Spring Bulletin 2019

On-line dues payment system in place!

It is true! On line payments of dues and new memberships are now possible on the new THC website! Your payments are safe:  the secure THC web site is securely connected to PayPal and Stripe, a credit card payment platform.  Check out the membership page on our web site: www.taconichikingclub.org

So, if you are overdue in paying your 2019 dues, you can be one of the first to pay your dues online! Forget about looking for the check book, finding an envelope and trying to remember where you put your stamps when it is so easy on line!                                         

Meeting regarding illegal ATV usage on the TCT

On January 31, representatives from the Taconic Hiking Club (THC) and Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) met with NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) officials at their Region 4 Headquarters in Rotterdam, NY.  ADK arranged the meeting to discuss measures to prevent or at least mitigate illegal all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and other motorized vehicle activity on the Taconic Crest Trail (TCT).  

We found that the problem is statewide and there are no quick fixes.  Stronger legislation and education are the best remedies.  ADK Executive Director Neil Woodworth described pending legislation which would increase fines for illegal ATV and Off-Road Vehicle use and impound the vehicles. 

ADK is also lobbying the Legislature to fund at least 40 more rangers statewide. The DEC people feel that education is an effective tool, as seen by its success on busy trailheads in the Adirondacks and Catskills. Putting more rangers on the trail will enhance the DEC’s educational and enforcement functions. 

All of the meeting participants recognized that having more hikers on the trail also discourages ATV use; with the increased THC membership and publicity about the TCT we hope we will get more hikers on the trail.         By Martha Waldman                                                                                                                                      

Dot Von Bieberstein Remembered

Dorothy von Bieberstein, a Life Member of the THC, passed away on December 29, 2018 at age 88.  She joined the club in 1983 through her friendship with Doree Cox, one of mainstays of the club at that time.  She and Doree were part of a core group who planned quite a range of outings and activities. In later years, as her grandchildren Geoffrey and Alexandra became old enough to keep up with adults, they participated in the club hikes with the adults and both successfully completed the End to End Challenge.  Dot served our club for many years as chair of the Publicity and Conservation Committees and member of the board.  She was active in the Columbia Land Conservancy and was a founding member of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail.  We remember, with affection, good times shared with Dot and her family and extend our sympathy.                                                    By: Sharon Bonk and Dale Blanchett


“Dorothy truly enjoyed the club and the friendships that she and Walt made and we like to think she's off to another adventure”. –Jo and Gary von Bieberstein (daughter-in-law and son).

Taconic Crest Trail in One Year – (TCT Hike Series, 2019)

Sponsored by Rensselaer Land Trust (RLT), Rensselaer Plateau Alliance (RPA) and Taconic Hiking Club (THC)

We will hike the entire 37 miles of the Taconic Crest Trail in six separate hikes between May and October. This beautiful ridge-top trail winds through New York, Massachusetts, and a corner of Vermont, from North Petersburg to near New Lebanon. It passes by the renowned Snow Hole and goes over Berlin Mountain, Rensselaer County’s highest peak. With about 7000 feet of both cumulative ascent and cumulative descent, views include the Little Hoosick Valley and Mount Greylock.

Join us for one, some or all of the sections! If you complete the entire trail (with us and/or on your own), you can receive a summer cumulative TCT patch from the Taconic Hiking Club.

All hikes have long steep uphill and/or downhill sections over rocky ground. Wear boots or sturdy shoes. Bring lunch, snacks and plenty of water. Prepare for cool and windy conditions.

All hikes start at 9 am. Registration is required. More information on each hike and full contact information will be posted on the THC outings page at www.taconichikingclub.org. You can also find the information on the RLT website at www.renstrust.org, and the RPA website at www.rensselaerplateau.org. There is a suggested donation of $5 per person to the RLT or RPA.

May 4 - Petersburg Pass to Snow Hole and on to north end in North Petersburgh, 7.9 miles.

June 29 - Petersburg Pass to Berlin Mountain and on to Southeast Hollow in Berlin, 7.3 miles.

July 13 - Southeast Hollow to Mattison Hollow in Cherry Plain, 7.2 miles.

August 10 - Mattison Hollow to Robinson Hollow in Stephentown, 7 miles.

September 7 - Robinson Hollow to Madden Road in Hancock, MA, 6 miles.

October 5 - Potter Road in Hancock, MA to south end near New Lebanon, 10.5 miles.


Please take care to match your physical condition and abilities to the stated length and elevation gain of the outing you choose. It is your responsibility to have appropriate equipment and clothing for an outing. Check the web site for any additions or changes.


Wednesday, March 13: Thacher State Park – North

The hike will include the Fred Schroeder and Hang Glider trails. There are 2 nice overlooks of the Capital District along the way. With our fickle weather we may be hiking on bare ground or using snowshoes! We will hike approximately 5.5 miles, total elevation gain about 400 feet. Contact leader for meeting time and location.

