Its wilderness setting rivals some of the region’s finest backcountry, but AMC’s newest program center, under renovation now and slated to open in summer 2016 in New York’s Harriman State Park, is just 42 miles from midtown Manhattan.
Since early spring, AMC’s Construction Crew has been refurbishing the site, a home to youth camps for decades that overlooks the 64-acre Breakneck Pond. The club is investing more than $1 million to renovate cabins, shelters, and tent platforms and to create new, remote campsites.
AMC is working in conjunction with the Palisades Interstate Park Commission (PIPC) on the improvement project, which is designed to increase AMC’s programmatic offerings in the New York City area, including its Youth Opportunities Program for urban youth, Teen Wilderness Adventures, and Teen Volunteer Trails program.
AMC’s New York–North Jersey Chapter and other chapters are also expected to use the site to offer outdoor programs to members, volunteers, and the public.
“AMC is excited to enter into a long-term partnership with PIPC and New York State Parks to connect more people to the outdoors by combining the strength of these agencies with AMC’s expertise across outdoor recreation, conservation, youth engagement, and leadership training,” said AMC’s president, John Judge.
“We are looking forward to working with AMC to not only introduce more people to the wonderful public resource at Harriman State Park, but also to develop the next generation of conservation stewards,” said Commissioner of New York State Parks Rose Harvey.
The Breakneck Pond site will provide overnight accommodations for as many as 140 people, with ample space for swimming and paddling, among other outdoor programs. Some 225 miles of park trails, including portions of the Appalachian Trail, offer plenty of hiking opportunities. The abutting public lands of Bear Mountain State Park and Sterling Forest further enhance the 46,313-acre state park’s natural features and remote feel. To encourage the use of public transportation, AMC plans to provide shuttle service between nearby train stops and the program center.
The project marks AMC’s latest investment in the New York City area, where the organization has been active for more than 100 years. The New York–North Jersey Chapter was founded in 1912; today, AMC’s New York City office is located in the West Side YMCA on Central Park.
AMC also operates the Mohican Outdoor Center in Blairstown, N.J., about a 90-minute drive from Manhattan.