Our club activities are typically organized around group walking and hiking at all skill levels. Simply read the scheduled event, to determine if the event fits your abilities and likes. We explore both the urban and natural environments in NYC, Long Island, New Jersey, Ct. and counties north and west of NYC.
As a member you will explore a range of environments from forested state parks and preserves, to urban neighborhoods and communities of historic, architectural or ethnic significance.
Cultural events such as museums, flower shows and concerts, are frequent destinations. Sometimes a restaurant is included in the itinerary. Usually you bring your own lunch and drinks.
Birding walks are sometimes given, but many of our walks offer birders and plant lovers a natural opportunity.
All of our activities are accessible by public transportation. A car is never necessary. However, if we are headed for a suburban location and we will return to our starting point we sometimes indicate in the description whether parking is available.
The Urban Trail Conference, Inc. is a non-profit corporation chartered in New York State and accordingly operates under the laws of that state.
The Urban Trail Conference is 22 years old. We have about 300 members. We are a volunteer organization. All leaders and officers of the club serve without compensation. However, we do waive dues for leaders who have led at least two events during the year.
We publish an activity schedule every three months. Members receive the schedule by mail. Previous schedules are archived on this web site.
The activity schedule provides relevant information for each event such as time and place to meet and a brief description of the itinerary. Also there will usually be some indication of transportation requirements and expenses that are necessary beyond the meeting point.
Some leaders publish their telephone number. However, you are urged to call only when it is absolutely necessary and then only at a reasonable hour. Many leaders say that most questions would be answered if the description were read carefully.
What to Bring
We want you to enjoy your outing with The Urban Trail Conference. The opportunity for a pleasant event will be greatly improved if you are prepared for the activity. When it starts to rain please be prepared with suitable rain gear. On a hot day don't find yourself without enough to drink. Don't wait until you are on rough or wet ground to decide that your shoes are inadequate for the conditions.
The description will usually advise whether to bring lunch. Of course, this should be adjusted according to your own individual needs and preferences. Everyone should bring water or an equivalent beverage.
You may need a metro card. In some cases exact change for a suburban bus is required. The activity description will usually remind you of these requirements. In addition you may want to bring a train or bus schedule if you are travelling outside the city. This may be necessary for the return trip, if you decide to leave the group.
Your trip will be much more enjoyable, if you are properly dressed and equipped. A small pack that you can sling over your shoulder or back will leave your hands free and make for a more pleasant walk. In it should be your lunch and water. In addition you may want to bring sunscreen, lip balm, insect repellent, binoculars or camera, umbrella or poncho, jacket or sweater, and a map of the area. You need to make adjustments according to the season and the weather on the day of the event.
A very important consideration is footwear. Sometimes the activity description will say hiking boots required or sneakers OK. Generally thin soled casual footwear is inadequate even for city walks. Frequently we walk through parks on unpaved paths. These can be rough and wet. For your own comfort and well being it is necessary to have adequate shoes.
Consideration should be given to where the event will take place. Events within the city may enable you to buy food or water. Additionally there may be public transportation available that would allow you to leave the group. Some people find this convenient if the demands of the activity do not suit them.
Membership and participation in activities are open to all and free to members whose annual dues have been paid in full. Non-members are required to pay one-day dues of $3 per activity.
Leaders and co-leaders are members who want to share an activity with others. Generally it is a place or event that they are familiar with and believe others would enjoy. The Urban Trail Conference does not have a formal screening procedure for leaders or their proposed activities nor do we provide formal training.
We are a group of people who gather as individuals to share a social activity. The club serves as a forum to provide information on when gatherings will take place. All participants are responsible for their own well being and safety. You must decide whether you are physically fit to engage in the activity and whether you have the proper food, clothing and equipment. If you have any questions discuss it with the leader before you join the group.
As a member of the group we ask you to be mindful of the effect that you can have on crowded streets, public entrances and intersections. Don't block sidewalks or impede motorists unnecessarily when crossing streets. Individuals should refrain from smoking while participating in group events.
We expect everyone to observe all laws including traffic regulations, park rules, and municpal ordinances while participating in club activities. Failure to do so can endanger the participant as well as others. A leader may ask an individual to leave if the leader believes that the individual is a disruption or risk to himself or herself or anyone else in the group.