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2018-07-11 / Outdoor Life

Boot-Brush Station to Be Unveiled at Hike at Shavertown Trail Friday

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will co-host a community hike, and will also unveil its new boot-brush station at the Shavertown Trail near the Pepacton Reservoir at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, July 13. The other co-host is the Catskill Mountain Club (CMC), which will lead the hike of just more than two miles, and it is free and open to all. The hike will take participants along a new section of the trail, about two-thirds of a mile 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. Earlier this month, DEP installed a boot-bush 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 invasive species, especially plants such as bittersweet and barberry, Invasive plants cannot move far on their own, and even wind-dispersed seeds do not blow too far. Most new infestations are started by people who unintentionally move the seeds, through recreational activities such as hiking, hunting and fishing. That is why boot-brush stations are becoming more common throughout the state, especially in the northern and western parts of the state where outdoor recreation is popular.

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 the Pepacton Reservoir. Hikers could previously reach the pond by following an old woods road that was part of the trail, but that road had 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. Parking is available in the lot by the Shavertown bridge. More information about the trail, including driving directions, can be found at the CMC website.

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