Rebuild the Lenape Steps

Restore the historic Lenape Steps alongside the Jolly Rovers.

A fundraising campaign for The Jolly Rovers Trail Crew

This year, the Jolly Rovers embarked on their most ambitious project to date, the restoration of the Lenape Steps. Built in 1858 below the iconic cliffs of Sam's Point in New York's Shawangunk Mountains, the pathway would take visitors through a dramatic journey up 100 stone steps as they weaved through a narrow stone chasm, revealing the panoramic view above. Over the next century, freezing and thawing caused the steps to fall into disrepair, rendering them unsafe for public use. 


The pathway, named for the Native American tribe that once inhabited the region, would be taken off the maps by the 1960s where it would remain a hidden overgrown gem within the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Faded but not forgotten, the Jolly Rovers, in partnership with the Palisades Interstate Parks Commission, are ready to put the Lenape Steps back on the map.


Reconstruction of this historic ascent began this past July, and work will continue through 2020. Using old-world skills, our volunteers have been sustainably harvesting stone from within the park to ensure that it not only remain secure for generations but blends with the ancient geology around it. Fine-tuning each stone by hand, and lowering them into the steep chasm via a custom-built timber railway and zip line, we are patiently and persistently making our way to the summit.

Even if you can’t meet us out on the trails, you can still help us rebuild the Lenape Steps. Funding is still needed to see this project through to completion, and by making a contribution you will help fund the tools, supplies, and project planning. The best part is, not only will you help restore this historic ascent, you'll be able to experience the results with your own feet as visitors did 160 years ago. Please join us in supporting this endeavor as we create a legacy in stone.

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About the Organization

The Jolly Rovers Trail Crew

The Jolly Rovers are volunteer trail builders, from all walks of life, specializing in traditional stonework. Without the use of mortar or imported materials, our volunteers transform damaged paths in public parklands into works of art, using nothing but native materials found on site and construction techniques that date back to antiquity. Our growing family of volunteers contributes over 5,000 hours annually, restoring trails to usability.

We've worked in over 30 parks across several states. Since our founding, our volunteers have contributed over one million dollars in valuable time toward improving access to iconic places. The Jolly Rovers Trail Crew includes over 40 regular volunteers, one full-time staff member, and 40 additional trained participants. We're proud to make incredible trails more accessible.