A Day of Service...Along the Mashipacong Trail

Laddey Clark & Ryan staff member Emilie Dupont took advantage of the firm's Day of Service initiative to tend to the Mashipacong Trail in High Point State Park.  Following is her report:

On November 3, 2022, I spent a full, beautiful day working on the Mashipacong Trail with my husband, Ron. He has been maintaining this 3-mile trail, just off the Appalachian Trail, since the late 1980s, and we have been working on it together in recent years. High Point State Park is popular with hikers in part because the trails are well-maintained by volunteers through the NY-NJ Trail Conference, and maintainers are required to update trail conditions regularly. Much of the Mashipacong Trail runs through old 19th century farm fields, when farmers were encouraged to plant “living fences” of barberry bush to keep in their livestock. Nearly 150 years later, the invasive barberry is still there, and continues to be painful, slow, and difficult to remove from the trail. We spent a lot of time cutting it back. We also replaced and added many metal blazes on the trees, so that hikers could follow the trail more easily.  Tree growth and paint-chewing porcupines destroy the blazes over time, so they must be replaced every year. Trail maintenance also involves cutting a lot of overgrowth with a “weed whacker” and a handsaw. Without this work, the trail would be neither visible nor passable by hikers. The State of New Jersey and visitors to High Point State Park depend on people like myself and my husband to keep the trails open and clear year-round. Without our work, many people would be unable to enjoy spectacular autumn days in the woods such as we had.

Thank you to LCR for the opportunity to complete this necessary work for the good of the public during my regular work hours.