A puzzlement: Where to place parking for hikers

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:14

    Vernon — A few months back members of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy came to the Vernon Township Committee with a small request. They’d been granted $250,000 to put in a parking lot for trail-goers near the Route 517 entrance to the Appalachian trail. If the township would recommend where they’d like to see the lot built, construction could begin. Not much has been resolved. Currently, there is no designated parking so hikers and the casual walkers park along the side of the road. The problem that has confounded Vernon’s town council is that the area closest to the trail is wetlands. Lou Kneip, the township engineer, reported recently that after discussing it with the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, he’s convinced it would be impossible to construct a parking lot there. Committee members are loath to recommend a parking lot that asks hikers to cross the highway to get to the trail, but they’ve asked Kneip to look into that option.