Winter Bulletin 2018 - 2019

News Update

Recently the Taconic Hiking Club has been active and proactive in arenas beyond our wonderful array of outings. What is new?

• This is our first electronic bulletin! Please, feel free to print a copy or save the link.

• We have increased our membership by 55+ new members since August! Many of these new members have indicated an interest in leading outings and in doing trail maintenance. Welcome all new members!!!!

• Check our new Facebook page: <> Follow us and “like” us. Many thanks to BNRC’s Mariah Auman for developing and maintaining the FB page!

• We have a new recruit to run the 2020 End-to-End: Tom Hart, a former ADK Albany Chapter President and avid rock and ice climber, who offered to run the E2E if we could get 20 new members -- and we did!

• We have developed an “Outings Leader Guide” and trained/oriented three new outings leaders. Ginny Akabane is leading the way with an outing on February 5. At least four more have expressed interest in becoming leaders in the spring.

• We have increased our presence by posting colorful informational flyers up at venues on both sides of the range.

• Articles about the TCT and THC have been published in the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance November e-newsletter, the Berkshire Eagle, Eastwick Press, and the Lebanon Valley “Grow the Valley” September e-newsletter.

• We have met with WRLF (Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation), BNRC (Berkshire Natural Resources Council) and NBCC (Northern Berkshire Community Coalition) to explore ideas about community outreach, trail access and perhaps (with BNRC) extension of the Taconic Crest Trail.

• We are collaborating with Williams College seniors working for the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation on developing a management plan for the Berlin Mountain eastern access and use of the Taconic Crest Trail in that area.

• We have made our organization known and recognized by the newly formed BTRCP (Berkshire Taconic Regional Conservation Partnership), a consortium of land trusts and nonprofits from the cross-border regions of NY, VT, MA, and CT that is focusing on acquisition, protection, and recreational opportunity up and down the spine of the Taconic Range.

• Under the organizational leadership of Dave Pisaneschi groups have been out both north and south on the Crest Trail doing seasonal maintenance and communicating with DCR and DEC on illegal use and on blowdown.

2019 Renewal Dues are due by January 1

Make your $10 checks ($5.00 if under 18) payable to Taconic Hiking Club and submit to:

Mary MacDonald
27 Woodside Dr.
Clifton Park, NY 12065

Note: Submit late renewals made after December 31 to:

Leslie Siegard
11 Bennett Hill Rd
Feura Bush, NY 12065

Note: this year new members who joined in or after August are paid through 2019.

Volunteer Opportunities!

Consider volunteering as part of the Auditing Committee. The committee will meet for a couple hours in early January to review the 2018 check book (expenses and income). No special skills are required, other than the ability to add, subtract, maintain your own check book and pay attention to details.

Contact: Mary MacDonald, 518-371-1293 or to volunteer.

The Grafton Lake State Park Winter Fest is taking place on Saturday, January 26. Join the fun by volunteering to staff the Taconic Hiking Club information booth, or lead a couple short snow shoes at the park. This year the displays will be in the new Welcome Center (warm, no shuttle busses involved)! This is a great time to meet our FGLSP and see the beautiful new Welcome Center.

Contact: Karen Ross, or 518 794-7474, to volunteer.

We also still need volunteers for various committees, like membership, trail work and outings.

Contact: Martha Waldman, 518-869-5109 or

Karen Ross,,518 794-7474, for more information.


Note that you can always see the current outings on our website:

Tuesday, Dec 4: Oakwood Cemetery, Troy

This will be an easy winter warm-up walk or outing, through a beautiful historic cemetery. There are a few more adventurous trails if appropriate, but mostly easy outing to get winter moving. I expect a walk, but surely have spikes available. Snowshoes? We shall see.

Contact leader for the meeting place and time.

Leader: Bob Armao, or 518-271-6512

Tuesday, Dec 4?????: Lions Head and Bear Mountain

Date is a place holder. We will pick the best day in the week of December 4. Starting from the Undermountain trailhead, we’ll hike to the Paradise Lane trail to the Mass side of Bear Mountain. Once we summit Bear Mountain, it’s mostly downhill to our spotted cars on Route 41. En route, we’ll pass over Lion’s Head and take in its spectacular views.
Total distance is 9.9 miles.

