A.T. Community two-colorPlans are well underway for a day of Appalachian Trail-related activities to celebrate the designation of Warwick as an Appalachian Trail Community.  The daylong event is scheduled for June 30th, starting with a pancake breakfast in Greenwood Lake at Lions’ Field and moves to the top of Mt. Peter for exhibits and the dedication ceremony near the Bellvale Creamery. In addition to the breakfast and ceremony, the day’s events include nine different guided Appalachian Trail hikes with something for everyone from novice hiker to advanced, tours of Bellvale Farm and High Breeze Farm, a stone-work trail building demonstration, and an opportunity to meet some of this year’s thru-hikers, trail professionals and volunteers from the National Park Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and NY-NJ Trail Conference. Continental Rd will be closed for a street fair with Ramsey Outdoor, Campmor, NY-NJ Trail Conference, Appalachian Trail Conference, several food vendors and others. The latest gear for thru-hikers and trail walkers will be on display. Please check the event website for the latest on the street fair and all the day’s events.  Hundreds of visitors are expected to participate.

The designation, awarded by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, was the result of a town-wide effort last summer that included completing a rigorous application process.  On October 22, the town was so honored, acknowledging Warwick’s dedication to promoting and protecting the A.T. in the past and our commitment to the future health of the Trail as it passes through our town.  Upon hearing of the designation Michael Sweeton, Warwick Town Supervisor said, “The Town of Warwick is honored to be the first town in New York State to receive the designation as an Appalachian Trail Community. We are looking forward to welcoming trail enthusiasts to our Town and Villages. We are proud of our traditions of respecting our environment and scenic landscapes which we look forward to sharing with trail visitors.”

The Appalachian Trail is a nearly 2,180 mile-long corridor of breathtaking landscapes managed by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in a unique public-private partnership with the National Park Service.  Nearly 10 miles of that corridor passes through the Town of Warwick with access to it from the Village of Greenwood Lake, Mount Peter and Cascade Lake State Park.  There is also easy access from Warwick to many more miles of the  A.T. in neighboring Sussex County, NJ. Guided hikes, with something for everyone are planned as part of the June 30th celebration.

Gene Giordano, Warwick AT Committee Chair commented that, as a designated community, Warwick will benefit from A.T. Conservancy resources such as recognition and visibility through signage, press releases, Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s website and publications.  Warwick can look forward to help with sustainable economic development through tourism and outdoor recreation, while preserving and protecting this valuable natural resource.

Demonstrating the enthusiasm of the committee that achieved the designation, Giordano referred to the “Trails to Every Classroom” program offered through the National Park Service; teachers in Warwick and Greenwood Lake will be enrolled next spring. Our students participated in the successful application, writing essays as to why Warwick should be named an AT Community. Warwick Valley High School has already incorporated the Appalachian Trail in its curriculum and the Fit Kids Club, organized and sponsored the by the Warwick Valley Elementary PTAs is using the A.T. in its activities. Greenwood Lake Schools will soon be doing the same.

The New York/New Jersey Trail Conference is hosting the webpage for the June 30th event, which includes registration for attending the event and sign-up information for guided hikes.  While registration is not required to attend the event, it is encouraged to help facilitate logistical planning. Parking on the mountain will be restricted for the event. Designated parking areas have been established in the villages of Greenwood Lake and Warwick and busses will shuttle attendees to the site. Visitor information will be available at the Greenwood Lake Senior Center and at the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce Caboose in the Village of Warwick.

Come spend the day with us in Warwick as we celebrate this designation. Join us for a delicious pancake breakfast at the foot of Bellvale Mountain in beautiful Greenwood Lake, be a part of the official designation ceremony on Mt. Peter, learn about the A.T. and check out the latest in hiking gear at our street fair, enjoy one of our great hikes, stay for dinner at one of our many restaurants and pubs in the Village of Warwick, Greenwood Lake or Pine Island-everything from casual to fine dining and then end the day with live-music; “Jazz at the Waterfront Park” in Greenwood Lake or in the Village of Warwick at the Railroad Green or for the kids (or the kid in you) enjoy the Fireman’s Carnival and Fireworks.

Visit us on the web for all the latest information:

www.nynjtc.org/event/warwick-marks-appalachian-trail-community-day 

https://www.facebook.com/events/423650147646397/