‘Trail angels’ support Appalachian through-hikers

Every summer, they trek through New York on their way from Georgia to Maine — a scruffy bunch whose determination to hike the entire Appalachian Trail finds them pushing through the Hudson Valley in July and August.

For many, the roughly 2,189-mile trip is the culmination of a dream. Others aren’t sure why they’re doing it. But most know they couldn’t manage the hike without the support of people they encounter along the way. Some local families who live near the trail fill coolers with refreshments and leave them out for hikers.

“We call them trail angels,” said Jim Haggett, chairman of the Dutchess-Putnam Appalachian Trail Management Committee. “It’s sort of serendipitous if you find one of these things. They’re not written up in the guidebooks, and they may not be there from day to day, or week to week, or year to year.”

In Pawling, NY Pete Muroski’s generosity is more predictable. For years, he’s welcomed hikers to Native Landscapes and Garden Center — the Appalachian Trail goes right through the center’s property — where he offers food, electrical outlets, fresh water, mail drop-off and outdoor showers.

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