A Year of Recognition

I’m typically modest and don’t intend to boast, but wanted to share three recent awards.

American Trails‘ “Outstanding Trail Leaders” award recognizes “compelling and significant contributions to the trails movement in their states…” Movement? OK, I suppose it is. The award was via a nomination from New York State Parks. I drove to Syracuse, NY for the International Trails Symposium to receive the award. Thank you NYS Parks and American Trails!

As a Field Manager for the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, Erik works tirelessly to improve trails in New York. Erik’s work is focused mostly in New York’s Hudson Valley, a region full of iconic views, historic landscapes, and people passionate about the outdoors.

On any given day Erik can be found teaching the next generation of trail leaders through the Trail Conservation Corps, instructing volunteers on trail construction and maintenance techniques, working with staff and partners to design solutions for complex trail constraints, or scouting sustainable routes that balance enjoyable recreation with responsible conservation.

Erik is a consummate trail professional whose technical skill and artistic vision have contributed greatly to the the trails in New York.

As I said in the Instagram post above, it was neat to see Roger Bell again. It was fitting as I probably wouldn’t be where I am today without having worked for Bellfree Contractors in California. Granted, he had sold the company by that time, but Roger did come out to see a few jobs we were on. Suffice it to say I learned a great deal.

Santa Cruz Bicycles also recognized me this past year. I was asked to choose the bike. That was no easy task. I settled with a Hightower. It has been awesome. Thanks again Santa Cruz!

From layout and design to construction, Trail Conference field manager Erik Mickelson has been a driving force behind the new multi-use trail loop in Sterling Forest coming to life.

In recognition of this and in support of his past and future trail advocacy and builds, Santa Cruz Bicycles presented him a new 2019 CC XO1 Reserve bike in November. Santa Cruz rep Sandy Chapman, his son Chris, and JORBA president Tom Hennigan were on hand to present the award. “Erik’s focused commitment, collaborative leadership, and skilled read of the unique topography in Sterling have yielded a world-class riding experience,” Sandy says. “These trails will be enjoyed by many for years to come.”


Last, but not least, I suppose this was last year, but Kitsbow recognized me as well. Thanks again as well.

I appreciate the recognition and embrace it with gratitude.

more: non profit takes steps to enhance trails at local state parks

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