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Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2016
Contact: County Executive's Office, (845) 638-5122
                 Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, DO, MPH, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


JOIN US ON FREE GUIDED WALKS THIS SPRING, SUMMER & FALL

NEW CITY, NY - - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert encourage you to put on your walking shoes and enjoy the "great outdoors!" Join experienced Rockland County Trail Guides on free guided walks this spring, summer and fall. Guided walks offer visitors varied terrain, great scenery, interesting discussion points, and different levels of walking.

Senior Stretching – Enjoy an Easy Stroll at Demarest Kill Park! In New City
Saturday, May 21, 2016 from 10:00 am – 11:00 am

  • This walk is designed for senior citizens; however, anybody is welcome to attend! The walk will consist of a variety of mild exercises with music. Exercises include a warm‐up, followed by stretching, toning, and balancing, using light tae kwon do and self‐ defense movements, and ending with a cool‐down and meditation. The path is flat with some paved surface and some trail.
  • Directions: From Main Street in New City, turn onto New Hempstead Road. The entrance to the park is located across from John Street. The park is before the intersection of New Hempstead Road and Little Tor Road. For more information visit Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/ueMeW9gQWwK2
  • Meet in the Park parking lot at 57 New Hempstead Road, between Little Tor Road and the jail, across from Johnson Road.
  • Hiking boots are recommended, or else closed-toe shoes with sturdy soles. Dress for the weather, and bring a jacket, hat, and rain gear as you see fit. Bring snacks and plenty of water, bug spray, sunscreen, binoculars, and a walking stick if you would like. No strollers or dogs, please. This walk is geared towards seniors, but anyone is welcome to attend. There are no public restrooms available.

2 Parks/One Walk: Dutch Gardens and Demarest Kill in New City! Fast Forward in Time to the Past
Saturday, June 4, 2016 from 10:00 am ‐ 12:00 pm

  • Join Trail Guide Jack Bloom on this 2-mile fairly easy walk along a flat path with some paved surfaces, some trail. There is one moderate hill at Dutch Gardens. First, stroll through some 18th century Dutch remains in Demarest Kill Park, and walk around Greenberg Lake. Then, fast forward 200 years to the 1930's and view the renovated Dutch Gardens. Learn about all those wacky bricks while you enjoy this gem right in the heart of downtown New City.
  • Directions: From Main Street in New City, turn onto New Hempstead Road. The entrance to the park is located across from John Street. The park is before the intersection of New Hempstead Road and Little Tor Road. The parking lot is at 57 New Hempstead Road, between Little Tor Road and the jail, across from Johnson Road. For more information visit Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/ueMeW9gQWwKs
  • Meet Jack at the park entrance.
  • Hiking boots are recommended, or else closed-toe shoes with sturdy soles. Dress for the weather, and bring a jacket, hat, and rain gear as you see fit. Bring snacks and plenty of water, bug spray, sunscreen, binoculars, and a walking stick if you would like. There are no public restrooms available.

Panoramic Views from Atop the Hook! Hike to the Top of Hook Mountain State Park
Saturday, June 25, 2016 from 10:00 am ‐ 12:30 pm

  • Walkers will be delighted with scenic, 360 degree views on top of The Hook‐‐700 feet above the Hudson River. The guide will discuss flora, fauna and geology of the area. We will focus on the natural beauty of the area. Most of the walk is moderate, but there are a few short, steep, rocky sections. The walk is a moderately difficult, 3‐4‐mile linear walk with some uphill walking. It goes east until it meets the Long Path. Then we go south to a high point on Hook Mountain overlooking the Hudson and Rockland Lake. We will spend about 15 minutes at the top before returning along the same route we used to go up. The terrain is a mostly cleared trail through woods.
  • Directions: From New City, take Congers Road and continue on it as it becomes Lake Road (Route 80). At the traffic light on 9W (facing the North park entrance), make a right onto 9W. Go 1.2 miles to traffic light and turn left, into the South Park entrance. Keep right, passing parking lot #4 on your left, for 0.4 miles to the Executive Golf Course entrance road (Executive Road). Turn right and go 0.2 miles. Turn left into an unmarked driveway and park to the rear of the lot, away from the Clubhouse/golf course. Parking here is free. For more information visit Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/ff1FaqpRkBD2
  • Meet in the rear of the parking lot at Rockland Lake State Park Executive Golf Course located in Congers, NY (10920).
  • Hiking boots are recommended, or else closed-toe shoes with sturdy soles. Dress for the weather, and bring a jacket, hat, and rain gear as you see fit. Bring snacks and plenty of water, bug spray, sunscreen, binoculars, and a walking stick if you would like. This walk is not stroller-friendly, there are no restrooms and dogs are not allowed.

