Organizers said they estimate a cost for the project of at least $100,000 and have set a goal of raising $125,000 by 2018, the centennial of the fire tower.
A group focused on maintaining the routes to the summit of Mount Poke-O-Moonshine is now seeking funds for trail renovations.
Friends of Mount Poke-O-Moonshine have started a fund raiser called, “Sum(m)it Up for Poke-O,” focused on making needed repairs and renovations to the Ranger Trail, a steep, one mile path leading to the top of the mountain located in the Taylor Pond Wild Forest area.
“After a year of review and thorough discussion of the issue, we have decided to raise funds for the professional renovation of the trail,” the organization said in its most recent newsletter. “We have obtained a repair and re-route plan from the Adirondack Mountain Club Trail Program and await its approval by the DEC. We have already rebuilt two significantly eroded sections of the Ranger Trail, yet there are many more sections requiring professional work.”
Organizers said they estimate a cost for the project of at least $100,000 and have set a goal of raising $125,000 by 2018, the centennial of the fire tower. So far, they have received over $25,000 in donations and pledges.
The Friends of Poke-O-Moonshine group is concerned that the Ranger Trail could be closed as part of the Unit Management Plan completed by the DEC. According to the plan, the trail will be evaluated at the end of the current UMP, which could be between five and 10 years, and a decision made.
“We have worked on the trail since the 1998 Ice Storm, and we continue every year to put time, sweat, and funds into the effort,” group members said in the fund raising appeal. “The Ranger Trail is the historic route between the cliffs and up the mountain, followed as early as 1843 by Abel Brown, an Abolitionist leader from Albany. In short, the Ranger Trail is a fascinating botanical, geological, and historical pathway to the summit. Let’s make it a safe and sustainable path, a model of trail design on steeper terrain.”
David Thomas-Train, a member of the organization, said the DEC has been working with the group throughout the planning.
“There have been two specific projects to date which have re-routed severely eroded sections to the Ranger Trail,” he said. “We await DEC approval of the current work plan for the entire trail which was created by the Adirondack Mountain Club Trail Program and hope that work can begin late this summer. Work would be carried out in annual increments until the entire project is completed.”
The redeveloped trail would offer many features for hikers and nature enthusiasts to enjoy.
“There will be a mix of interesting geology, great spring wildflowers along the botanically rich route, history of the trail and the fact that it is a trail whose natural history is interpreted by a detailed hikers’ brochure which we developed and DEC funded,” Thomas-Train said.
The organization has come up with several donation levels, including Trailheaders (up to $49), Cliff Climbers ($50-$99), Overlookers ($100-$499), Rangers ($500-$999) and Summit Stewards ($1,000 and up). They are also offering a Poke-O-Moonshine patch and/or signed Carl Heilman poster as part of fundraising.
Donations can be sent to The Friends of Poke-O-Moonshine, c/o AARCH, 1745 Main Street, Keeseville, N.Y. 12944.