natural infrastructure that ties together Dutchess County through agriculture, environmental resources, historical preservation and tourism.  It is also a unique place with regard to the A.T. as a whole: it is the only section of the entire Trail with its own train stop, thereby maximizing the number of visitors who can experience its unique environmental heritage,”

Additional quotes from partners:

Ryan Courtien, Supervisor, Town of Dover, NY

Working with great volunteers from Dover, the Town Government has made the Harlem Valley Appalachian Trail Community (HVATC) a top priority highlighting all our area has to offer.

Jim Haggett, Chair, Dutchess/Putnam Appalachian Trail Management Committee

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is a jewel in America’s National Park System.  It is wonderful to have the Harlem Valley designated as one of two dozen communities up and down the eastern U.S. that help define the trail experience and draws so many people to the AT.  Further, speaking for all the local trail volunteers, we are greatly appreciative of the support given by Pawling and Dover in our efforts to maintain this recreational resource

David Kelly, Supervisor, Town of Pawling, NY

Pawling Supervisor David Kelly, speaking of the HVATC designation said “The Town of Pawling has the only rail stop along the entire Appalachian Trail.  Being designated as part of the Harlem Valley Appalachian Trail Community further strengthens Pawling’s commitment to the Appalachian Trail and all outdoor activities in general.”

Tyge Rugenstein, President, Madava Farms and Crown Maple:

Madava Farms, the Home of Crown Maple, is excited for the opportunities the designation of the Harlem Valley Appalachian Trail Community will bring the Towns of Dover and Pawling.  The designation will obviously help attract hikers and visitors to our area so they too can enjoy our awe inspiring vistas, serene plains, and beautiful marshlands.

Kealy Salomon, Commissioner, Dutchess County Department of Planning & Development

Dutchess County congratulates Dover and Pawling for their designation as an “AT Community.”  Theirs is the first joint designation, and is consistent with the Dutchess County Greenway Compact that supports trail connections among all our communities.  The designation will support our overall efforts to increase tourism, expand economic development and support healthy outdoor activities.

Pete Muroski – President of Native Landscapes and Garden Center, Co-Chair of HVATC Advisory Committee

As part of the Appalachian Trail corridor, Native Landscapes and Garden Center is proud to be part of the Harlem Valley Appalachian Trail Community. The areas natural beauty, native flora, diverse ecosystem and easy access makes Pawling and Dover a popular section along the Appalachian Trail. Come walk in our woods and enjoy our natural community.

Mike Tierney, Superintendent of Schools, Dover UFSD:

As a Superintendent, I recognize the necessity of providing a well-rounded education for all students.  It is my belief that education outside the classroom through hands-on experiences such as hiking the Appalachian Trail enables students and adults alike to put what they have learned into action.  By fostering well-rounded students, our community can only reap the benefits.  I offer my thanks to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy for dedicating Dover and Pawling as a Harlem Valley Appalachian Trail Community.”

Mary Kay Vrba, Executive Director, Dutchess County Tourism:

The Harlem Valley Appalachian Trail community will continue to enhance the visitors experience both on the trail and in the surrounding communities. Visitors will come where they are welcomed and when communities join together to make things happen people experience a great sense of place and are drawn to come back again and again.

Chris Wood, Chair, Oblong Land Conservancy

This is a real feather in the cap of Pawling and Dover who have collaborated closely to achieve this coveted award.  The Appalachian Trail Community Designation signifies an understanding of the importance of conservation in its widest context.  We at OLC look forward to playing our part in promoting the benefits of this designation.

The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. The A.T. is a unit of the National Park System, stretching from Georgia to Maine, at approximately 2,180 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. Volunteers typically donate more than 220,000 hours of their time doing trail-related work each year, and about 2 to 3 million visitors walk a portion of the A.T. each year.

For more information about the A.T. Community™ program, visit: For more information about this event visit:

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 about the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, visit

About the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference

The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference is a federation of member clubs and individuals dedicated to providing recreational hiking opportunities in the region and representing the interests and concerns of the hiking community. The Conference is a volunteer-directed public service organization committed to:

  • Developing, building, and maintaining hiking trails;
  • Protecting hiking trail lands through support and advocacy;
  • Educating the public in the responsible use of trails and the natural environment.

A.T. Community Program Contact: Julie Judkins
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 828.254.3708 x11

Fax: 828.254.3754
Facebook: www.facebook/ATHike


Radio Show

Alyson, our Ambassador from Front Royal/Warren County, talks about what it means to be an Ambassador, friendly regional competition to get out on the Trail for Family Hiking Day, Benton, how access to the A.T., PATC, what to take with you and the work she’s doing to educate her community and hikers alike!