Rockland County's Secret Hollywood! Lights, Camera, Action!
Explore the evolution of early movie history in Rockland at Kennedy Dells Park in New City
Saturday, July 9, 2016 from 10:00 am ‐ 12:00 pm

  • Join Trail Guide Jack Bloom on a moderate to easy 3‐mile hike while you learn some of the 35mm history of early New City. Learn about the start of the movie business right at Kennedy Dells Park - New City's Secret Hollywood! The hike is mostly flat; there are some wooded and some wide and hard‐packed trails.
  • Directions: Head North on Main Street in New City until you are out of town. Pass Phillips Hill Road light and the park is approximately 1/2 mile on the left. For more information visit Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/8AUvrR4zmoR2
  • Meet in the main Kennedy Dells Parking lot on North Main Street in New City.
  • Hiking boots are recommended, or else closed-toe shoes with sturdy soles. Dress for the weather, and bring a jacket, hat, and rain gear as you see fit. Bring snacks and plenty of water, bug spray, sunscreen, binoculars, and a walking stick if you would like. Restrooms are available at this park. This park is not stroller-friendly and please do not bring your dog on this walk.

Summer Sweats Walk! Taking Nature Photos at Dater Mountain Nature Park in Sloatsburg
Saturday, July 23, 2016 from 9:00 am ‐ 11:30 am

  • Join Trail Guide Victor Castro on this 3‐mile strenuous photography walk. Bring along a camera. The walk begins with an incline up a gravel path on the eastern side of the mountain, leading to the ridgeline. The walk continues on a multi‐terrain path, south on the ridge out to an overlook; here we will rest a few minutes, check out the scenery, and have a snack if you wish. The walk continues up and down over a wooded, grassy, and stony, stream filled area on the eastern part of the mountain where we will re‐connect with the ridge trail, heading north back to the beginning of the trail and then down the hill to the parking area.
  • Directions: New York State Thruway Route 87 heading north, get off at exit 15A, at the end of the exit make a left onto Route 17 (heading North). Drive through the town making a right at the light onto Seven Lakes Drive. Just after the overpass there will be a slight left onto Johnsontown Road. Follow the road until you reach the end. For more information visit Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/GFMoSzce9B32
  • Meet at the end of Johnsontown Road in Sloatsburg (10974); There is a circular parking area there.
  • Hiking boots are recommended, or else closed-toe shoes with sturdy soles. Dress for the weather, and bring a jacket, hat, and rain gear as you see fit. Bring snacks and plenty of water, bug spray, sunscreen, binoculars, and a walking stick if you would like. This walk is not stroller-friendly, there are no restrooms and dogs are not allowed.

Rockland County Versus Big Oil! At Tallman Mountain State Park in Sparkill
Saturday, August 20, 2016 from 10:00 am ‐ 12:00 pm

  • Walk through the history of Rockland County versus Big Oil. What REALLY happened at Tallman Mountain State Park? See if you can spot the evidence! Join Trail Guide Jack Bloom on this moderate to easy, 3‐mile walk on a flat wide trail that offers glimpses of the Hudson River. The trail is packed earth and wide, with little incline. The walk is mostly flat and not rocky. It is along a road used for emergency vehicles.
  • Directions: Take the Palisades Parkway SOUTH to Exit 5S. Merge onto Route 303 South. Go into Tappan, make a LEFT onto Oak Tree Road. Continue on Oak Tree Road and pass Route 340 and over Palisades Parkway to light at Route 9W. Make a LEFT onto Route 9W. Go less than 1 mile, just past the Market. On the RIGHT is small, free parking lot. If you pass the Conference Center on left or the main entrance to the park on right, you've gone too far. From the North, the parking lot is approximately 1.5 miles past the main Tallman State Park entrance on the left. For more information visit Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/2DWTtjYe7fA2
  • Meet at the secondary lot, small south lot, on the east side of Route 9W in Sparkill. Going South on Route 9W, the road to the parking is a few hundred feet before The Market store. If you reach The Market, you have gone too far. Please note this is not the main parking lot and there is NO admission fee.
  • Hiking boots are recommended, or else closed-toe shoes with sturdy soles. Dress for the weather, and bring a jacket, hat, and rain gear as you see fit. Bring snacks and plenty of water, bug spray, sunscreen, binoculars, and a walking stick if you would like. Restrooms are not available, no dogs are allowed, and this walk is not stroller-friendly. This walk is appropriate for youth and up.