Leader: Martha Waldman at martha829r@aol.com or 518 869 5109

Saturday, March 23: Merck Forest, Rupert, VT

This outing, which includes a generous pancake breakfast, has become an annual event. We can do a moderate walk or snowshoe first, depending on trail conditions. The trail conditions are unpredictable, but the pancakes, maple syrup, sausage, and eggs, have always been in excellent condition. The animal barns are always a good side attraction. Food is served from 9:00 to 2:00 and is still $10 for adults.

Length:  A few miles of moderate terrain, depending on conditions and desire.

Contact:  Bob Armao at bob_armao@yahoo.com or 518-271-6512 (home) or 518-322-6889 (mobile)


Saturday, April 6, Taconic Crest Trail Work – Madden Rd/ Robinson Hollow section

We’ll cover the section of the TCT from Robinson Hollow to Madden Road. This will involve blow down removal and drainage work. This trip will involve an overall elevation gain of about 1,000 foot and about an 8 mile round trip, depending on what needs to be done.  The more trail work needed will reduce the overall distance.  Regardless, we’ll plan to be back at the trail- head by 4:00pm.  Bad weather postpones to the following day or weekend.

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

Wednesday, April 10: “Hidden Trails of Lenox Mountain" Lenox, MA

We will be exploring mountain bike trails and old wood roads on Lenox Mountain in the Berkshires - easy to moderate - one slightly washed out trail, the rest of the footing is good - several bail out points if you need to leave early. Planned ending around 1-2 p.m. Distance will depend on trail conditions. Carpool location TBD from either Defreestville or East Schodack Park and Rides. Contact leader for meeting time and place.

Leader: Ginny Akabane - gakabane@hotmail.com  or 413-637-9609

Friday, April 26: High Falls Conservation Area in Philmont

The High Falls Conservation Area includes 2 miles of moderate wooded trails along the Agawamuck Creek and a view of Columbia County's highest waterfall. We could optionally make an additional stop at Borden's Pond in Ghent. And I plan to finish with a bite to eat at Chatham Brewery.

I have 2 special reasons for visiting High Falls: Susan Roberts and Dot von Bieberstein. Susan introduced me to High Falls several years ago and it was one of Dot's favorite areas.  I miss them both and I know others do too.

Contact: Bob Armao at bob_armao@yahoo.com or 518-271-6512 (home) or 518-322-6889 (mobile)

Saturday, April 27: Notchview Reservation

This is a joint Taconic Hiking Club/Berkshire Knapsackers outing.  Notchview, a Trustees of Reservations property in Windsor, MA, offers beautiful pine and hemlock forests, sweeping views, streams, and lovely trails.  We’ll do about 5 miles with app. 400’ of vertical. Our goal is to head NNW and include Judges Hill, Bumpus and Whitman. 

This will give you an overview of the property--http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/berkshires/notchview.html

See http://www.thetrustees.org/assets/documents/places-to-visit/trailmaps/Notchview_trailmap_ski_2018.pdf  for the trail map

April can be unruly, so dress for the forecast, and bring lunch and water.  This is a dog-friendly hike.  Dogs must be leashed at all times at Notchview, and plan to pick up after your dog.  Contact leaders for meeting time and place.

Leaders:  Vicky Singer vsinger30@gmail.com, 413 442-3701

                  Karen Ross, kcoyross@aol.com, 518 794-7474


Thursday, May 2, 2019:  TCT Trail Work—southern section

May Day, May Day!!  The Taconic Crest Trail is likely a mess after all the winter storms.  Come on out to get a start on cleaning it up for the season!  We’ll cover one of the sections from Rt. 20 to Berry Pond, hoping to do several miles.  We’ll plan to work along for several hours, but progress will depend on how much blow-down there is to cut (by hand—no chainsaws) and what the trail conditions are. Bring plenty of water, lunch, your favorite lopping or cutting tool, and a springy step.  We’ll hoover that trail clean! Contact leader for meeting time and location.

Leader:  Karen Ross, 518 794-7474 or kcoyross@aol.com

Saturday, May 4: TCT Series - Petersburg Pass to north end in North Petersburg

On the way north from Petersburg Pass we will take a quick side trip to see the Snow Hole, a deep crevice where snow and ice last well into the summer, a highlight of this section. We will also enjoy long views to the west and to the east into Vermont, white quartz, and a short stretch in Vermont, finishing with a long, steep descent to the north trail-head along Route 346. Total 7.9 miles, over 1000 feet cumulative ascent. Contact leader for reservations, meeting time and location. Co-leader: Karen Ross.

