I’m copying a recent email I received from the Friends of Hammond Hill re the conditions of certain trailheads at Hammond Hill State Forest.
Dear Friends and Supporters of Hammond Hill
Recently, the DEC did some work in our state forest to block motor vehicle access to our trail system. The resulting earthen berms, dirt piles and pits have caused quite a bit of consternation. I called Region 7 NYS DEC to express those concerns. On Friday morning, (10/20/23) our new forester, Travis Petit, joined me to walk some of the affected areas.
Unfortunately, the dirt piles and pits are a result of their supplier delivering the wrong sized stones. DEC ordered large boulders; what they got was an assortment of large and smaller stones. The problem with smaller stones is that an ATV can hook onto a smaller stone and pull it out of the way to access trails, hence the giant piles of dirt over top of these stones, and the deep pits behind them. The pits also have a purpose: they serve to deter access to ATVs after the dirt piles settle. I was told the dirt piles and pits must stay, although it woud be ok if we smoothed them (but not lower them) and seed them down to be more esthetically pleasing.
Because of the extra work involved due to the smaller stones, the work crew was running behind and the state was ordering them to hurry up, hence the less than wonderful mess left behind.
Access around the new gates for foot, bike and equine access will have to be addressed as well. This will require more discussion with the DEC and we will let people know what is decided.
Meanwhile the piles are too soft and wet to do a thing with, plus hunting season is here, so anything we decide to do will have to wait until spring once things dry up.
NYS DEC work happened shortly after the most recent Friends of Hammond Hill project using donated funds, and the timing has caused some confusion as to who is responsible for what. The FoHH trail project involved the first section of Y1 from the parking lot to the intersection wth Y6, and a short section of B1. It added new water bars, new culverts and built up a couple of perennially wet areas. Our trail crew did a nice, neat job. I want to reassure everyone that their dollars were not involved in any way with the work DEC did shortly afterwards.
Sincerely, Ann Leonard
Friends of Hammond Hill