SMBA History at Pittstown SF
Pittstown State Forest is an 1155 acre state forest that is located approx 15 miles east of Troy on Rt 7. It is situated at the base of the Rensselaer Plateau, giving the land a lot of elevation changes and diverse terrain. There are many miles of challenging single-tracks on the property. However the trails had been neglected over the years and many sections were unidentifiable due to lack of maintenance and clearing.
In spring 2011 SMBA approached the NY Department of Environmental Conservation about becoming a steward for the Pittstown property. In June SMBA was awarded an Adopt-a-Natural Resource (AANR) stewardship for Pittstown State Forest. The AANR allows SMBA to perform trail maintenance, organize trail days, and work with the DEC on new trail construction and re-route projects.
Since receiving the AANR, SMBA volunteers have logged in many hours resurrecting the existing trails in Pittstown. Blow down has been cleared, trails have been swept off, and some of the problem areas have been repaired. The trails are riding extremely well….better than they have in a long time! But there’s still more work to be done.
The first major project that was identified in Pittstown was to re-route a section of trail that followed an old jeep road. The jeep road had become extremely eroded and was constantly wet & muddy. This road was the primary connector between the parking area and the single-track trail head. SMBA worked with the DEC to get approval for the construction of a re-route trail that would avoid the use of the muddy jeep road.
In August SMBA hosted an IMBA Trail Care Crew weekend in Pittstown. Over the course of the weekend IMBA held several workshops that focused on fostering relationships with land managers and building a successful club. The highlight of the weekend was the IMBA trail building school. During this session the IMBA crew taught sustainable trail building techniques, and performed hands on training. Over 40 people attended the trail building school, and began cutting the new re-route trail in Pittstown.
Since then many volunteers have continued the construction of the new trail in Pittstown. When finished the trail will be nearly 2 miles long with 250’ of elevation, flowing through a wide open Red Pine forest. The trail is turning out amazingly well. The techniques learned during the IMBA school are being put to work, and the trail is becoming a showpiece of proper trail building!
SMBA has many ideas in mind for the future in Pittstown. We are working with the DEC to develop a long term plan for the forest. Preliminary plans have been approved to build 2 new trails in 2012! There is currently approximately 5 miles of new trail approved and waiting to be built.