Despite gloomy weather, more than 40 hikers showed up to celebrate the opening of the new Cheney Mountain trail in Moriah.
The trailhead, located about one mile off Route 9N/22 on Pelfershire Road, was jammed on the trail’s first day.
Hikers in brightly colored rain slickers lined up at a registration table set up under a canvas canopy at the trailhead. Those who showed up the first day got a Cheney Mountain patch designed by Port Henry artist Lynda Smythe.
The 1,161-foot-high mountain is shaped like a loaf of bread, and its summit has a large, level surface with rock outcrops at the edges.
The view from the top looks over the Green Mountains of Vermont to the east and the Adirondack High Peaks to the northwest. The sight line also takes in the historic Moriah tailings pile, a towering leftover from the days when the town’s iron mines ran full blast.
CARVED OUT BY VOLUNTEERS
A group of volunteers from Moriah, Port Henry, Mineville, Crown Point, Westport, Wadhams and Essex cut the 1.5-mile-long trail on property owned by the Town of Moriah to the summit of Cheney Mountain.
Trail coordinator and Moriah Town Councilman Timothy Garrison said their guiding reason was to enable community access to town-owned property for physical fitness, enjoyable hiking and local history education.
“We wanted to improve our quality of life. The whole thing was volunteers. No money was spent from taxpayer dollars at all. Volunteers cut the trail, put up trail markers.”
It took several months to make the new trail, he said, and they still have to install the sign-in box and more signage.
“It took three different work sessions; then, on cleanup day, we took truckloads of garbage out.”
Garrison said a refrigerator, old tires and general trash had to be removed from the woods off Pelfershire Road to create the new trail.