Listen to it here:

Listen to this!


Tomorrow, June 6, Front Royal/Warren County A.T. Ambassador will be appearing on 95.3 FM’s Valley Women Today show at 12:30 p.m. Listen in at

“Ever hankered to take a long hike to somewhere far away? Feel like some fresh air would be good? Alyson Browett, Appalachian Trail Ambassador, will share how we can walk to Georgia or Maine from our own Front Royal, or just meander locally on world-renown beautiful trails nearby.”


posterTroutville, Virginia – Together for Troutville, Inc. (T4T) is proud to present the 2nd Annual Troutville Trail Days, an event that is quickly becoming a community tradition. Now in its second year, Trail Days continues to be a celebration of the Appalachian Trail, its hikers and our community.
This FREE event will feature outdoor activities, educational demonstrations, interactive games and projects for children, great local food, community organizations, vendors and live music.
Trail Days is an opportunity to showcase our community to the thru-hikers of the Appalachian Trail. Special activities and resources are in place for the weekend for thru-hikers and are available at no cost including overnight camping in the Town Park, showers and laundry at the Troutville Fire Department, a welcome dinner and movie on Friday night, medical support, gear repair, support vendors and activities throughout the day on Saturday. The thru-hikers will be registering at the Town Park upon their arrival.
“Troutville Trail Days is the perfect place for AT hikers to take a “Zero” day or weekend,” expressed Sybille Nelson, T4T President. “Our community is able to provide everything for them to reenergize, refuel and restock before returning to the trail.”
This year’s main event day is Saturday June 8 at the Troutville Town Park and is sponsored by the Bank of Fincastle, Outdoor Trails- Outdoor Equipment and Clothier and the New River Electrical Corporation.
Trail Days kicks off with breakfast in the park at 7AM and concludes after a full day of activities with music continuing well into the evening.
Some of this year’s event offerings include a tasty variety of food vendors, children’s interactive games and activities with educational displays and demonstrations, hiking clinics including topics such as Hiking 101 and water filtration being hosted by Outdoor Trails of Daleville, and other booths showcasing outdoor recreational businesses, organizations, and retail vendors. Everyone from first time trail-goers to seasoned hikers will have an opportunity to walk the Appalachian Trail. One or two mile long guided hikes will be offered with free shuttle service to and from the park and will be led by the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club. The park’s Main Stage will host live music from 10:30AM until 8:30PM. Performers include Cherokee Road, Me and Martha, Jesse Ray Carter, The Joyful Noise, Friends of Praise and Blue Cedars.
This year brings the introduction of the “Battle of the Baker’s”. Local bakers will submit entries that will be tasted and judged by the thru-hikers from 12-1PM and then the public will be invited to taste remaining samples while supplies last.
The “Hiker’s Hustle 5K” will be returning this year to offer an exhilarating on and off road course. The race starts at 9:00am on Saturday. Runners can sign up for the 5K through the website or from 8-8:45AM at race registration located at the Troutville Town Hall. Pre-registration is encouraged at $20 per person ($25 the day of the event) and includes a signature bracelet, an event t-shirt and awards for the top runners in each category. The Hiker’s Hustle 5K will take place rain or shine.
Other event highlights include thru-hiker interviews with Dan Dennison- news director with WDBJ7, a local history display at the Caboose in the Park, the Long Rifle Historical Campsite, and an Indian artifacts display at the Masonic Lodge.
Be sure to bring your own chairs and blankets to the park, but please no coolers, food or pets. For parking information please check the website. Local churches, boy scouts, organizations, businesses and volunteers have come together to provide a signature event celebrating our designated A.T. community, so come out and enjoy a great Saturday in and around our special little town. Join us in the Troutville Town Park, at the Hiker’s Hustle 5K and on the A.T.!
To learn about all of the great activities planned and for a full schedule of events please visit the Trail Days event page at
Happy trails to you!
About Together for Troutville, Inc.
Together for Troutville, Inc. is chartable, non-profit, 501(C)(3) organization that was incorporated in November 2010. T4T exists to support the Town of Troutville in implementing their strategic plan by fostering community spirit, organizing signature recreation events, raising needed capital, and completing the plan initiatives. Together for Troutville is comprised of an all-volunteer staff who give freely of their time and talents to improve our community. For more information or to become a volunteer, please visit
Sybille Nelson – President
Together for Troutville, Inc.
Tel. 540.992.6724