The Trust for Public Land Protects a Portion of the Appalachian Trail

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) announced early this month that they have acquired the 219-acre Corbin Hill property near Pawling, NY, in an effort to enhance protection for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, the popular hiking trail that runs from Georgia to Maine. The Trust for Public Land will transfer the property to the National Park Service in order to permanently protect the land from development. The property was valued at $2,413,000, but The Trust for Public Land negotiated a sale price of $2,350,000. Prior to its acquisition, the property was proposed for a 50-unit residential subdivision known as the “Wind Rose Development.”

The permanent protection of Corbin Hill will significantly enhance the Appalachian Trail (AT) experience along one of the most accessible and popular segments of the Trail. The acquisition also secures permanent habitat protection for sensitive wildlife species. The property lies just below the Cat Rocks overlook, a spectacular vista that is one of the highlights of the AT in New York, and the land purchase ensures that the picturesque views of the Harlem Valley are not interrupted by housing developments.

This scenic portion of the AT is accessible via commuter rail from New York City; hikers can take a weekend train from Grand Central Station in the morning, hike all day and then return on another train in the afternoon. This only mass transit stop along the AT provides a model for sustainable and equitable access to hiking for all.

The acquisition of this property was made possible through a partnership among The Trust for Public Land, National Park Service, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and the Oblong Land Conservancy, who for years worked tirelessly to permanently protect this land for people to enjoy. Funding for the land purchase came from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a program that uses offshore oil and gas lease revenues to protect America’s open spaces. LWCF has been America’s most successful conservation program for the last 50 years. Project costs were covered by grants from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, National Park Trust, Oblong Land Conservancy, and many private donors.

“Everyone deserves great outdoor experiences, and the permanent protection of Corbin Hill along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail means that people for generations to come can enjoy this majestic landscape,” said Carter Strickland, New York Director of The Trust for Public Land. “We’re grateful for our tremendous partners, including The Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Oblong Land Conservancy, Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, Representative Faso, and the National Park Service for all they’ve done to make this effort a reality.”

“On behalf of the National Park Service, we are thrilled that The Trust for Public Land has helped secure this important property,” said Wendy Janssen, Superintendent of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. “Acquisition of this tract will allow us to resolve parking issues and find a better permanent location for the AT footpath away from sensitive habitats. In addition to improving the visitor experience and protecting resources, we are pleased to partner with local communities who cherish open space protection in the AT Landscape.”

“The Oblong Land Conservancy has been a proud partner in the conservation of Corbin Hill,” said Philip van Buren, president of the OLC Board. “Our organization protects land in the Harlem Valley and this strategic expansion of the Appalachian Trail conserves important wildlife resources as well as recreational resources such as the vista from Cat Rocks, one of the most popular hikes in the region. OLC and our many donors helped with the purchase by raising funds for project costs and we are appreciative of the partnership between local and national organizations to improve the quality of life in Pawling.”

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. To learn more, support The Trust for Public Land, and share why nature matters to you, visit online.