The Friends of Poke-O-Moonshine is dedicated to the preservation of Poke-O Moonshine Mountain and its fire tower, improving and maintaining the mountain trails, and interpreting the natural and cultural history of the mountain. The mountain has a huge following. Approximately 20,000 hikers climb the mountain annually, coming as far away as Japan, and as close as Keeseville, NY. Adirondack Mountain Club chapters, school classes, sports teams, and summer camps also frequently enjoy the mountain.
Due to severe erosion, the DEC considered closing the historic Ranger Trail on the mountain in 2011. Because of lacking state funding, in 2013 the Friends of Poke-O-Moonshine undertook a five-year fundraising campaign to keep the trail open to the public. The cost for trail restoration is upwards of $250,000. Cloudsplitter approved a grant request to support two weeks of trail restoration work.
Two professional teams began trail work in 2015. To date, they have built 185 engineered rock steps, 9 water-bar drainage ditches, a bridge and two major trail re-routes. At the start of 2017, Poke-O received $204,000 in individual and organizational donations and pledges. The fundraising campaign will continue until fundraising goals have been reached and the trail is fully restored. It is expected that the project will be complete in 2018.
- Grant Name: Summit Up for Poke-O’s Ranger Trail
- Project Size: $250,000
- Grant Amount: $10,000