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Friends of Poke-O seek funds for Ranger Trail

Organizers said they estimate a cost for the project of at least $100,000 and have set a goal of raising $125,000 by 2018, the centennial of the fire tower.

Organizers said they estimate a cost for the project of at least $100,000 and have set a goal of raising $125,000 by 2018, the centennial of the fire tower.

— A group focused on maintaining the routes to the summit of Mount Poke-O-Moonshine is now seeking funds for trail renovations.

Friends of Mount Poke-O-Moonshine have started a fund raiser called, “Sum(m)it Up for Poke-O,” focused on making needed repairs and renovations to the Ranger Trail, a steep, one mile path leading to the top of the mountain located in the Taylor Pond Wild Forest area.

“After a year of review and thorough discussion of the issue, we have decided to raise funds for the professional renovation of the trail,” the organization said in its most recent newsletter. “We have obtained a repair and re-route plan from the Adirondack Mountain Club Trail Program and await its approval by the DEC. We have already rebuilt two significantly eroded sections of the Ranger Trail, yet there are many more sections requiring professional work.”

Organizers said they estimate a cost for the project of at least $100,000 and have set a goal of raising $125,000 by 2018, the centennial of the fire tower. So far, they have received over $25,000 in donations and pledges.

The Friends of Poke-O-Moonshine group is concerned that the Ranger Trail could be closed as part of the Unit Management Plan completed by the DEC. According to the plan, the trail will be evaluated at the end of the current UMP, which could be between five and 10 years, and a decision made.

“We have worked on the trail since the 1998 Ice Storm, and we continue every year to put time, sweat, and funds into the effort,” group members said in the fund raising appeal. “The Ranger Trail is the historic route between the cliffs and up the mountain, followed as early as 1843 by Abel Brown, an Abolitionist leader from Albany. In short, the Ranger Trail is a fascinating botanical, geological, and historical pathway to the summit. Let’s make it a safe and sustainable path, a model of trail design on steeper terrain.”

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