The ninth annual Hyde Park Healthy Trails Walkabout has just begun, and this year it’s a celebration of trees.
The idea of the Walkabout, which about 200 people complete each year, is very simple: Walk at least five of Hyde Park’s trails within the year. Keep track of your walks on a free checklist. When you have completed at least five trails, turn in your list to receive a free, sew-on patch.
The trail patch for 2014 celebrates the newest offering on the trails: a marked and guided tour of trees and other features at the Winnakee Nature Preserve, owned by Winnakee Land Trust.
Its new Winnakee Educational Arboretum on Van Dam Road will be formally opened with a ribbon cutting on Saturday, May 10 at 11am. The ceremony will be followed by a guided trail walk of about one mile. The arboretum can be accessed by parking behind the Hyde Park Florist on Route 9.
The official start of the Hyde Park Healthy Trails Walkabout year is National Park Week, which happened around Earth Day in mid-April. But you can start and finish anytime. You have all year to get out and walk at least 5 of the 11 listed trails. Check off your completed trails on the trail map/brochure, and return it at any of the visitor centers to collect your patch.
The trail map/checklist is available for free. They are usually stocked at trailheads, but you can also pick one up at any of the National Park Service visitor centers, at Hackett Hill Town Park, or at the State Park headquarters in Staatsburg. Or, you can download the map and see more information at www.hydeparkny.us; click on “Recreation” then “Trails.”