Shavertown — The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will co-host a community hike and unveil its new boot-brush station at the Shavertown Trail near Pepacton Reservoir on July 13. The event, which is free and open to all, will begin at 10:30 a.m. The Catskill Mountain Club and DEP will lead the hike, which will take participants along a new section of the trail that was recently constructed by volunteers.
The event will begin at the trailhead on county Route 1 in Andes, just north of its intersection with Route 30. DEP this month installed a boot-brush station at the trailhead to help minimize the spread of invasive species. The station is among the first of its kind in the Catskills. It includes a mounted brush on which hikers can clean their boots, information to help identify several invasive species that are approaching the region, and a gravel pad that is intended to trap any seeds that might get brushed off.
The boot-brush station will help prevent the spread of many types of invasive species, especially invasive plants such as bittersweet and barberry. Invasive plants cannot move far on their own. Even wind-dispersed seeds generally do not blow too far.
Most new infestations are started by people who unintentionally move the seeds through recreational activities such as hiking, hunting or fishing. That’s why boot-brush stations are becoming more common throughout New York, especially in the northern and western parts of the state where outdoor recreation is popular.
DEP will unveil the new brush station by co-hosting a hike with the nonprofit Catskill Mountain Club (CMC). The hike will be just more than two miles. It will take participants along a recently finished portion of the Shavertown Tra’that was built by CMC volunteers. The new section runs about two-thirds of a mile through the woods, winding its way around the mountain to a pond that includes a beautiful view of Pepacton Reservoir. Hikers could previously reach that pond by following an old woods road that was part of the trail, but that road has been closed while DEP finishes an ongoing forestry project. The woods road and new trail will be used to create a loop hike once the forestry project is complete.
Thousands of local residents and visitors have enjoyed the Shavertown Trail since DEP and CMC partnered to open it in 2013.