Wednesday, June 10, 2015

"Egremont Walks" on the A.T.

The month of May the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) and the Egremont Council on Aging begin hosting a series of short hikes along the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) in the Egremont area.  The Egremont Walks are part of the State of Massachusetts, Keep Moving program to keep seniors active and fit.  The ATC's Kellogg Conservation Center (KCC) staff also led hikes for this program in 2012. 

So far this year we've hiked the A.T. south from the KCC to Jug End Road (2 miles round trip), from KCC north toward Shay's Rebellion Monument, and from Shay's Rebellion Monument north.  Although we haven't completed all of these sections, we will continue these hikes later in the summer.  The goal of picking the terrain is to have a hike that accommodates everyone's physical interests and time frame.  Luckily in the valley we have terrain that works for most folks, with the exception of some tricky puncheon spots.

This past week, a participant brought her grandson, who was able to get out of school to spend time with his family, and hike the A.T. in South Egremont for the first time. He even knew about the Cornell ornithology website (impressive).

Hiking North from Shays's Rebellion

Initially the walks along the A.T. were a way to prepare Egremont senior for their inter-generational "Go The Distance" event held June 1.  This event is a statewide walk-a-thon that helps promote healthy communities.  It however is also a great hour and a half to share stories, and learn about nature together. We've been doing a fair share of beginner birding and plant identification each walk as well.  What a great time! 

We at the ATC's Kellogg Conservation Center are happy to help keep people outside, and exploring their backyards, which so happen to include a National Scenic Trail !  

The woods south of the Kellogg Center

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