#IndianladderTrail #ThacherPark #Reopening #Landscaping #SpotlightNews
NEW SCOTLAND — The state is making preparations to open the Indian Ladder Trail starting this week.
Crews will spend the next four to six weeks removing loose rock and debris around the trail, according to a statement from The New York state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
“State Parks crews will remove any loose surface material that may present a rockfall hazard,” stated the May 18 announcement. “Crews consist of experienced rope handlers and scalers, who are suspended along the slope edge to chip away loose rocks and debris.”
The footpath was etched into the soft limestone on the cliff side of the Helderberg Escarpment more than 13,000 years ago during the last Ice Age, when glaciers scraped across upstate New York. It has long been a place of interest for both nature lovers and history buffs, providing picturesque views of both the Hudson and Mohawk valleys.
Hikers who have traversed the trail are rewarded by small caves and cascading waterfalls within and above the nooks and crannies of its surface.
However, the very same properties which initially created the natural masterpiece have also led to a string of incidents in which hikers have been injured.
State officials closed the Indian Ladder Trail indefinitely last summer after injuries from falling rocks left a local woman paralyzed.
Nancy Ladd-Butz, the local hiker who was seriously injured by falling rocks as she walked the trail last July, has filed a lawsuit against the state.
The Indian Ladder Trail is expected to reopen once work is complete.
More than 300,000 people visit Thacher Park every year.
Last May, the state opened a brand new $4.3 million park center. The 8,240 square-foot building was a signature project in the Governor’s NY Parks 2020 Plan.
Open year-round, it serves as a launching point for visitors to explore the 2,500-acre park. The center was built in close proximity to the start of the Indian Ladder Trail because of its popularity.