Alley Cat Crews work on major trail construction projects. These projects require months of advanced planning and preparation and the projects themselves may take from several days to a week. They involve construction of trail infrastructure such as lean-tos and bridges, and major trail building or rerouting.  Crews are organized by the FLTC’s Director of Crews & Construction. Projects are done with assistance and local coordination provided by the Trail Sponsoring organization or individual.

Although Alley Cat is named from “Allegany to the Catskills,” Alley Cat crews work on branch trails, too.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

The Finger Lakes Trail Conference is seeking volunteers knowledgeable in project management ad construction techniques, and those willing to lead and participate in the projects listed below. This year’s offerings include construction of a lean-to, retaining wall, bridges, and stairs among other structures.

Project Managers generally assist in acquiring materials, permits, equipment and volunteers in the months and weeks prior to an Alley Cat Project. During the project, Project Managers manage the volunteers, ensure safety protocols are followed, and take care of the paperwork requirements for the FLTC, NYS and other entities.

Construction Managers oversee, teach, and participate in the building of structures. Some of these duties include getting materials from the roadside to the construction site, directing volunteers in various construction tasks (digging, cutting, nailing, and measuring) and ensuring safety protocols are being followed.

Alley Cat Projects are highly rewarding experiences. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Project or Construction Manager, please email volunteer@fingerlakestrail.org.

2021 ALLEY CAT PROJECTS

August 2-6, 2021 – Letchworth State Park Maps L1 & L2
Project & Construction Manager: Mike Schlicht

Join the Finger Lakes Trail Conference (FLTC) and a crew of volunteers from the American Hiking Society for a special Alley Cat project in the beautiful and scenic Letchworth State Park!

Don’t miss this opportunity to spend time out on the Finger Lakes Trail’s 20+ miles of trail in the “Grand Canyon of the East,” making improvements to the trail, and making connections with trail lovers from our area and from across the country!

We applied for an American Hiking Society crew to help us with this endeavor and will have a number of AHS volunteers on a “work vacation” with us. The work will involve a lot of drainage, rebuilding of trail, and a few reroutes of trail and water pathways if approved by the Letchworth State Parks Department. We will be meeting at the Letchworth State Park Conference Center each day in Letchworth State Park. This is best accessed via the Castile entrance.

Hard hats are required and will be provided. Tools will be provided by the FLTC. PPE is required for unvaccinated individuals when indoors or within 6-feet of other project participants. Please bring your own water, lunch and snacks each day if you are not staying overnight at the Conference Center. A group dinner will be provided each night at the Conference Center. Limited overnight accommodations are available.

Registration is available through EventBrite. You may register for one day, several days, or all five days. If you participate for all five days you will earn a 2021 Alley Cat t-shirt from the FLT. We can only accept a limited number of volunteers so please only register if you know you are able to come and cancel your registration if your plans change.

For more information about the project and volunteer requirements, please contact Mike Schlicht at pageazi@yahoo.com.

August 23-27, 2021 – Holland Ravines Map CT6
Project Manager: Mike Schlicht
Construction Managers: Michaela Aney, David Kaczmarski, Mike Schlicht

The Finger Lakes Trail Conference’s very first Alley Cat Project on the Conservation Branch was in the Holland Ravines in 2007, and it’s time to go back! Fourteen years have passed, and traffic has increased in the area. Some of the structures that we built back in 2007 are in need of repair.

We will be meeting at the Holland Community Center each day (3 Legion Drive, Holland, NY 14080). Camping will be hosted at a nearby campground with available tent, camper and RV sites.

Lunch will be provided each day and dinner will be provided each night at the Community Center. Please bring your own water and extra snacks if required.

Hard hats are required and will be provided. Tools will be provided by the FLTC. PPE is required for unvaccinated individuals when indoors or within 6-feet of other project participants.

Registration is available through EventBrite. You may register for one day, several days, or all five days. If you participate for all five days you will earn a 2021 Alley Cat t-shirt from the FLT. We can only accept a limited number of volunteers so please only register if you know you are able to come and cancel your registration if your plans change.

For more information about the project and volunteer requirements, please contact Mike Schlicht at pageazi@yahoo.com.

Fall 2021 (After Labor Day) – Catskill Region Maps M28-M34: Lean-to Build and Trail Clearing Project
Project and Construction Manager TBD

Come on out to the Catskills for a challenging and rewarding volunteer opportunity! We’ll be building a new lean-to and hiking trails on all maps to clearn downed trees and widen the trail

This project will be challenging! It is a seven day event and we need a large number of people. While you can sign up for one day, we encourage volunteers to sign up for AT LEAST two.

The exact format will depend on the crew and each day’s progress. Existing crews have developed expertise in lean-to construction, generally completing the build in two-day’s time. We’re hoping to attract some new volunteers who are interested in learning, and who are interested in the challenge of longer hikes, higher elevations, and working in a remote area of New York State. We hope to find and start training some future Project and Construction Managers.

Lodging will be available at Little Pond Campground (549 Barkaboom Rd, Andes, NY 13731). Many details, including the dates for this event, are still pending.

Registration is available through EventBrite. Please register if interested so we get an idea of how many might be able to come. We know availability is subject to change once project dates and details are finalized. Please direct any questions at this time to Mike Schlicht at pageazi@yahoo.com.

 

DATE TBA – Bristol Hills Branch Trail Map M3: Retaining Wall Construction
Project and Construction Manager TBD

A forty-foot bridge built in 2010 by an Alley Cat Crew is being undermined by erosion. A plan to build a retaining wall was crafted by a nearby government agency. The project will require is to fell several trees or acquire them by other means to have them transported off the site. Pending how these trees are acquired, moving them to the site will require a series of winching tasks as we are familiar with in this area. When the bridge was build we had to winch the used telephone poles in a quarter mile.

The trees may have to be debarked and then lowered into the creek and secured. This process is the harder part of the project so we are labeling this as a strenuous project. Once the poles are secured on-site, fill from this area will be used to close the gaps and dogwood trees will be planted to harden the site from future erosion.

 

DATE TBA – Ludlow Creen Lean-to Map M24
Project and Construction Manager TBD

This project will involve sanding down the interior of the Ludlow Creek Lean-to and staining the inside to address some graffiti within the structure. The lean-to is located within 1/4 miles of a nearby road, allowing easy transport of materials and equipment to the site.