On Sunday June 14th members of the Town of Dover community gathered at the Stone Church Park to take a master class in side-hilling. This class, which lasted from 9am to 4pm, instructed those who participated on how to help improve the trails that go up the hills around Stone Church. Class attendees had pickaxes and shovels to use on the trails to even them out to make for a safer climbing experience.
The class was brought to Dover by the New York/New Jersey Trail Conference and led by NYNJ Trail Conference instructor Erik Mickelson. Participants had the chance to go up on the trails with Mr. Mickelson in two different sessions, and he insisted that those who participated were quick learners and the trails are coming along nicely. One of the participants in this masterclass was Dover Town Supervisor Ryan Courtien who shed his usual formal attire for a hard hat, jeans, and a pickaxe. Mr. Courtien commended the community members who came out for the class and assured me that everybody who came had an enjoyable time.
In addition to the participants in the master class was a large number of visitors coming to Stone Church to simply go for a hike with their family. I stopped and spoke to one family about their time, and the first one to speak up was ten year old Sophie from Cornwall. When I asked her what her favorite part was, she told me it was walking up the stones in the creek on the way to see the cavern. The family also enjoyed the newly evened out yellow trail and said it was very accessible for a family with younger children and would recommend the hike to anybody.
As with all community projects, the master class on side-hilling is just one of many efforts to keep Stone Church as beautiful as possible. There is always something that needs to be done and help from anybody is always appreciated.
If you would like to volunteer in the efforts to keep Stone Church as wonderful as it is, contact the Dover Town Clerk’s office at (845) 832-6111 and by email to TownClerk@TownofDoverNY.us.