All Aboard for Thiells, Pomona, and Mt. Ivy! at Samuel G. Fisher Mt. Ivy Environmental Park in Pomona
Saturday, September 17, 2016 from 10:00 am ‐ 12:00 pm

  • We've all walked on abandoned railroad beds, but this one is full of Rockland County history! First, stroll through grassy meadows in the shadow of Boulders Stadium. Then, discover Rockland's railroad history along the old Erie RR right of way...right in our backyard. Maybe you'll even find an old iron railroad tie spike. All this within the Pomona/Mt. Ivy wetlands. This moderate, 3‐mile walk is a combination of an old road, open meadows and an abandoned rail road track. There may be some wet spots, especially after rains as the area is a wetland. The trail is relatively flat and wide. Half of the walk is along an old railroad right of way. The other half is a natural trail.
  • Directions: From Exit 12 off the Palisades Parkway make your way to Route 45. Go south 0.1 mile and make a right into Pomona Road, then right again onto Fireman's Memorial Drive. Park at the end of Fireman's Memorial Drive, but do not block the gate. Please note that parking is limited. For more information visit Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/PVvvYe5GH4G2
  • Meet Trail Guide Jack Bloom at the park entrance past the Fire Training Center off of Fireman's Memorial Drive in Pomona.
  • Hiking boots are recommended, or else closed-toe shoes with sturdy soles. Dress for the weather, and bring a jacket, hat, and rain gear as you see fit. Bring snacks and plenty of water, bug spray, sunscreen, binoculars, and a walking stick if you would like. This walk is not stroller-friendly, restrooms are not available, and dogs are not allowed on this guided walk.

High Up On High Tor! At High Tor Mountain State Park in New City
Saturday, October 15, 2016 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

  • Join Trail Guide Marianne Bloomfeld on this High Up On High Tor Walk. Enjoy fall in a place that almost disappeared. Walkers can look forward to a spectacular view. This walk, along a cleared, crushed gravel, easy changes in terrain, will lead participants around High Tor Park. The reward for the uphill climb is the spectacular view. Be prepared for a moderately steep uphill climb over loose rocks and gravel on the last segment of the walk.
  • Directions: Take Little Tor Road, past the blinking light at South Mountain Road. Little Tor becomes Central Highway there and ascends High Tor (heading toward Haverstraw). At the peak of the hill, pull off the road to the right, this is the trailhead. Going South (from Route 202 in Garnerville) on Central Highway, just past the crest of the hill, the small parking area will be on the left. For more information visit Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/B3EaKB8cirT2
  • Meet at the trailhead on Central Highway. Parking is free and limited along the side of the road.
  • Hiking boots are recommended, or else closed-toe shoes with sturdy soles. Dress for the weather, and bring a jacket, hat, and rain gear as you see fit. Bring snacks and plenty of water, bug spray, sunscreen, binoculars, and a walking stick if you would like. Restrooms are not available, no dogs are allowed, and this walk is not stroller-friendly.

Autumn Delights! Taking Nature Photos at Dater Mountain Nature Park in Sloatsburg
Saturday, October 22, 2016 from 9:00 am ‐ 11:30 am

  • Join Trail Guide Victor Castro on this 3‐mile strenuous photography walk. Bring along a camera. The walk begins with an incline up a gravel path on the eastern side of the mountain, leading to the ridgeline. The walk continues on a multi‐terrain path, south on the ridge out to an overlook; here we will rest a few minutes, check out the scenery, and have a snack if you wish. The walk continues up and down over a wooded, grassy, and stony, stream filled area on the eastern part of the mountain where we will re‐connect with the ridge trail, heading north back to the beginning of the trail and then down the hill to the parking area.
  • Directions: New York State Thruway Route 87 heading north, get off at exit 15A, at the end of the exit make a left onto Route 17 (heading North). Drive through the town making a right at the light onto Seven Lakes Drive. Just after the overpass there will be a slight left onto Johnsontown Road. Follow the road until you reach the end. For more information visit Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/GFMoSzce9B32
  • Meet at the end of Johnsontown Road in Sloatsburg (10974); There is a circular parking area there.
  • Hiking boots are recommended, or else closed toed shoes with sturdy soles. Dress for the weather, and bring a jacket, hat, and rain gear as you see fit. Bring snacks and plenty of water, and bug spray, sunscreen, binoculars, and a walking stick if you would like. This walk is not stroller-friendly, dogs are not allowed on this guided walk, and there are no restrooms available.

"We hope County residents take advantage of this great chance to explore our beautiful, natural environment and get some exercise at the same time," said Dr. Ruppert.

  • Important general information about the guided walks:
  • Pre-registration for all walks is suggested (for some walks pre-registration is required). For more information or to register, call (845) 708-7307 or e-mail galionek@co.rockland.ny.us.
  • Check http://rocklandgov.com/departments/health/programs-and-services/walking-program/guided-park-walks/ for more information, directions, and any changes to the schedule. Walks are held throughout the year - stay tuned by checking out the website periodically for updates.
  • Meet in the parking lot, unless otherwise specified. All walks are rain or shine. Wear proper footwear (closed-toe sturdy shoes such as walking shoes/boots or sneakers) and clothing (light-colored) and seasonally appropriate attire such as a jacket or hat, depending on the weather. Hiking boots are preferred. Bring along binoculars, water, sunscreen, a snack, and walking sticks if desired.
  • As with any physical activity program, it is recommended you speak to your physician before starting.
  • All guided walks are coordinated and supported in partnership with the Rockland County Division of Environmental Resources, the Rockland County Youth Bureau's Conservation and Service Corps program, and the Rockland County Department of Health.