AMC and Riverkeeper Hike Past the Proposed S-R Line

Photo by Jim Frasier
Photo by Jim Frasier
On Saturday, November 17th, 2012, I led a group of 20 hikers into the woods near Milbrook Village in the Delaware Water Gap.  They came from as far as Wilmington, Delaware, to spend the day exploring the Orchard Trail, Hamilton Ridge Trail, and the Old Pioneer Trail.  We were joined by Fred Stine, the Citizen Action Coordinator with the Delaware Riverkeeper Network.  Along  the hike, Fred and I discussed the Susquehanna-Roseland power line project and how AMC and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network are both fighting to stop its construction

The hike started off up the steep, narrow Orchard Trail that snakes through the woods from Old Mine Road.   Along the way, one of our hikers stopped to cut the brushy branches from a large pine that had been toppled by Hurricane Sandy.  The path soon evened out as got to the Hamilton Ridge Trail, and we all stopped at the power line where we talked about the 200-foot tall towers that are to replace the current, smaller towers, as well as the larger right-of-way.  Standing beneath the lines with other hikers, on an otherwise pristine mountain ridge, you really see how these looming towers will affect the outdoor recreation experience if they are built. 

Photo by Ruth Heil
  On the Pioneer Trail loop, we passed a cluster of abandoned houses and cars, their former owners among the 600 families who were evicted so that their properties could be flooded for the Tocks Island project, the dam and 40-mile long reservoir proposed by the Army Corps of Engineers.  Thousands of conservationists rallied to stop the project, and it was eventually defeated.  The Riverkeeper Network and AMC both spoke up against the proposed dam.  Decades after the dam was defeated in 1975, the shells of these houses stand as an important reminder of why those who love the outdoors must stand up and protect it. 

To learn more about our hike and the power line, check out this excellent blog post by local writer and hiker Ruth Heil.