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New accessible Lake Nockamixon dock to be dedicated June 30; DV chapter helped with funding

The Friends of Nockamixon State Park will hold a dedication ceremony of the new Board Safe adaptive kayak and canoe dock on Saturday June 30 at 11 AM at the dock which is located in the park at the Tohickon Boat Launch.

The adaptive dock is designed to enable wheel chair bound individuals to transfer from wheel chair to kayak or canoe unassisted. Kayak racks and adaptive picnic tables will be included in the dock area.

Our chapter contributed $2,000 toward the $42,000 safe dock project of the Friends of Nockamixon State Park. the dock makes launching a kayak or canoe at Nockamixon a whole lot easier and safer for people with disabilities.

This project connects people to the outdoors by providing access to Lake Nockamixon paddling for handicapped individuals.

The DV Chapter has a capital reserve fund that is used for public service projects, such as trail development and preservation, and projects like this dock.

Scott Simon, AT Boundary technician, is our 2018 AT Ridge Runner

This year's Appalachian Trail ridge runner is Scott Simon, who brings experience and maturity to this position. having been a ridge runner in the Cumberland Valley two years ago.

In addition, he is employed by Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) during the colder seasons as a corridor boundary technician. In this capacity he works with trail clubs in maintaining and reporting on the integrity of the boundary lines of National Park Service land bought to protect the AT.

The ridge runner program on the Appalachian Trail enters its 26th this year. A ridge runner is an AMC employee who works on the AT five days a week including weekends and holidays between Memorial and Labor Days. His or her job is to meet and greet trail users, educate on Leave No Trace, and help preserve the trail experience for future generations.

Our chapter and the larger AMC have been directly involved in supporting this program in Pennsylvania for all of those years. The program has been coordinated by the ATC  and the National Park Service, with a continuing grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The section of trail covered stretches 42 miles from Delaware Water Gap to Lehigh Furnace Gap and includes Wind Gap, Little Gap and Lehigh Gap in northeastern PA, including the 16 miles of the trail maintained by the DV Chapter. There are two other ridge runner programs on the AT in Pennsylvania, one in the Cumberland Valley, and the other in southern PA near Michaux State Forest.

 If you'd like to keep updated on the Ridge Runner program and Scott's experiences on the trail, go to his Facebook page

Kieu Manes, conservationist, hiker, volunteer of month

Kieu Manes has been selected as the Volunteer of the Month in recognition of her long-term efforts as a conservation volunteer. Kieu has been active in efforts to reintroduce the American chestnut tree in multiple locations, and is also active in removal of invasive species from local park areas. Kieu is an active hiker. and is supporter of her husband Mike Manes in his hike leadership. She shares her love of the outdoors and great sense of humor with other hikers on the trail. Please thank Kieu for her conservation efforts and consider joining her on a conservation activity.

In the photo, Kieu is measuring and hugging a large American chestnut while hiking at Merrill Creek, New Jersey. The tree is 17” in diameter which is extremely large for a post-blight American chestnut. The American Chestnut Foundation classifies a large tree as one with a 13 inches in circumference, a diameter slightly over four inches.

Our Volunteer of the Month program was initiated to recognize volunteers nominated by their peers. Chapter members can nominate volunteers by e-mail to

The nomination should contain the nominee’s name, reason for the recognition, and name of the nominator. Each nominee name is entered into a random drawing for the Volunteer of the Month recognition. The monthly winners are entered into an annual drawing at the Annual Dinner for a grand prize of a weekend stay at an AMC facility. Nominees must be an AMC member, not a member of the current Executive Committee, and may serve in any volunteer capacity that benefits the Chapter mission in the Delaware Valley area. See the past Volunteers of the Month.

AMC volunteers clean up Monocacy Way

Our volunteers, led by Dan Schwartz. walked five miles along the the Monocacy Way trail in Bethlehem between Illick's Mill (the AMC office) and Broad St and collecting trash. The walk follows the Monocacy creek past the mill, through the woods, by the Paint Mill Pond which usually has swans, past the Burnside Plantation and down into the center of Bethlehem.

Twenty graduate from chapter's outdoor leadership training class

Twenty students graduated from the DV Outdoor Leadership Training course this past weekend. They were an interested and enthusiastic group of people who should be a most welcome addition to the DV leadership ranks when they complete their co-leads in the coming weeks.

If you or anyone you know would be good potential AMC leaders, but were unable to attend this past weekend's event, the NY-No. Jersey Chapter's Outdoor Leadership Training course will take place at the Harriman Outdoor Center on the weekend of May 18-20, and that they may become DV Chapter leaders by attending that course and doing their two required co-leads with the DV Chapter. Click here for more information.

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Appalachian Trail work: Delps to Ski Area Cutoff, March 31

Our crew clears deadfalls and keeps the route open ... more photos.

Judge denies Appalachian Trail Converence standing before zoning board;

Threat of 85-foot tall condominium complex looms over AT

There is disappointing news from Carbon County Court of Common Pleas. Judge Joseph J. Matika ruled that Appalachian Trail Conference was denied standing in an appeal involving Lower Towamensing Township Zoning Hearing Board’s decision to grant Blue Mt. Resort’s request for six variances to permit the construction of an 85-foot tall condominium with 135 units and a swimming pool.

At a Zoning Hearing Board in April, Blue Mt. requested the variances so it could build the condominium less than 12 feet from a National Park Service conservation easement that was purchased using federal dollars to protect the AT. At the hearing, ATC was denied standing because the Hearing Board claimed ATC was not an “aggrieved party.” NPS was granted standing, but it chose not to challenge the decision.

Blue Mt. could have selected many other locations among the 280-acre property to build the condominiums that would have had less of an impact on Kittatinny Ridge recreation and natural resources, but it wanted to create the “ski in – ski out” experience for its customers.

Appalachian Mountain Club’s Delaware Valley Chapter helped to defend the appeal. Due to several specific considerations and other issues, ATC decided not to appeal the Judge’s decision. This is probably not the last time that hikers will hear of Blue Mt. The resort is planning to build a water park approximately 300 feet from the AT on 40 acres. The water park and the condo (if it is built) will be visible from a new vista created following a new trail relocation to be completed in the coming years.

Top leaders and participants honored at Activities Social

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Phil Mulligan and David Stein were 2017 top leaders, with 69 and 68 leads respectively, while Jane Richter and Joan Aichele were the year's top participants, logging more than a thousand miles each. Click here for the complete list.

They were among our many leaders and participants honored at this year's activities social and gear swap, held March 11 in New Hope.

The event was a great time to connect with friends and to celebrate over dinner the achievements of our members who completed more than 100 activity miles during 2017. We also honored leaders who led more than four events during the year and they are shown here with their new blaze orange fleece hats.


Join an AMC-DV event and begin to earn your 100 activity points for next year, or better yet, become a leader and lead trips and other activities. For our leadership workshop weekend, April 6-8, click here.

Philadelphia Environmental Film Festival April 6-8

With 265 total submissions from from 43 countries, this event presents thought-provoking, exceptional new shorts and features that entertain, inform, and inspire personal action. In addition to the film lineup, the Festival includes an exciting Opening Night Red Carpet Gala, a juried competition, awards, and opportunities to meet the filmmakers.

Volunteer vacations, new for 2018; volunteer trail crews and teen trail crews

Adult Volunteer Vacation participants will lend a hand to maintain trails and do similar work and have some time to enjoy the sights and sounds of different and  locals. More info.

For more information on volunteer trail crews and teen trail crews, click here.

Click here for the Appalachian Mountain Club main website.

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