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Dalton Events to Mark Appalachian Trail Community Designation
04:31PM / Monday, August 14, 2017
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Appalachian Trail through hikers chow down at recent Great Barrington Appalachian Trail Community Day. Dalton joins Great Barrington and North Adams as Appalachian Trail communities in the Berkshires.
DALTON, Mass. — The town of Dalton become the third Appalachian Trail Community in the state on Saturday, Aug. 19, with a celebration including hikes, music and a cookout. 
 
State and local officials and representatives from the Appalachian Mountain Club and Appalachian Trail Conservancy will have a short ceremony at Pinegrove Park at noon. 
 
The 2,200-mile long trail completed in 1937 runs from Georgia to Maine, passing through 14 states and the length of the Berkshires. Great Barrington and North Adams are the only other Appalachian Trail Communities. It is maintained by local clubs, the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, state Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the nonprofit Appalachian Trail Conservancy, which is using the designation to promote stewardship of the trail as a natural and economic resource.
 
The community program offers marketing opportunities and visibility through the conservancy, partnerships with land agencies and volunteers, and eligibility toward educational and community service programs. Participating communities set goals to help conserve and support the trail and the trail community, and be good stewards of the land and see the trail as an asset.
 
Saturday's event runs from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., begins with a two-mile hike along the Appalachian Trail and ends with the cookout at Pinegrove Park. 
 
  • The 2-mile family friendly hike will be lead by Bob McBain and Brian Sears and will leave Pinegrove Park at 9:30 a.m.
  • Volunteer work opportunity at the Kay Wood Shelter on the trail is hosted by the Appalachian Mountain Club. Register in advance at at@amcberkshire.org. Meet at the Grange Hall Road trailhead at 9 a.m.; participants will be back at the park by noon. 
  • Beginning around 11 a.m., there will be hot dogs and hamburgers provided by the Dalton Firemen's Association, along with salads and Sweet Peas ice cream for sale. Contributions for the food also have been made by John Kelly and the AMC.
  • Music will be provided by Mark Franklin and Nate Sears from 11 to 1:30.
 
The event is also part of the 413 Heart/Music & Arts Festival, also happening that weekend in Dalton, and is sponsored by the Grow Dalton Initiative, Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the Appalachian Mountain Club Berkshire Chapter.
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