Leader & Reservations: David Pisaneschi, dapadk@gmail.comor 518-459-5969

Tuesday, December 11: Plotterkill Preserve, Rotterdam.

The length of the hike will be determined by conditions and the group. Micro-spikes or snowshoes may be required. Contact leader for the meeting place and time.

Leader: Mary MacDonald, 518-371-1293 or

Wednesday, January 9: Cherry Plain State Park Snowshoe

The Friends of CPSP have been working hard on improving and expanding the trail system in the park and the wildlife management area. We will do North by Northwest Trail, approximately 3.5 mile loop with the Waterfall Trail as an optional addition depending on conditions and group interest.

Leader: Sharon Bonk, or 518-674-0042

Saturday, January 12: Harvey Mountain Hike or Snowshoe (loop), Austerlitz

This hike will go up the forest trail (400’ elevation gain) to the top and the MA/NY marker. It will descend via the park road. Winter footgear a must. No picnic area; snack at the top. Optional return via Blueberry Hill Café on Rte. 20 in New Lebanon for hot chocolate or more.

Leader: Sharon Bonk, or 518-674-0042

Wednesday, January 16: Grafton Lake State Park – Fire Tower

Hopefully this will be a snowshoe! We will start at the parking area by the new welcome center and snowshoe along the Long Pond trail to the Fire Tower trail. The FGLSP have installed interpretive signs along the fire tower trail. After checking out the sights at the fire tower we will return to the Long Pond trail and continue around the lake to the welcome center. Bring snow shoes and micro-spikes. Total distance is 5.5 miles; the cumulative elevation gain is 500 feet.

Contact leader for meeting time, location and recent snowshoe/hiking activities.

Leader: Martha Waldman, 518-869-5109

Saturday, January 19: Greylock Mt., MA.

I plan a 4.5 mile snowshoe loop using the Roaring Brook and Stoney Ledge trails with Sperry Rd. as a connector. This is significant climbing and can be challenging, especially if trail is not broken. But it is very rewarding.
Contact leader for the meeting place and time.

Leader: Bob Armao, or 518-271-6512

Monday, January 21: WEST KILL MOUNTAIN (Catskills)

At an elevation of 3,891 feet, this is 6th highest Catskill Peak. This will be a thru hike covering 8 miles and involve over 1,800 feet of climbing. We’ll start at the first parking lot on the Spruceton Road and continue on to our spotted car further down the road at the Hunter Mountain trail head parking lot. Be prepared for windy, icy conditions. This trip could also require serious trail breaking. Be prepared for either. Snowshoes, crampons and micro-spikes are required.

Provide recent snowshoe/ hiking activities when contacting leader.

Leader & Reservations: David Pisaneschi, 459-5969,

Saturday, January 26: Grafton Lake State Park Winter Fest

Join us at the Friends of Grafton Lake State Park at the 2019 Winter Fest!

This year the displays will be in the new Welcome Center (warm, no shuttle busses involved)! Volunteers are needed to staff the Taconic Hiking Club information booth and to lead a couple short snow shoes at the park. This is a great time to meet our FGLSP and see the beautiful new Welcome Center. There will also be plenty of other winter activities and booths you can enjoy if you are not volunteering.

Contact:Karen Ross, kcoyross@aol.comor 518 794-7474, to volunteer.

Saturday, January 26: TCT Petersburg Pass to Mattison Hollow

Starting from Petersburg Pass, we’ll climb Berlin Mountain with its bare summit and views of Mount Greylock. We’ll continue over Berlin Pass and come out through the Mattison Hollow Access Trail. This is an excellent winter ridge walk, with its many spectacular winter views. It’s also your chance to hike thru Mattison Hollow, an area with pristine wilderness qualities.
Total trip distance will be about 10 miles, 2000+ feet of ascent.

