It’s no wonder that when it comes time to make New Year’s resolutions, “Exercise more!” leaps to the top of many people’s lists.
There are several entities in our area that regularly organize group outings, some more familiar than others. The New York/New Jersey Trail Conference and the Adirondack Mountain Club both lead frequent day trips in the mid-Hudson Valley. Avid Gunks hikers can sign up for the e-mail list of the Mohonk Preserve’s Singles and Sociables group, which offers guided treks pretty much every Saturday and Sunday. Another good choice is the Trailsweepers Ski & Sports Club (TSSC), which was formed in 1949. Based in Kingston, it’s a membership organization that not only operates a busy year-round calendar of energetic group outings, but also meets for Happy Hours on the first and third Friday of each month at a variety of mid-Hudson watering holes.
Meetings of the Trailsweepers typically take place on the second and fourth Tuesday evening of the month – lately at Stella’s Italian Restaurant at 44 North Front Street in Uptown Kingston. There is also the occasional dinner, dance, summer picnic, holiday cookie swap or food drive. It’s as much a social club as an outings club: a great way to meet and schmooze with other active people of all ages who like to have fun. “We ski, snowboard, XC ski, snowshoe, windsurf, mountain bike, road bike, hike, backpack, canoe/kayak and last but not least party,” reads the group’s mission statement on its website, www.trailsweepers.org.
The Trailsweepers have an unusual seasonal approach to outdoor activity. In winter their primary focus is on downhill skiing. The January 2014 calendar, for example, features weekly Wednesday night racing at Catamount, a day outing to Gore Mountain on the 17th and a midweek trip to Killington from the 12th to the 17th. One of the perqs of joining is a New Jersey Ski Council sticker on your TSSC membership card that entitles you to obtain group discount vouchers for Bromley, Gore, Jay Peak, Killington, Mount Snow, Okemo, Pico, Stowe, Stratton, Sugarbush and Whiteface.
When the spring skiing season comes to an end, the Trailsweepers turn their attention to cycling and kayaking for the summer. Wednesday night mountain bike rides begin in April and continue weekly through September. Hiking, primarily in the Catskills, becomes the focus as the weather cools down and foliage color heats up in the autumn. Members are encouraged to organize additional outings based on their own interests. “If you have something you would like to run or offer, we would love to hear about it,” writes TSSC president Janet Mihm in Trail Sweepings, the group’s newsletter. “We are all about group effort.”
Annual TSSC membership runs from November to October and costs an affordable $25 for singles, $35 for couples, regardless of age. The application form is available at www.trailsweepers.org/page68.html; you can mail it in or subscribe online using PayPal. For more information, contact Mihm at (845) 246-1742 or firstname.lastname@example.org.