The Bear Mountain Trails Project

 A "Masterpiece Trail" 

That's what Backpacker Magazine calls 

the Appalachian Trail on Bear Mountain, our work in progress.


Trails for People Bear Mountain

Trail Conference Project Leaders:

Ama Koenigshof - Project Manager, Trail Builder/Educator, 616-337-2481; [email protected]

Kevin Simpson - Trail Construction Manager


TCLogoTrail Crew Updates and Stories

TCLogoGet More Information on Getting Involved

TCLogoLearn More About Project History



2015 On Bear Mountain

Continuing construction of the Upper East Face relocation of the Appalachian Trail and completing construction of the Trails For People Interpretive Exhibit

2015 will be a challenging and exciting year for the Bear Mountain Trails Project.  Trail U courses will start up in March (weather permitting).  We plan to finish the Upper East portion of the project to the 60% point first thing.  That means more stairs! 

While we are working on stairs, we will also be quarrying and splitting rock for a project near the Inn called the Trails for People Project.  This project will provide an interpretive area at the bottom of the mountain to explain what we are all about, how we build trails, and why we do things they way we do.  For volunteers, this means building a lot of crib wall, a handful of stairs, artistically placing boulders, installing signage, some carpentry, and trying to make the place look like it hasn’t been trampled by millions of people. 

The Trails for People Project also means we have both the opportunity and the challenge of being in the public eye.  If you are interested in talking to people and telling them what we (trail builders and the Trail Conference) are all about, please let me know!  We will be looking for volunteers to serve as ambassadors for the Trail Conference at the foot of this project every weekend of the season and offering training for such a task.


After 2015, we are still in need of $250,000 to complete the relocation of the Appalachian Trail on Bear Mountain.  $250,000 will fund the two long hard seasons of technical dry masonry that it will take to complete the Upper East Face including building materials, tools, parts for the Canycoms, and project management.  If you or someone you know are in the position to donate and inspired by our work and this 12-year long project, please click to donate. Be sure to put "Bear Mountain Project" in the Special Instructions box.  Thank you!


Day Hike Map


Backpacker Magazine 2014

Blog 6 2014 Season

Blog 5 2014 Season

Blog 4 2014 Season

Blog 3 2014 Season

Blog 2 2014 Season

Blog 1 2014 Season

Blog: October 2013

Blog: September 2013

New York Times - Spring 2010

Spring 2010 Newsletter

Spring 2009 Newsletter

Backpacker Magazine 2008-Bear Mountain Trails Project voted #1 trail building project in US.