Leader: Michael Jensen at jensenmk@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 8:  Stockbridge Trails—Laura’s Tower, Ice Glen, and Mary Flynn Trail

Come explore a lovely in-town triplex of trails that lead out from one parking area and into some fine white pine and hemlock glades and then through a dark and dramatic ravine.  These trails are maintained by the Laurel Hill Association, although the Ice Glen property is owned by the Town of Stockbridge. The other two trails are on the Sedgwick Reservation.  Altogether the mileage is about 4 miles and there is about 700’ of vertical.  The Glen requires some boulder scrambling; it is not an easy trail to negotiate and will take some time. We will likely car pool since the parking area is limited.  Contact leaders for time and place to meet. See https://housatonicheritage.org/Places/lauras-tower-trail-ice-glen-trail-stockbridge-mass/ 

Leaders: Karen Ross, 794-7474 or kcoyross@aol.com  or Lori McCarron, 587-1957 or mmccarr2@nycap.rr.com

Saturday, May 11, Taconic Crest Trail Work – Berry Pond to Potter Mountain Rd (Pittsfield Sate Forest)

We will spot a car(s) on Potter Mtn. Rd and drive up to the Berry Pond area in Pittsfield State Forest.  We will work our way down 3.5 miles to the car(s) on Potter Mtn. Rd. The work involves blow-down removal, side trimming, replacing trail markers and some drainage workWe will mainly be using loppers and handsaws, no power equipment.  Bad weather postpones to the following day or weekend.      Coleaders: Cliff Prewencki and Martha Waldman.

Contact: Martha Waldman at martha829r@aol.com or 518 869 5109

May 15: Summer schedule activities are due

This is the time to get all your trail work, hikes and bike rides in for the summer schedule.  Submit outings to Martha Waldman at martha829r@aol.com  

Saturday, May 18: Schodack Island Paddle

Meet at the river side at Schodack Island State Park. Plan to be in the water and ready to go by 9:30 AM. Low tide will be at 11:44 AM and a high tide at 4:55 PM, so we'll plenty of time to explore the back sets on Schodack Creek in high water and still ride the tide both ways. Best for touring kayaks, but strong canoers are welcome.  PDF’s required to be worn.

Leader & Reservations: David Pisaneschi, dapadk@gmail.com  or  518-459-5969 (home) 

Tuesday, May 21: Greylock Mt., MA

I plan a 4.5 mile hike loop using the Roaring Brook and Stoney Ledge trails with Sperry Rd. as a connector. This is significant climbing and can be challenging, but it is very rewarding. Contact leader for the meeting place and time.

Leader: Bob Armao,  bob_armao@yahoo.com   or 518-271-6512


Saturday, June 1: National Trails Day at Grafton Lakes State Park

Spend the morning of National Trails Day working on the trails at Grafton Lakes State Park. The good folks at GLSP let us store tools and supplies there for use on the Taconic Crest Trail, so helping them get ready for the busy summer season is the neighborly thing to do. Plus, they'll have a picnic lunch for all the volunteers and a chance to win prizes.

Monday, June 3: Steepletop, New Marlborough, MA:  Joint outing with BNRC

Hike 4.5 miles of easy to moderate trails at Steepletop, Berkshire Natural Resource Council’s largest reserve. With more than 1,200 acres, miles of wood road, and expanses of wetland, mature forest, and young forest, there’s a lot to explore. We’ll search for spring happenings like spring ephemeral wildflowers and birds arriving. Bring your thinking caps and we’ll bring the field guides! Please wear sturdy footwear, bring water and a snack or lunch. 

See https://www.bnrc.org/trails-and-maps/steepletop/ for a description and maps.

Contact: Karen Ross, 518 794-7474 or kcoyross@aol.com for meeting time and directions.

Co-leader is Mariah Auman, Outreach Coordinator at BNRC-- mauman@bnrc.org or call 413-499-0596.

 Sunday, June 9: Taconic Hiking Club Annual Pot- Luck Picnic at

Grafton Lakes State Park, Grafton, NY

We will be at the Deerfield Pavilion, which is about 1 mile from the main entrance, on the left.

In addition to mingling and meeting new members and catching up with old friends, our activities for the day include:  (Check back as we get closer regarding hiking opportunities.)

·       Noon to 1:00 PM POTLUCK APPETIZERS.

·       1:00 PM POTLUCK salads, desserts and treats along with THC supplied hot dogs, hamburgers, cold drinks (lemonade and iced tea) and condiments.  Please bring your own beverage.

·       2:00 PM short THC update meeting

·       Enjoy the park for the rest of the day. There are several trails for hiking as well as kayak rentals.

Please note: There is a fee per vehicle to enter the park on weekends.

Reservations: Contact Margaret Parks at margaretparks123@gmail.com  or 518-250-5452 to let her know how many people are coming and what your contribution to the picnic will be (appetizer, salad or dessert).



During a February thaw