Leader & Reservations: David Pisaneschi, or 459-5969

Time & Place: TBA

Tuesday, February 5: Kennedy Park, Lenox, MA

Joint with Berkshire Hikers

We will explore the hidden corners of this 500 acre rolling and hilly town-owned park with some ruins and views. Optional lunch afterwards at On A Roll Cafe next to the hike start.

Distance: 4-5 miles +, elevation gain 300'+, length and terrain to be determined by snow conditions and the group. Yak tracks or micro-spikes suggested, snowshoes if sufficient snow. Bring poles if you usually use them. Contact leader for meeting time and location.

Leader: Ginny Akabane, 413-637-9609,

NOTE: Ginny is a new outings leader for THC (Welcome!) Backgound: Ginny started working as an Outdoor Sports Guide at Canyon Ranch Health Resort in 1994, where she leads hikes, bike rides, kayak, paddleboard and canoe, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trips. She has been active all her life outdoors and formerly competed in squash, tennis and canoe competitions, but is now more interested in meeting and making new friends and hiking new trails.

Sunday, February 10, 2019: Greylock Glen Trails

Located in Adams, MA at the eastern base of Mount Greylock is a network of lower elevation trails for multi-use trails and an environmental center. We’ll plan to do about 5 miles of these lovely trails which have been recently upgraded and redesigned and which offer nice views up to Greylock and down through the valley. Expect rolling terrain with little elevation gain. Full winter gear, including micro-spikes or other ice-grippers or snowshoes required. We’ll give an update on conditions as the date approaches. This is a joint Knapsackers and Taconic Hiking Club listing. Bad driving cancels.

DCR map of the Greylock Glen Trails:

Greylock Glen trail development plan:

Meet: Contact leaders for meeting time and place

Leaders: Vicky Singer or 413 442-3701

Karen Ross, or 518 794-7474

Spring Outings

Spring Outings for March, April & May are due by February 15. Send your outings to Martha Waldman at

Wednesday, February 13: First Joint hike with BNRC and THC!
Burbank Trail Hike from Olivia’s Overlook at Yokun Ridge

Enjoy this beautiful trail and look for signs of wildlife!

Wednesday, February 13, 10:00am – 1:30pm

Difficulty: Moderate (moderate pace, moderate elevation changes)

Description: Join us on this 3.2-mile Burbank Trail loop hike that will feature overlooks, Monks Pond and old cellar holes. Please bring water, lunch/snack, wear sturdy footwear (snowshoes and/or micro-spikes) and appropriate layers of clothing.

Directions: From the center of Lenox, take Rt. 183 south; bear right on Lenox-Richmond Road. At 1.5 miles, the trailhead will be on your left; look for the BNRC sign. Carpooling is always appreciated!

Contact leader or co-leader to sign up.

Leader: Email Mariah at or call 413-499-0596 (M-F, 9-5) with any questions regarding the Landkeepers Upcoming Hikes & Events. Severe weather will cancel the event.

Co-leader: Karen Ross 518-794-7474.

Saturday, February 16: Lake Bonita and Lake Ann, Moreau State Park Snowshoe, Wilton NY

This is hike is located in the “new” section of Moreau off Wilton Mountain Road. Descend from parking lot, pass SE side of Lake Bonita, ascend to Lake Ann Shelter, descend back to Bonita and circuit the lake. Approximately 5 miles, with est. 300+ feet cumulative elevation gain.

Leader: Sharon Bonk, or 518-674-0042.

Wednesday, February 27: Dyken Pond, Grafton, NY

We can do a variety of loops for a later season snowshoe. Easy pace, distance depends on group and conditions. But not an all- day venture. There is always something interesting here, but remember -- no warming hut.

Contact leader for the meeting place and time.

Leader: Bob Armao, or 518-271-6512

Taconic Hiking Club Contacts


President, Martha Waldman
Vice President, Karen Ross
Treasurer, Leslie Siegard
Recording Secretary, Lori McCarron

Committees & Other Contacts:

Trails Chair, David Pisaneschi
Outings Chair, vacant
Membership, Sharon Bonk
Social, Margaret Parks
Publicity, Gayle Fountain
Newsletter, Katherine Storms -
Taconic Crest Trail Map and Guide (to order), Ellen Kozlowski


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