About a dozen volunteers gathered Saturday, May 29 to build a pavilion at the Cascade Millsite along the Keuka Outlet Trail. By noon, most of the work was done so visitors to the area can enjoy a picnic or other gatherings under the shelter of the structure. The effort, led by Keuka Outlet Trail Maintenance Committee member Norm Koek, has been in the planning stages for several months.

A 2019 grant from the Yates County Natural & Recreational Resources program helped pay for the new structure. That fund’s aim is to protect and preserve natural and recreational resources in Yates County; preserve and develop recreational trail corridors that cross municipal borders, and develop outdoor recreation facilities that are intended to serve all county residents. Yates County Occupancy tax receipts are made available to the fund each year.

The new pavilion was completed June 5 when metal roofing is added, and it is now available for trail visitors to use immediately.  “The board of directors is grateful to Norm, Mickey Orr, Tim Oppel, the Ivan Oberholtzer family, Jim Culver, members of the Penn Yan Lions Club, and other neighboring volunteers for their contribution of free labor,” said Gwen Chamberlain, president of the Friends of the Outlet. Another donor who wishes to remain anonymous, made a sizable donation to the building project.

The new pavilion is just one of the improvements that has been made to the Cascade Millsite and Mays Mills area recently. Earlier this spring, with help from the Town of Milo, Covell Tree Service, Hansen Inspection Group, D&L Equipment, Hudson Pipes, and Marchionda Excavating, the parking area near the intersection of Ridge Road and Outlet Road was expanded to improve access and safety. This work, partially funded by the Bruce Hansen Memorial Fund, added several new parking spaces and established an attractive entrance where a new interpretive sign will be installed soon.

Visitors to the trail will note more work in the area this summer as abandoned buildings that were formerly part of the JT Baker Chemical Company and Outlet Tire Company will be removed, returning more of the Cascade area to its natural beauty. More information about these projects will be announced in the future.

“Since the coronavirus pandemic began in March, the trail has been a popular destination for people seeking outdoor space to enjoy. The Friend’s Maintenance Committee takes great pride in maintaining and improving the trail property for everyone,” said Chamberlain, adding, “We encourage families to enjoy the trail, remembering to use social distancing, and wearing masks where appropriate. It’s also important to remember the Keuka Outlet Trail is a carry-in carry-out trail, meaning visitors must take their own trash with them when they leave.”

The Friends of the Outlet will hold their annual membership meeting at the new pavilion at 7 p.m. June 24. The meeting, originally scheduled for April, was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. All members of the Friends of the Outlet are encouraged to attend, following social distancing protocols. New directors and officers will be elected.

For more information about the Friends of the Outlet or the Keuka Outlet Trail, visit www.KeukaOutletTrail.org or email gchamberlain@keukaoutlettrail.org.