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Nassau Hiking and Outdoor Club Celebrates Thanksgiving on the Trail

The Nassau Hiking and Outdoor Club (NHOC), which meets regularly at the Eisenhower Park Special Events Center and frequently hosts hikes through the park, has just concluded its 36th annual Thanksgiving on the Trail celebration.

On Saturday, Nov. 7 the club headed to Pelton Pond in Fahnstock State Park, Putnum County. Over 80 club members and guests were in attendance.

The festivities began at 10 a.m. with club members hitting the trails. While longtime club member Don Phillips led the more experienced hikers on a challenging eight-mile hike, club members Dan Hyman and Jill Klasson led other hikers on the more gentle trails. All of the hikes provided a picturesque view of the pond as well as the changing leaves.  

By 1 p.m. everyone headed back to the sheltered picnic area where a Thanksgiving feast was served with all the trimmings. Turkey and ham was heated up in the large fireplaces in the picnic area and, in keeping with club tradition, each attendee brought a side dish. Traditional dishes like cranberry sauce, stuffing and corn were served side-by-side with less traditional fare like macaroni and cheese. Even desert was served.

Longtime club member Gail Robertson has been the event coordinator for the past four years. “In 2005 I was unable to hike. I stayed behind to assist with the cooking and I was hooked,” said Gail. “I’ve been the event coordinator ever since.” Gail estimates that, beginning in September, she spends several hours each week planning the event. Since Fahnstock Park requires visitors to remove their trash, Gail even has to coordinate trash removal.

This event is one of the NHOC’s most popular activities and Gail anticipates that “it will continue to be an annual tradition for many years to come.” Plans are already underway for next year’s celebration.

Nassau Hiking and Outdoor Club (NHOC) has over 400 members from all over Long Island who share a common appreciation for the outdoors. Club activities include hiking, nature walks, kayaking, camping, weekend trips and much more. Club volunteers maintain trails in public parks in Suffolk and Rockland Counties and the club’s Conservation Chairman keeps members informed about environmental issues with regular articles in the club’s official newsletter, Shorelines. The club holds meetings about six times a year at the Special Events Center at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow. Visit the club on the internet at