Ladders to the Outdoors Program returns to Harriman State Park this summer

Ladders to the Outdoors Program comes to Harriman State Park

The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) and New York State’s Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) announce the second annual “Ladders to the Outdoors” program at Harriman State Park.

Taking place now through Labor Day, the program offers park guests free opportunities to learn about and engage with their natural environment through guided outdoor activities.

Thoughts from the AMC executives

“Being outdoors is even more rewarding when you understand the environment around you,” said Nicole Zussman, President and CEO of AMC.

“Naturalists can tell you a little more about the trails, the plants and animals you’re likely to see, and how to observe the changes of the season and the climate. AMC is thrilled to support another year of enriching outdoor experiences for Harriman’s visitors.”

The program is based out of Reeves Meadow Visitor Center in Harriman State Park and includes live programming, interpretive displays, signage and materials.

Ladders to the Outdoors Program comes to Harriman State Park

Participants will enjoy hands-on experiences and receive information from on-site naturalists on key topics like litter reduction and hiking safety. Last summer – which was the first year of the program – more than 7,000 visitors participated.

The goal of both organizations is to build on that success and welcome even more participants to experience the benefits of the outdoors.

Thoughts from the Park executives

“State Parks is so pleased that our Ladders to the Outdoors program has continued its expansion, welcoming both newcomers and veteran hikers with more outdoor recreational opportunities for the second year in a row,” said State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid.

“We are grateful to our partners at the Appalachian Mountain Club, Palisades Interstate Park Commission, and National Heritage Trust for working to create programming and activities that help encourage new generations of parkgoers to connect with nature and foster a lifelong love of the outdoors.”

Palisades Interstate Park Commission Executive Director Joshua Laird said, “The Ladders to the Outdoors program at Reeves Meadow has been a great success. With funding support from State Parks, AMC’s naturalists are helping to educate our visitors and connect them to nature.”

“In doing this, we also hope to encourage a greater awareness in the environmental issues affecting our parks and promote an ethic of stewardship among those who participate. We look forward to working with our partners to sustain the Ladders program this year and into the future.”

Ladders to the Outdoors Program comes to Harriman State Park

The Ladders to the Outdoors initiative is made possible through a partnership between the Appalachian Mountain Club, the Palisades Interstate Parks Commission (PIPC), the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the Natural Heritage Trust.

What AMC is offering

Live programming provided by AMC naturalists is offered at the following locations and times through Monday, September 4, except where noted:

  • Reeves Meadow Visitor Center, 100 Seven Lakes Dr, Sloatsburg, NY: Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm
  • Beaver Pond Campground, 700 Kanawauke Rd, Stony Point, NY: Every other Saturday from 11am to 4pm
  • Sebago Cabins, 440 Seven Lakes Dr, Sloatsburg, NY: Every other Saturday from 12pm to 5pm (July 1 – October 7)

Less than an hour from New York City, Harriman State Park is the second-largest park in the New York parks system. It is known for its 31 lakes and reservoirs, 200 miles of hiking trails, and two beaches.

The park offers all visitors, regardless of outdoor skill or experience, the opportunity to be outdoors and appreciate the natural world.

Harriman State Park is one of 21 parks and 8 historic sites owned and operated by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, which works in partnership with AMC to operate the Reeves Meadow Visitor Center.

In 2020, New York State Parks launched the Ladders to the Outdoors program to provide communities across the state greater access to outdoor recreation and environmental stewardship activities to build the skills and knowledge needed to enjoy a lifetime exploring New York’s public lands.