The Jolly Rovers aren’t your typical weekend warriors

The Jolly Rovers aren’t your typical weekend warriors

Imagine your ideal weekend day.

Does it involve traveling as far as an hour and a half from where you live, hiking up to a mile while carrying as much as 60 pounds, and working an 8-hour day of hard physical labor with minimal or no facilities, in the company of mosquitoes, flies and ticks? Oh — and did we mention you’re not getting paid?

Just a day in the life of a Jolly Rover!

We like to think that hiking is an activity with fairly minimal impact on the environment. But over time, high-traffic areas are prone to erosion and create conditions that are swampy or otherwise dangerous on the trails.

That’s where the Jolly Rovers come in.

The Jolly Rovers are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose corps of volunteers contributes around $200,000 of value every year to public parks by helping create pathways to iconic places. The best part? They create these environmental installations using materials found in the surrounding area. This often involves some pretty intense work, including hammering out their own gravel and using lever and pulley systems to move huge rocks and boulders.

The Jolly Rovers’ most recent work at Teatown on the TKT trail.

The Rovers have done several projects at Teatown, including stone steps on the Lakeside Trail, the Twin Lakes Trail, and in Wildflower Woods, and creating a stream crossing in Kitchawan Preserve. Most recently they completed roughly 150 linear feet of trail relocation on the TKT trail (near the Teatown Lake dam) that takes visitors through what was a seasonally wet area adjacent to Bailey Brook. To mitigate the mud, stone turnpiking, stone steps, and a stone bridge were installed, leading to a scenic view overlooking the brook’s waterfall. A total of 25 Jolly Rover crew members volunteered 550 hours of service on the project over six days. The relocation will be opened after the ground dries and hardens after all the rain we’ve had recently.

Chris Ingui, Executive Director of the Jolly Rovers, said “Teatown was one of the first places the Rovers worked back in 2011 when we were founded; it always feels good to come back to one of the first places our organization called home.”

This outstanding organization deserves our thanks for making New York’s trail networks more accessible in an extremely sustainable way. Thank you, Jolly Rovers!

To learn more about the Jolly Rovers and their work, or to get involved, click here.

Upcoming program

Telltale Tracks

December 2, 11am

Some very interesting tracks have been found on the grounds around the Visitor Center. What tales do these tracks tell? Using clues and a map we’ll search for the animal that left the
clues for us to follow, and have fun solving a mystery. For families with children 4-6 years old.